The Rolex Air King is considered to be the entry-level Rolex watch, as it is the least expensive model. However, it is still of the highest quality, keeping with the tradition of excellence from Rolex. Rolex Air King watches are simple tools, featuring a reliable chronometer movement, the option of a date window, and a simple, legible dial. Because there are not any elaborate functions, the Air King is in a lower price range when compared to other Rolex watches.
Throughout the Air King’s long history, many new Air King models have been introduced, offering a slight change from the original design.
The very first Rolex Air King model was a 4925. It had a simple dial with Mercedes hands and a stainless steel case and bracelet, as well as a smooth stainless steel bezel with a caliber 10.5 movement. The next model was an Air King 4499 and was introduced one year after the Air King 4925. It resembles the 4925 very closely, with a white/cream dial and a stainless steel bracelet, case, and smooth bezel. In 1953, the Air King 6552 was introduced and had a bit more of a modern look to its design. It had a white dial with stainless steel stick hour markers, while the 4925 and 4499 had a mixture of Arabic numerals and stick hour markers. It also had a caliber 10.5 movement, while the 4925 and 4499 had a caliber 10.5 movement. When the Rolex Air King 5500 was introduced in 1957, its subtle design update offered an even more modern and contemporary look. It had a sleek silver dial, with silver stick hour markers and a stainless steel Oyster bracelet, smooth bezel, and case. Its movement was a caliber 1520/1530.
Rolex Air King 5500
Self-Winding Chronometer Movement
The most drastic model update came in 1989 with the Rolex Air King 14010. The obvious difference between this model number and the previous models is the stainless steel engine turned bezel. Its movement was a caliber 3000. In 2000, Rolex offered an upgrade to the 14010 with the 14010M. It also featured a stainless steel engine turned bezel, but had a caliber 3130 movement.
Rolex Air King 14010
Calibre 3130 Movement
In 2007, the Air King 114200 was introduced. It featured a smooth stainless steel bezel and a white dial with Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9, and thick stick markers for the other hours. It has a diameter of 34mm and has a self-winding caliber 3130 movement. Also in 2007, Rolex introduced the Air King 114234, which featured a dial very similar to the 114200, but had a white gold fluted bezel. It also had a caliber 3130 movement.
This list obviously does not include every Rolex Air King model number. Today, the Rolex Air King typically has a price of $2,000 – $4,000 USD (an example includes the Air King 14010 at $2,950). Since gaining notoriety in the 1940s, the Rolex Air King has continued to be a popular watch. As the least expensive Rolex watch, the Air King is the perfect entry level Rolex watch. Whether you are just beginning to build your collection, or you are an avid collector looking for a simple watch with a long history, the Rolex Air King is a great choice.