facebook pixel
  • Watch Certification Services of America100% Certified Authentic


    The Trusted Name in Authenticated Luxury Timepieces

    Every watch on our site is 100% certified authentic by WatchCSA, the industry's leading independent authority on watch authentication.




Watch of the Week: the Rolex Air-King ref 116900

January 24, 2018

BY Paul Altieri


Everything about the modern 6-digit Air-King reference 116900 screams “Rolex sports watch” unlike the classic references from decades ago. The Air-King, as many collectors may know it, was discontinued in 2014, with the newer 6-digit reference 116900 debuting shortly after in 2016.  The differences between the old and new Air-King watches are obvious. The original Air-King featured a more modest 34mm Oyster case and a dial commonly set with simple applied indices and hands. While the newer reference boasts a larger 40mm Oyster case, a more secure folding Oysterlock clasp, and a dial topped with luminous hour markers and hands.

Rolex Air-King ref 116900

The Rolex Air-King ref 116900 is a watch with a long history.

The New Pilot’s Watch

While the Air-King ref. 116900 may look like a completely different watch, it stays true to its humble beginnings as a pilot’s watch.  The case is still equipped with a screw-down crown that can withstand depths of up to 330 feet as well as higher altitudes.  This newer reference, however, takes advantage of a Twinlock screw-down crown for extra waterproofness, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and 904L stainless steel.  While the “Air-King” logo has been moved lower on the dial, avid Rolex collectors will be pleased that it is still present on the dial, just like the original Air-King.

Rolex Air-King ref 116900

The Rolex Air-King ref 116900 carries qualities of both vintage and modern qualities.

A next-generation calibre 3131 perpetual movement beats within the case providing an accuracy of -2/+2 seconds a day.  Newer Rolex movements often utilize Rolex’s patented shock-resistant technology via the addition of a Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring.  The movement also boasts a 48-hour power reserve and COSC rating.

The most notable change made to the new Rolex Air-King ref 116900 is the updated black dial.  In lieu of the traditional index hour markers, the dial features polished steel Arabic markers at the 3, 6, and 9 positions and 5-minute graduations at the remaining hour markers.  Similar to other Rolex sports references, a luminous triangle sits at the 12-hour marker.  Chromalight lume emits a distinct blue glow and fills the 5-minute hour markers and hands for a clear reading in light or dark environments.  A yellow crown and green accents including the Rolex logo and a green seconds hand, seal the new Air-King’s fate as a Rolex sports watch.

Rolex Air-King ref 116900

What are your thoughts on the Rolex Air-King ref 116900? Comment below.

Each Rolex sports watch is developed with a specific application in mind, whether it be as a diver’s watch, a pilot’s watch, or a tool watch for spelunkers, one thing’s for sure, Rolex has a timepiece to suit the needs of the wearer no matter what their profession or desire may be.  The Rolex Air-King ref 116900 is an excellent choice if you’re in the market for a Rolex with an incredible history and application at an entry to mid-level price range.



Leave a Reply

  • This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

    Error: API requests are being delayed. New posts will not be retrieved.

    There may be an issue with the Instagram access token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

    Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

    There may be an issue with the Instagram access token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

  • Get The Best Deals - Buy A Rolex
    Sell A Rolex

    "The most trusted place to buy or sell a used luxury timepiece" – WSJ

    • AWCI
    • Jewelers Board of Trade
    • IWJG
    • TrustLock
    • Spirit of Enterprise
    • PayPal Verified
    • Inc 500
    • FedEx
    • UPS
    • The Hartford

    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.