What a classic this is – the Rolex Air-King-Date Precision. The “Air-King” collection was created by Hans Wilsdorf, whom wanted to celebrate and pay homage to the World War II pilots, in which he did… in fashionable style. The collection has been in production for over 70 years now, with more and more Rolex enthusiasts getting in on the trend. Not only do Rolex enthusiasts love the collection, but so do pilots (non-surprisingly), with companies such as Pan-Am giving them out as retirement gifts.
Anyway, you’re reading this to find out more about the Rolex Air-King-Date Precision, ref. 5700 in terms of a review, or you just stumbled across this, when looking at the collection as a whole – either way, there’s something to take away from this post that’s for sure. So, let’s jump straight into it and start off by discussing the dial.
The dial of the Rolex Air-King-Date Precision
The silver dial on this Rolex Air-King-Date is simplistic, and you can tell that even from a distance, which i personally love. It doesn’t feature any numerals, as it’s just batons, which is very complimentary for the date window (located at the 3 o’clock position).
Having writing located towards the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock position is common on any watch but i think it does add a bit of character, especially “precision”. I think without it, it would look quite bare.
At the tip of each baton, as well as the hands, there is super-LumiNova present, which is an added bonus, albeit that this particular Air-King-Date precision has a lower dim glow, just due to the age of it, but that doesn’t effect it too much.
Not only is this silver dial easy to read, but it also looks simplistic, and is understated, giving off this wonderful classic vintage look and feel – which i love. Lastly, the contrasting colours and materials of the hands and dial allow for that easy read, (as i just mentioned), but they also allow the dial to pop a little bit more, meaning that you can wear it with full confidence that it’s going to attract the eyes of others – which it definitely does.
The case of the Rolex Ref. 5700
The stainless steel case on this Air-King-Date Precision timepiece allows for that robustness, and boy does it do the job. With this watch being produced in the 70s it has definitely stood it’s ground against all the elements and environments which surround us, that’s for sure.
Having a diameter of 34mm makes it perfect for the gentleman who may have smaller wrists (like myself). But not only does the smaller size of 34mm mean that smaller wrists can wear it, but it also adds a touch to the elegance and the simplicity of the overall look and feel.
Rolex also crafted this Air-King-Date with durability in mind, with a 100m water resistant depth, you’d be sure to explore – although i’m not sure this particular one could withstand that today, but it would definitely cope under pressure. Talking of durability, the plexiglass crystal is also another bonus, and makes sure those accidental wall knocks don’t scratch the surface – which has happened many times. But it really doesn’t have many scratches, so i guess there’s nothing to fault there.
Height – 10mm
Width with crown – 37mm
Lug width – 19mm
The bracelet on this Rolex Air-King-Date, is also made out of stainless steel, and is very easy to accommodate on your wrist. This coming from the fact that you can simply readjust it through the clasp.
The bracelet length is approximately 19cm, and it tapers towards the folding clasp, leaving a thinner look and feel, again, perfect for someone who may have smaller wrists.
One thing i do like about the bracelet on this Rolex ref. 5700, is the fact that it hugs your wrist, and not in a tight way, where it has no movement whatsoever, but in a more secure way, where you still have free movement, but you feel comfortable in whatever task you may be doing etc.
However, in contrary to this, although the bracelet is made out of stainless steel, it can feel a little flimsy sometimes, well i wouldn’t say flimsy, but due to it’s age and the tapered thinner section towards the clasp, it almost feels like it needs to be thicker – but that’s my personal opinion, of course.
The caseback – protecting the calibre 1520
The movement found within this Rolex Air-King-Date Precision, is a Swiss-made calibre 1520 automatic movement.
In 1963, the calibre 1530 began to be phased out by Rolex, in an unexpected move, but this paved the way for the new calibre 1520 – the one found inside this timepiece. The movements shared the same structure and architecture, as well as keeping the identical base plate. However, they did change a Microstella system with a stick regulator, and a Breguet overcoil with a traditional flat hairspring – in an effort to reduce costs.
The Swiss-made calibre 1520 automatic movement has a diameter of 28.5mm and a thickness of 3.95mm, which isn’t surprising as the watch is relatively petite. Additionally, it holds 16 jewels, and a has a running frequency of 19,800 Vph – as well as being able to last 2 days without winding (42-hour power reserve).
The high power reserve, is definitely noticeable, as sometimes i forget to put my watch on in the morning, and it always gives you a little bit of joy, that the watch is still ticking.
Case material – Stainless steel
Movement type – Swiss-made calibre 1520 automatic movement
Water resistant depth –
Strap material – Stainless steel
Power reserve – 42-hour power reserve
Case diameter – 34mm
Case thickness – 10mm
Lug width – 19mm
Reference number – 5700