Air-King: The Ultimate Guide of The Best Rolex Pilot Watch

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Rolex has had the rarest and most exquisite collection ever since its foundation. In the world of luxury watchmaking, Rolex has always been the uncontested market leader. They created various excellent watches that made them one of the best luxury watchmaking companies in the world. Watch aficionados and collectors have always known Rolex for creating high-quality and high-precision professional watches, including the Submariner, the Explorer, the GMT-Master II, and many more. Rolex designed these watches for divers, car and motorcycle racers, pilots, scientists, and even astronauts. 

One of their most sought-after professional watches is their pilot watches like the GMT-Master II and Rolex Air-King. But on this page, we are going to talk about the watch that pays homage to aviation, which is the Rolex Air-King. The Air-King has been the only model made by Rolex to this day. There are watch collectors and enthusiasts who surely do not miss buying one from the Rolex Air-King collection. Be one of them! Here is the ultimate guide to one of the best aviation watches of Rolex.

The History of Rolex Air-King 

The Rolex Air series, which is the Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, Air-Giant, and Air-King, began manufacturing during WWII. The Air-King first appeared about 1945 as a basic stainless steel Rolex watch. Air-King underwent tremendous transformations during its existence. This model restricts in design and is now bold and energetic because they generally keep its core style.

Hans Wilsdorf designed a series of Oyster “Air” watches as a tribute for the closing of the war to honor the RAF pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain. In addition, he wished for it to be an homage to the golden age of flying. The Houston Expedition, which took place in 1933, became the first successful flight across Mount Everest. The Air-King was easy to read and quickly became the pilot’s watch of choice. 

The only variant currently in production is the Air-King model, which appeared about 1945 as a basic stainless steel Rolex watch with an Oyster case, smooth bezel, and clear and readable time-only display. Rolex introduced the reference 5500 Air-King that has a sapphire crystal and a new movement. They also introduced the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King 116900, which is the epitome of watchmaking perfection. The readable black dial has the typical Air-King 3,6,9 arrangement as well as a nautical minute scale.

  • Rolex Air-King Black Dial Stainless Steel Watch 116900BKAO

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King 116900 is one of Rolex’s perfect creations. This watch debuted in 2016. After briefly retiring the Air-King in 2014, Rolex brought it back in 2016, signifying a notable change from its predecessors’ dead-simple and spartan look. The green center sweep seconds hand has a green circular counterweight. This Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King 116900 is a beautiful watch with hour markings at 3, 6, and 9, an inverted luminous triangle at 12, and minute markers. A triangular index in 18-carat white gold dominates the dial’s northern hemisphere below 12 and the Oyster bracelet is strong and long-lasting on the wrist. Caliber 3131, the same anti-magnetic automatic movement used in the Rolex Milgauss line, powers the Air-King 116900.

  • Rolex Air-King 114234 White

Rolex released the Air-King Ref. 114234 in 2007. The Rolex Air-King was only available with a limited number of traditional dial variations, and they announced a new age of unique and colorful face designs. It has a distinctive blue dial, white Roman numerals, and “doorstop” style indices. This watch also has brilliant orange numerals bordered in black or white and linked on the dial by the applied and polished “6” numeral opposite the Rolex coronet at 12 o’clock. These are both made in pure 18k white gold. It has a unique ring of writing around it that includes the required “Oyster Perpetual” and “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” marks. This watch’s bezels are in pure gold, and the precious metals elaborate the design that leads a dressier touch to the Air-King. It’s a genuine one-of-a-kind Air-King family member and valuable addition to any collection.

Old models

Rolex Air-King Ref. 5500

The Air-King Reference 5500 is a high-end air-conditioning system. This watch (reference 5500) has been in production for almost 30 years, making it one of Rolex’s most long-running models. Due to its basic time-only display and sleek, all-stainless steel construction, this minimalist series of watches has become a cult favorite among purists. Rolex launched the Air-King moniker with the Reference 4925 in the 1940s, among names like Air-Giant, Air-Lion, and Air-Tiger that faded away. 

The watch specifically designs for a certain activity or environment. The Air-King 5500 has one of the cleanest and most modest Rolex designs of all time, and despite its age, it will fulfill its purposes such as a rotating bezel, chronograph registers, or even date complication. Its screw-down case, in-house mechanism, and Oyster bracelet give all the distinguishing features of a Rolex.

Rolex Air-King Ref. 14000

In 1989, Rolex introduced the Air-King ref. 14000 to supersede the long-running Air-King ref. 5500. The Air-King 14000 introduces a sapphire crystal to the line. It also featured the new Caliber 3000 movement. It is one of the most restrained and modest designs in Rolex’s illustrious history. The Air-King 14000 has a 34mm stainless steel case, a time-only dial, and an Oyster band made of stainless steel that measures 19mm at the lugs and tapers to 14mm at the clasp. The engine-turned bezels have ornamental grooves etched into the metal that give some visual appeal to an otherwise plain Rolex watch.


Rolex Air-King is one of the best aviation watches you can find online. It has proved to be robust and dependable, which is why it is highly sought-after by watch lovers and collectors all around the world. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money but yet want a gorgeous, timeless, and precious Rolex, an Air-King watch is a wonderful watch to invest in. You can get these watches at, where you can find various Rolex watch collections, including Rolex Air-King.

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