I must declare upfront that I do not work as a scientist. Therefore, the chances that I will ever need a tool watch which could withstand intense magnetic fields is near zero. Nevertheless, I’m a techno geek and a watch nerd. The idea it’s possible to unite anti-magnetic properties into a watch intrigues me immensely (Anti-magnetic watches are defined as watches which could still function in highly magnetized environment). This version is under Rolex’s professional show but is the only one dedicated to scientists.The original Milgauss was introduced by Rolex back in 1954 to help scientists operate in the highly magnetic charge research environment of CERN (it was postulate that it was CERN that asked Rolex to come out using the Milgauss but it has not yet been proven. By now you’d realised that the need to possess this type of watch. You also don’t need to understand a lot about the internal workings of a mechanical watch to realize that a magnetic field is one of its sworn enemies. Therefore, in situations where the watch is exposed to a magnetic field, elements of this watch may be magnetized and thus be disrupted. For scientist that the inability to quantify something to the appropriate time is unthinkable.Nevertheless, the Milgauss which incidentally (in the French “mille” and Gauss, thus immune to 1000 Gauss) is immune to magnetism only to a particular limit. It is worth noting that present MRI systems start at 3000 Gauss and can go up to 50,000 Gauss, well above its capabilities. If in doubt, take you off watch.
The newest term in the dictionary of obscure Rolex vocabulary is “Z blue.” Hidden among the buzz of the new Sea-Dweller and the white gold GMT-Master II, Rolex quietly added a new dial color for the estranged cousin within the Oyster line up, the Milgauss, with the new 2014 Rolex Milgauss Z Blue Dial 116400GV watch. The Milgauss name has been around since 1956 and the current version (ref 116400) was released in 2007. Sporting magnetic interference resistance up to 1000 gauss, the Milgauss was originally designed for engineers, technicians and scientists.
Despite this niche crowd, the Milgauss has found a lasting audience thanks to its good looks and, at least within the context of Rolex, quirky styling. For Baselworld 2014, Rolex added this latest iteration that features an electric blue dial, aka “Z blue.” What is “Z blue?” It is essentially a new metallic blue watch face for the Milgauss under the line’s iconic green tinted sapphire crystal.
All current Milgauss models are based around 40mm steel Oyster cases and offer 100M water resistance thanks to the Twinlock crown system. The new blue dial version includes the distinctive green-tinted crystal, bright orange Arabic minute track and signature Milgauss lightning bolt seconds hand. It joins both white and black versions without the green crystal and is basically identical to the black version with the green sapphire, save for the blue dial.
The movement is the same Rolex calibre 3131, a COSC certified movement running at 4 Hz with a parachrom hairspring, paramagnetic nickel-phosphorous escape wheel and a power reserve of 48 hours. The Milgauss also comes fitted to an Oyster bracelet with the easy link extension system that allows for simple and tool-free micro adjustment.
The (Z) blue dial looks great and offers a completely separate and bright appeal compared to the black and white versions. The dial has a brushed metallic finish and works well with the orange accents and white gold markers and hands. The 40mm wide sizing feels great and the bracelet ensures the Rolex Milgauss Z Blue Dial 116400GV will be versatile enough for everyday wear.
We also like that the Rolex Milgauss Z Blue Dial 116400GV isn’t an instant crowd pleaser. At first the combination of blue, green, and orange colors feels random, and the lightning bolt seconds hand feels out of place for Rolex. After a while it starts to grow on you as the odd Rolex out – which is often a good thing – and the timepiece’s legibility and entertaining colors win you over.
With a list price of 7,800 CHF , this new Z blue dial on the Rolex Milgauss 116400GV is a welcome addition to the Milgauss line up. The Milgauss is a strange watch, sporty yet refined while being wholly distinctive among its siblings at your local Rolex dealer. Perhaps more than anything else, this new blue dial version improves on the Milgauss’ core strength – standing out in a sea of Submariners. rolex.com