Rolex - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1973
    Reference No: 5500, inside caseback stamped 1002
    Case No: 3’718’135
    Model Name: Air King
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1520, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel folded Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 7835, 19, endlinks stamped 375, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 34mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp signed
    Accessories: Further accompanied by Rolex guarantee stamped Emperor Watch & Jewellery Co., LTD Kowloon dated 26th June 1975 and hang tag.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Whilst many may pay attention to iconic models such as the Submariner, Daytona or the Explorer, not many will have encountered Air King, especially earlier examples. Since the launch of the first Air King in 1945, the model has undergone various upgrades in aesthetics. The ref. 5500 was launched in 1957 and housed inside a 34mm diameter case, whilst the resembling Explorer ref. 1016 sported a slightly larger case at 36mm diameter. Following the successful reception of the ref. 5500, Rolex launched the Air King Date ref. 5700 the following year in 1958.

    The present example is a beautiful and well-preserved Air King ref. 5500 in stainless steel. Fitted with a silvered dial with silver baton indexes and hands, the dial is pure and shouts simplicity.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Lot offered with No Reserve

Ref. 5500, inside caseback stamped 1002
A fine stainless steel wristwatch with sweep center seconds, bracelet and guarantee

Circa 1973
34mm Diameter
Dial, case, movement, bracelet and clasp signed

HK$16,000 - 30,000 

Sold for HK$27,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019