1958 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King Super Precision Model 5500 All Arabic Tropical Numerals in Stainless Steel on JB Champion Jubilee Bracelet

Product Code: AWCROL0588

Availability:Out of stock

This Watch

We have here one of Rolex's longest running models - the Air King.  A fine, rare and all-original Rolex Air King with the most stunning eggshell-coloured dial.  The dial has "tropicalised" and the resulting patina gives no doubt to its originality.  This effect is now very much desired and, in our opinion, adds to the vintage appeal.  This "tropical" effect on the dial is caused by a combination of age, environment, climate, humidity, temperature and light - all of which react differently to the dial and cause this unique look.  The raised Arabic numerals, lume pips and alpha hands all also show signs of age consistent with the dial.  This is one of our favourite Air King models, with the raised Rolex logo and the cool 'Air King' script at 12 o'clock.  At 6 o'clock, the dial is signed 'Super Precision,' which we haven't seen in a while!


The 34.5mm, stainless steel, three-piece, Oyster case is a comfortable wear for both men and women.  The watch has a the signature Rolex Oyster, screw-down crown as well as a domed crystal and polished bezel, drawing your eyes into that amazing dial.  Inside is the automatic Rolex caliber 1530, fully serviced by us and running strongly.  We've kept the watch on its rare and original Rolex Jubilee bracelet, made by JB Champion for Rolex USA, but the watch can be switched to a strap on request.



Extra Points 

Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex in 1905 at the age of 24, along with Alfred Davis in London. In 1919 they moved their operation to Geneva, Switzerland. This move was brought about by high wartime taxes on Gold and Silver in the UK after the Great war 1914-1918. They were now closer to their suppliers in Bienne. The Rolex Oyster case was released in 1926. Marketed as the world's first “waterproof” watch. The notches on the bezel and case back meant they could be screwed down to the middle case with a special tool invented and manufactured by Rolex to hermetically seal the case. In 1927 a young swimmer Miss Mercedes Gleitz swam the English channel wearing the “Oyster”. Later in 1933 the team of the first expedition to fly over Everest wore them. It was also famously worn by Sir Malcolm Campbell, “King Of Speed”, on the 4th September 1935. An advert of the time made a big splash with him saying “The Rolex watch is still keeping perfect time- I was wearing it yesterday when Bluebird exceeded 300 mph.” He broke the world land speed record 9 times between 1924 and 1936. 1931 saw the debut of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, their first self-winding watch that was also water-resistant and dustproof.

The "Air" models were produced immediately after the Second World War for the British Royal Air Force.  The first "Air King" (reference 4925) was released in 1945 and the 34mm case was considered large at the time, hence the name "King."  These first models are now very rare but have many of the same features as other Rolex Bubblebacks of the same era and housed manually wound Hunter movements.  Other watches in the original Air collection included the Air Lion, Air Tiger and Air Giant.  

This watch has been fully serviced with our on-site workshop and comes with a 12 month, non-waterproof service cover.

What we think

Sitting elegantly on its Jubilee bracelet, this watch pushes into the sporty category while still maintaining all the classic style of a Rolex.  It's a comfortable wear on both male and female wrists and would make a stunning addition to any respectable collection.

Spec Stuff

Serial : 153****
Reference : 5500
Movement : Automatic Cal 1530
Age : 1951/1960
Specific Age : 1958
Case Size : 34.5mm
Case Thickness : 12mm
Lug to Lug :
Lugs :
Condition :
Box & Papers :
 Rolex Box
Case Material :
 Stainless Steel
Service History :
 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty

1958 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King Super Precision Model 5500 All Arabic Tropical Numerals in Stainless Steel on JB Champion Jubilee Bracelet