The new Air-King epitomizes Rolex’s privileged ties with the world of aviation during its golden age in the 1930s.
It was during this period that the astounding, tireless progress in aircraft performance constantly expanded humanity’s capacity to conquer the skiesby flying yet higher and yet further than ever before. One of the pioneers of this era, English aviator Charles Douglas Barnard, set a number of flight records. Of the Oyster, he said: “The peculiar qualities of this Rolex watch render it eminently suitable for flying purposes and I propose to use it on all my long-distance flights in the future”.
In 1933, Oyster watches accompanied the Houston Expedition as it made the first-ever flight over Mount Everest at an altitude exceeding 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) in extreme weather conditions and in 1934, when Owen Cathcart-Jones and Ken Waller made a return voyage from London to Melbourne (Australia) in record time with a twin-engine De Havilland Comet, they too used a Rolex Oyster as their on-board chronometer.
As such, the modern Air-King comes equipped with an Oyster case that is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 meters, a testament to the ingenious and indeed extremely robust construction of the Rolex Oyster, whose middle case is crafted from a single block of particularly corrosion-resistant Oystersteel. Even the case-back is secured hermetically with a special tool so that only Rolex watchmakers can open and re-seal the watch.
Fitted with the Twinlock double waterproofness system, the winding crown screws down securely against the case to create a perfect and reliable seal, safeguarding the inside of your Rolex watch from prevailing external conditions – rain or shine.Not only does the waterproof Oyster case provide optimum protection for the Air-King’s high-precision movement, but it is also fitted with a shield to protect against magnetic fields, a feature of pilots’ watches of the past. To top it all off, the crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire.
Underneath its transparent front armor we find a black dial that features the original Air-King text in the same lettering that was specially designed for the model in the 1950s. White gold indices have been applied at the 3-6-9-12 positions, and a special, yellow painted Crown and green Rolex text and running seconds hand add a dash of color to the purposeful design of the Air-King.
The 40-millimeter-wide stainless steel case encapsulates the Rolex Manufacture Caliber 3131, an automatic – or self-winding, if you like – movement with an incredible precision rating of -2/+2 seconds per day. Like all Rolex watches today, the Air-King passes the immense in-house quality controls of Rolex to earn its Superlative Chronometer designation, but only after it has conquered the rigorous tests that check water resistance, accuracy, power reserve and the efficiency of the self-winding system.
Units Per Hour: these three words serve as a unique reminder to the strong bond between the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona and the world of motorsports.
Traveling around the world is no longer the exclusive privilege of pilots and other professionals.
Boutique in Budapest will be welcoming again admirers of an exquisite Rolex timepieces as of Monday, May 18th, 2020 according to extended working hours.
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