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Old 24 February 2008, 06:54 AM   #1
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The Rolex Milgauss

Originally introduced in 1954 for people who worked around strong magnetic fields such as power plant workers, hospital employees, and research laboratories.

Current production models, using Faraday Cage construction, are good for work around 1,000 Gauss

Milgauss Reference Numbers: 6451, 1019, 116400

Date of production: 1954 to ~1986, 2007 to current

Movements: 1019 -1580 & 116400 - 3131

Case size: 1019-38mm; 116400 - 40mm

Weight: 116400 - 154 grams

Power Reserve: ~44 hours

Photographs:

Dial. Matt Black
(Photos courtesy of Mike)




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Last edited by Tools; 23 April 2010 at 01:18 PM.. Reason: Contributions: Mike
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Old 26 May 2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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Please allow me to qoute this nice overview over the history of the Milgauss watches, posted by Mike on 2008-05-25:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike View Post
(...)

I'm certainly no expert on the Milgauss and will quickly defer to those who have done more research in the reference than I have. I did a bit of reading/research on the reference prior to getting mine.

Any discussion on the Milgauss must include the relationship between CERN--Counseil European pour la Recherche Nuclearire--a French concern based outside Geneva that controlls the world's largest cyclotron.

Born circa 1954 circumstantial evidence seems to find that CERN approached Rolex to create an anti-magnetic watch for use in it's enviornment.

The watch was to be used by scientists in magnetic fields and at least initially was not designed for public release.

It appears there were various incantations of the reference 6541 as Rolex refined the model with functions seemingly borrowed from the Submariner side of the house. This seems logical as this was the time Rolex was really getting into the "tool watch" business.

Never a popular model when finally released to the public the Milgauss now rests with the grails such as the Mil Sub and others.



PHOTO CREDIT BJSONLINE

Interestingly a much rarer model of the Milgauss than the 6541 exists, the reference 6543.

While the 6541 was anti-magnetic the 6543 was amagnetic. James Dowling indicates this was done by creating an escapement made from materials unaffected by magnetism and therefor rendering part of the farady cage in the Milgauss unnecessary. Estimates place the number of 6543s in existence at about 80. (CREDIT JAMES DOWLING)

In the 60s Rolex created another version of the Milgauss, the reference 1019.
The model used a 15xx movement and could be had in a couple of dial configurations including one called the CERN dial that was void of any luminous material. This was done, so they say, because CERN scientists working with the smallest particles of radiation could not have ANY radiation emitting from their watches. Estimates place the CERN version at around 5oo examples and information exists that the dial was at least an option to the general public. (though how well known an option I haven't a clue)

CERN DIAL 1019--CREDIT KEVIN O



That Rolex chose to release a modern version of the Milgauss I think speaks to the regard the reference is held in by the vintage community.



Hope this helps a little.
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Old 26 May 2008, 01:35 PM   #3
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Excellent thread, thanks guys, i have a question regarding Gauss, and tesla, whats the difference in measurment, and what numerical value makes the two equivilent, ?
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Old 26 May 2008, 02:19 PM   #4
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I believe 1 Tesla is 10,000 Gauss
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Old 26 May 2008, 02:45 PM   #5
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I believe 1 Tesla is 10,000 Gauss
Ahh, thanks, it came up in a recent thread. They made a amagnetic watch before, why did they not do this for the new release?
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Old 26 May 2008, 11:05 PM   #6
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As an interesting sidenote, the ONLY current Rolex watch that does not sport the laser etched coronet ("LEC") in the crystal is the Milgauss GV (green edged crystal):


(From a German watch forum. Pic originally posted by Jocke).
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Old 6 July 2008, 08:58 PM   #7
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Newbie here



My dad has this watch, any idea how much it is worth? Im not sure if its this exact dial, or a normal white face though.
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Old 8 July 2008, 08:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommasi View Post
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...19_cern_01.jpg

My dad has this watch, any idea how much it is worth? Im not sure if its this exact dial, or a normal white face though.
That appears to be a CERN dial. If all correct a bit rare. Check the above post on the history of the Milgauss.
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Old 9 July 2008, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommasi View Post
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...19_cern_01.jpg

My dad has this watch, any idea how much it is worth? Im not sure if its this exact dial, or a normal white face though.
That is a nice Gauss!
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Old 22 July 2008, 02:31 PM   #10
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Thanks for this review. About to buy a Milgauss and this really helped.
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Old 26 July 2008, 01:46 AM   #11
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Nice report Everyone!!!
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Old 23 September 2008, 07:16 AM   #12
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You know I've wondered about the millgaus for a while. Doesn't the use of a parachrome hairspring and 904L kinda make the milgauss kinda, well redundant? The hairspring is really the only bit on a conventional watch that could be screwed up by magnetism. Parachrom kinda takes that out of the equation. All of the leaves and pinions are brass, pivots and bridges are steel though (still not enough for magnetism to cause a malfunction).
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Old 20 February 2009, 07:11 AM   #13
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does anyone know if the original GV's had the coronet engraving at 6pm? or sorry were at least attempted by rolex?

does anyone know why can it not be done?
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Old 9 March 2009, 01:21 PM   #14
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this review might just make me want to go out to get the GV.
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Old 9 March 2009, 06:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by hflee55 View Post
this review might just make me want to go out to get the GV.
It's not really going to resist anything magnetic in a hospital, to be quite honest. Resisting 1000 gauss is nothing when you look at modern medical equipment. That would be like having a watch that was waterproof to one foot for one second, and going for a swim in the ocean.
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Old 10 March 2009, 01:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spare201 View Post
You know I've wondered about the millgaus for a while. Doesn't the use of a parachrome hairspring and 904L kinda make the milgauss kinda, well redundant? The hairspring is really the only bit on a conventional watch that could be screwed up by magnetism. Parachrom kinda takes that out of the equation. All of the leaves and pinions are brass, pivots and bridges are steel though (still not enough for magnetism to cause a malfunction).
That's not true. The rest of the movement can get magnetic and this will cause the watch to malfunction. Like the pallet fork and the escape wheel which are made out of steel too.
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Old 10 March 2009, 07:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanessa View Post
That's not true. The rest of the movement can get magnetic and this will cause the watch to malfunction. Like the pallet fork and the escape wheel which are made out of steel too.
The mainspring can also get magnetized which will cause erratic power applied to the gear-train...
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Old 10 March 2009, 07:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
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anybody know how much the original ones are worth?
I've seen quotes all over the place.

Mine was passed down from grandfather->father->me, and when I received it in the mid 90s, went straight for a valuation (for insurance purposes). Came in at around 2k.

Then chatting to a watchmaker on a motoring forum about 18months back, I was informed that it was worth more like 20k.

A few weeks back I read that its more like 30k. But I'm sure I've seen mentions on here and elsewhere that it could be worth considerably more.

Which is somewhat of an indecent proposal.
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Old 2 April 2009, 08:16 AM   #19
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The milguass was a total flop once it was released, it drove down production numbers and became the rare item because it was intially rejected. Upon the release i only wonder if the white face less fancy onces will repeat the patern. I have watched them do nothing but fall in price as time goes on, they were a dealer to dealer item and expected to be really rear but there wasnt any total production numbers given and now they are everywhere, here in los angeles they are at almost every dealers booth. I think people want to replicate the rareness of the older one but its sad its gonna be a long time comming in my humble opinnion. The old ones are the most collected and saught after rolex of all time bring extremely high prices considering the orginiall retail cost.
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Old 16 April 2009, 11:57 PM   #20
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The old ones are the most collected and saught after rolex of all time bring extremely high prices considering the orginiall retail cost.
Do you have any details of what sort of prices original Milgauss have gone for over the last few years?

I'm definitely having mixed feelings on mine. I do love the feel of it, and the emotional value is absolutely huge, but there's a varying element within me that considers selling it on, and possibly buying a recent model milgauss (or other rolex) as a replacement.
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Old 17 April 2009, 06:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clonmult View Post
Do you have any details of what sort of prices original Milgauss have gone for over the last few years?

I'm definitely having mixed feelings on mine. I do love the feel of it, and the emotional value is absolutely huge, but there's a varying element within me that considers selling it on, and possibly buying a recent model milgauss (or other rolex) as a replacement.
The original 6541 Milgauss is a rare beast indeed and will command 50,000+ depending on condition.

It's an auction house piece if you care to sell it.
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Old 17 April 2009, 07:41 AM   #22
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Good review. Thanks.
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Old 17 April 2009, 08:01 PM   #23
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The original 6541 Milgauss is a rare beast indeed and will command 50,000+ depending on condition.

It's an auction house piece if you care to sell it.
Thats what I was told by a watchmaker last night. Mild surprise, as the first valuation I had on it circa 15 years ago, it was around 2k. Then 18 months ago it had gone up in value to about 20k.

And now 50k.

Ouch. And double ouch.
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Old 29 April 2009, 10:20 AM   #24
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Thanks for the knowledge
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Old 29 April 2009, 07:12 PM   #25
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I should have added - that was for insurance valuation purposes, it probably has little direct bearing on a possible sales value.
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Old 1 May 2009, 03:48 AM   #26
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Thanks for the info guys, very interesting

Do you have a photo of yours Clonmult
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Old 2 May 2009, 12:42 AM   #27
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Thanks for the info guys, very interesting

Do you have a photo of yours Clonmult
'tis on another thread :

http://www.rolexforums.com/showpost....38&postcount=4

Lovely watch. Truly.
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Old 2 May 2009, 06:57 AM   #28
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'tis on another thread :

http://www.rolexforums.com/showpost....38&postcount=4

Lovely watch. Truly.
Wow, it truley is a lovely watch, can't see myself ever finding one of those, but one never knows, never thought I would own an early sub but now do, so anything is possible, that has just gone to the top of my most wanted list (hope thats ok, I pinched the image)
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Old 2 May 2009, 11:30 AM   #29
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That milgauss has gone through some beatings from the picture. A biography of this watch should be written out. It must be full of interesting stories.
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Old 2 May 2009, 11:42 AM   #30
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does anyone know if the original GV's had the coronet engraving at 6pm? or sorry were at least attempted by rolex?

does anyone know why can it not be done?

this link will answer at least one of your questions...

quote from the link below: "It is worth noting that the Milgauss GV does NOT sport the laser etched coronet at 6 in the crystal... It has been said that the laser etched coronet would be too obvious due to the green edged crystal. Other reports state that the laser etched coronet would simply be distorted due to the green crystal. The other two Milgauss models (both named "116400", too, but without the GV nomenclature) both sport the laser etched coronet:"


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