The Rolex Airking was introduced in the 1945 with the ref. 4925. Rolex produced a number of “Air” models during and after World War II, including the “Air-Giant”, “Air-Lion”, and “Air-Tiger. These were named to honor the British Royal Air Force, which were enamored with Rolex watches. At the time, the 34 mm case was considered quite large, thus the “Air-King” name. The truly iconic Air-King reference, 5500, appeared in 1957. It featured all the elements we now know: A clean bezel, simple dial and markers, pencil hands, and no complications.