Friday, February 03, 2023

The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas [Part 1 or 4]

I originally published this story on Jake's Rolex World 15 years ago—back in 2008 that featured exclusive photos that Elvis Presley's Graceland took for Jake's Rolex World. Since Elvis Presley's only child, Lisa Marie Presley recently passed away, this story has been getting a lot of attention so I thought it made sense to bring it back to the top and extend it significantly to also include my discover of Elvis rocking his Rolex Submariner. In many ways it seems surrealistic that Lisa Marie is gone, as she was like Rock n' Rolex Royalty, and just like her father, she died way too young...

The King's King

Elvis Presley 

Rolex King Midas & Rolex Submariner

I would like to thank Graceland for their extremely kind and gracious assistance with taking the exclusive photos of Elvis Presley's Limited Edition Rolex King Midas for Jake's Rolex Watch Blog. Elvis Presley is known as The King of Rock & Roll. Elvis Presley changed the world with his amazing music. Elvis was extremely handsome, charismatic and ultra-talented. 

Very few people knew Elvis wore a Rolex, but it was not just any Rolex. Elvis wore a limited edition Rolex King Midas (Model Reference Number 9630) which Rolex only made 1000 examples of. The King Midas at the time was the most expensive Rolex money could buy. As a matter of fact, in 1970 a Rolex Day-Date retailed for $1825 and a King Midas retailed for $2500. In 1975 a Day-Date retailed for $3300 and a King Midas retailed for $5500. 

This very, very rare limited edition Rolex King Midas was given to Elvis as a token of appreciation for playing 6 days of sold-out concerts in 1970 at the Houston Astrodome Livestock Show & Rodeo.

Elvis is pictured above with his Rolex King Midas in his right hand along with the special Rolex King Midas case that was shaped like an urn.

The fascinating video below shows Elvis in 1970 recording at MGM Studios, and if you've ever wondered why he was nicknamed "The King" this video spells it all out:

The following photos were recently taken by a Graceland photographer exclusively for Jake's Rolex Watch Blog. This first image has Elvis Presley's Limited Edition Yellow Gold Rolex King Midas on top of Elvis & Priscilla Presley's wedding bible. Lisa Marie Presley is in the photo with her father, Elvis Presley kissing her head. All the artifacts in these Graceland photos personally belonged to Elvis.

The Return of The King

As always, you can click on the images to get a better view.

Elvis' beautiful Limited Edition Rolex King Midas is pictured above with matching trademark custom Sunglasses. His custom 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Colt 45 is pictured on the left. In the photo below you see Elvis' Diamond TCB (Taking Care of Business in a Flash) pendant and on the far right you see Elvis' Denver Police Captain's badge next to his Hamilton watch.

In the 1970s Elvis became obsessed with Kung Fu and collecting badges. In Part 3 of The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas we will explore Elvis' obsession with badges.

Elvis wore his Limited Edition Rolex King Midas quite a bit and it appears he wore it swimming or in a hot tub because it appears to have water damage on the dial. The King Midas was a hand wound watch that was not an Oyster.

Rolex made 1000 Original King Midas watches and Elvis owned and wore number 343, which ironically was a left handed special for south paws. The back in engraved and reads "To Elvis Presley From The Houston Livestock Show Officers 1970."

The original Limited Edition King Midas was NOT a Rolex Cellini. It had a standard Rolex Midas designation. The words King Midas were engraved on the side of the watch as seen below, and had a winding crown that was shaped like the sun.

When Rolex originally introduced the King Midas in the early 1960s it was the heaviest gold watch money could buy. Years later, Piaget came out with a model named the Piaget Polo that was three grams heavier.

The clasp had KING MIDAS BY ROLEX OF GENEVA etched into the clasp as seen below on Elvis' watch.

In Part 2 of The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas, we will look closer at the design details of the Rolex King Midas.

Update: I originally published this story on September 3, 2017, and I just updated it with some great new content!

The King Of Rock & Roll

Elvis Presley 

Rolex Submariner

James Bond Reference 6538 'Big Crown' 

Elvis Presley passed away forty in 1977, but remains one of the most enduring and successful icons in history. Several days ago I published a fascinating detailed story about Elvis Presley and his Rolex King Midas watch from 1970

Today, I am very excited to to show you some photos of Elvis Presley from 1962 that show The King wearing his Rolex Submariner. The photos are from the Elvis Presley movie titled, Girls, Girls, Girls. Elvis is pictured below with the gorgeous Stella Stevens on the set of the movie, and notice Elvis is wearing a Rolex Submariner with a Big Crown!!! 

1962 was not only a great year for Elvis, but a great year in general. JFK was the President Of The United States, and all was good in the world...We typically think of Steve McQueen as The King Of Cool, or even Paul NewmanMiles Davis, and Robert Redford, but I think Elvis Presley exists in that same pantheon of Rolex coolness, and in 1962 was the coolest of all...In the close-up photo below, we see Elvis is wearing his Rolex Submariner on a nylon strap.

So why was I so freaked-out when I recently discovered undocumented photos of Elvis Presley wearing a Rolex Submariner? For many reasons!

First of all, Elvis Presley remains to this day, one of the most iconic men and most handsome men in modern history. Especially the younger Elvis from the early 1960s. This is something young Elvis Presley has in common with the Rolex Submariner, is they are both timeless, great looking icons. Also, I was fairly certain that Elvis wore more Rolex watches than just his King Midas, but nobody had ever spotted him wearing one. 

On a personal note, one of the greatest thrills is the adrenaline rush that comes when I discover a really famous cool person wearing a Rolex nobody has ever seen before. It is kind of like Rolex Spotting/Hunting at it's finest. A specific example of this would be when in 2011 I discovered the now famous photo of Pablo Picasso wearing his Rolex GMT-Master. I remember I almost fell out of my chair when I found it—same with the photos of Elvis Presley wearing a Submariner. It's almost like finding, long lost buried treasure that nobody even knows exists!!!

The photos above and below are from the movie titled Girls, Girls, Girls and shows Elvis singing on stage in a club in Hawaii. If you look closely in the photo above you see Elvis' Submariner, and in the photo below he is checking the time on his Rolex.

The photos above and below are also from Girls, Girls, Girls, and show Elvis wearing his Submariner.

Elvis Presley's movie, titled, Girls, Girls, Girls was filmed in Hawaii in 1962.

Big Crown Sub

1962 was an interesting year, and in the photo below from Girls, Girls, Girls, Elvis Presley is wearing a Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 "Big Crown".

I assume it is a mere coincidence, but on of the best-known, most iconic movies to date that features a man wearing a Rolex Submariner is the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, which also debuted in theaters in 1962. 

In the photos above, taken in 1962, we see Sean Connery playing James Bond wearing his 'Big Crown' Submariner, and in the photo below, taken the same year, we see Chuck Yeager wearing his 'Big Crown' Submariner.

Nick Gould recently discovered a photo of Elvis where he appears to be rocking a Rolex Datejust on an adjustable band, which is below. The telltale clues that suggest Elvis might be wearing a Rolex Datejust are the Cyclops Magnifier bubble on the crystal as well as the overall shape of the Oyster case. 

The image above MIGHT add a clue to to the watch below, as it is possible, I think, that the watch above could be a Rolex Day-Date?

...The King Of Rock and Roll...

Elvis Presley's 
Rolex Day-Date Surfaces
[Reference 1803]

On December 8, 2008, I originally published the story below about a purported Rolex Day-Date that belonged to Elvis Presley's, and at the time, I published an image of the engraving of the back which said: 

"Elvis. Merry Christmas. Your Pal. Col. Tom Parker."

The photo above is an exclusive photo of the hand-engraved back of Elvis Presley's Rolex Day-Date.

It turns out that Elvis Presley's Rolex Day-Date surfaced on November 23,  2008 and is was offered by the Christie's Auction House, and here is a photo of the watch. According to Christie's, Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker gave the Rolex to Elvis as a Christmas gift in 1976.

The following document was provided by Christie's Auction house as part of the provenance for the Elvis Presley watch, but on the day before the auction, Christie's withdrew the watch for unknown reasons.

Years ago I discovered the image below of a Rolex casebook that was reputed to be a gift from Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker which he may have given Elvis as a Christmas gift, but I cannot confirm its authenticity. If you have photos of Elvis wearing a Rolex, please send them in and I will put them up.

In Chapter 2 named, The Midas Touch we will take a closer look at the Rolex King Midas Limited edition watch and discover its ethos.