When I was studying to become a journalist in the 1990s, I wanted a perfect replica Rolex. It was in my early years of discovering watches, and because I was an avid reader of National Geographic, Swiss made fake Rolex was always in the back of my head when looking at and for watches in shops, catalogs, and magazines. Prices were always problematic, though. Pre-owned was the way to go. And the ref. 14000 models that were introduced in 1989 were within reach. The pre-owned ones. Secondhand ones. The ones I could afford were just a couple of years old, discarded by their owners very shortly after the purchase. And when I went to check out these top super clone Rolex Air-Kings 14000s, I quickly found out why.
Don’t make the mistake of buying a neo-vintage 34mm Rolex Air-King
On paper, the Air-King is a fantastic watch. The very first one, the now-rare luxury fake Rolex Air-King ref. 4925, most certainly was. It was the watch made to honor pilots and to be worn on the wrist of pilots. Swiss copy Rolex made various “Air” models during and immediately after World War II, and all these watches were for the RAF. Because of its 34mm case size, which was large for the time, it received the name “King”. When the watch came out, you could also find the Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, and Air-Giant in the Rolex line-up. In the end, only the best replica Rolex Air-King remained.
In the decades that followed, the high quality fake Rolex Air-King collection went through many changes. The ref. 6552 and the 5500, the longest-running Air-King, came and went, but the clear layout and the 34mm case remained. So did the curvy font that states its name on the dial. Good thing, too, as I think that’s the best feature of the Rolex Air-King fake for sale.
A 34mm case was already outdated in the 1990s
The entry-level Swiss movement fake Rolex Air-King was born out of a gesture of gratitude, but over the years, that feeling faded away, and the watch was never again the center of attention. That’s probably why the 5500 was in production for 30+ years and why its successor, the 1989 Air-King 14000, came out in an outdated 34mm case, even though the 1963–1989 Explorer ref. 1016 was dressed in a much more modern 36mm case. More proof of the fact that the Rolex Air-King replica for sale wasn’t even loved by its parent company Rolex is that the 5500 models, with either the caliber 1520 or 1530 inside the small case, were never chronometer-certified.
To me, that looks like you’re sending all your kids to high school except one. It speaks of a lot of things, but love isn’t one of them. Vintage Air-Kings never displayed the familiar “Superlative Chronometer” text. Instead, you’ll find “Precision” when the top quality replica Rolex caliber 1520 is inside or “Super Precision” when the watch is outfitted with caliber 1530.
Not on paper, but in the metal
The problem with the 34mm Rolex Air-King super clone online is that it lived too long for its own good. The 5500 models — the series that brought you the now highly collectible Domino’s Pizza watch that can’t be had these days for less than €10,000 — featured a 34mm Oystersteel case. That series also gave us black, blue, slate gray, and silver dials with stick indices, as well as creamy white dials with arrowhead markers and Arabic 3-6-9 numerals under an acrylic crystal. Lovely and delicately simple, yes. But natural watch evolution should have stepped up the subsequent wholesale copy Rolex Air-King 14000 to 36mm, just like the Explorer, or even 38mm like the elusive Milgauss ref. 1019. The 34mm case lived too long for its own good and rendered the Air-King obsolete.
The Swiss movement fake Rolex 14000 series came out with traditional stick markers but did make a futile attempt to attract a new audience with more modern-looking Arabic numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. There was also a technical upgrade in the shape of the new caliber 3000 plus a sapphire crystal for some extra luxury and practicality.