Speaking of Rolex sports models, the Rolex Air King is often forgotten. Honestly, it's a strangely unique watch with no aviation-specific features, but it's called the "Air-King." Likewise, it is impossible to find. However, I don't think that's an indicator that it's a fan favorite.
Over the years, many brand aficionados have called for the current Rolex Air King to be discontinued. Some wanted an update, while others wanted Rolex to shift production entirely to other collections. I really enjoyed what those guys did with the collection...they kept the watch's core DNA while transforming the Air King into a functional tool watch. We'll cover updates to the Rolex Air King later in this review.
The initial reaction to the Rolex Air-King 2023 was very positive. In true Rolex fashion, they have enhanced a relatively underperforming collection and turned it into something that excites and attracts attention. What I really appreciate is the new Air King updated movement, Equipped with caliber 3230. This increases the power reserve from his 40 hours to 70 hours and makes it more resistant to magnetic fields.
What Was Updated On The Rolex Air King In 2023
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 2023 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 its 40mm case design and classic Oyster bracelet, the Rolex Air-King enters the sweet zone making him one of the world's largest size watches. Comfort is key, and the Air King delivers just that. Made from
904L stainless steel, the Rolex Air King is highly corrosion resistant and is guaranteed to retain its color/gloss for years to come. 904L stainless steel is well known for its use in the aerospace industry and is much tougher than your everyday watch.
The Rolex Air King is powered by the in-house caliber 3230. The 3230 is the same movement used in the No Date Submariner, Oyster Perpetual Collection and Explorer. Specifications for this movement are a power reserve of 70 hours, a precision rating of +/- 2 seconds per day, improved shock absorption and better shock resistance than the previous generation. For a complete review of the
The Rolex Air King bracelet is the famous Oyster bracelet. Oyster bracelets are known for their comfort, durability and overall design. It tapers very nicely towards an updated clasp with a second secure lock fold mechanism. The finishing touches include a brushed finish throughout the bracelet. All in all, every thought and detail has been added to the Rolex Air King Bracelet to maximize the appeal of a sports watch.
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 2023 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.
|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 2023 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.