Air-King Pool Intairdril

Certain watches in the horological realm transcend their functional purpose and become emblems of prestige and achievement. This 1979 Vintage Rolex Air-King, reference 5500 is one such masterpiece that has a special place in the hearts of watch enthusiasts. What sets this particular Air-King apart is its association with the Pool Intairdril company, where it served as a distinguished safety reward for employees. These watches were given to Pool Intairdril personnel as a reward for excellent safety records, transforming a utilitarian timepiece into a prized symbol of achievement. The caseback is engraved with the words ‘Safety Award,’ including the employees name and the date of presentation, adding a personalized touch that makes each watch a one-of-a-kind remembrance of dedication and responsibility.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Pool Intairdril was an international oil firm that specialized in equipment and excavation supplies. Rolex produced the Pool Intairdril timepieces in the late 1970s and early 1980s for the Pool Intairdrill firm, making them relatively rare. Pool Intairdrill supplied labor, rigs, and other equipment to major oil firms such as Oxy (Occidental), Agip, and the Libyan NOC (National Oil Company). The timepieces were given to Pool Intairdril employees as safety prizes. Each rig was proud of its streak of accident-free days, and rig managers and other individuals in charge of safety management, were awarded Rolex Air kings with their names etched onto the case back coupled with a certificate of recognition. This particular Air-King was a “Safety Award” to Mr Mountieri which was awarded on 7-5-1981. This Air-King’s case is paired with the original 78350 Oyster bracelet. The movement was fully serviced, but because of this watch’s important significance to Rolex its logo/crest dial history, as well as the collectibility of these timepieces, we left the case and bracelet unpolished.

The vintage Rolex Air-King reference 5500 with its Pool Intairdril logo dial, and ‘Safety Award’ engraving on the case-back, has a special fascination for collectors and enthusiasts. Its scarcity and historical significance make it a sought-after object, not just for its horological value, but also for the tale it conveys about a company’s commitment to its employees’ well-being. These watches stand as a symbol of achievement and a reminder of the importance of prioritizing well-being in both the workplace and the world of horology.

reference: 5500
case number: 610XXXX
year of production: 1979
case diameter: 34mm
movement: automatic, Rolex caliber
box and papers: no

Price: € 6.950,-