When you think of Rolex, the words “unusual” or “eccentric” don’t come to mind. Today, the brand is known for its simple and sophisticated designs. However, there are always exceptions. The Air-King and Milgauss are possibly the most “exotic” series in the Rolex catalog. The Skymaster is one of the oldest Rolex product lines, and the dial is also decorated with the brand logo. However, marketing efforts and market popularity seem lower than in other series. But then again, the Skymaster is still worth buying and will make you stand out.
The story of the Skymaster began in 1945 when Hans Wilsdorf’s idea was to create a product line directly tailored for pilots. In the troubled times of World War II, many pilots began to wear watches, especially Rolex Oyster watches. In the field of aviation, wristwatches are not only used for timing but also of great help for navigation and various calculations. Therefore, densely packed scale marks are printed on the dials of different pilot watches. But at that time, the pilot’s watch only had the function of the third hand. Buy replica watches.
Rolex Ref.4925 Airmaster watch
The first model of the Skymaster is Ref.4925, which belongs to the “Air” series with Air-Giant, Air-Lion, and Air-Tiger. Eighty years later, these models have become rare collections and are now hard to find on the market. Ref.4925 is similar to the Bubblebacks of the same period, with a milky white dial and Arabic numerals. The crown is much smaller, and the markings on the dial are also very streamlined. For several years, the Skymaster has been a derivative of the Oyster, with roughly the same aesthetics, both equipped with hand-wound movements. In 1953, the series began to establish its design language. Ref.6652 gave up the Arabic numerals and changed them to Barton time scales, and the crown logo was also moved to a familiar position.
Rolex Ref.5500 Airmaster watch with Cartier retailer logo on the dial.
The most important model is the 1957 Ref.5500, produced and sold for 32 years. Ref.5500 uses a 34 mm Oyster steel case, equipped with a three-bead chain, and equipped with Caliber 1520 or Caliber 1530 movement, which can be called the iconic model of Airmaster. How can we distinguish the models equipped with Caliber 1520 movement and Caliber 1530 movement? If it is marked with “Precision,” it means that it is equipped with Caliber 1520 movement; if it is marked with “Super-precision,” it means that it is equipped with Caliber 1530 movement. As an entry-level Rolex watch, the Skymaster has never been certified as a “Superior Observatory Precision Timepiece” before.
Interestingly, Ref. 5500 is the first Rolex watch to use its movement. During the 32-year production and sales period, Ref.5500 has subtle improvements, mainly in vision. For example, the fluorescent material was changed from radium to tritium for well-known reasons. Fake watches for sale.
Rolex Ref.14000 Airmaster watch
In 1989, Rolex finally released a new version of the Airmaster. In addition, pure Barton time standard models are also available. The Skymaster introduced the “Engine Turned” bezel during the same period. In 2001, Rolex upgraded the Caliber 3000 to the Caliber 3130 movement. The latter is fitted with a Parachrom hairspring, increasing the power reserve to 48 hours.
Rolex Ref.114200 Airmaster watch
With the release of Ref. 114200, the Rolex Air-King became a “chronometer” for the first time. The Caliber 3130 movement still powers it, but it has been certified by the Chronometer Testing Center (COSC). At the same time, adding the platinum bezel also improves the positioning of the Airmaster.
Rolex Ref.116900 Airmaster watch
In 2014, production of the Skymaster was discontinued. Two years later, Rolex launched Ref.116900. It uses the same 40mm Oystersteel case as the Gage model, is equipped with the same Caliber 3131 movement, and has the same antimagnetic performance. Compared with Ref.114200, the dial design of Ref.116900 has been extensively modified, and the evaluation may be the most polarized among all styles.
Rolex Ref.126900 Airmaster watch
Last year was necessary for the Airmaster, as Rolex released Ref. 126900. This watch has a new Caliber 3230 movement, with crown shoulder guards added and bracelet structure optimized. Overall, this iteration makes the Skymaster more dynamic. Now, the Skymaster is similar to the Explorer, only with a different dial. As usual, this mixed dial design will continue for many years. Many people avoid it, but many people flock to it. Thankfully, Rolex’s product catalog is rich enough, and Ref. 126900 is just one of them.
Case Thickness: 15mm
Band Color: Silver-tone