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Ah, the Presentation Watch. A gift presented to employees to commemorate years of dedicated service to the company. Today you'd be lucky to get a gift card to Applebee's to mark 25 years of continuous service. But not so for The Greatest Generation - they got the good stuff.
We've encountered a wide variety of Presentation Watches from the mid-20th Century, most being bought as one-offs with special engravings dedicated to the recipient outlining their record of employment. These pieces always tell an interesting story, and as you would expect, we eat them up. But many of these pieces were lesser watches to begin with, only brought up in the world by the story spelled out on their case back. But that doesn't mean that great watches weren't gifted by employers as well, and Rolex was the go-to quality timepiece for several large employers throughout the 1960s and 70s.
Often passed over by many who consider them "Entry Level", the Air King Reference 5500 is a tremendously desirable timepiece by any standard, combining a self-winding Calibre 1520 in-house movement with Rolex's signature Oyster Case sized at 34mm. The clean design of the Air King dial, devoid of a date aperature, lent itself well to additional branding, a common practice for large companies ordering timepieces in quantity.
Examples of Rolex Air King Presentation Watches have appeared on the market from brands such as Winn Dixie, Dominoes, as well as those bearing the crests of several Royal Families in the Middle East. This particular timepiece bears the logo of Pool Intairdril, a petroleum company operating in Libya in the 1980s, and is one of the rarest (and best looking!) of the Rolex Presentation Watches known.
Dating to 1980, this piece is in excellent condition throughout, with an incredibly sharp case, flawless silver sunburst dal with crisp printing and vibrant coloration, nicely patinated luminescent elements, and its original Oyster bracelet. This one is not to be missed!
Steel Oyster Case is approximately 34mm (excluding the crown). Rolex Reference 5500. Calibre 1520 Self-Winding Movement. Circa 1980.
Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition over all, showing only minimal signs of wear from age and use, and is devoid of any glaring defects or signs of over-polishing. Silver sunburst dial is in outstanding condition with no noteworthy blemishes. Original hands are in lightly patinated condition, matching the coloration of the luminous indices. Original case back and signed crown.
Includes original 19mm Oyster Bracelet with signed clasp (78350/557).
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options