Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King is gone – have you noticed? We’re certain that many of you at least made it to BaselWorld last year when you replaced your 2015 Oyster Perpetual at …… But if you missed its brief absence, don’t worry, because the Rolex Oyster Perpetual King of Air will be back at BaselWorld. 2016, and in some interesting ways. While it may not have the same sex appeal or luxury vibe as the new Rolex Daytona or Rolex Datejust 41, it’s actually even more of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King surprise for some of us, as it’s not something we expect to see from a Rolex.
For one thing, Rolex usually only changes and updates when it really needs to – and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is no exception. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual has probably been the subject of more frequent complaints that the 34mm wide case version it offers is “not modern enough”. Well, instead of just releasing a “mega” model, Rolex ditched the old one, and two years later released the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual, which solved the problem and introduced one of the more entry-level models in the Rolex line, the popular 40mm wide case.
Citing the watch’s return to its aeronautical roots, Rolex is looking to read this larger new dial clearly. The first impression we get from the new 2016 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King is that its design has become so bold that the earlier version looks smaller and very conservative. Between the Rolex Explorer I and the Rolex Milgauss is a better fit for this new model.
The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King reappears only in a version with a black dial. Although the case is designed to be 40mm wide, it’s actually the same as the Rolex Milgauss, but the dial is essentially the same as the 3-6-9 index that the Rolex Explorer I had before Rolex updated it this year. It’s an interesting mix, to be sure.
However, a truly unusual design decision made by Rolex was that it resulted in a mix of hour and minute markers on the same scale. Rolex prides itself on its long and proven history of tool watch design, which makes it the deepest and highest position on our planet. The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King with this dial design seems out of place in this collection of tool watches.
It’s hard to deny that it’s much easier to read only the hours or only the two-digit minute markers (or only the baton index) than it is to see the unit hours in some places and the minute markers in others. While I’m sure it’s a concept that can be quickly adapted to, it looks a little confusing at first, even if the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King’s time-only function and overall good readability leave little room for confusion in other areas.
The movement inside the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King is the 3131 internal movement, which operates at 28,800 vph (4Hz) and has a 48-hour power reserve. As with all Rolex watches, the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual King of Air is tested by the COSC and then subjected to an internal certification test by Rolex, the highest level of chronometer certification by Rolex. The latter new test means that the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King will be tested to run between -2 / + 2 seconds per day. Considering its entry-level price (for a Rolex), you can expect to get a properly reliable and accurate mechanical watch.
As an entry-level Rolex, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King Ref. for those who can’t use the smaller 34mm case, the 116900 could be a welcome addition to the Marstable. The unique hour and minute markers may take a little getting used to, but that’s not the biggest issue. Similarly, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King comes with a black dial on a classic Oyster bracelet