Rolex Air-King Ref. 5500 - Gloss Black
There are not many great values left in Vintage Rolex. Except the Ref. 5500 Air-King.
Combining the timeless good looks of the Rolex Oyster line, with the pared down 34mm case size - this is about a classic a Rolex as you can get. However, there is far more to the Air-King story than just being a great value.
The model was debuted in 1945, and as the name would imply, was honoring those pilots who participated in air combat over the UK in the now infamous Battle of Britain. This was part of a post-war lineup that included more obscure models like the Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, and Air-Giant. Naturally, many have faded into complete obscurity today. Even the likes of Pan Am gifted the Air King to its retiring pilots as a ‘thank you’ for service to the company. While the Air-King went through many iterations - including a stint as the case that housed the Explorer I dials - the Reference 5500 is the predominant reference of note. Like other iconic models (the 5513, and 1675) the reference ran for 37 years from 1957 to 1994, and used one of the incredibly robust 1500 series movements.
The present 5500 Air-King has a stunning Gloss Black dial which is far rarer than the more common silver sunburst and presents in overall spectacular condition. This is a classic example of a watch punching far above its weight, and most people may even find that the 34mm case fits their wrist far better than one of its larger siblings. So strap on the Air-King and let your imagination soar as you join ranks of PanAm pilots and RAF retirees!
*Some marks or spots on the dial are reflections or dust on the crystal and are due to high intensity strobe lighting used while photographing. They are not actually on the watch or visible in natural lighting.
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Shipping & Returns
At Oliver & Clarke, domestic shipping is on us. If you are international and require a quote – please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com so we can get you squared away!
Returns (accepted within 3 days of initial delivery of your purchase) must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. For payments via Credit Card, a 5% restocking fee will be in place for any returns or cancellations in order to cover our processing fee. Of course, watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
If you happen to trade a watch with us, which we always love, trades are final, except of course if the watch is grossly misdescribed or misrepresented.
From Rolex & Patek Philippe, to Cartier & Audemars Piguet. As collectors first, we love the small details that separate the Submariner from Daytona and Calatrava from Royal Oak. This is why you'll find our curated assortment spans decades of generations of models and brands. We believe that watches don't just tell time, they tell history - and life is too short to wear a boring watch.
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