|Year of production (circa)||
Rolex Air-King 34mm Ref. 14000M
We are happy to share with you this simple, elegant yet sporty Rolex Air-King Ref. 14000M.
This beauty from ca. 1988 comes with a sapphire crystal and sturdy Oyster bracelet, ready for hard daily wearing.
The stark black dial is equally simple and great. There really is not too much to say about this watch, except that its minimalist recipe just works so well.
Come and try it on in our boutique at Reestraat 3 in Amsterdam. Be prepared to love it!
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Rolex is well known for its watches aimed at specific professionals. As such, it is no wonder that the house has a long history in specialist pilot’s watches. From the 1930’s onwards, several variations of the Oyster Perpetual bubble-back were made with names like Air-Lion, Air-Giant and Air-Tiger. These were commonly bought by RAF pilots during WWII, as an upgrade to their issued watches.
In 1945, a single pilot’s line was launched to replace all of these predecessors: The Rolex Air-King.
Interestingly, the Air-King does not feature too many true aviation features. The archetypal pilot’s watch is big, with a matte black dial and white numerals and preferably a soft iron cage to protect from magnetism. The older Air-Kings have none of that. It is, however, a beautiful and versatile line of watches that is worth considering.
The most popular vintage Air-King is undoubtedly the Ref. 5500. A dual-reference that was also assigned to an Explorer model. To complicate things further, the Ref. 5500 was identical to the Ref. 1002 Oyster Perpetual, except for the dial. The Ref. 5500 was introduced in 1957 and lasted a whopping 37 years, making it the longest-running Rolex reference ever.
Rolex discontinued the Air-King in 2014, only to bring it back in 2016 with the Ref. 116900. A bit of an odd duck in the collection, with its busy dial with yellow and green details. It is, however, a fan favorite in the modern lineup, together with the equally quirky Milgauss.
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