1967 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King Super Precision in Stainless Steel Model 5500
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A fine and original classic Air King example with an eggshell-coloured dial and Alpha hands. The dial is original and has some patina, which in our opinion adds to its vintage appeal, Rolex-signed on dial, movement and three-piece oyster screwback case. It's one of our favourite Air King models with a raised Rolex logo and the cool Air King font in script. A super precision signed dial which we've not seen in a while! Fitted with a slightly later, original Rolex oyster steel bracelet, which can be switched to a strap on request.
It also has all the other features you'd want from Rolex: elegant silvered baton markers and hands, a domed crystal with polished bezel , screw down Oyster crown and screw back case.
Rolex produced a number of “Air” models during and immediately after World War II, all for the British Royal Air Force and its pilots. The Air King was released in 1945. Its 34mm case was considered large at the time, hence the “King” name. At its release, the Air King was part of a collection of Air watches that included the Air Lion, Air Tiger, and Air Giant, but the Air Kings reign outlasted the others.
The first Air King was reference 4925, which is now a rare find. It has many of the same features of other Rolex bubblebacks of the era, with a cream dial and even-numbered Arabic numerals. This model was followed by a few other references, including the reference 4499. All of these early Air King references housed manual-wind Hunter movements, making them very similar to other stainless steel watches in Rolex’s Oyster collection.
The Air King began to acquire its own aesthetic with the transitional reference 6652 in 1953, which featured the caliber 1030 ticking inside. This is the reference that introduced the creamy silver dial and stick hour markers that became iconic in the subsequent reference 5500 which is also used as the Rolex Explorer reference.
What we think
Sitting elegantly on its Oyster bracelet, this watch pushes into the sporty category while 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.
Much like the Rolex Explorer and in fact the same case ref, the Rolex Air King is often forgotten among more popular Rolex collections such as the Submariner, Daytona, or even the Datejust, released the same year as the Air King. But, as an “entry-level” Rolex, the Air King continues to offer an interesting value proposition, especially for vintage value seekers out there, as it’s one of the few vintage Rolex models that still costs less than the average car. As one of Rolex’s longest running models, the Air King is a watch worthy of your attention. This watch has been fully serviced in our on-site workshop and comes with a 12 month, non-waterproof service cover.
Age : 1961/1970
Specific Age : 1967
Case Size : 34.5mm
Case Thickness : 12mm
Lug to Lug :
Lugs : 19mm
Condition : Pre-Owned
Box & Papers : No
Case Material : Stainless Steel
Service History : 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty
Brand : Rolex
SKU : AWCROL5500
Case Size : 34mm