Rolex Air King Review
The Rolex Air King is often forgot about and gets lost when it comes to the sport models from Rolex. To be honest it is a strangely unique watch because none of the functions are aviation specific but it’s called the “Air King”. Regardless of the confusion of the watch, the Rolex Air King is just like every other Rolex stainless steel sports model, not to be found. I don’t think that is an indicator that its a fan favorite though.
Over the years many brand enthusiasts have been calling for the current Rolex Air King to be discontinued. Some wanted an update and others wanted Rolex to completely shift production to other collections. In 2022 Rolex decided to update the Air King and I, along with many others, really enjoyed what they did with the collection. They kept the core DNA of the watch but enhanced the Air King to be more of a functional tool watch. We’ll get into what was updated with the Rolex Air King later in this review.
Initial reactions to the 2022 Rolex Air King have been very positive. In true Rolex fashion, they strengthened a relatively under performing collection and transformed it into one that generates excitement and buzz. What I really appreciated is that the new Air King received an updated movement, calibre 3230. This brings the power reserve up from 40 hours to 70 hours and an improvement in anti-magnetic resistance.
What Was Updated On The Rolex Air King In 2022
The Air King is one of the last collection from Rolex to receive the newest generation of calibres. The in-house 3230 calibre is what now powers the 2022 Rolex Air King.
The case slimmed up a bit and added a well deserved crown guard to give the Air King a much sportier look.
Luminescent 3,6,9 indices were added along with a zero added in front of the 5 at the 1 o’clock position.
The Air King has been given a fold over security clasp for added protection and durability. It only makes sense for a sport watch from Rolex to include this feature.
The dial on the Rolex Air King is undoubtably busy. Some love it and some pass on it. Personally I think it’s unique for Rolex, which is why I like it. There are Arabic numerals on every position on the Air King dial except for the 12 o’clock position. Yes, the common criticism is that there are a lot of 5’s but honestly I never noticed that until I heard someone say something.
What many love about the Air King dial is the green and yellow Rolex logo along with the green seconds hand. Obviously, green is the most iconic color from Rolex. Just reference some of our other articles on the Sprite GMT Master II, Green Datejust 41, and Kermit Submariner to get a better idea on what this color means for the brand.
Overall the dial on this watch is exactly what you’d want out of a sports watch that is supposedly built for aviation. It’s extremely legible and is easily viewable in low light conditions.
With a case design of 40mm and the classic Oyster bracelet, the Rolex Air King is in the sweet zone that would make it one of the best sized watches on the market. Comfort is key and the Air King has plenty of it.
Constructed from 904L stainless steel, the Rolex Air King is highly anti-corrosive and is guaranteed to hold its color/shine for many years to come. 904L stainless steel has been known to be used aerospace industry, which is much more rigorous on its materials than an every day wear watch.
Powering the Rolex Air King is the in-house calibre 3230 movement. The 3230 is the same movement that is used in the no date Submariner, Oyster Perpetual collection, and the Explorer. Specs for this movement are 70 hours power reserve, accuracy rating of +/- 2 seconds per day, improved shock absorption, and more shock resistant than previous generations.
For a full review on the calibre 3230 movement, read our full review.
The chosen bracelet for the Rolex Air King is the famous Oyster bracelet. The Oyster bracelet is well known for its comfortability, durability, and overall design. It tapers quite nicely down to the updated clasp that now features a second secure locking folding mechanism. The finishing consists of a brushed finish throughout the whole bracelet. Overall all the thought and details have been added to the bracelet of the Rolex Air King to maximize its sport watch appeal.
Rolex Air King Pricing & Availability
The price of a new Rolex Air King is $7,400 MSRP and it costs considerably more on the pre-owned market. The updated Air Kings arrived at authorized dealers in the spring of 2022 but are currently on a waitlist so availability is extremely limited.
Air King Waitlist
Since the Rolex Air King was recently updated, demand for this watch has dramatically increased. With that said, expect the waitlist for the Air King to be 6-12 months for preferred clients. Over time we predict that it’ll be easier to obtain, almost like it was before it was updated.
Learn about other waitlists with our Complete Guide To The Rolex Waitlist article.
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Power Reserve||70 Hours|
|Accuracty||+/-2 Seconds Per Day|
The Air King exemplifies what Rolex does best and that is making everyones favorite sport watches. This one might not be as popular as the Sub or Daytona but it still has all the same DNA that every other collection has. Although the dial might not be for everyone, the 2022 updates to the Air King have brought this collection closer in popularity to all the other and is 100% worth of the Rolex crown. I see the Air King take the spot that the Oyster Perpetual collection used to own, which is the best entry level Rolex watch.