In 1956, Rolex introduced reference number 6451, which became famous under the name “Milgauss”. The watch had a special purpose: the facilitate people who are working in areas where electromagnetic fields can do harm to the timing of a wristwatch. The Milgauss was fully designed as a antimagnetic watch, capable to withstand a magnetic flux density of 1000 gauss (hence the name).
The Milgauss led a rather anonymous life in the seventies and eighties, not really on the radar of collectors and buyers. In 1988, Rolex ceased production. As a side-effect, the low sales figures made the watch rare and interest grew from watch afficionados.
In 2007, after almost two decades of absence, Rolex brought the Milgauss back in production: reference number 116400 is now available in three versions:white dial or black dial with a standard sapphire crystal, and the GV (Glace Verte) or “Anniversary” model, with black dial of a slightly different design and a green-tinted sapphire crystal. The GV is still in production, and demand is high.
The Milgauss, starting life in the fifties as a not-so visible part of the Rolex family, has earned its place as a special-purpose watch, beautiful by its simplicity and quality. And hey, If Bond is wearing one, it should be good!