Black Bough Clients and their Watches – No. 1 | 25.11.16

Ian’s Rolex Air-King Ref. 5500 first sold in 1965

As an Electronics Engineer I spend a lot of my time working on the next ‘thing’.  In contrast, vintage watches have been performing their original function over 50 years, and in my opinion have yet to be bettered as a way of telling the time.

These days there is a lot of talk about energy harvesting but automatic wrist watches have been doing this for years with a mechanical mechanism and a very elegant design. This is what fascinates me and of course you don’t need to charge it daily.

I had been looking for a Rolex Air King for some time as I like the aeronautical connection and echoes of a time when air travel was a more positive experience. The attraction of this watch was its unusual design with full Arabic numerals. When I found out that it had its original 1960’s guarantee and service book its fate was sealed. Even the book is interesting with pictures of the hairspring being checked and the movement oiled.

I would not describe myself as a serious collector but I enjoy choosing which watch to wear in the morning to suit my mood and what I have planned for the day. It never fails to start and continues performing its task of simply telling the time accurately and stylishly.

This is the first in a new series of posts where our customers write about a favourite piece they have bought from Black Bough. You’ll find the original listing for this watch on our website here: