Part Milgauss, Part Cockpit Instrument: The Rolex Air-King
At Baselworld 2016, Rolex revived the stopped Air-King with the ref. 116900. It might bear the name “Air-King” however it’s in reality more likened to the Rolex Milgauss watch and the Rolex-constructed cockpit instruments of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car. Indeed, the newest Rolex Air-King has almost no to do with the previous watches that share its name.
The Rolex Air-King is an exemplary watch, yet it was discontinued.
Brief History of the Rolex Air-King
As Rolex assortments go, the Air-King is really one of the most established of the brand. It made its presentation in 1945—alongside the Air-Lion, Air-Giant, and Air-Tiger. The Air assortment was Hans Wilsdorf’s accolade to the pilots of the British Royal Air-Force who battled during WWII. While different models inside the assortment in the end vanished, the Rolex Air-King persevered. It had cut out an entirely decent space inside the brand’s inventory to be a trustworthy, clear, no bs sort of Rolex watch. At 34mm, it’s additionally one of the more modest men’s Rolex watches, which really makes it more unisex than just predominately a person’s watch.
Over the years, the hardened steel Rolex Air-King delighted in some variety—a couple of dial shading choices, a sprinkling of white gold fluted bezels, and hour-marker assortments—however all in all, it stayed essentially tastefully steady. Until 2014, when it was removed from creation. Or on the other hand so we thought. It appears Rolex had recently taken it off the market to give the pristine Air-King space to take off.
The Rolex Air-King ref. 116900
This point can’t be focused on enough. The short of what one-year-old Air-King ref. 116900 is almost nothing like its archetypes. All things considered, in any event, saying “archetypes” is deluding on the grounds that that infers commonality, when in all actuality, beside the name, treated steel, and three-gave component, there simply aren’t sufficient similarities.
The Rolex Air-King ref. 116900 is a watch based off the Bloodhound Supersonic Car.
First of all, the size has definitely changed. The once little 34mm has now expanded to a lot bigger 40mm. To place that into point of view, that is the size of a Submariner or GMT-Master II. Valid, the new Air-King may not wear as massive as the last two, yet it’s as yet a 40mm Rolex watch, placing it into an entire other league.
The most striking contrast of the patched up Air-King ref. 116900, notwithstanding, is that astounding dial. The dark foundation sets the quieted stage for all the other things to play up. From the curiously large 3/6/9 numerals interjecting the white five-minute markers, to the green Rolex print and coordinating green seconds hand to the vintage Air-King textual style to the Mercedes-style hands , there is a ton going on here. Some adoration it, some disdain it. In any case, this plan is really not new. It originally showed up on the comfort of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car. Obviously, some dial plan alterations were made to accommodate wristwear as opposed to auto instrument, however the likenesses are undeniable.
The Rolex Air-King’s Movement
Yet another fluctuation between new Air-King and vintage Air-King is the development inside. The ref. 116900 is outfitted with the Rolex Caliber 3131—a similar programmed development utilized in the Rolex Milgauss. Likewise like the Milgauss (and pilot watches of a former period), the Air-King presently has a shield to amp up the development’s protection from attractive fields.
The Rolex Air-King ref. 116900 is a 40mm watch with an accuracy of +2/ – 2 seconds for each day.
The Caliber 3131 inside the case is water impervious to 330 feet (100 meters) and offers a force save of as long as 48 hours. Especially vital is that Air-King ref. 116900’s Caliber 3131 is essential for Rolex’s new age of in-house developments. In this manner, flaunting an exactness rate of -2/+2 seconds a day.
The most recent variant of the Air-King isn’t without debate inside the Rolex fan community. Some critique it for its bustling dial, while others are glad to see the ultra-conservative company shake things up. While the GMT-Master will consistently be the Swiss watchmaker’s famous pilot’s watch, the Air-King has now plainly joined as co-pilot in the brand’s flight inspired line-up.