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A thousand Gauss

The Rolex Milgauss

From the French word for thousand (mille) and the unit of measurement for magnetism (gauss) Rolex created the first ever watch to be resistant to magnetic fields up to 1.000 gauss. The Milgauss was introduced back in 1956 and is a special Oyster watch in the Rolex collection. The watch is water-resistant to 10 bar (100 meters) because of the screw-down case back and the Twinlock crown, as can be found on the Explorer (II) and GMT-Master (II).

Sporty & Elegance since 1956

The history of the Rolex Milgauss

Started out back in 1956, the Rolex Milgauss was the first ever wristwatch to handle magnetic fields up to 1.000 gauss. It has a sporty but elegant look and is available solely in 40mm stainless-steel. One thing that really stands out from the Milgauss is the orange lightning-bolt-shaped second hand or the ‘Milgauss’ inscription and minute scale around the edge of the dial. The green-tinted sapphire crystal is unique and another cool feature on the Rolex Milgauss.

Just like other watches from the Rolex collection, the four-digit reference numbers are popular and hard to find. When it comes to a Datejust or Day-Date it’s a bit easier, but the reference 6541 Rolex Milgauss is the very first to be produced and was designed for scientists and other professionals working with magnetic fields. The strength of magnetic fields is measured in ‘gauss’, named after Carl Friedrich Gauss, who was a mathematician. The production of the well-known Rolex Milgauss started in 1956, stopped in 1988 but began back in 2007.

Magnetic Fields

The effects of magnetism on movements

Magnetic fields can be of danger for watches, because these fields pose a danger for the accuracy of the wristwatches. Even everyday use can cause a little deviation. You don’t have to be a scientist or a professional working with magnetic fields to be surrounded with these fields: even speakers, garage doors or electric motors contain these magnetic fields. One of the most important features on the Rolex watches is the Parachrom balance spring. 

The manufacturer introduced this feature back in 2005 after developing it for almost five years. Another thing that is preventing the magnetic fields to disturb the accuracy of the Rolex Milgauss is the inner metal case on the watch. It surrounds and protects the inner movement of the vintage and pre-owned Rolex Milgauss.

Three options

Milgauss dials

The Rolex Milgauss is available in three different colorways for the dial. These watches can be found on Wristler with a white, black or blue dial. All of the hour indices are orange on the white dial, while the black dial only has orange indices on the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The blue dial only features white indices.

Pricing of the Rolex Milgauss

If you’re in the market for a new, vintage or pre-owned Rolex Milgauss you need to pay around €10.000 to €50.000 for a well-maintained Rolex Milgauss on Wristler. The reason why these prices are so different, is because of the reference numbers. For example, the 116400GV with a Z-blue dial will cost you around €10.000 or €11.000 for a pre-owned piece. The reason why there is a ‘GV’ in its reference number, is because the sapphire crystal is green and in French it’s called ‘Glace Verte’. If you don’t want the green sapphire on your Rolex Milgauss, you can look for the reference 116400 and it will cost you around €10.000 as well.

The earlier models, like the ref 6541 is once sold at an auction for over €150.000 which means the potential of investing in a Rolex Milgauss is really popular. In the last couple of years we’ve seen that a lot of collectors are buying a Rolex Milgauss as an investment for the future. The other special Rolex Milgauss is the CERN-dial (European Organization for Nuclear Research) which is very limited and prices around €26.000 for the silver dial, while the black dial costs €32.000. 

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