After years of speculation, the day has finally come. Rolex has discontinued the Milgauss.
The watch-collecting community has been expecting Rolex to significantly upgrade the Milgauss for a while now, whether it be a complete overhaul to improve its anti-magnetism or retiring the famous scientist’s watch altogether. The time has finally come at Watches & Wonders, 2023.
Rolex discontinued the clear sapphire crystal editions of the ref. 116400 a while ago. Today, the polarizing Z-blue and black dial variations fixed with green sapphire crystals have also been removed from the Rolex website.
Why has the Milgauss fallen behind?
When the Milgauss debuted in the 1950s, it featured anti-magnetism up to 1,000 gauss, hence the name “Milgauss.” And while its signature soft iron Faraday inner cage was an innovation when it hit the market in the 1950s, it has since been deemed obsolete as improved materials and watchmaking techniques emerge. One such example is the Omega Aqua Terra, which boasts a watch antimagnetic up to 15,000 gauss. However, while the Milgauss relies on a Faraday cage to protect the movement, the Aqua Terra >15,000 model uses only nonferrous components to keep perfect time in high magnetic environments. In that regard, Rolex has seemingly made no attempt to keep up with that side of the industry. It seems only fitting that the Milgauss bow out gracefully to make room for other innovations within the Rolex catalog.
Is the Milgauss really gone for good, though? Rolex has previously shelved the collection, only to bring it back in 2007 via ref. 116400. It isn’t very likely, but not entirely out of the realm of Rolex possibilities. Maybe we’ll see a 70th-anniversary model in 2026.
For now, we’ll focus on all the newest Rolex offerings in 2023. Check the Everest Journal regularly to keep tabs on all the latest Watches & Wonders news.