|Year of production (circa)||
Original steel folding clasp
Original box & papers
Rolex Milgauss Ref. 116400 Full set
Rolex is well known for its conservative designs, but every now and then they do something a little wild. Here we have a very cool example of such an occasion.
This Rolex Milgauss Ref. 116400GV features the typical lightning bolt seconds-hand and some eye-catching orange details on the dial, including orange lume-filled markers at three, six, and nine.
This is also a “GV” reference, for “Glace Verte” or green glass. A beautiful touch of green, especially prominent when looking at the exposed side of the crystal.
The modern Milgauss is a substantial watch with quirky styling. And if that suits your style, this could be the one for you! It comes with original box and papers.
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Rolex is known to make watches for niche professionals. The Milgauss is such a watch, originally aimed at scientists, working in the presence of magnetic fields. Pretty niche, if you ask us.
Magnetism is a natural enemy of the mechanical watch movement. It can cause major disruption of time-keeping, rendering a watch useless. Rolex teamed up with CERN in the 1950’s, to create a watch that could withstand a thousand (Mille) Gauss of magnetism. The result was the Ref. 6453, launched in 1953, in a form-factor very similar to the Submariner. It featured a Farraday cage around the movement, providing the required protection. The Ref. 6453 is extremely rare, only between 80 and 200 pieces are estimated to have been made.
The range saw only three updates throughout its existence. In 1956, the Ref. 6541 was introduced. This reference came with the typifying lightning bolt seconds hand and a larger 20mm lug width. The Ref. 6541 is another exceedingly rare vintage Rolex that has appreciated into the stratosphere.
A more common and more attainable vintage Milgauss is the Ref. 1019. In appearance quite similar to other Oyster case models, but scaled up to 38mm. This size gives these vintage 1019’s a very modern stance on the wrist. They come in black and silver dial variations, with straight or lightning bolt seconds hands. A dial variant without any lume is known as the CERN dial.
The third update was launched in 2007, with the Ref. 116400. A striking, large Oyster Perpetual variant with a bright orange lightning bolt seconds hand. A green-tinted crystal was added later.
The Milgauss is one of those quirky Rolex lines that are reserved for the true aficionados. Often overlooked, but truly worthy of your attention. And the combination of scarcity and desirability have turned these into veritable collector’s items.
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