Earlier this year at Baselworld 2014, Rolex released a new iteration of the legendary Rolex Milgauss that was revived back in 2007. While we didn't feel too excited about the look of this new watch during our time in Baselworld, our feelings for it had changed since then. The new Rolex Milgauss Z Blue ref. 116400GV is definitely better appreciated under natural light and one good picture is worth a thousand words. The Rolex Milgauss was originally launched in 1956 for engineers and technicians who were exposed in their work to magnetic fields which disrupt the performance of their mechanical watches. It was designed to resist strong interference of up to 1,000 gauss, hence its name. Mainly two innovations contribute to its resistance to magnetism. The first one is a shield made of ferromagnetic alloys which surrounds the movement within the Oyster case —an invention patented by Rolex in 1954— and the second one involves two of the movement’s key components, the oscillator and the escapement, which are made of innovative paramagnetic materials developed by Rolex since the 2000s. Fitted with a highly polished stainless steel case measuring 40 mm in diameter, the Milgauss feels solid and robust like a tank.
The new Rolex Milgauss Z Blue ref. 116400GV is fitted with a very interesting blue sunburst dial that gets an even more unique hue because of the green sapphire crystal fitted on the watch. The dial has the same configuration and layout as the one on the first Milgauss ref. 116400GV but without the orange markers at 9, 6 and 3 o'clock. Because of the nature of this dial and its sunburst finish, there are intense color variations depending on the lighting and the angle at which light hits the dial. One thing we can say with confidence, is that this dial is better appreciated under natural light and it is not boring at all. The orange lightning bolt-shaped seconds hand along with the orange font on the minute rail track and the 'Milgauss' writing give the dial just enough extra pop.
The Rolex Milgauss Z Blue ref. 116400GV with green crystal is equipped with the automatic Rolex calibre 3131, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. It incorporates state-of-the-art technologies patented by the brand that ensure exceptional resistance to magnetic fields. Like all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 3131 is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation reserved for high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute —COSC— tests. The movement is hermetically protected by a solid case back and a second additional anti-magnetic 'Faraday Cage' placed between the movement and the case back. The 'Faraday Cage' is laser stamped with the symbol for magnetic flux density composed of an upper case 'B' and an arrow on top of it. The Milgauss is one of the only two watches that Rolex has made with engravings on the case back, the other being the Sea-Dweller.
On the wrist, the watch wears comfortably, true to its size and heavier than an Explorer I which would be the somewhat comparable model in size —1 mm smaller at 39 mm— and design. The watch has formidable wrist presence and be prepared to be mesmerized by its beautiful Z Blue dial with its interesting color variations every time you move your wrist. This is a watch that one needs to see in person and under natural light to fully appreciate. Frankly, our live pictures of the Milgauss Z Blue under natural light might suffice.
Sticker Price $8,200 USD. For more info on Rolex click here.