Rolex Air-King Ref. 5500 with UT logo

In an era when achievements were celebrated with timeless gifts, the United Transporting logo on this Rolex Air-King tells a unique story. Back then, Rolex watches were awarded for milestones such as “10 years of safe driving,” making this 1966 piece not just a timepiece, but a testament to dedication and excellence. This practice, though rare today, adds an invaluable layer of history and meaning to the watch.

The Rolex Air-King was introduced in 1945, and designed specifically for pilots. While the GMT-Master is renowned as the quintessential pilot’s watch, the Air-King served a different purpose. It was often given to pilots as a token of appreciation upon retirement or after completing significant challenges. Over the years, the Air-King has evolved, but its simplicity and elegance have always remained its most charming features.

The 1966 Air-King we are offering showcases the cleanest composition imaginable. Its silver-coloured dial perfectly complements the stainless steel case and bracelet, creating a timeless and uniform appearance. The smooth domed bezel, more modest compared to a fluted one, adds to the watch’s understated elegance.

At AWCO, we have a deep appreciation for watches with stories. This Air-King, with its United Transporting logo, is not just a watch; it’s a piece of history. It reflects a time when significant achievements were celebrated with a Rolex, a practice that has since faded. Times have indeed changed, but the allure and value of a well-crafted Rolex endure.

We invite you to visit our store to see this remarkable 1966 Rolex Air-King in person and explore other fine watches, each with its unique story. Embrace the timeless elegance and rich heritage that come with every Rolex, and own a piece of history.

Year 1966 Tags , , ,

€ 5.500

Availability: In stock

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Brand Rolex
Diameter 34 mm
Model Air-King
Bracelet/strap: Leather
Reference 5500
Buckle/clasp Aftermarket steel
Year of production (circa) 1966
Lug Width 19 mm
Material Steel
Set Content Watch only
Crystal Acrylic
Warranty 2 year (AWCo)
Dial color Silver
Movement Automatic

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.


At AWCo we put the safety of our shipments upfront at all times. Therefore, we ship all our packages insured.

We strive to promptly handle packages to minimize delays. Delivery times begin from the day of dispatch. While we make every effort to ensure smooth delivery, we cannot be held responsible for delays caused by destination customs, local duties, taxes, or lost items during transit.

Certainly, we understand that overloaded mail-order companies can also contribute to potential delays in the delivery process. Despite our best efforts, external factors beyond our control may affect shipping times. Rest assured, we remain committed to providing timely service and will work diligently to ensure your order reaches you as promptly as possible. For any inquiries or updates, feel free to reach out to us at Your satisfaction is our priority.






Year of production (circa)






Dial color





34 mm




Aftermarket steel

Lug Width

19 mm

Set Content

Watch only