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air king 114200

ON THE WRIST: Rolex Air-King


The Air-King may be a bit lost in the Rolex catalogue as it struggles to differentiate itself from looking too much like an entry-model Oyster Perpetual when it belongs in the professional line of watches. Its 34 mm case looks no less than perfect for a wrist that’s 15 centimetres which will suit both men and ladies.


Retailing at around 16 thousand ringgit is good value since it shares the same 3130 movement found in the more expensive Submariner. More importantly, the AK has been around for longer, a good 70 years to be exact as a dedication from Hans Wilsdorf to commemorate the bravery of British air pilots.


Fit and finish

In-house manufacturing

On-wrist comfort


Petite in size


34 mm Diameter

12 mm Thickness

100m Water Resistance

42 hours Power Reserve

41.8 mm Lug to Lug

RM 16,800

rolex air king lume


114200 air king

VIDEO: Rolex Air-King

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" With that crown strapped to your wrist,

the world is yours "

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This oyster captured me by surprise when I was deciding on whether to join the Submariner as we are now in the age of larger watches. The Sub was an obvious choice but its Maxi case pushed me to the Air-King for its much more manageable size. I was particularly drawn to the smaller watch’s understatement, simplicity and that font used to say ‘Air-King’. I would like it even more if it had an even cleaner dial like on older AKs (reference 5500) because ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ is a bit much.

rolex air king

The Rolex Air King has a power reserve of 48 hours and runs better than its suggested deviation. The pink sunburst dial gives out enough shine but not overly and legibility is excellent for a dial of its size. No imperfections can be seen on its printed text and applied indices as it should.  As with oyster style bracelets, they are sportier looking and more robust compared to jubilee ones. Satin finish front and back with polished outer face makes the Air King a watch that’s better paired to casual outfits. The bracelet does an excellent job at distributing the weight of the watch and providing an all-day wrist comfort.

After having lived a year with the Air-King, it has been a more than positive experience as it is the one that has spent significantly more time on my wrist than other watches. Credits can go to the single lock clasp making it convenient in putting on and taking off. The AK’s weight too is spot on, by no means a light but possesses a heft that oozes quality. All of that makes this watch extremely comfortable resulting in often being unnoticed as you get by the day.

A negative is that Rolex will have to give it a good think of how to give the Air King a more distinct identity for it to continue its legacy. It would be a waste for this age old model to decay like a forgotten memory. The geniuses at Rolex can give it a different case material, special dials or interchangeable bracelet (leather and rubber) to turn a much needed spotlight on. This will put the Air-King at a place where it deserves.

rolex air king

The AK is no less than perfect (for me at least) therefore I would not like it more if it were bigger, bulkier or shinier. There’s just something about having the Air-King as a companion.. from its brilliant proportions giving it an excellent stance to the sounds it makes when taking it off and putting it on. All in all, buy the watch that brings you meaning and not the one that is favoured by others. The Air-King will not be a disappointing choice for anyone’s first watch, be it a graduation or to commemorate an important day.

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