During the 1950s, the United States saw a significant increase in government funding for scientific research, as well as public support for scientific projects. This can largely be attributed to the public’s awareness of the role science played in ending World War II. It was also the time the United States began a big push for space exploration. Rolex decided to take advantage of science’s growing popularity and create a luxury watch specifically for those working in science-related fields. That watch was the Milgauss. Here, we’ll provide a Rolex Milgauss review. We’ll cover key features of the Rolex Milgauss, the history of the Rolex Milgauss through the years, and notable wearers.
During this era of scientific revolution, exposure to electromagnetic waves was common for workers in power plants, medical facilities, and research labs. These workers were also dependent on highly accurate timekeeping. This particular combination presented a problem. Electromagnetic waves negatively affect the accuracy of a watch. They interfere with the alignment of the balance wheel and hairspring and in turn, precise timekeeping. The scientific community needed a timekeeping solution.
Rolex had built a reputation for creating watches specifically for professionals in an array of fields, from pilots to divers. It comes as no surprise they answered the call for scientists. To do so, they worked with the European Organization for Nuclear Research known as CERN. Together, they developed a magnetic shield that could protect the movement, and the Milgauss was born. The most notable feature of the Milgauss is its ability to withstand electromagnetic fields of up to 1000 gauss. This feature gives the watch its name. It’s the combination of the Latin word for 1000, mille, and the unit of magnetic fields, gauss.
For the next few decades, Rolex continued to refine the Milgauss. However, they ultimately discontinued the model in the late 1980s. For the next twenty years, the Milgauss disappeared from the brand’s catalog and rose in popularity in the pre-owned market. Then, in 2007, what would have been the 50th anniversary of the Milgauss, Rolex revived the model. For the occasion, they introduced three versions. One featured a white dial. One featured a black dial. Lastly, one showcased a black dial with a one-of-a-kind green-tinted sapphire crystal. The latter model is the Glace Verte Milgauss, and it’s the only Rolex model to feature this unique design. Seven years later in 2014, Rolex introduced a new blue dial “glace verte” model called Z-Blue. Since the reissue, the Milgauss has remained a permanent fixture of the Rolex catalog.
Rolex Milgauss 116400-V
Material: 904L Stainless Steel
Movement: Calibre 3131 automatic, perpetual, chronometer-certified
There are many key features of the Rolex Milgauss that set it apart from other Rolex models. The first is the dial. The orange lightning bolt second hand has become the signature feature of the Milgauss. The original model did not showcase this element. Instead, Rolex added it to the second generation model with the Reference 1019.
Another key feature of the Rolex Milgauss that distinguishes it from other models in the brand’s catalog is the crystal. The scratch-resistant green sapphire crystal is entirely unique to the Milgauss. Like the lightning bolt hand, the original model didn’t come equipped with this feature. However, since it appeared in the re-edition of the Milgauss, it has become a trademark of the collection.
At first glance, the Milgauss showcases a standard 40mm Oystersteel Oyster case. However, inside the case is a shield made of ferromagnetic alloys specifically selected by Rolex to surround and protect the perpetual, self-winding mechanical movement. The movement itself also comes equipped with innovative paramagnetic materials, including the blue Parachrom hairspring.
Though Rolex created the Milgauss for the scientific community, its design is just as attractive as its functionality. This is evident through the number of famous wearers sporting the Milgauss. The model is a favorite among countless actors, from Tom Hanks to Will Ferrell and Jake Gyllenhaal to Sylvester Stallone. Even actresses such as Jennifer Aniston appreciate the Milgauss. Musicians like Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, and the legendary Eric Clapton are just a few others with a Milgauss in their collection.
Are you an owner of a Rolex Milgauss watch? These timepieces can be valuable, even if pre-owned. If you’re interested in getting a quote on the value of your Milgauss, you can request a quote from Crown & Caliber.
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