History of Rolex Air-King

Air King in a slightly different standing position in Rolex. As the name implies, it is a watch closely related to aircraft.

Let's see how such an air king was born and became a model that continues to this day.

The beginning of Air King

ROLEX Air-King Rolex Air-King. The history goes back to the 1930s, which is called the golden age of the aviation world.

The 1920s and 1930s were called the "Golden Age of Aviation", and until then, aircraft had developed for military purposes, but from this time on, each country has been developing for the purpose of "private passenger transportation." Competitive aircraft have made great progress.

Full-scale passenger planes first appeared in the mid-1930s.

Speaking of its typical aircraft, it changed the history of the sky such as Junkers Ju52 in Germany (used as the main passenger aircraft of Lufthansa) and Douglas DC-3 in the United States (Douglas Craft Co., now Boeing Co., Ltd.). The birth of a modern passenger aircraft. By the way, the Douglas DC-3 is virtually said to be the world's first full-scale commercial airliner.

Ju 52 / Junkers

DC-3 / Douglas Aircraft Company

Because of World War II from the end of the 1930s to the middle of the 1940s, these aircraft were also diverted for military purposes or used for military purposes, but before the start of the war in the 1930s. It was active as a civilian passenger aircraft after the end of the war.

In the 1930s, the golden age of aviation, it was common to travel by land, but it was finally the time when "air travel" began to spread.

In this era, aircraft did not have the performance they are today and were still developing, but many pilots who set historic records in aviation had the Rolex Oyster Watch in their arms.

Birth of Air King

Air King was born as a homage to such golden age pioneers.

Air King is the oldest pet name watch among the models that also exist in the current model.

Its history goes back to 1945, such as Ref. 4925/4499.

It seems that there were multiple models other than Air-King at the beginning, and there are several models called Air-〇〇

The dial notation is "OYSTER AIR-KING". Can you see that all the letters are capitalized by handwriting?

In addition, all Arabic numbers have thin and long short and long hands. I feel the times.

Air-King 6552

And Ref.6552 will appear in the early 1950s.

This Ref.6552 contains Cal.1030. Cal.1030 is famous as the world's first bidirectional self-winding movement.

Wedge-shaped hands and blue steel second hands are characteristic. "SUPER PRECISION" is written at 6 o'clock.

The movement is in the order of Cal.600 series → Cal.1030 → Cal.1530, so this Ref.6522 may have been sold before ref.5500. Is guessed.

Wedge-shaped needles and other older elements are included in the design. People who know about this model are quite enthusiastic, so it may be good to know that there was such a model.

Air-King 5500

ROLEX Air-King Ref.5500 (1957-1989)

The Air-King Ref.5500 released in 1957, but this model is the most well-known Air King.

Air King 5500 with a simple smooth bezel, plastic windshield, and oyster bracelet in a 34mm case.

Air-King The Air-King 5500 is a long-selling model that was sold from 1957 to 1989.

The one with "SUPER PRECISION" written on the dial is said to be Cal.1530, and the one with "PRECISION" written on it is said to be Cal.1520.

The oldest order is "SUPER PRECISION"-> "PRECISION".

This SUPER PRECISION, Ref.6522 introduced above, has the same Cal.1530 and was written as "SUPER PRECISION", so it seems that it follows that trend.

Looking at the notation at 6 o'clock, the notation is only "PRECISION", so the movement is ...

It's Cal.1520.

Cal.1520 is a highly reliable movement that has been made for over 20 years despite its non-chronometer specifications, and is also installed in the very popular Submariner Ref.5513 and the Submariner Ref.5517 made for the British Army. Has been

The hack function was installed in the 1970s, and this watch manufactured in 1972 also stops the second hand when setting the time.

Various variations of Air King were on sale at the same time as Ref.5500. For example, the model Ref.5700 Air King Date with added date and the gold-plated model Ref.5506.

In the mid-1970s, another variation appeared, and there is a lot of variety such as the Air King Ref.5520 with a gold cap.

This Air King 5500 is still on the market in large numbers, so it's good to have a price range that is easy to buy.

Air-King 14000

The next generation model of Ref.5500, which became a long-selling model, was announced in 1989. Ref.14000 and Ref.14010 were announced as new models in place of the Air King 5500, which had been sold for over 30 years.

ROLEX Air-King Ref.14000 (1990-2000)

Smooth bezel Ref.14000

ROLEX Air-King Ref.14010 (1990-2000)

The Finely Engine Turned Bezel is Ref.14010

With the announcement of this Ref.14000 / Ref.14010, we abolished the model with date, gold plating, combination model, etc. that were Ref.5500, and returned to the simple design of only the stainless steel model.

Back to Basic.

And when it became a 5-digit (Ref 14 ○○○) model, the movement was changed from Cal.1520 to Cal.3000 high beat movement, and the windshield was updated to sapphire glass. Durability, accuracy, and maintainability have been improved from

.

Ref.14000 / 14010 was released in 1990 and was produced until 2000 when a minor change model came out.

Air-King 14000M

Air-King Ref.14000 minor change model (improved version), "Ref.14000M" was announced in 2001. This Air King 14000M was sold from 2001 to 2007.

ROLEX Air-King Air King 14000M Salmon Dial (2001-2007)

What is the minor change between Ref.14000 and 14000M? The biggest difference is that the movement has changed.

There were few changes in the design, but the movement has been changed to Cal.3130.

There are now two bridges that support the part called the balance (twin bridge), improving stability and maintainability.

There is no hole for the spring rod at the lug. As you can see in the picture, the hole is gone, so it looks refreshing.

Another change is the watermark of the Rolex crown logo at 6 o'clock on the glass windshield.

Recommended air kings are 14000 and 14000M

When considering Air King, Albitro would like to recommend the 5-digit model that was sold after the 1990s.

For those who want to stick to the movement as well as Ref.14000 / 14010, I think "Ref.14000M / 14010M" containing Cal.3130 is good.

Let's take a closer look at Air-King Ref.14000M, 14010M.

ROLEX Air-King Air King 14000M White Roman Dial (2001-2007)

A dial with a rare design that can be described as a small roman with Roman numerals printed inside the typesetting index.

ROLEX Air-King Air King 14000M Salmon Dial (2001-2007)

It is a pale pink dial with a slight yellow tinge, and is called a salmon dial overseas. I made it a leather strap.

When combined with the gray strap, it creates a calm and mature atmosphere.

ROLEX Air-King 14010M Black Dial (2001-2007)

A simple bar index on the black dial. The dial and hands are very simple, so the Finely Engine Turned Bezel is an accent, and it is quite fashionable.

The case diameter is a little modest at 34mm, so the dial has a design, and even the color does not show any flashiness, but I think that is the accent.

Introducing Air-King 114200/114210

In 2007, the new Air King model Ref.114200 / 114210 will be announced in place of the Ref.14000M.

ROLEX Air-King Ref.114200 (2007-2014)

Ref.114200 sold from 2007 to 2014.

ROLEX Air-King Ref.114210 (2007-2014)

The main change is that the movement has changed from a non-chronometer to a COSC certified chronometer (both Cal.3130), the case size remains 34 mm, but the design is rounded and slightly voluminous. The flash fit has been changed to one with the breath, and the buckle has been changed to a twin lock type.

Air-King The 6-digit model of Air King (Ref.114200 / 114210/114234/114234G) will be discontinued in 2014 and will be integrated into the 34mm Oyster Perpetual series.

Air-King with 34mm case will end in 2014

ROLEX Air-King Ref.114234 (2007-2014)

Smooth bezel Ref.114200, engine-turned bezel Ref.114210 (2007-2014), 18kWG fluted bezel and stainless steel combination model Ref.114234, 114234 model with diamond Ref.114234G.

All these models will be discontinued in 2014. The Air King in the 34mm case has disappeared.

Revival of Air-King Ref.116900

It was thought that the model "Air King" disappeared from the Rolex lineup at the end of production in 2014, but two years later, in 2016, it became Ref.116900 with a 40 mm case and Air King revived. increase.

ROLEX Air-King Ref.116900 (2016 ~)

The feature of Air King 116900 is that it uses the same 40mm case Cal.3131 as Milgauss.

Speaking of Milgauss, it is famous as a model with excellent magnetic resistance that can withstand 1000 gauss, but this Air King 116900 also uses the Milgauss case, and the movement is also magnetic resistance that is not used for ordinary Rolex movements. It is a special movement that uses parts made of high-quality materials.

A model that can be said to be a new air king, with significantly different sizes and designs from the previous generation.

The point is that the letters "ROLEX" and the second hand are green, which is the Rolex brand color.

At the end

So, I've seen from the model that started the air king in the 1930s to the current model.

The Air King is still very popular, but Albitro recommends models from Ref.5500 to Ref.14000M, which are 5-digit models with a 34mm case.

The reason is that the neat case design and size fit perfectly when you wear it on your wrist. The model I raised above is the one that goes smoothly when paired with clothes. (Sometimes it's just cool)

I think that there are many people who say that 34mm is good if you buy Air King anyway. If you want to improve the good points of Air King, there are many variations of the dial.

In addition to basic silver, you can also choose blue, black, salmon, white (Roman dial), etc. You can enjoy it even more by removing the stainless steel bracelet and using NATO or a leather belt.

This slightly modest 34mm case air king. It is also recommended for those who are buying Rolex for the first time, so please consider it as a candidate. .

Many wearing photos are posted

vintage watch wear gallery

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