Though all Rolex watches possess features and functions that surpass established watch quality standards, the Milgauss goes a step further with capabilities that make it a standout in the scientific community. The Milgauss was introduced in 1956 as a watch that can withstand exposure to high-level magnetic fields. In their line of work, scientists are exposed to magnetic fields of strengths that are significantly higher than those common in everyday life.
Regular mechanical watches can be compromised by magnetic fields with strengths of 50 to 100 gauss, so they would be impacted even more by magnetic fields of 1,000 gauss, which is the magnitude of magnetic fields that scientists work with on a regular basis. Rolex’s solution to this issue was the development of the Milgauss model. With “mil” coming from the French “mille” for thousand and “gauss” being a measurement unit for magnetic flux density, the model name Milgauss means “1,000 gauss,” which is the maximum magnetic field level the watch is designed to withstand.
No time was wasted to put the magnetic field resistance of this watch to the test. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s leading particle physics laboratory, was one of the first scientific authorities to confirm that the Milgauss could withstand magnetic fields up to 1,000 gauss in the 1950s. The Milgauss is still the popular watch of choice for scientists of CERN, and it has continued to set new standards with a new-generation model released in 2007 that included enhanced magnetic resistance features.
Green Sapphire Crystal - First appearing on the 2007 model, the green sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant, fade-resistant, and available exclusively on the Milgauss. The crystal’s light green hue gives the Milgauss a distinct touch with a luminescent but still legible effect around the bevelled edges, also complementing the rich colors of the dial.
Shielding System - At the foundation of the Milgauss’ fortress-level resistance to high-strength magnetic fields is its unique shielding system. This system consists of an actual shield made of ferromagnetic alloys inside the case that surrounds and protects the movement at the back of the case. A distinct feature of this shield is an engraving of the symbol for magnetic flux density: the letter B topped with a horizontal arrow. This feature is only viewable to Rolex-certified watchmakers who can access the interior of the case of the watch.
Unique Dial Features - A standout feature on the Milgauss is its orange lightning bolt shaped seconds hand that gives the watch a technically trendy effect. The dial also features blue-glowing Chromalight hour markers set in 18 carat white gold, with the GV model featuring orange Chromalight markers at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Another unique feature of the dial are the incremental seconds markings on the outer perimeter of the dial in orange on the Milgauss and orange and white on the Milgauss GV.
Oyster Bracelet - Balancing out the bold but sleek style of the Milgauss is the flat three-piece link Oyster bracelet in 904L stainless steel. The bracelet is equipped with the folding Oysterclasp and an Easylink extension feature that increases bracelet length to about 5 mm.
Calibre 3131 Movement with Paramagnetic Components - The Milgauss features a self-winding mechanical movement of Calibre 3131 with the Superlative Chronometer certification. Included in the new-generation Milgauss is the blue Parachrom hairspring that has been introduced with several other Rolex models since 2005. Ordinary mechanical watch movements have oscillator hairsprings made of ferromagnetic alloys that make them vulnerable to magnetic fields, temperature fluctuations, and shocks that can impair the watch’s time-keeping precision. To counteract this problem, Rolex designed the Parachrom hairspring to be resistant to these external elements while maintaining the brand’s unsurpassed levels of accuracy and performance. The Parachrom spring is made of very stable paramagnetic alloy comprised of niobium and zirconium, which allow it to withstand exposure to magnetic fields and maintain up to ten times more precision than regular hairsprings when subjected to shock.