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.

The Story of Elvis Presley's Rolex King Midas [Part 3 of 4]

The King's President

I would like to thank Graceland, The National Archives of the Untied States and The Richard Nixon Library for their kind assistance in providing the materials for this part of the story.

In Part 1 we saw that Elvis loved collecting law enforcement badges.

Today most people look up to Elvis Presley and have a great deal of respect for the man named the King of Rock & Roll, but it was not always that way. I have never seen a picture of Elvis with President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, or President Johnson. I believe this is because he was considered to be an anti-establishment rebel.

One day as the story goes, Elvis was hanging out with his pals and they started talking about how influential Elvis was and they wondered if Elvis had the power & influence to simply show up at the White House, unannounced and gain entry to the President?

The handwritten letter below, written by Elvis on the Airplane on American Airline stationary accurately illustrates they did it on a lark. You can imagine how shocked the White House security guard was when Elvis Presley showed up in person at the North Gate of the White House with his hand written letter to President Nixon.

The letters and photo below tell the whole story:

Elvis Presley's request to become a Secret Federal Agent was granted and he was issued the identification below with his badge. Reality it turns out, is stranger than fiction!!!

In part 4 which is named "The King, The Prime Minister & The President," we will take a fun trip to Graceland.

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

The King, The Prime Minister & The President

History is a strange beast and this is a fascinating story about, Elvis Presley; The Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi and U.S. President, George Bush.

Elvis is pictured below with his newborn daughter, Lisa Marie, and wife Pricilla Presley.

Elvis is pictured below with his stunningly gorgeous wife, Pricilla Presley and his adorable daughter, Lisa Marie.

Lisa Marie Presley at one point was married to The King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

The Graceland Summit

As I mentioned in Part 3, Elvis was considered a counter-culture rebel in the 1950s and was never seen in the presence of U.S. President's, Eisenhower, Kennedy or Johnson, but finally made it into the White House with President Nixon.

Elvis Presley was seemingly tolerated by the U.S. Presidency and not celebrated, but this changed when the first ever Presidential Summit was held at Graceland.

Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koisumi is a self-admitted Elvis maniac and U.S. President, George Bush decided to invite the Japanese Prime Minister to tour Graceland on June 30, 2006.

I'm Going To Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi is picture above wearing a pair of Elvis Presley's gold sunglasses.

The Japanese Prime Minister is not the only Elvis fan, U.S. President George Bush is also a huge Elvis fan and in the late 1950s in Texas, he dreamed of being Elvis when he grew up.

As a matter of fact when he was in the fourth grade, his mother, Barbara Bush had to rescue her son from the principals office because he used black charcoal to draw Elvis pork-chop sideburns on his face and disrupted his music class by performing Elvis songs for them.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichero Koizumi is a hardcore Elvis fan and he sent out the following spoken message to all Elvis fans worldwide:

"Yes, I really love Elvis. I am not fussy about genres of music, from classics to rock. Elvis has been my most favorite for a long time. My younger brother, who is also an Elvis maniac enlightened me about Elvis. He once got involved in fan club affairs as a head of local chapter in Yokohama, but I took a liking to Elvis as early as when he made his sensational debut."

"Elvis is the best and in a class by himself when he sings rock or ballads or any type of songs. I never get tired of listening no matter how many times I hear him over more than 40 years in my life. Above all, I like his songs, say, 'I Want You, I Need You, I Love You', 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'."

"When Elvis, The Concert came to Japan in Nov. 1999, I went to Tokyo Forum not to miss this once-in-my-life chance. It was so electrifying–even really touching. There has never been a superstar like Elvis before nor after Elvis. I am sure he was the greatest singer that ever lived in the 20th century.

"Since I took office (of the Prime Minister), I have been so busy that I literally have no time for sleep. On weekends, when I find time to be back (to my private) home, and can afford listening to Elvis songs after weeks long craving, certainly his voice eases-off my fatigue. These days, I feel sort of healing power from his Gospels. No doubt, Elvis' recordings are a godsend and great legacy of art from the last century. Elvis is forever and so are his songs.

"We should share this legacy with many more people, not just by fan-club people alone. Especially, younger generations now.

"Whoops! I almost forgot to say this: my birthday is January 8th, the same day of Elvis', that is what I always speak proudly of .... I have been an Elvis fan since my young days and love music from classics to rock."

Much to everybody's surprise, The Japanese Prime Minister was so excited to be at Graceland, with the Presley family, he started busting out with Elvis, Kung Fu moves.

On the same day, the President and First Lady toured the motel with the Japanese Prime Minister where American Civil Rights Leader, Martin Luther King Jr., was shot.

The three following videos are all fascinating:

Here is another great video from Graceland you can view by clicking here.

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