The new Rolex Air King released at Baselworld 2016 is almost in danger of overshadowing the new Daytona, such is the extent to which it has split opinion among Replica Watches Rolex fans.
Dialling up the controversy
At the heart of the debate about the new Air King is the dial. Gone is the choice of black or white dials and in its place is a black dial with a lot going on. We have a Chromalight triangle marker at 12, white gold Arabic applied numerals at 3, 6 and 9, and white transferred 5-minute markers (5, 10, 20, 25, 35, 40, 50, 55) everywhere else. It’s a serious mix of styles, and one that has really split opinion with Cheap Fake Watches Rolex lovers.
We also have five lines of dial text – Rolex | Oyster Perpetual | Air King | Superlative Chronometer | Officially Certified. It’s one busy dial by Rolex’s standards.
New hands for pilots
The 2016 Air King also departs from previous form in that it brings white gold Mercedes hands to the dial, instead of the baton hands we’ve been used to on older Air Kings. Combined with the minute markers and luminous triangle at 12, this is all part of an effort by Replica Watches Rolex For Sale to link the Air King more closely with its aviation history. In the 1930s, Rolex Air King watches were supplied to the crew members of the first flight above Mount Everest, and the first London-Melbourne flight (which took 13 days…).
The Air King is no longer the entry-level Rolex Oyster model; that position is now held by the Oyster Perpetual models released at Baselworld 2015. The Oyster Perpetual 39 is available from £3,750, while a new Air King will set you back £4,150. Perhaps in line with this change, the Oyster Perpetual has taken the Air King’s old reference number (114200) and the new Air King gets a new ref, 116900.
It’s grown considerably
The old Air King – reference 114200 – measured 34mm, making it the smallest men’s Rolex you could buy. The new Air King isn’t the baby of the family any more, leapfrogging the Explorer and Oyster Perpetual (both 39mm these days) to sit alongside the Milgauss at 40mm wide.
As well as being beefier than before, the Air King is now also better-shielded against the elements. Specifically, it has the same resistance to magnetic fields at the Milgauss – no surprise as we now know it shares exactly the same case – Case – with the same Faraday cage shield within the screw-down caseback. This is all in line with Replica Rolex Watches re-positioning the Air King as a pilot’s tool watch.
It has had a movement upgrade
As well as pinching the Milgauss’s case, the new Air King has pinched its movement too. It is now powered by Rolex calibre 3131 – upgraded from calibre 3130 on the previous models. Calibre 3131 appears only in the Milgauss, and features Rolex’s anti-magnetic parachrom hairspring. It doesn’t have the Paraflex shock absorbers that you find on the Explorer’s calibre 3132; otherwise the two are identical.
It’s a Superlative Chronometer – and that means more than ever
Rolex has been badging its Oyster models “Superlative Chronometer” since as far back as the 1950s to indicate that they meet standards higher than those of industry benchmark COSC testing. COSC rates un-cased movements to a minimum accuracy of +4/-6 seconds a day; Rolex always performed tests on cased-up watches, holding them to a higher standard (which has changed over the years). Late last year it announced that all new Rolexes would perform to levels of at least +2/-2 seconds a day, a step change in levels of accuracy that Fake Watches Rolex will guarantee for five years. So, this is the first Air King to meet that new reliability benchmark.
No polished centre links
A popular bone of contention, this, for Rolex fans. Many argue that finishing the centre line of links on an Oyster bracelet with a high polish, as Rolex does on the Milgauss, runs against the grain of what makes a tool watch a tool watch. The Air King, as you can see, has brushed links – so if you want a 40mm Rolex with anti-magnetic protection and the rugged looks to match, that may make your choice that tiny bit easier.
…And one BONUS thing you need to know
If that dial has been giving you a sense of nagging familiarity – despite it being seemingly such a huge departure from form for Rolex – we have the answer. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the custom-made instruments provided by Best Sale Replica Rolex to the Bloodhound SSC land speed record attempt. Now if only they were to release a limited edition “Speed King” when the record attempt is actually made…