At Baselworld 2016 event, Rolex has unveiled a new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King watch replica, a watch that perpetuates the aeronautical heritage of the original Rolex Oyster. The dial bears the name Air-King in the same lettering that was designed specially for the model in the 1950s. The Air-King carries the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015, which ensures singular performance on the wrist.The new Air-King, with a 40 mm case in 904L steel, features a distinctive black dial with a combination of large 3, 6 and 9 numerals marking the hours and a prominent minute’s scale for navigational time readings. Today’s new Air-King pays tribute to the pioneers of flight and the Oyster’s role in the epic story of aviation.
In 1933, Oyster Air-King copy 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. In 1934, 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, using a Rolex Oyster as their on-board chronometer.
The Air-King is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. This exclusive designation testifies that the watch has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria, which exceed watch making norms and standards. The certification applies to the fully assembled watch, after casing the movement, guaranteeing its superlative performance on the wrist in terms of precision, power reserve, water-proofness and self-winding.
It was a period when spectacular progress in aircraft performance constantly expanded humanity’s capacity to conquer the skies, and led to the introduction of long-distance flights. One of the pioneers of this era, English aviator Charles Douglas Barnard, set a number of flight records.
The precision of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer after casing is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day, or more than twice that required of an official chronometer.
The new steel fake Rolex Air-King epitomizes Rolex’s privileged ties with the world of aviation during its golden age in the 1930s.