If you want to own a Rolex watch but cringe at the exorbitant price, the Air-King might lift your spirits. A part of the oyster perpetual line, it is the least expensive wristwatch in the Rolex collection. And if you are a military aviation buff, you might want to wear this watch just for the historical value it represents. Commemorating the Battle of Britain Apparently before WWII Rolex was the favourite brand of long-distance flyers and had become the watch of choice for Battle of Britain fighter pilots. Neutral Switzerland stayed out of the war, but Rolex’s founder, Hans Wilsdorf, (who, ironically, was German-born) was so moved by this distinction, he decided to honour these brave men with a new line of manual wind Oysters. While the oyster royal line existed already before the war – and was, at that time, the most expensive manual wind model – Rolex began producing larger watches and baptizing them with names like “Air Tiger,” “Air Lion,” “Air Giant,” and ” Air King .” Interestingly enough, what was then considered a “large” dial – 32 to 33 mm diameter – is now small in comparison, as most Rolex sports models feature a 40 mm dial. The “Air” line of watches remained in production until the early 1960s, but never really took off (forgive the pun). In the end only the Air-King survived and was eventually fitted with an automatic movement. Whom the Air-King is designed for You might be interested in purchasing this model if you have your heart set on a Rolex but can’t fork over a lot of money. You have to like understated elegance though, because this stainless steel model has a very clean and simple design. If your tastes run toward a more swank look – and if your budget allows indulgence – you might prefer dressier pieces in the Oyster Perpetual line, DateJust, for example. Keep in mind, too, that Air-King is not for diving or water sports enthusiasts because its impermeability is only 330 feet (about 100 metres). A better model would be the sturdier Rolex Sea Dweller or the Submariner. If, however, the combination of price and simplicity strikes your fancy, then, without a doubt, the Air-King rules!