Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas [Part 2 of 4]

The Midas Touch

The Limited Edition Rolex King Midas is unlike any other Rolex, as was its packaging. In Rolex history, they only made three watches that were limited in edition and the King Midas was one of them.

The Limited Edition King Midas was first made available in 1964 and was based upon the mythological Greek King Midas, who had the golden touch. As legend has it, King Midas had the golden touch and everything he touched turned to gold.

The Midas Touch metaphor is suggestive of great success in a magical, mythological way, and when Rolex designed the outside box, they went with the Ancient Greek theme. As you can see the box has the Greek Key trim going around the bottom of it, which almost makes it look like a modern day Versace gift box, but Rolex did this when Versace, the Italian desiger, was a child.

Another unique design characteristic of the King Midas is that inside the outer box the watch was protected by a Greek Inspired Urn shaped wood box. This urn shaped watch box narrowed toward the bottom. The lid that sat on top of the urn had a graphic of King Midas sitting on his thrown with the Rolex Crown above it.

The urn tapered toward the base and the side walls had graphics of a Greek Chariot being pulled by Greek horses as well as Greek Warriors with swords and shields.

When you removed the decorative lid, the Limited Edition Rolex King Midas Watch appeared sitting upright in the box. The inside was lined with rich orange velvet.

If you remove the urn lid and look at the back of it, it reads MIDAS, BY ROLEX OF GENEVA.

When Rolex introduced the Limited Edition King Midas Rolex in 1964 it was the heaviest gold watch money could buy.

The King Midas has the words KING and MIDAS etched on either side of the sun shaped winding crown.

The band has an invisible double lock clasp and is a manual wind watch.

The King And I

Later in Rolex history, they made a Cellini model named the King Midas, but the original limited edition watch had no Cellini designation. The Original King Midas is considered a dress watch so it is not a waterproof Oyster.

The King Midas has great lines and was considered to be extremely modern when it was originally brought to market in 1964.

The Verso (back) of the original Limited Edition King Midas Rolex had a model number of 9630 which was etched on the back of the bracelet as seen below. The watch below which is number 504 belongs to my pal, Leo (The Idle Swede). When I first saw the King Midas, I thought it looked strange because it did not look like a traditional Rolex, and I must admit it has really grown on me over time.

Rolex payed a tremendous amount of attention to detail on the watch and beautifully etched, as seen below, the KING MIDAS BY ROLEX OF GENEVA designation on the back of the clasp.

The dial as pictured below was ultra simple and only had the Rolex Crown at 12 o'clock, two simple hands and the MIDAS designation written in Greek letters.

The King Midas is an eternal classic and the most famous person to wear a Limited Edition Rolex King Midas, as seen in Part 1 above, was Elvis Presley, also know as the King of Rock & Roll.

The side profile of the King Midas is particularly interesting. In the close-up macro shot below you really see how cool the pointed, sun-shaped winding crown looks, along withe the KING MIDAS designation.

In the next shot below you see how clean and streamlined the links are as they jut out of the body. The KING MIDAS was also the first Rolex that I know of that had a very flat back.

In the photo below, if you click on it for a bigger view, you will see how cool and beautiful the band integration design is.

In Part 3 which is named "The King's President," we will have some fun and take a look at The King with The President.