Monday, March 21, 2016

BaselWorld 2016 Introduction... The Return of The Rolex Air King

...BaselWorld 2016 Introduction...
The Return Of 
The Rolex Air King
40MM Stainless Steel: Reference 116900

Rolex seems to have really done well with all the Amazing watches introduced at BaselWorld 2016. Everybody thought Rolex had permanently discontinued the Air-King, several years ago, when they stopped making it, but sure enough, like with many other Rolex watches it has returned—and arguably for the better. Michael Bublé is pictured below sporting the all-new Rolex Air King model.

So let's take a closer look at the all-new Rolex Air King. It has a number of interesting details. For one, it is kind of retro-futuristic in the sense Rolex decided to re-use their "Air-King" typeface logo from the 1950s version of the same watch. This model also represents the first time Rolex has made a watch that is available to the public with the green and gold Rolex logo combo on the dial, but NOT the first time it has used it to keep time. More on that at the end of this article :-)

The Air King was originally introduced in 1945 as the Rolex Reference 4925 which used a Caliber 10.5' movement. The Rolex Air-King evolved from a previous Rolex named the Speed-King. At one time in the 1940s Rolex had many Airplane themed models including the Rolex Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, and Air Giant. 

The Rolex Speed-King was based upon Sir Malcom Campbell, who thought the 1920s and 1930s set one world land speed record after another, all while wearing Rolex watches.

On April 3, 1933 The Royal Air Force Squadron was the first to fly over Mount Everest. Pictured below is Flight Lieutenant David McIntyre who, with his squadron members flew into history as first men to fly over Mt. Everest, with their trusted Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches keeping their time.

The photograph below is the first photograph ever taken from above Mount Everest, from the 1933 Royal Air Force expedition that was famously equipped with Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches.

Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf was obsessed with achievement and supported many teams of explorers who tried to push the envelope.

So at this point, you are probably wondering what all this has to do with the all-new Rolex Air King!? 

The user-interface for the new Rolex Air-King was inspired by the Bespoke Rolex Clock Rolex made for the Bloodhound SSC, which you see in the cockpit photo below on the right.

What exactly is the Bloodhound SSC? It is a special vehicle designed to set break the all-time speed record and set a new speed record by driving faster than the speed of sound!!! And Rolex is not only custom made the speedometer and clock, but is also a sponsor of the Bloodhound project.

In conclusion the all-new Rolex Air-King looks like it is on its way to becoming a mega-hit. I say this because everybody I have talked to loves it, both women and men alike. A female friend of mine saw it and said "Wow!!! That's a really cool looking watch! I love the colors. Is it for woman?" 

Another friend of mine who is a hardcore watch nut said he loved it and can't wait to get one, and he is a serious watch snob. He also said that he really liked the dial because it reminded him of the The Rolex California dial. He said, "There is just something about that dial that is so cool, and I can't quite place it? It has to do with the contrast between the  large and bold 3, 6, and 9 markers, in juxtaposition with the digital looking other typeface. And I LOVE how Rolex setup the Rolex coronet and 'ROLEX' logo in the colors of their brand print logo. It just looks so instantly iconic and cool. I also love how it is bigger than the Rolex Explorer at 40MM v. 39MM, but its also 2MM thicker, so it is kind of like a Rolex Explorer on steroids."