1972 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King Precision Model 5500 Grey bark / linen Dial in Stainless Steel on oyster bracelet.

Product Code: AWCROL550072

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 silvered original  textured dial.  The dial is truly stunning and possesses a beautiful cream lume - no doubt to its originality.  This effect is now very much desired and, in our opinion, adds to the vintage appeal.  This "Bark or linen" effect reacts differently in light, the result of this is a unique look.  The raised bold baton facet markers , lume pips and straight hands all blend perfectly  with the dial.  This is one of our favourite Air King models, with trademark Rolex logo and the cool 'Air King' script at 12 o'clock.  At 6 o'clock, the dial is signed  Precision,'  This dial has a milgauss feel to it but for a fraction of the price. 

The 34.5mm, stainless steel, three-piece, Oyster case is a comfortable wear for both men and women.  The watch has 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 1520, fully serviced by us and running strongly.  original folded link oyster bracelet to fit all.



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 oyster 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. Entry level Rolex in its day but quite rare in this condition and with this dial today!

Spec Stuff

Serial : ****
Reference : 5500
Movement : Automatic Cal 1520
Age : 1971/1980
Specific Age : 1972
Case Size : 34.5mm
Case Thickness : 12mm
Lug to Lug :
Lugs :
Condition :
Box & Papers :
Case Material :
 Stainless Steel
Service History :
 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty

1972 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King Precision Model 5500 Grey bark / linen Dial in Stainless Steel on oyster bracelet.