- Brand: Rolex
- Circa: 1970
- Model: King Midas
- Reference: 4344
- Calibre: 650
- Movement: Manual
- Material: 18ct yellow gold
- Features/complications: Asymmetrical case, left hand crown
- Dial: Brushed gold dial featuring applied gold mirror polished faceted hour indices at the quarters and baton hands
- Case dimensions: 28 x 27 mm
- Bracelet/strap: Integrated 18ct yellow gold 'Florentine' finish bracelet - Length 205mm
- Accessories: N/A
- Web reference: 2524
Essay: Based on the Greek Pantheon temple, the watch, of course, takes its name from King Midas in Greek Mythology, who had the ability to turn anything he touched into gold. The first model within this collection was the King Midas reference 9630, released in 1964. Living up to its name, the King Midas was, the most expensive Rolex watch available at the time and was designed by the legendary watch designer, Gérald Genta.
Crafted from blocks of 18ct white gold or 18ct yellow gold and each watch weighed between 150 and 200 grams. The winding crown was fashioned to look like the sun, while the words KING MIDAS are engraved into the case sides framing the sun-like crown.
Introduced in 1964, the first King Midas model, the reference 9630, was limited to 1,000 pieces, followed by the reference 3580 in the 1970's, which was also produced in a limited series.
The King himself, Elvis Presley, was given a yellow gold King Midas, reference 9630 after his sold-out shows at the Houston Autodrome in 1970. The watch No.343 currently resides at Graceland, on display for all to admire.
The Rolex Midas even made an appearance in a James Bond movie. During the 1974 film, The Man with the Golden Gun, the watch can be spotted on the wrist of Francisco Scaramanga – a villain played by Christopher Lee. However, it is important to point out that his Midas was a later model that belonged to the Cellini collection, rather than one of the original, limited-edition Rolex King Midas timepieces.