Amazing Rolex Oyster Guide
Rolex has been producing watches with a 34 mm diameter case for most of their long and distinguished history; However, these “medium” models such as the date and air-king are often overlooked because there are a large number of options available in the more standard, 36mm Rolex oyster permanent case size. However, the Rolex replica has made a number of wonderful watches – both vintage and contemporary – that have 34mm case diameters, and their highly versatile size permits them to look at-home on wrists of virtually any measurement or gender.
Even though the Datejust collection has historically had a case diameter of 36mm for the standard full-size model, Rolex also manufactures a line of watches called the Date that offers many of the same design traits and features of the Datejust – even the same movement too – only in a fairly smaller overall package.
Since consumer trends favored smaller wristwatches in past decades, a number of amazing vintage Rolex references come with 34mm case diameters. One of the longest-running replica Rolex models of all time is the reference 5500 Air-King, which boasts a super clean and minimal dial design that perfectly complements its slightly reduced case size.
The referenced 5500 remained in production for thirty-seven years, during which time it was fitted with both Rolex’s Caliber 1520 and Caliber 1530 movements – neither of which were chronometer-certified. Owing to their long production run, reference 5500 Air-King watches were manufactured in relatively large numbers and can still be ordered for very reasonable prices.
Even though the Day-Date President is the classic all-gold Rolex watch, it has never been manufactured in a size smaller than 36mm. However, throughout its history, Rolex has produced a number of all-gold watches within their Date collection that have 34mm case diameters, and lack the extra complication for displaying the day of the week that is found on the flagship Day-Date line of watches.
However, instead of being fitted with the same style of bracelet that is found on other cheap replica watches of the same circa, the reference 15238 Date is fitted with a rivet-link Oyster bracelet in 18k gold. The special combination of modern and vintage aesthetics provided by the unusual presence of the rivet-link bracelet helps to set the reference 15238 apart and make it unique.
For years, modern consumer trends have favored larger watches. Recently, however, small watches seem to be making a comeback, with the once overlooked 34mm Rolex now representing some of the best value for money of all Rolex watches, both vintage and modern.