In our day and age, we are absolutely surrounded by technology: laptops, phones, lavishly equipped cars... Even the pencil that many of us use contains fine electronics these days. First launched in 1956 and specially designed to resist the negative impacts of powerful magnetic fields, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss merges watchmaking know-how with high-tech engineering challenges.
With our greater-than-ever exposure to all things electronic, the Milgauss is another piece in the stable of Rolex watches that has gained tremendously in its relevancy over 60-plus years of its existence. Its tirelessly refined and yet-further developed design turned it into the watch as we know it today: a 40-millimeter-wide watch presented exclusively in Rolex Oystersteel and offered with two dial options: black or, as we see it here, Z-blue. The name "Milgauss" stands for "Thousand Gauss," aptly referring to the magnetic resistance of this special piece among Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches.
What renders the Milgauss truly special – beyond its cool looks that we shall discuss soon – is its world-first construction for a wrist watch: a shield inside its Oyster case. Crafted from ferromagnetic alloys selected by Rolex, this shield surrounds and protects the movement from magnetic fields. It even has the capital letter 'B' with an arrow engraved into it, the symbol for magnetic flux density;although only Rolex-certified watchmakers will ever get to see this neat detail.
The Milgauss' distinctive appearance is a result of multiple factors: its green tinted sapphire crystal marked a first in watchmaking when Rolex introduced it in 2007 on the Milgauss. Now, this unique-looking crystal is combined with an electric blue dial officially called Z-blue. The dial's base color was developed specifically to work in harmony with the Milgauss' green crystal and indeed it does: based on lighting conditions, at times you'll distinctly see the crystal's green hue while at other times your eyes will focus on the Z-blue dial with the crystal appearing perfectly transparent, as though it wasn't even there.
The remarkable versatility of the Milgauss doesn't end there: its science-inspired, clean, high-tech looks are further emphasized by its orange minute scale around the periphery of the dial, the orange Milgauss text and, perhaps most prominently, its orange lightning bolt center-mounted seconds hand.
Perfectly legible under all conditions, the large, 18ct white gold hand and 18ct white gold appliques of the dial make for a remarkably easy reading of the time, while the Chromalight display lights up the hands and indices at night with long-lasting, blue luminescence – a spectacular detail that shines in a different light with the green crystal. Powered by the Rolex Manufacture Caliber 3131 with a power reserve of approximately 48 hours and an outstanding accuracy rating within -2/+2 seconds per day, secured by a 100-meter water resistance rating and the Rolex Twinlock crown and its double waterproofness system. Fitted to a three-piece, flat-link Oyster bracelet with an Easylink 5mm comfort extension link, it is sublimely comfortable to wear.
In essence, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss is one truly unique watch both for its origins and original intended purpose as well as for its outstanding aesthetic that adds a special flair to the well-known and much-loved Oyster Perpetual range.