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Old 10 February 2009, 07:00 PM   #1
yannis7777
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Air-King (current series and brief history)

This is the entry level Rolex model addressed to people who are inclined to spend a “fortune” on a watch. This watch has an unprecedented historical value in the Rolex Oyster Perpetual range since it was used by British aviators in WWII. Apparently the Air-King was the watch of choice for battle of Britain fighter pilots and Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex was so moved by the brave British pilots that decided to honour them with a new line of manual wind Oysters.
While the Oyster Royal line existed already before the war Rolex began producing larger watches coding them with names like "Air Tiger," "Air Lion," "Air Giant," and "Air King."
What was then considered a large dial - 32 to 33 mm diameter - is now small in comparison, as most Rolex sports models feature a 40 mm or larger dials.
The Air line of watches remained in production until the early 1960s. In the end only the Air-King survived and was eventually fitted with an automatic movement.

The Air-King is not as fancy or as over-engineered as some other Rolex watches yet it is an elegant watch and most importantly has a great history behind it. I believe that it is one of the most overlooked watches out of the Oyster Perpetual range although it deserves more attention by prospective buyers. Today the current Air-King model range even comes with COSC certification. They have also recently been redesigned with new dials and bracelets.
I am sure more educated members than myself on the subject will contribute some more information as well as photos on this thread.

Technical data
Certification: Chronometer
Size: 34 mm
Bracelet: Oyster featuring Oysterclasp (with easy link on new models)
Movement: Self-winding cal. 3130
Water-Resistance: Waterproof to 100 metres/330 feet
Crystal: Sapphire
Attached Images
File Type: jpg air1.jpg (51.6 KB, 9133 views)
File Type: jpg airking4.jpg (55.8 KB, 9087 views)
File Type: jpg airking (2).jpg (50.9 KB, 9054 views)
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Old 11 February 2009, 12:45 AM   #2
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thanks sir!

one of the man reasons i have one.. althought an older model. same history!

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Old 11 February 2009, 04:08 AM   #3
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it's amazing how they make such simple watch look so elegant and beautiful
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Old 11 February 2009, 04:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zak98 View Post
thanks sir!

one of the man reasons i have one.. althought an older model. same history!

Now that is a knock-out!! Simple, elegant and oh so readable!!
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Old 11 February 2009, 05:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zak98 View Post
thanks sir!

one of the man reasons i have one.. althought an older model. same history!

zak the engine turned bezel really adds some class and sportiness to the watch at the same time!!
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Old 11 February 2009, 05:43 AM   #6
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i agree.. at the time of manufacture.. i think they called it an 'engine turned' bezel. i do not think it is called that anylonger.. but my wrist is 7.5" and the airking looks just fine on it.. IMHO.
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Old 11 February 2009, 05:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
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i agree.. at the time of manufacture.. i think they called it an 'engine turned' bezel.
My mistake you are absolutely right!
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Old 11 February 2009, 06:00 AM   #8
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thanks for clarification on your part. i was not too sure. but just had read it somewhere. either way.. i really do like that look.
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Old 11 February 2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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I am sure there are more members with Air-Kings that can post their pictures! Don't have to have the new ones!!
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Old 20 February 2009, 04:33 AM   #10
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First post. I'll try to attach a pic.

I started this watch up when I got it, and wore it lots for a month. It lost about 5 seconds per WEEK (not per day!) Then it ran down and sat for a
few weeks. Ever since that time, it gains about 10 seconds per day now.
Anyone have any suggestions for what I might attempt to regain the former
accuracy?

Thanks!
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Old 21 February 2009, 03:31 AM   #11
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What a classic look
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Old 21 February 2009, 08:46 AM   #12
yannis7777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarastro View Post
First post. I'll try to attach a pic.

I started this watch up when I got it, and wore it lots for a month. It lost about 5 seconds per WEEK (not per day!) Then it ran down and sat for a
few weeks. Ever since that time, it gains about 10 seconds per day now.
Anyone have any suggestions for what I might attempt to regain the former
accuracy?

Thanks!
Welcome buddy! Well try and wear it constantly for a few weeks. If nothing happens go and get it regulated at an RSC or AD. RSC is a better idea since it must be on warranty. Beautiful watch by the way
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Old 21 February 2009, 11:18 AM   #13
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Air king

Here is mine.
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Old 22 February 2009, 06:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yannis7777 View Post
Welcome buddy! Well try and wear it constantly for a few weeks. If nothing happens go and get it regulated at an RSC or AD. RSC is a better idea since it must be on warranty. Beautiful watch by the way
Thanks! One further comment about it. This is actually my second Rolex, but I wish I'd seen it first because it would have been my first. It's somehow reminiscent of some watch from maybe my childhood - it has that "My First Timex" kind of look (that's a real line of watches), but to me it's much more aesthetically pleasing - the symmetry of the markings on the face appeal to me in a "Golden Ratio" kind of way. And I don't go for "bling" too much - understated and elegant is my style. I'm looking at a Cellini Danaos next...

Oh, the first is an Oyster Perpetual Date with a black face.
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Old 22 February 2009, 08:13 AM   #15
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I have one as well and love it. Some say it is small but can you really notice a 2mm difference from the date-just?

Think you meant to say: who are NOT inclined to spend a “fortune” on a watch.
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Old 22 February 2009, 10:59 AM   #16
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Glad to see a little Air-King love. Here's mine:
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Old 22 February 2009, 01:03 PM   #17
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Nice and very classic watch.
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Old 24 February 2009, 06:51 PM   #18
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Beautiful watches guys, keep them coming!
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Old 25 February 2009, 11:11 AM   #19
goduke1
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Mine is an older Air King, and worn everyday so it's condition is not as good as some on the ones posted AND its a crappy pic's..but here ya go.
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Old 25 February 2009, 11:30 AM   #20
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here's mine:
IMG_1510.jpg
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Old 26 February 2009, 12:20 AM   #21
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love the blue dial!
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Old 26 February 2009, 06:10 AM   #22
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the only thing i'd change about my cosc air-king is the hour and minute hands - i prefer the larger ones that came with the previous model.
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Old 26 February 2009, 06:58 AM   #23
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You can really tell where my daily wearer gets its looks from!
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Old 26 February 2009, 05:23 PM   #24
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Old 26 February 2009, 05:47 PM   #25
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Nice photos guys!! Keep them coming!
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Old 8 March 2009, 06:30 PM   #26
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Now this is beautiful. My very first Rolex back in 1987 was a 14000 just like this. I always thought I got the value for money at an RRP then of £555 !!!

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Old 8 March 2009, 11:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zak98 View Post
love the blue dial!

Well here you go then! I love the engine turned bezel too!


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Old 9 March 2009, 04:10 AM   #28
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Mine is an older model (from 1958), one of the first ref. 5500 I think (which sported the new cal. 1530 movement). It's relatively "new", however -- I bought it last year!





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Old 9 March 2009, 06:45 AM   #29
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I think these air kings would look great with the new jubilee bracelets....if anyone has pics of an airking with jubilee please post'em up!
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Old 9 March 2009, 01:12 PM   #30
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good write-up!
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