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Rolex Milgauss

Magnetism is the ultimate enemy of a mechanical watch movement - but luckily, Rolex has declared war on this powerful rival with the Milgauss timepiece. The robust watch from the Oyster Perpetual collection is equipped with a special protective mechanism that guarantees the precision of the movement in magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. Coincidentally enough, the solid and tasteful Milgauss is the favourite watch of scientists and engineers.

All Rolex Milgauss Watches

“Mille Gauss”

Resistance up to 1,000 gauss

Resistance up to 1,000 gauss

Magnetic fields - produced in power plants and research centres, but also by many electrical appliances of everyday life - have a negative effect on clockwork mechanisms. Even a magnetic field of just 50 to 100 gauss can impair the functionality and precision of a watch. But the work of researchers and engineers leave them exposed to much stronger magnetic fields.

Rolex developed a wristwatch that was specifically designed to meet the needs of researchers and engineers: a shield made of ferromagnetic alloys offers reliable protection against magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. The Milgauss with the Ref. 6541 first entered the market in 1954.

The name says it all: it is composed of the French word for thousand, “mille”, and the unit of measurement of a magnetic field, gauss. The watch is the result of years of research. The Rolex Milgauss is particularly popular with the staff members of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

The return of the lightning bolt hand

Since the demand for the watch was moderate at best, the production of the second Milgauss model - Ref. 1019 - was stopped in 1988. As has previously been the case, the prices for the Milgauss consequently rose to impressive heights.

In 2007, Rolex decided to bring out a new edition of the model. Staying true to the original design of 1954, Rolex equipped the Milgauss with a bold second hand shaped like a lightning bolt. Today’s Milgauss preserves the character of the collection and continues to symbolize the strength and the spirit of research. Above all, it is the high recognition value that makes the Rolex Milgauss a much-desired watch. The most recent Milgauss generation features a pragmatic component since parts of the movement are comprised of the most modern materials that withstand magnetic interference. The Parachrom hairspring, for example, is insensitive to both shock and magnetism.

Rolex Milgauss

A watch with strength and character

The Milgauss is an exceptionally robust wristwatch. It is comprised of a screw-down Oyster case made of stainless steel with a diameter of 40 millimetres. The Perpetual movement with a self-winding mechanism is protected by a magnetic shield, which is indicated on the case back by the engraved B with an arrow - the symbol for magnetic flux density. The movement is made from stainless steel 904L, as is the Oyster bracelet with the classic flat three-piece links. Stainless steel 904L is extremely hard and resistant, which is why it is a material that is primarily used in high technology, aerospace, and chemical industries.

The characteristic feature of the Milgauss - the orange second hand shaped like a lightning bolt - grants the dial its unique style and reflects the invisible strength of the watch. Currently, the Rolex Milgauss watch face (Ref. 116400) is available in white, black, and blue. The latter two are available in a combination with green sapphire crystal, which achieves a glowing effect (Ref. 116400GV). The Milgauss also offers resistance in water: all new models are waterproof to 100 metres.

Rolex Milgauss

A watch for scientists, researchers, and engineers

The Rolex Milgauss has always targeted people who, through their work, come into contact with strong magnetic fields: engineers, laboratory researchers, and - last but not least - scientists. It is not only the classic and elegant design that makes the Milgauss so exceptional, but first and foremost, it is the robustness and durability of the watch that have made it so impressively popular. Researchers who have to work with generators and heavy-current devices on an everyday basis do not prefer regularly taking off their watches - for them, the Milgauss proves to be an ideal combination of functionality, comfort, and design.

Even if the only magnetic fields one is exposed to are that of induction cookers, the stylish Milgauss never fails to impress. A Rolex watch is more than merely functional, which holds true for the Milgauss model as well. The Milgauss is known for its distinctive design and it is therefore not only scientists, but collectors and appreciators of simple elegance that enjoy this fashionable yet practical watch.

The right choice

Vintage Milgauss or the new Milgauss generation?

As with all Rolex models, the Milgauss is comprised of the highest quality materials. Consequently, the price for a new Rolex Milgauss is relatively high. The second-hand market offers attractive alternatives since all watches produced following the 2007 reintroduction of the Milgauss, are equipped with a durable chronometer movement and the resistant Parachrom hairspring. High quality at a good price: there is no need for long treasure hunts, it is not difficult to find a used Milgauss in good shape.

The search for a vintage Milgauss manufactured before the production stop in 1988 proves to be more difficult. At the time, the first Milgauss Ref. 6541 and the succeeding Ref. 1019, did not enjoy the same popularity level of a Rolex Submariner or a GMT-Master, and were thus produced in smaller numbers. Today, vintage models of the Milgauss are rare collector’s watches whose prices regularly increase from year to year.