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The most iconic all-rounder & PILOT WATCH

The Rolex Air-King

One of the most affordable watches from the Swiss watchmaker Rolex: the Air-King. This pilot’s watch is made of stainless steel and the design is elegant, sporty and functional. It looks like the perfect watch for almost every occasion to wear. 

Entry-level wristwatch for pilots

Standing out from the crowd, that’s exactly what the Rolex Air-King represents. This stainless-steel watch ref 116900 stands out because of the Arabic numerals from 5 to 55 with a green minute hand and brand inscription. 

The watch for pilots was introduced back in 2016 and was focused on the essentials: no other functions were added on this Rolex Air-King. It even looks more sportier compared to other watches like the Oyster Perpetual

History of the Rolex Air-King

One thing that really pops out is the name Air-King: during the 1930s Rolex (founder Hans Wilsdorf) developed a timepiece in honor of the pilots from the RAF (British Royal Air Force). Wilsdorf developed different watches with the names Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, Air-Giant and Air-King. After the war, Rolex continued making the Air-King for the public.

The design was always simple for the Rolex Air-King: stainless steel, 34mm diameter (except for the Air-King date) and was available in different dial colors like pink, blue, red or green. 

The new model from 2016 was the biggest Air-King in the history of Rolex: it measured 40mm and available with a black dial. Larger numerals like the Rolex Explorer and for the first time the Rolex Air-King had glow-in-the-dark Chromalight minute hands. As most of the newer, popular models like the Submariner and GMT-Master II, the new Rolex Air-King has the Oysterclap with the Easylink comfort extension used for warmer days to widen the bracelet by 5mm.

Earlier Air-King models

The current collection for the Rolex Air-King is limited to one singe model, but earlier in the days Rolex produced different sorts of Air-King models. These references are the 14000, 14000M, 14010, 14010M and 5500. The 5500 was in production for more than three decades and is one of the coolest vintage Rolex watches around. You can even find a Rolex Air-King 5500 featuring Mickey Mouse or the Pan Am logo: these watches are really popular for collectors.

Air-King Date

There is another reference which is interesting: the Rolex Air-King with a date display ref 5700 and 5701. These models cost around €4000 and measure 35mm: 1mm bigger than the regular Air-King models from that era. 

Rolex Air-King prices

When you are in the market for a Rolex Air-King, there is plenty of choice. You can either buy the iconic Air-King from 2016 on or pick your favorite vintage piece. The Air-King ref 116900 from 2016 are around €8.000. The list price for these watches is around €6500. To be honest, prices are really starting to rise for these models, so sometimes you may find them around €10.000 already for a full mint set.

If you’re looking to spend not over €6.000, you should consider a vintage Rolex Air-King. These models (14000, 14000M) are 34mm, stainless steel and are more affordable compared to the 2016 models. 

The cool thing about the vintage Air-King is that they look great on both men and women. Prices range from €4000 to €6000 on Wristler. One specific vintage Rolex Air-King is the 14010M: with the engine turned bezel with fine fluting this is one of the popular collector’s items.

One of the most affordable Rolex Air-Kings is the ref 5500. When it was introduced back in 1957, it was produced for more than 30 years. You can find these pieces for around €3300 on Wristler. Looking for a special 5500? The Double Red models have two red inscriptions reading ‘Air-King’ and ‘Super Precision’. 

  • 100% Authentic watches
  • Safe delivery or pick-up
  • Warranty & easy returns