Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex in 1905 at the age of 24, along with Alfred Davis in London. In 1919 they moved their operation to Geneva, Switzerland. This move was brought about by high wartime taxes on Gold and Silver in the UK after the Great war 1914-1918. They were now closer to their suppliers in Bienne.
Hans Wilsdorf, in 1945 introduced an aviation-inspired “Air” series. Many RAF pilots started buying these Chronometer timepieces for their accuracy and endurance. The models included Air-Giant, Air-Lion, and Air-Tiger. At the end of the war, Rolex released the “AIR KING” in tribute to the pilots who flew at the Battle of Britain. In 1957 they released the Ref 5500 Air King, which had a production run of 37 years. In 2007 they introduced the Ref 114200, the first Air-King to be COSC certified. Rolex decided to discontinue the Air-King in 2014, replacing it with the Oyster Perpetual. This decision was later reversed in 2016 when they launched the ref 116900.
Our 2020 Rolex Air-King 116900 has a 40mm polished and brushed stainless steel Oyster case. The tapered lugs gently curve over your wrist. A lug to lug length of 50mm and a thickness of 13.5mm ensures a comfortable fit. On the right side, a large screw-down “Twinlock'' signed crown with coin edging. Its Monobloc middle case creates a Faraday cage taken from the Rolex Milgauss. A smooth polished bezel holds a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The black dial has applied an inverted triangle at 12 o’clock, followed by 3, 6, and 9 with 60-minute numerals coated in Chromalight to provide a long-lasting blue luminescence. Mercedes hands with a green center seconds hand add a pop of colour. They are coated in Chromalight.At 12 o’clock, a yellow Rolex crown, with all the text expertly applied to the dial. On the reverse, a coin-edged screw-down case back. Inside an automatic Rolex Cal. 3131, 31 jewels, 28,800 beats per hour. The movement encased in a protective Faraday cage. A Bidirectional Perpetual rotor, Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring, and stop-seconds/hacking function. Superlative Chronometer (COSC Certified + Rolex certified after casing the watch movement). The watch comes fitted on its 20mm, three flat link Oyster bracelet, expertly brushed and polished. The signed folding clasp has a 5mm EasyLink extension to achieve the perfect fit.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold with its original Rolex box and Rolex paperwork. The watch comes paired on its original Rolex bracelet with a signed Rolex clasp, all links included. The watch is from August 2020 and is sold in worn, but mint condition, as you can see from the photos. The watch comes with its original manufacturer warranty.