The True Story of the Rolex King Midas: A Legend in Watchmaking History

The True Story of the rolex King Midas: A Legend in Watchmaking History


For many watch enthusiasts, rolex is the epitome of luxury and status. The brand has created many iconic timepieces over the years, but few hold as much mystique as the rolex King Midas. This unique timepiece is shrouded in legend and controversy, but few people know the true story behind its creation.

The Origins of the Rolex King Midas

In the early 1970s, Rolex was looking for a way to diversify its product line and appeal to a younger, more fashion-conscious audience. The company turned to Gérald Genta, a renowned watch designer who had previously created iconic watches for brands like Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe.

Genta rose to the challenge and created a series of innovative designs for Rolex, including the Oysterquartz and the Sea-Dweller 4000. However, his most unusual creation was the King Midas.

The Design of the Rolex King Midas

The King Midas was unlike any watch that Rolex had ever produced. It featured a rectangular case with distinctive gold spikes protruding from the edges. The dial was equally unconventional, with a sunburst pattern and a mix of Roman and Arabic numerals.

The King Midas was a bold statement piece that challenged conventional notions of what a luxury watch should look like. It quickly became a best-seller and a status symbol for the fashion-forward crowd.

The Controversy Surrounding the Rolex King Midas

Despite its popularity, the King Midas was not without its detractors. Some critics felt that the watch was too ostentatious and garish, and that it did not meet Rolex’s usual standards of elegance and understated luxury.

Additionally, there were rumors that the King Midas was not a real Rolex at all, but rather a knockoff made by a Rolex employee who had stolen the designs. There was even speculation that the name “King Midas” was a nod to the story of the ancient Greek king who famously turned everything he touched into gold.

The Legacy of the Rolex King Midas

Despite the controversy, the King Midas remains a coveted icon of vintage watchmaking. Its unique design and cultural significance have made it a valuable collectible, with some examples fetching up to six figures at auction.

Furthermore, the influence of the King Midas can be seen in many contemporary luxury watches that incorporate bold designs and unconventional materials. It has earned its place in the annals of watchmaking history as a testament to the daring and innovative spirit of Rolex and Gérald Genta.


The Rolex King Midas is a timepiece that defies easy categorization. It is both a cultural artifact and a study in design innovation, and its story is a testament to the power of creativity and boldness in the world of luxury watches. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that the King Midas has earned its place in the pantheon of legendary timepieces.

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