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Rolex Luxury Watch: Oyster Perpetual vs. Rolex Air King

Rolex Luxury Watch: Oyster Perpetual vs. Rolex Air King

Rolex Luxury Watch

What’s in a name? With the exception of their super dressy Cellini range, every model in the Rolex Luxury Watch lineup is an Oyster Perpetual.

Although we all know them better as, say, the Submariner or the Datejust, if we were going to give them their completely correct title, we should be calling them the Oyster Perpetual Submariner or the Oyster Perpetual Datejust.

Of course, that’s a bit of a mouthful. This is why we always shorten the name. But the omitted words are actually the absolute essence of Rolex itself, and possibly the two most important words in watchmaking history.

They denote the two groundbreaking achievements the company made in its very earliest days, innovations that turned wristwatches from ladies decorative accouterments into acceptably robust accessories for even the most masculine of men. That said, let’s compare the Rolex Oyster Perpetual vs. Rolex Air-King and start there. Comparison Transcript: Rolex Air-king 116900 vs. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 114300

Comparison between the Oysters Perpetual vs. Air King Rolex Luxury Watch

Rolex Luxury Watch: Oyster Perpetual vs. Rolex Air King

The comparison between the two Rolex Luxury Watch; Rolex Air-King, reference number 116900, versus the Rolex Oyster Perpetual reference number 114300. We’ll be going over the price, dial, bezel, case, crown, bracelet, clasp, and we’ll talk about the movement towards the end of the video. 

As of October 2021, you can get the Air-King at the authorized Rolex retailer for 6700 dollars, or you can get it for as low as 5,700 dollars at Diamonds by Raymond Lee. For the Oyster Perpetual, you can get this at an authorized Rolex retailer for 5,000 dollars, or you can get it at Diamonds by Raymond Lee for as low as 5,295 dollars. As we go through the differences between each Rolex Luxury Watch, we’ll see if we can justify the difference in pricing between these two watches

Dial Comparison

Rolex Air-King Luxury Watch

So to start, let’s go ahead and jump right into the dials. For the dials, we have the Air-King on the left, has an Arabic numeral dial with a loom at the 12 o’clock position with a large triangle. Large luminescent triangle at the 12 o’clock position fashioned in 18 karat white gold. The hands, we have the Mercedes hands, and the standard minute hand. And the second hand has a small circular lume on it as well. And those all glow in the dark for up to eight hours.

Specifically for the Air-King, the lume on the Air-King will be a blueish color, whereas for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, we have loom three, six and nine positions with the index. The hands have that lume as well, but the second hand is purely 18 karat white gold, so there will obviously be no lume on that. But the lume on the, the lume on the Oyster Perpetual is actually super luminova so the lume on that will be green, whereas the Air-King uses a highly legible Chromalight Display. This is a blue color. That’s the lume on the Oyster Perpetual; you can see that nice green. And that’s the lume on the Air-King, has that beautiful blue.

Oyster Perpetual has index markers. The text has slight differences; we just have the Rolex Oyster Perpetual in the white with the Superlative Chronometer certification at the bottom. Whereas the Air-King we have the Rolex Crown and obviously in yellow with the Rolex name in a green colored font and the Air-King written at the six o’clock position. And that’s actually a throwback to the original Air-King in the 1950’s so they kept that same font. They wrote the Air-King back then as well. Just small little details.

Case Comparison

Rolex Luxury Watch: Oyster Perpetual vs. Rolex Air King

For the cases, there’s not too much of a difference in the case size. And when we refer to the diameter of the case, the Rolex Air-King, from the index finger to the thumb here is 40 mm in diameter. Index finger to my thumb on the Oyster Perpetual is 39 mm. The main difference between the Rolex Luxury Watch is the profiles of the case. The actual measurements are that the Oyster Perpetual is approximately 11.35 mm in, rather than in thickness. Whereas the Air-King is about two millimeters bigger, around 13.25 or so millimeters in thickness.

The reason for that is you can actually see the difference just from the southern portion of where the case back is. And that’s because the Air-King actually has two cases. There’s the outer case and there’s an inner case as well. Whereas the Oyster Perpetual only has one casing. And that has to do with the movement of the Air-King. We’ll actually talk more about that when we get to the movement. But for now, let’s go ahead and compare the other side of the case. The other side of the case. The main difference between the two Rolex Luxury watches is that the crown, obviously on the Air-King, is a little bit larger than the Oyster Perpetual crown, as I said. Because the case is larger on the Air-King.

Crown Comparison

The Current Rolex Air King Luxury Watch Specification

Now we’ll go over the function, we will go ahead and demonstrate to you how to use their crown. There are several YouTube videos demonstrating how to use the crown. But specifically, they both have the same functions. They’re both screw down, twin lock, water-proofness systems that unscrew counter clockwise. And can be used to set the date, and wind the watch as well. Or rather, manually wind the watch. And both of these watches have a water resistance up to 100 meters or 330 feet.

Bracelet Comparison

So for the bracelets of the watch. They’re pretty much the same thing. The bracelets have a, they both utilize a brush 904L steel. Let us go ahead and adjust this. So they both utilize a brush of 904L steel. No high polish, only on the sides of the links, as you can see there, is an oyster bracelet. Even down to the clasp, they’re pretty much the same as well. They’re both the same style clasp. You pop these out. And they even have the same Rolex name embossed on the clasp blade. So you can see it there.

Rolex Luxury Watch: Oyster Perpetual vs. Rolex Air King

Link Comparison

There is one difference on the bracelet and that is actually located behind the clasp. We’ll go ahead and discuss the Oyster Perpetual first. So the main difference between the clasp is that with Rolex’s they usually have, for the clasp, they have a comfort extension link. Which allows for giving you the breathing room for your room for your wrist, let’s just say it’s a hot day your wrist swells up. You obviously want a little more breathing room for your wrist because the watch is obviously going to be too tight for your now swollen wrist. And vice versa when it’s colder, you want to tighten it up so it’s not moving, shaking, moving around everywhere.

So with the Oyster Perpetual, you can adjust five millimeters of the bracelet, five millimeters inward or outward, or rather inward and outward. But the way they’ve done that, is that you can see here at the very corners of the bracelet, you actually have to use a tool to press these pins inward, and there’s a little indentation on the side. If you notice that little indentation? You actually have to align those pins to those indentations just to adjust this Rolex Luxury Watch for a little more comfort on your wrist. You’re not going to be carrying a tool around to do that while you’re out and about. So that’s kind of a hassle.

But the Air-King Rolex Luxury Watch has that similar function, but they’ve done it a much smarter way. So, you see with this bracelet here. We have the comfort extension link, which is located right underneath the case.

It is very simple! 

All you have to do is press that inward and it snaps right in. And that’s how it looks inward. Your wrist swells up a little bit; you want to pop it out, no problem. Just go ahead and pop that off, and you can adjust it outwards now. So now you can adjust that bracelet outwards for that five millimeters outwards. So much, much easier to adjust for a little more comfort. So we’ll go ahead and move on from the bracelet now. That’s really the only difference for the bracelets is just that ability to utilize that comfort extension link. One has a much easier time, which is the Air-King. And the Oyster Perpetual, you have to use a tool just to adjust that.

Buying Pre-Owned Vs. New Rolex Air King Luxury Watch

Movement Comparison

Alright, so now let’s talk about movement here, the big thing about the movement here, as we mentioned before for the Air-King Rolex Luxury Watch, as we discussed earlier, with the thickness of the case compared to the Oyster Perpetual. We highlighted that it has two cases. And the reason for that is because the Air-King actually utilizes the Milgauss movement and casing style. So you have the case back that we can see outside the Oyster case, outside. But once, if you’re a Rolex watchmaker, and you pop this case back off, there’s an additional case inside. And they refer to it as the magnetic shield case.

Obviously by the name, it protects from magnetic forces. So there’s an additional case inside that protects from these additional magnetic forces to keep the time as precise as possible. And this is kind of important for the Air-King. Because the Air-King was originally made for pilots traveling long distances. And of course they wanted to keep the precision of time keeping as best as possible. So they used that, the 3131 movement which has the precision of the 3130 movement, but the 3131 movement introduces the blue parachrom hairsprings that adds additional resistance of magnetic fields.

So besides that we move on to the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Luxury Watch now. And you’re thinking, how Oyster Perpetual is supposed to top that movement. Well for the difference between the Oyster Perpetual, the Oyster Perpetual runs Rolex’s in-house 3132 movement. This is movement wise, a little bit more superior over the 3131 movement. It has just a very basic oyster case. Doesn’t have that magnetic shield case back. So that’s one major difference.

In other words!

But also keeps a smaller profile, and is not too heavy on the wrist. It’s not too heavy on the wrist. With that said. The 3132 movement adds an addition to that over the 3131 movement, it has that blue parachrom hairspring that was resistant to the magnetic field. But introduces the Paraflex shock system. Which is Rolex’s shock absorption system that they claim absorbs, rather as an additional 50% more resistance to shocks. However, this is just a very basic dress, a very basic dress watch. That’s why it doesn’t have all that, you know, extra, the extra casing to it. Overall it will be a lighter, lighter watch because it doesn’t have that additional case.

Rounding Up Comparison: Air-king and Oyster Perpetual Rolex Luxury Watch

The Air-King Rolex Luxury Watch is very attractive. So observing the profile, there is a side profile on the wrist. It actually doesn’t look too high. Definitely will fit under suit coats and dress coats very nicely. This is more of a unique style watch. You won’t see this kind of dial on any other Rolex Luxury Watch.

Okay, now let us go ahead and see how the Oyster Perpetual works. So here is the Oyster Perpetual now. The Rolex brand doesn’t have too many rhodiums colored Rolex Luxury Watch. Additionally, this watch also comes in other colors such as grape or blue. But the rhodium in blue is very beautiful. As you can see. As we earlier emphasized, it’s more of a dress watch. Not really a sporty watch. Okay, now putting these two watches side by side. So you might be interested in purchasing any of these models for the lowest possible price,  we have the lowest prices guaranteed, we offer exciting shipping packages and a one year warranty.

Rolex Luxury Watch: Closing Remarks

When we compare the men’s Oyster Perpetual vs.  Air-Kings Rolex Luxury Watch, we find the unusual situation where the modern day Oyster Perpetual watches look very similar to vintage Air-Kings. However, the contemporary Air-King is more like the bigger brother of the latest Explorer.

All three are examples of what Rolex has always done best, and better than just about any other manufacturer—the kind of unassuming yet achingly stylish timepieces that can be worn literally anywhere, with anything.

While the likes of the Submariner, the Daytona or any of the other famous names may grab all the headlines, they all owe a debt to these simple core offerings—the perfect gateway into the world of Rolex Luxury Watch.


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