By Jovan Krstevski
Rolex introduced a new Oyster Perpetual Air-King at Baselworld 2016 based off a model that Rolex created back in the 1950 commemorating flight pioneers and proudly highlighting the role that the Oyster watches had played in the history of modern aviation. Indeed, the new Oyster Perpetual Air-King has a remarkable aeronautical heritage since the original Rolex Oyster watches. History aside because let us put it this way, some things are actually more interesting than what Rolex has to say anyways. When it comes to design, the new Air-King wins. Now let us take a closer look at what the watch really shows us.
The 40 mm case made of 904L steel looks sturdy but not so rugged. The lugs are nice and very traditional plus the signature bezel sporting a very smooth metallic finish. I can’t complain with the beautiful crown too since all the dimensions here are just superbly designed. This is Rolex we are talking about anyway and bias or not, I would rather say we are all bias. At 40 mm it is also quite easily hidden on a long sleeve if you would rather like to be subtle and not show it off. It is a lovely case design from all the things we have learned to standardized in the horology world. Moreover, the fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool meant only for the Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. This allows for the Twinlock double waterproofness system to be installed with the winding crown screwing down securely against the case. The case also sports anti-magnetic properties for high reliability.
As for its unique black dial with a smooth satin finish sporting a green seconds hand all I can just say is wow. There is also the distinctive combination of bigger 3, 6 and 9 numerals in 18 k white gold for the hours. For aviation fans, you will notice the minute’s scale for navigational time readings on the side of the bezel, it is lovely and functional. The label Air-King sits just above the 6 o’clock in the original lettering seen on the 1950s model. I also fancy the highly legible Chromalight triangle at 12 o’clock for its functionality and looks too. We also get original Rolex hands in 18 k white gold which for me is really classic. All these goodies are protected by the scratch-resistant sapphire.
What powers the new Air-King is the in-house self-winding Calibre 3131 operating at 28,800 vph. With 48 hours of power reserve, you can really go far with this watch especially if you are on a business trip. The movement also sports a patented blue Parachrom hairspring which is 10 times more precise than its counterparts.
The watch comes with a Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015 giving its buyers peace of mind. In layman words, it only means that the watch is guaranteed to do its job flawlessly covering its precision, waterproofness(100m) and so on.
Furthermore, the solid-link Oyster bracelet comes in 904L steel sporting a folding Oysterclasp and the Rolex-patented Easylink rapid extension system that allows 5 mm increase in length. This Rolex watch is priced at Swiss Francs 5,900. For more info, please visit rolex.com
Thank you to all who’ve followed us over the course of Baselworld and thank you to all of the companies for making such beautiful watches to talk about!
JOVAN KRSTEVSKI – FOUNDER, PROPRIETOR & EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Jovan Krstevski has been collecting watches every since his father bought him an Omega Seamaster back when he was just a teenager. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview and is one of the most widely read watch blogs on the Web. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’ Besides WristReview, he also writes for a number of publications. Read his articles here