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The Rolex Air-King Blurs the Line Between a Tool Watch and a Dress Watch

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Watch of the Week: Rolex Air-King watch floating above clouds with a blue background


The aviation-themed watches just keep coming. Last week, we highlighted the release of a new Longines GMT watch with a fascinating backstory (and impressive performance specs), and this week, another high-flying timepiece has captured our attention: the new Rolex Air-King. Officially known as the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King, the revamped watch features a new case design, a revised bracelet, and some key aesthetic tweaks on the dial. With these changes, the Air-King gets sportier and more functional, blurring the line between tool watches and dress watches.

The Air-King is a nod to Rolex’s involvement in the pioneering days of aviation. Rolex timepieces accompanied pilots on several notable flights during the 1930s, including the record-setting flight from London to Australia that Owen Cathcart-Jones and Ken Waller made in 1934. The Rolex Air-King didn’t launch until 1958, however. It evolved over the decades and, in 2016, it gained its distinctive black dial with oversized three, six, and nine numerals. The current Air-King retains those design hallmarks but includes some notable aesthetic changes as well.

The Air-King features a 40mm case crafted from Oystersteel, Rolex’s steel alloy that offers improved corrosion resistance. Most notably, the case has been redesigned with crown guards and straight sides, which gives it a more distinctive tool watch look and positions it with Rolex’s Professional line of watches. It retains the iconic black dial and large numerals, but Rolex added a zero before the five on the minutes scale. That gives the dial a more symmetrical layout: Each five-minute interval now has a two-digit marking.

But symmetry isn’t the only change on the dial—it’s also more legible. Rolex added Chromalight, its proprietary luminescent material, to the hands, 12 o’clock hour marker, and the three, six, and nine numerals. Compared to the white gold used on the dial in previous versions of the Air-King, the Chromalight indices should be much more visible in low-light conditions. Plus, the watch is topped with durable sapphire crystal glass, so you won’t have to worry about scratches clouding up the view.

Courtesy Image

That utility-minded approach extends to the bracelet as well. It now includes Rolex’s Oysterlock safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening, and an Easylink extension link, which allows the wearer to adjust the bracelet’s fit by about five millimeters. Overall, the new Air-King picks up some tool watch functionality, which should make it easy to use day to day. At the same time, the sleek, polished case and the lack of a chunky bezel (a common feature on tool watches) ensures this update preserves the distinctive character these watches are known for.

The Air-King is powered by Rolex’s calibre 3230 movement, which was developed and manufactured in-house and debuted in 2020. It boasts a power reserve of around 70 hours, and as you’d expect from a Rolex, it’s highly accurate: Finished Air-Kings go through in-house testing to maintain time within just minus two or plus two seconds each day. That’s an even more demanding standard than COSC, a certification used throughout the watchmaking industry.

Rolex is a storied brand with many compelling timepieces, but the latest Air-King is a real standout in its lineup.

[$7,400; rolex.com]

Get it


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Watch the Epic Final Trailer for ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4

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Watch the Epic Final Trailer for 'Stranger Things' Season 4


Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, Stranger Things has become nothing short of a cultural phenomenon, thanks to its unique combo of sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and coming-of-age storylines (not to mention a hefty dose of retro nostalgia). The show has grown bigger and bolder with each season, but season four, which premieres this Friday, will be a pivotal one: The show’s characters are grown up and have spread out beyond the town of Hawkins. But as a new final teaser trailer makes clear, the gang will be facing some of their biggest challenges yet.

Season four will pick up shortly after the end of season three, which finished with the climactic “Battle of Starcourt,” where Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her friends faced off against the fearsome Mind Flayer. The new season finds the gang facing more pedestrian challenges like high school, growing up, and moving to a new place (according to Gizmodo, Eleven and the Byers family have moved to California). Of course, monsters from the Upside Down are lurking, too. The friends will have to face a new Dungeons & Dragons monster, Vecna, in this season.

The cast will look very familiar, with favorites like Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), and Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) returning to the show. Previously, Netflix revealed that Jim Hopper (David Harbour) would return this season, although he seemed to meet his demise in season three. Like the rest of the show’s seasons, season four was created and produced by Matt and Ross Duffer.

According to Deadline, the new season will be revealed in two parts. The first seven episodes of Stranger Things season four will premiere on Netflix Friday, May 27. The final two episodes will be released July 1 as Volume 2. Check out the full trailer above, and make sure to carve out some time this weekend to binge the new season.


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‘Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One’ Trailer

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'Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One' Trailer


Have you missed seeing Tom Cruise on the big screen? You’re in luck: Not only is he reprising his role of Maverick in the upcoming Top Gun sequel (in theaters May 27), he’s also starring in a new installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. Although Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One won’t premiere until 2023, you can get your first taste of the new film thanks to an explosive new trailer that was released today. After watching the clip, one thing is obvious: Even at just shy of 60 years old, Cruise can still hold his own as Ethan Hunt.

“Action-packed” doesn’t even begin to describe this trailer. Like car chases? There are multiple scenes involving armored trucks, sports cars, and Cruise wheeling a bright yellow Fiat through the narrow streets of a European city. Big on fight scenes? There are plenty of those, too, including a one-on-one knife brawl on a bridge in Venice, scrimages on top of speeding trains, and an epic battle on horseback in the middle of a sandstorm. You’ll even get to see Cruise drive a motorcycle off a cliff. And if that’s not enough suspense for you, you can see him do the same thing in a train, too.

You’ll also notice some familiar faces in the trailer. Most notable is the return of Eugene Kittridge, played by Henry Czerny. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it’s the first time Kittridge has appeared in a Mission: Impossible movie since the release of the original 1996 film (Czerny played Kittridge in that film as well).

Christopher McQuarrie directed the new installment, and he’s no stranger to the franchise. He previously directed 2018’s Mission: Impossible—Fallout and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, which premiered in 2015. Interestingly, he also helped write the screenplay for Top Gun: Maverick.

Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One will hit theaters July 14, 2023 (Part Two is expected to premiere in 2024). Check it out in the trailer above.


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10 Best Tennessee Whiskeys to Drink Right Now

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George Dickel 15 Year Single Barrel Whiskey




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