Originally Posted by dopey
OK. Another watch question:
Between the black Air King (34mm) and the new (39mm) Explorer, which to choose and why? Obviously, there is the size difference. And the Explorer dial is is slightly more legible, both because of size, larger hand (and mercedes hour hand) and lumen small indices in an outer ring on the dial. What about the internals and other design features I might not have thought of? Also, if I am sure I like the smaller size, should I just hunt for an older Explorer?
I can't quite figure out how to grab images of the current models from the Rolex site, but here are links to the two e-brochures:ExplorerAir King
When comparing an Air King and Explorer you have to mention whether you are comparing 2 brand new ones (like the 39mm Ex) or is the Air King you are considering older, ass you also bring up the idea of hunting for an older Explorer. There are changes that took place over the years. I believe some of the older Air Kings, maybe mid to early 80s were not as water resistant as the Explorers of the same time. Also the Explorer movements have been certified chronometers for decades...Air King movments only became certified chronometers recently. In additon the bracelets are different, the Explorer had solid end links (SEL) the Air King didn't, its slightly narrower on Air Kings, and AKs lack the Oysterlock safety latch on the clasp. I owned a 114270 for 10 years and I preferred it to an Air King, due to its size 36 vs 34mm, updated movement that the Air King did not have back until just a few years ago, wider bracelet with SELS, and oyster locking clasp. I always thought the Air King was a bit small at 34mm and with its narrower bracelet...but it might work for you.
I'm not a fan of the dial on the new Explorers or its size. To me the 114270 is the final evolution of the classic Explorer. The new Explorer is fine, just not my taste.