Built to conquer greater heights, the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King and Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II invite you to discover unchartered horological territories with fresh perspectives.
Oyster Perpetual Air-King
The golden age of aviation in the 1930s was marked by numerous milestones with epochal inventions and record-breaking flights. And Rolex was present at many of these momentous moments. Just as the world of aviation sought to conquer the skies with imagination, ground-breaking technologies and engineering feats, Rolex, too, was equal to the task. Accompanying many courageous pilots on their pioneering flights was the Rolex Oyster. The legendary timepiece was strapped on these pilots’ wrists as a tool watch, or used as an onboard chronometer on their historic achievements. Rolex commemorated its close relationship with the aeronautical world with the creation of the Oyster Perpetual Air-King in 1958.
A classy and sophisticated homage to air travel, the new-generation Air-King is immediately recognised by its inimitable dial. The distinctive black lacquer dial bears the Rolex logo in green and yellow, the words ‘Air-King’ rendered in the same style as the lettering on the model from 1958, and large ‘3’, ‘6’ and ‘9’ hour numerals alongside a five-minute interval scale. Together, the design elements coalesce with aesthetic harmony and offers great legibility, so that professionals are also able to use the Air-King as a tool for navigational time reading.
This year’s new Air-King model continues to emanate its aviation heritage while brandishing new features to further accentuate its identity. For one, the new model is housed in a redesigned 40 mm case that bears a crown guard and straight sides – elements that adhere to the Rolex design codes for the majority of Professional collection. The Oystersteel case is complemented by an three-link Oyster bracelet that features broader middle links and, for the first time on an Air-King model, an Oysterlock safety clasp. The dial, too, welcomes a harmonious new look, courtesy of the addition of a ‘0’ before the ‘5’ on the minutes scale. As a result, the five-minute interval markers are now all denoted by two digits. Last but not least, the hands and triangular hour marker at 12 o’clock benefit from an optimised Chromalight display, a new luminescent material that guarantees legibility in the dark with a stronger and longer-lasting glow.
Besides refining the Air-King’s aesthetics, Rolex also equips the latest model with the calibre 3230, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2020 and is fitted on this model from 2022. The self-winding movement offers 70 hours of power reserve, and is endowed with state-of-the-art innovations designed for optimum performance and reliability. The movement’s patented Chronergy escapement ensures top-notch energy efficiency and is insensitive to magnetic interferences. Meanwhile, its optimised blue Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers help guarantee robustness, longevity and unparalleled timekeeping precision. Emblematic of the aeronautical heritage of Rolex, the new Air-King proves that it is always on a relentless quest to reach new heights.
Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II
Few watches can evoke the excitement of air travel as beautifully as the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II. And certainly, none bears a legacy and stature as storied and esteemed as the iconic two time zone watch from Rolex. Hailed as a revolutionary timepiece when it was launched in 1955 as the GMT-Master, the watch was created for travellers who needed a timepiece to tell the time in two different time zones simultaneously. At one point, the GMT-Master even became the official watch of Pan American World Airways, the most prominent American intercontinental airline at the time. This relationship was subsequently made famous by a major event in modern aviation history – the first non-stop Pan Am Jet Clipper flight from New York to Moscow in 1959, in which the pilot wore a GMT-Master that he used as a navigation aid during the momentous flight.
In 1982, Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II, which featured a new movement that allowed the hour hand to be set independently of the other hands. This new technical innovation, coupled with improved functionality and precision, set the bar for the GMT-Master II collection. Today, all GMT-Master II models are distinguished by their two-time zone display, comprising a 24-hour arrow-tipped hand in addition to the main hour, minute and seconds hand, and a bidirectional rotatable bezel and a 24-hour graduated monobloc Cerachrom insert in two-colour ceramic. At the same time, the watches sport an unmistakable style that brims with robustness and refinement, complementing extreme functionality with indelible form.
This year, the GMT-Master II returns with a novel design. While the new model in 40mm Oystersteel with three-link Oyster bracelet retains all of the technical and high-performance virtues of previous iterations, the watch’s winding crown and crown guard have been moved to the left of the case, along with the date aperture and Cyclops lens, which are now at nine o’clock position. The new left-placed elements are accompanied by new colours on the 24-hour graduated monobloc Cerachrom insert, featuring a combination of green and black that is exclusive to this model.
The GMT-Master II collection has been powered by the self-winding calibre 3285, developed and manufactured entirely in-house by Rolex, since 2018. An outstanding movement with 70-hour power reserve, the calibre 3285 boasts several patents that include high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, optimised Parachrom hairspring offering magnetic resistance and unparalleled stability, and the Chronergy escapement that boosts the watch’s energy efficiency and robustness for more precise timekeeping. Given the left-placed date aperture and winding crown of this GMT-Master II, Rolex implemented changes in the precision testing process carried out during final controls, so as to ensure that the adjustments continue to meet the exacting standards demanded by every Rolex creation. A timepiece imbued with aeronautic history, high-performance and travel-friendly features, the new GMT-Master II now invites you to criss-cross the globe in a fresh new style.