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Watch of the Week: Rolex Milgauss 116400

January 31, 2018

BY Paul Altieri


The primary application of the Milgauss originates from a boom in engineering in the early 1950’s.  Rolex wanted to develop a timepiece that could keep up with the growing field of engineers, power plant workers, and scientists while keeping perfect time.  The result was the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss, equipped with an Oyster case that was capable of withstanding certain levels of magnetic fields.  A unique design of the movement allowed the Milgauss to resist up to 1,000 gauss.  Rolex aptly named their newest innovative watch the Milgauss, which was derived from the French term “mille”, meaning thousand.


The Milgauss is a beautiful watch.

The Rolex Milgauss collection, despite being one of the lesser sought-after watches in the Rolex catalog, has enjoyed a long production run from 1956 to present day and has amassed a pretty impressive cult following.  Rolex collectors in-the-know appreciate the innovative technology that goes into creating the Milgauss and creates the distinct style that has spanned decades.

Rolex Milgauss 116400

The Rolex Milgauss 116400 is a watch originally created for the scientist.

The Faraday Cage on the Rolex Milgauss 116400

So, how does Rolex manage to protect the Milgauss movement from such strong magnetic fields?  By encasing it within a shield known as a “Faraday Cage”.  Ferromagnetic alloys surround the movement and repel magnetic fields, protecting the movement.  The stainless steel used on the case is also slightly thicker when compared to other Rolex sports models, further protecting the movement within.

Rolex Milgauss 116400

The Rolex Milgauss 116400 is a watch that anyone would love.

The Milgauss 116400

The newest addition to the Milgauss family is the third generation reference 116400. Released in 2007, the mens Rolex 116400 was the first update to the Milgauss line in almost 20 years.  This newest addition to the anti-magnetic line of Rolex watches boasts a 904L stainless steel finish, a folding Oysterlock clasp, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and an upgraded calibre 3131 perpetual movement.  Newer movements, such as the calibre 3131, often boast a Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring and a COSC certification.  The movement that powers the Milgauss, of course, takes advantage of the pre-mentioned Faraday Cage.

Rolex Milgauss 116400

The Milgauss looks amazing with a leather strap as it does on its original bracelet.

Rolex released two variations of the Milgauss ref. 116400, including the reference with a clear sapphire crystal and a Glace Verte reference 116400GV with a sapphire crystal in Rolex’s signature green hue.  Depending on which reference you purchase, the dial is available in either black, white, or metallic blue and is always topped by the Milgauss’ signature orange lighting bolt seconds hand.  Luminous baton hour markers circle the dial on either reference variation and emit a highly legible glow via Chromalight lume.

To the untrained eye, the Milgauss ref. 116400 can easily be mistaken as a dress reference with the lack of a rotatable timing bezel and the use of a clean, time-only dial.  But its size and practical application make the Milgauss a bonafide member of the Rolex sports watch family.  The Rolex Milgauss price varies depending on which crystal variation your purchase.  Available only in stainless steel, the ref. 116400 is an affordable option for those who are in the market for a distinct professional series Rolex watch regardless of which crystal you choose.



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