The new Oyster Perpetual Air-King by ROLEX continues the aviation origins of its predecessor. The new Air-King has a case diameter of 40 mm and is forged in 904L steel. The distinctive black dial features oversized Arabic numerals at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions, while the minute markers are prominently displayed for easy reading during navigation. The “Air-King” lettering on the dial is in a font that was designed for the original watch in the 1950s. In 2015, the Air-King watch was certified as a Superlative Chronometer, guaranteeing the watch’s superior performance on the wrist.
The new Air-King embodies Rolex’s unique association with aviation in the 1930s. During this golden age of aviation, the performance of airplanes evolved, routes were expanded and long-haul flights were introduced. Charles Douglas Barnard, an English aviator, was one of these pioneers, setting many aviation records. He said of the Oyster: “This Rolex is a very good watch, especially for flying. I intend to wear this watch on all my long-haul flights”. In 1933, the pilot of the Houston Expedition wore a Rolex Oyster on his first voyage over Mount Everest. The voyage was completed in extreme weather conditions and at an altitude of over 10,000 metres (33,000 feet). In 1934, Owen Cathcart-Jones and Ken Waller set the record for the shortest round trip between London, England and Melbourne, Australia in a twin-engine De Havilland Comet, using a Rolex Oyster as a timekeeper. Now, with the new Air-King, Rolex pays tribute to the pioneers of flight and the role of the Oyster in the history of aviation.
The Oyster case, a symbol of water resistance
Guaranteed water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet), the Oyster case of the Air-King watch is a paragon of ruggedness. The uniquely shaped middle case is made from a solid block of 904L steel and is resistant to corrosion. Only a Rolex watchmaker can open the movement, thanks to the triangular guilloché caseback, which is sealed by screwing it in place with a special tool exclusive to the brand. The winding crown, equipped with the patented Rolex double-lock waterproofing system, is securely screwed into the case. The crystal is made of sapphire crystal and is not susceptible to scratching. The Air-King’s water-resistant case offers maximum protection for the movement’s exceptional precision. The watch is also equipped with an anti-magnetic case, an essential feature of a classic pilot’s watch.
3131 Perpetual Motion Movement
The Air-King is equipped with a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement, Caliber 3131, developed by Rolex. Developed by Rolex, it is a movement of exceptional construction, quality and technical innovation that makes this watch unparalleled in its precision and reliability. The balance cock, the heart of the watch, is equipped with a Rolex patented blue Parachrom hairspring, a unique Rolex cast spring. Made from a unique alloy forged by Rolex, it is impervious to magnetic fields, remains stable even at fluctuating temperatures and is ten times more resistant to shocks than a conventional balance spring. It is also equipped with a Rolex end ring to ensure that it remains regular in different positions. The escapement is equipped with a paramagnetic escapement wheel made of nickel-phosphorus alloy, a technique developed by Rolex using UV-LiGA precision microelectroforming. The Calibre 3131 is equipped with an automatic winding mechanism, wound by means of a constant-action thallium mainspring, and has a power reserve of approximately 48 hours.
Solid link bracelet with easy-adjust links
The Air-King comes on a 904L steel solid link Oyster bracelet with a folding Oyster clasp fitted with an easy-adjust link. This patented Rolex extension mechanism is ingeniously designed to allow the wearer to easily extend the bracelet by approximately 5 mm, making it extremely comfortable to wear in all circumstances.
In 2015, the Rolex Air-King set a new standard when it was certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This unique designation proves that the watch has passed a series of tests conducted by the Rolex laboratory, and that its standards go beyond the usual norms and standards of the watch industry. It is tested only after the watch has been assembled in order to ensure that, on the wrist, it performs at the highest level in terms of precision, water resistance, automatic winding and power reserve. The average error of a Rolex Chronometer, which is tested after the movement has been mounted in the case, is within plus or minus two seconds per day, twice as accurate as that of a chronometer-certified chronometer. The green seal, the symbol of a Top Chronometer, is attached to every Rolex watch and is backed by a five-year worldwide warranty.