Rolex Milgauss 116400

Par Florian Matrion, le 6 janvier 2011
Milgauss 116400
Milgauss 116400
Diaporama
Rolex reissues one of its historical references: the Milgauss, an unusual model unknown to the mass market. Will this Clockwork Orange know how to strike us?  I've tested it for you. 
Exclusive! review of the Milgauss 116400. Manufacturer data, photos, editor's opinion and watch retail price on thewatchobserver.co.uk
L'avis de la rédaction
72/100
Note des internautes
78/100

Slideshow: 15 photos to see this watch from every angle

 

First contact

The Milgauss, which was re-launched in 2007 after having been discontinued 19 years ago, stands as one unusual watch in the Rolex catalogue.

At first, the overall look seems quite classical.

With its 40mm diameter, it could even be compared with an overboosted Air-King!

But when taking a closer look, the orange touch on the dial cuts with this classicism and electrifies the whole: the markers above the white gold indexes, the "Milgauss" engraving just under the "Rolex Oyster Perpetual", and, on top of it all, this lightning bolt-shaped seconds hand.

They all combine in making the Milgauss so different from any other Rolex!

 

A comfortable watch

Some people might be surprised by its weight when first wearing it.
Indeed, with its 157 grams, it weighs a little more than most of "professional" models of the brand: 134 grams for the Submariner, 138 for the Cosmograph Daytona...

This weight difference is due to the very specific manufacturing of its case, which is "double-bottomed". We'll detail this in a moment.

 

With white hands and broad white indexes that are very clearly visible on this dark background, legibility's just perfect.

In spite of this slight overweight, the watch still is very comfortable.

First of all thanks to the Oysterclap clasp, incorporating the Easylink extension system, allowing a very precise fit of the strap accordingly to the wrist's size.
And it's undeniably a very efficient, and simple operation.

Then, thanks to its 72400 strap, derived from the 72200 currently used on the latest Datejust series.
The difference with its predecessor stands in the tip links (SEL, Solid End Links), thicker and more curved.

 


The case's lugs flow together with this same feeling, and are very plummeted.
The outcome is the Milgauss sitting comfortably on the wrist.

 

Excellent legibility

Its matte charcoal grey dial is very open.
With white hands and broad white indexes that are very clearly visible on this dark background, legibility's just perfect.

Its orange lightning bolt-shaped seconds hand (as on the first Milgauss ever issued, Ref. 6541) makes this legibility even more successful.
There's no way you'll confuse it with the two other, very classic-shaped hands.

And at night, or if you're in a faintly lit nightclub or bar, the SuperLumiNova of the indexes and hands, now green-glowing, will efficiently light up your wrist.

 

Technical Breakthrough

Specially created in 1954 for scientists working in power plants and research labs, the Milgauss 6541 has been designed to cope with strong magnetic fields. 'CERN', the European Council for Nuclear Research, had specially ordered it to Rolex.

 

The orange touch on the dial cuts with this classicism and electrifies the whole, specially its lightning bolt-shaped seconds hand.

According to the DIN 8309 (Deutsche Industrie Norm – German Industry Norm), an anti-magnetic watch must resist a magnetic field of 60 gauss.

And the Milgauss - its name is derived from the French "Mille", meaning 1,000 - can indeed resist magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss!

In order to do this, Rolex has added an anti-magnetic inner casing under the caseback.

It works just like a "Faraday cage" and thus protects the movement. A Faraday cage is an
enclosure made of conducting material, which blocks out external static electric fields.

 

True to its spirit, Rolex has even pushed the limits of the anti-magnetic concept a step further by giving the Milgauss the Cal. 3131 automatic movement, C.O.S.C/SCS-certified (Swiss Calibration Service).
An upgrade of the 3130, as used on timepieces such as the Submariner (Ref. 14060M) or the Air-King (Ref. 114210), this movement comes with the Parachrom-Blu hairspring, as well as an escapement made of a special paramagnetic alloy.

 

Conclusions

With the Milgauss, Rolex has succeeded in creating a somehow confusing watch by blending its product lines' codes.
Its sports/chic and uncluttered aspect, spiced up by its almost rock'n'roll orange lightning bolt, makes it a great watch with both elegant outfits and casual wear and sportswear.
Less consensual than other Rolex classics, it draws attention.
In a nutshell, this watch doesn't fail to impress.

 

The +:

  • a multipurpose watch
  • its legibility
  • a COSC-certified, reliable movement

 

The –:

  • the polished clasp sensitive to scratches
  • the sapphire crystal without anti-reflective coating

 

Further information:

  • journalist's wrist = 17 cm
Diaporama
15 Photos pour voir cette montre sous toutes les coutures
Cliquez sur une Photo pour ouvrir le diaporama.
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Données constructeur

Marque
Modèle
Référence constructeur
Boîtier (matière)
Diamètre boîtier (hors couronne)
Diamètre boîtier (avec couronne)
Mouvement
Calibre
Base calibre
Fonctions
Verre
Capacité de la réserve de marche
Fond transparent
Entre-cornes
Longueur corne à corne
Hauteur boîtier
Etanchéité
Bracelet (matière)
Boucle (type)
Boucle (matière)
Poids total

L'avis de la rédaction 72/100

Confort / Agrément (/15)
détail Mouvement (/20)
Optimisation / Décoration du mouvement (/5) 0
Agrément de manipulation et de réglage (/5) 0
Contrôle du mouvement par la Manufacture / distinctions diverses (/3) 0
Capacité de la réserve de marche (/2) 0
Complications (/5) 0
détail Finitions (/20)
Finitions cadran (/6) 0
Finitions boîtier (/6) 0
Qualité du travail de déco° / gravure du fond de boîte (/2) 0
Qualité du verre (/4) 0
Finitions de la boucle (interne et externe) (/2) 0
détail Fonctionnalité (/20)
Lisibilité diurne (/5) 0
Lisibilité nocturne (/4) 0
Etanchéité (/3) 0
Facilité de réglage et de changement du bracelet (/4) 0
Sécurité / solidité de la boucle (/4) 0
détail Bonus (/10)
Série limitée (/3) 0
Montre fournie avec plusieurs bracelets (/2) 0
Qualité de la boîte et de la sur-boîte (/1) 0
Portabilité avec manches de chemise fermées (/2) 0
Présence de "goodies" (/1) 0
Intelligibilité du booklet (/1) 0
Rapport qualité / prix (/15)
Pour quelles occasions ? Quand la porter ?

Note des internautes 78/100

Confort / Agrément (/15)
Mouvement (/20)
Finitions (/20)
Fonctionnalité (/20)
Bonus (/10)
Rapport qualité / prix (/15)
Noter cette montre