The Air-King is actually one of Rolex’s oldest models, originating back in 1945 when Rolex founders sought to recognize the British Royal Air Force for its heroic efforts in World War II with an “Air” collection of watches. This tribute spawned models called the Air-Lion, Air-Giant, Air-Tiger, and Air-King. These pieces were all made of stainless steel with 34 mm cases, and they were poised as Rolex’s bare-essential timepieces. The Air-King was discontinued in 2014 and temporarily replaced by the Oyster Perpetual as Rolex’s entry-level model. However, Rolex decided to bring it back with updated features and reintroduced this model at the 2016 Baselworld Fair.