With the boom of scientific advances in the 1950s, more and more scientists and medical professionals were exposed to high magnetic fields during the course of their workday. Since magnetic fields are detrimental to timekeeping instruments, there arose a need for antimagnetic watches within members of this particular community. Rolex answered this requirement by introducing the Milgauss watch in 1956. A gauss is the unit to measure magnetic induction and mille is the French word for one thousand, so the name Milgauss refers to the watch’s capability of resisting 1,000 gauss. To construct its antimagnetic watch, Rolex outfitted the Milgauss with a two-part shield crafted from ferromagnetic alloys with one part fixed to the movement and the other to its case. To strengthen the Rolex tool watch’s affiliation to the scientific community, the watchmaker shaped the second-hand into a lightening bolt form, which has now become a distinguishing feature of the Milgauss. Rolex produced the Milgauss for about 30 years until it was discontinued in the late 1980s.
To the surprise of many, Rolex revived the Milgauss in 2007 with a new modern interpretation of the original that is still part of the current Rolex catalog. The models in the revival collection all sport a 40mm stainless steel Oyster case with matching stainless steel Oyster bracelet and a black or white dial. On the Milgauss dials are bold orange accents including the iconic lightening bolt second-hand also in orange. The black dial Rolex Milgauss is also available with a special green sapphire crystal, dubbed the Glace Verte by the brand, lending a unique glow to the face of the watch.
Seven years after the Milgauss resurfaced onto the scene, Rolex unveiled another model in 2014 with the “Z-blue” dial. The combination of the electric blue dial, green sapphire crystal, and orange lightening bolt hand comes together for a truly unforgettable look. Like the other models in the Milgauss collection, the “Z-blue ” dial edition sports a 40mm stainless steel Oyster case presented on a stainless steel Oyster bracelet.
Even with an almost 20-year gap in production, there are plenty of different Rolex Milgauss references to choose from within its decades-long history. From vintage references like the Milgauss 1019 or Milgauss 6541 to the current ref. 116400 with the unique green crystal, there’s a wide variety of pre-owned Rolex Milgauss watches available at superb prices.