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Rolex Watches

History of Rolex Milgauss

The Rolex Milgauss was developed as an antimagnetic watch for those who worked in electronic facilities or power plants. The distinctness of the Milgauss from other Rolex watches makes it more desirable for wearers.

Rolex is the true expert when it comes to tool watches. It has produced countless timepieces specifically for sports players, professional workers, adventurers and even scientists. The Submariner, for instance, is a special tool watch designed for diving use. There are many more models that can prove Rolex’s unbeatable excellence in advancing technology to meet the specific needs of those who desire it. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss introduced in 1956 will be the center of the discussion that follows.

The Rolex Milgauss with the reference 6451 is an anti-magnetic wristwatch suitable for use in power plants, research laboratories, medical facilities and places with strong electromagnetic fields that may affect the timing of a watch. The name of Milgauss may confuse some of you since it is a combination of two words invented by none other than Rolex itself. Mil comes from the Latin word “Mille” meaning “in each thousand”, whereas “Gauss” is, as you may have known, a unit of measurement of magnetic flux density. The Rolex Milgauss was given such a unique name to denote its capability to withstand a magnetic flux density of 1,000 gauss, which is a pretty high level for a timepiece. We can conclude that Rolex is not only creative with its design and technology, but also with naming its creations.

The First Rolex Milgauss

If we look at the very first Milgauss model, it is easy to identify its resemblance to the Rolex Submariner. It comes with the similar features of an oversized bezel and watch case, the classic Twinlock crown, as well as a riveted Oyster bracelet. As of today, even though the Milgauss has only gone through two major revamps throughout its history with the Milgauss 6541 and Milgauss 1019, it has gained its unique character and look from the many configuration alterations. The Milgauss is one of the most coveted vintage models among collectors and Rolex’s fans since its production was discontinued in 1988. The fact that it had not really gained traction in the 1960s and 70s means that it is even more scarce in today’s world.

The very first model of the Rolex Milgauss was engineered with an anti-magnetic movement housed inside the Submariner case together with a soft iron dial as well as a rear disc. It is identifiable by its second hand that is designed as a lightning bolt, a feature not easily found in other classic Rolex models. The original Milgauss has a honeycomb dial accompanied by arrow-shaped markers at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock and dauphine hands. It is also equipped with a rotatable bezel, and the function where the second hand can be temporarily stopped to set the precise time. Both functions shall remain in some of the more recent Milgauss references.

The New Generation Milgauss

Rolex decided to revisit its “scientist's watch” and released three revamped versions of the Milgauss 116400 in 2007. There are some variations in the look and style of these versions. The first two come with two dial options in black or white and feature a standard sapphire crystal that is colorless. The remaining model is known as the Milgauss Anniversary Edition and is fitted with a black dial and green sapphire crystal called Glace Verte (GV). This tinted crystal is incredibly special and is not to be found in any other Rolex watches.

The new generation Milgauss 116400 also features a few new technologies and improvements. The first and foremost alteration is adding a shield made of ferromagnetic alloys handpicked by Rolex watchmakers inside the Oyster watch case. This is to surround and protect the watch movement and improve the resistance to magnetic fields with the ultimate aim to ensure precision. The second improvement is the installation of a blue Parachrom hairspring made of paramagnetic materials. The blue Parachrom hairspring is prized for being finer than a human hair, yet despite the size it is remarkable for increasing the shock resistance of the watch by up to 10 times, offering protection when the watch is accidentally dropped to hard surfaces. Of course, as a continuation of the science theme, Rolex engraves the symbol of magnetic flux density, a capital letter “B” with an arrow, in the magnetic shield underneath the Oyster case back.

Compared to the other Rolex wristwatches, the Milgauss is noticeably thicker due to the inclusion of a magnetic shield inside the watch case. Despite the thicker size, it carries the same width and weighs only 157g, making it a robust but comfortable watch to wear for everyday occasions. It is paired with an Oyster bracelet to offer multiple functional elements. The stainless steel finish is also perfect for the scientific theme and exudes an air of professionalism.

If you are into the worlds of science and discovery, then the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss is the perfect watch for you. Not only is it a qualified tool watch, but it is also a statement piece that can speak to your character.

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