WHY IS IT CALLED ROLEX MILGAUSS?
Probably one of Rolex’s quietest line of watches which, especially now it has been discontinued in 2023, the Rolex Milgauss is a unique piece with a specific function. At a first glance you may mistake it for a Rolex Datejust and no need to feel bad, they share the same oyster link bracelet and clasp, polished smooth bezel and a very similar case. The main design difference is in the movement, but unless you’re opening that up in a watch lab you won’t see it, and the dial of the milgauss as well.
The striking orange lightning bolt seconds hand with the famous greeny colour tint to the crystal are things that make this so unique. But why is it called the Rolex Milgauss and where does the name come from? Today we’re going to dive into a brief overview of the Milgauss and how it came to be what it is today.
Like many of Rolex’s pieces, they were not designed for a laugh or made on a whim sort of thing, each model was carefully thought of, designed and made for a specific purpose. That’s why Rolex are the go-to tool watch brand they are so well known for because of the in-depth research and design that goes behind each piece. Rolex already had conquered the world of dive and dress watches, with their watches coping easily at depths of over 600m below sea level and gold day-dates making an appearance on Presidents wrists, they wanted to add one more unique industry to their name.
Science. The world of science is such a broad industry, whether you work in chemical laboratories pioneering the future of healthcare or creating some of the worlds marvels of engineering, you’re likely going to be exposed to high amounts of magnetism. This is due to many of the machines used for testing elements and constructing particles or materials use powerful magnetic fields to operate them.
The enemy of a watch is a magnetic field and I'm sure you can all think why, given your Rolex watch’s movement is made out of metal, it can be magnetised which would cause it to massively lose time or even break!
So, with this in mind Rolex created a watch that would be resistant to 1000 Gauss, the measurement used for measuring the strength of a magnetic field (more specifically a unit of magnetic flux density). Given that the Rolex Milgauss is resistant to 1000 Gauss, the name ‘Milgauss’ is rather fitting as the English translation of this means ‘thousand Gauss’.
The Rolex Milgauss was introduced in the 1950s, a period marked by significant advancements in science and technology. During this era, scientists, engineers, and researchers found themselves working in environments with strong magnetic fields, which posed a considerable challenge for traditional mechanical watches.
Source : European Watch Company
Source : The Watch Box
Beyond its technical prowess, the Rolex Milgauss features a design that is both distinctive and timeless. With its clean lines, iconic lightning bolt seconds hand, and the signature orange hour markers, the Milgauss stands out in the Rolex lineup.
The watch seamlessly blends form and function, offering a perfect balance between style and utility like Rolex is known for doing. Since 2007, Rolex introduced two variations of the new Milgauss and then another two models in 2014 bringing the total to four choices.
The first two models released, reference 116400, featured either a black or white dial with orange hour dots around the markers and an orange lightning bolt. With Milgauss written in bold orange on the dial it is hard to mistake it for anything else.
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The Z-blue dial Milgauss is arguably the model that everyone thinks of when they think of the Rolex Milgauss. This Milgauss variation is much more recognizable with its unique green hue colour running around the edge of the sapphire crystal. The striking sunburst blue and teal dial is a colour Rolex has only ever made for the Milgauss so this model definitely has something special about it.
Source : Monochrome
The evolution of the Rolex Milgauss
Source : Petite Genve Petrovic
With a very similar design case and bracelet wise to the much loved Datejust 41mm, the Milgauss has a 40mm case size so benign a tiny bit more compact, it really has that elegant dress watch appearance to it. Whilst the Datejust has the most colour options when it comes to the dials, if you are looking for something rarely produced and seen on wrists, the Rolex Milgauss is your choice.
The final model they made was the model seen above, very similar to the Z-blue in terms of the crystal, by the black and greyish smoked dial with pale orange hour markers, this watch is a more subtle version of the Z-blue model whilst still benign equally as unique and stunning. This particular model is ideal if you want a mix of bold colour and classical timeless looks, with its heritage deeply rooted in the world of science, this Milgauss is an incredibly versatile watch to wear.
The Rolex Milgauss is not just a timepiece; it is a testament to Rolex's commitment to meeting the specific needs of professionals working in challenging environments. Whilst it may only have four models to choose from within the Rolex Milgauss line up, each one of them has a special and unique dial to them. Dressing up or down, it doesn't matter as the elegant Datejust-esque case is perfect for being worn with a lab coat or suit. For a bit of fun, a ZEALANDE rubber strap not only makes your watch feel great on your wrist thanks to the durable yet subtle material, it can really bring out the fantastic colours of the Milgauss! Let yourself be tempted by one of our rubber straps for the Rolex Milgauss.