Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King Model Ref.5500 1957
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
Beautiful Stainless Steel Case With Sought After Plain Bezel
Outstanding Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King Model Ref 5500
Original, Unrestored and Untouched Black Dial with Original ‘Stick’ Hands
Large Sized 34mm, Excluding the Correct Rolex Screw-Down Oyster Crown
High Grade Calibre 1530, 25 Jewels Automatic Movement in Stunning Condition
Wonderful Stainless Steel Rolex Rivet Bracelet with Rolex Clasp
High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included
All in Simply Stunning Condition Throughout
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty*
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
Rolex produced a number of “Air” models during and after World War II, including the “Air-Giant”, “Air-Lion”, and “Air-Tiger”, but it was the 1945 introduction of the Air-King that would leave a lasting mark. These were named to honor the British Royal Air Force, which were enamored with Rolex watches. At the time, the 34 mm case was considered quite large, thus the “Air-King” name.
A wonderful, original, unrestored and untouched Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King, super precision, stainless steel wristwatch, with a wonderful, highly sought after, black dial with pleasing steel furnishings. The 34mm stainless steel case has thick straight lugs and a screw-down case-back, overall, giving this stylish watch a confident, yet not overstated wrist presence.
This is a remarkable Rolex Oyster Perpetual with a highly sought after and rare black dial. The original steel ‘baton’ hour indices are swept by the steel ‘stick’ hands. The design is beautifully balanced and perfectly symmetrical. In terms of purity and elegance, the absence of a date function is often referred to retain a dials perfect balance.
The dial carries the applied Rolex Coronet and is signed ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King’ below 12 with ‘Super Precision’ just above 6 and ‘Swiss’ below 6.
As this dial is in original, unrestored condition, this has been left untouched by our restoration team due to its superb condition. Usually, we restore the dials of the watches we sell, however we decided in this case to leave it alone, due to its unusually good condition and to retain its originality and charm for those who prefer this. It also helps to contrast with almost all of the other watch dials you see on our website, which have been restored. The hands, likewise, have also been left in their original untouched condition.
Please note, studio lights, professional-grade digital cameras, and macro lenses can be very unkind to an unrestored vintage watch dial. Also the dial here measures less than 1.25 inches across, so the image you’re seeing may be between 5 – 25 times larger than the watch itself. Therefore please keep in mind you are seeing many tiny flaws which cannot be seen, or will be very hard to see with the naked eye, even under close examination. Suffice to say, on the wrist, in natural light, this dial looks much better and carries a great deal more charm than the photographs portray.
The original high grade, Rolex Calibre 1530, 25 Jewel automatic movement is running perfectly following a complete overhaul and service by our vintage Rolex specialist watchmaker. This involves completely dismantling the movement to all its component parts, close examination under high magnification, then using only genuine Rolex replacement parts where required, careful reassembly and lubrication using Rolex specified lubricants.
This particular movement is sparkling clean and winds, sets and runs perfectly, just as it should. When finally tested following its overhaul, this watch was found to be keeping superb time to within +10 seconds per day! This is outstanding for any watch of this age. We are therefore highly confident in offering this watch with a 12-month warranty on the movement* and we will also be very happy to assist you with competitively priced servicing in the future.
These movements are robust, accurate and very reliable making this watch perfectly suitable for both evening wear and everyday use. This movement is in superb, sparkling clean, A1 condition and with regular servicing, say every 3 – 4 years, we would fully expect this watch to run happily for another lifetime!
The movement is correctly signed: ‘Rolex Perpetual’, ’25 Fine Rubies’, ‘Swiss Made’ and this movement also carries the correct calibre number 1530 with the movement serial number 76287.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
The steel watch case measures 34mm, excluding the correct Rolex signed crown, this makes this a good size watch for the 1970s. The heavy Rolex Oyster Perpetual case with a wide plain bezel has quite a bold character, with strong straight lugs. It is in excellent condition, having received a very gentle and sympathetic clean and polish, although the watch has obviously been very well cared for, as there are no dings, scratches or marks visible to the naked eye. The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved.
The inside of the case back is correctly signed with ‘Montres Rolex SA’, ‘Geneve Switzerland Patented’, ‘Stainless Steel’ along with the reference number 5500. On the exterior of the case between the lugs at 6 it is correctly signed with the case serial number 642491 which dates this watch correctly at 1957.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The original, Rolex rivet stainless steel bracelet is very close to perfect condition. The bracelet has simply been cleaned and lightly polished to bring it back to the condition you see here. Setting the catch to the shortest adjustment the bracelet will fit a 17.8cm wrist, then when setting the catch to the longest adjustment the bracelet will fit a 20.3cm wrist.
Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct and indicate the date of manufacture as 1957.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
This watch comes complete with a green Rolex suede pouch.
If you would like to pay by bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% saving to you. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and deliver your watch directly to you there.
As with all our watches, this watch will be sold under our 14 days no quibble sale or return policy.
This is a truly first class example of a vintage Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King which is ready to wear and completely practical for everyday use. If treated with care, it will make an excellent investment or heirloom piece. Even though vintage steel Rolex prices have risen markedly recently, we still feel good examples such as this are still undervalued and as each year goes by and the world market for vintage Rolex watches continues to expand, prices will continue to climb ever higher.
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well-known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We, therefore, consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges. If you have a watch or a small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call us on 020 7727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
Please take a look at our other fine vintage steel watches.