Although Everest only offers tailor-made straps for the current Milgauss (Ref. 116400), we can’t just skip over the watch’s history. The name Milgauss refers to the watch’s resistance up to one thousand gauss, or ‘mille gauss’ in French. Gauss is a unit of magnetism, and 1000 is a lot. For reference, the pull of a fridge magnet is around 50 gauss. The Rolex Milgauss was purpose-built for engineers and physicists. The first production model was distributed to scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Particle physics labs contain high levels of magnetism; CERN was the perfect partner. The Rolex Milgauss, like most Rolex watches, is a purpose-built tool. While most modern watches feature ample anti-magnetism via silicon movement components (i.e. the balance spring), the Rolex Milgauss led the way of anti-magnetic watches in the 1950’s.
The first production Milgauss, reference 6451, was essentially a modified Submariner. You could get it with or without a rotating bezel, but the lightning bolt second hand was a non-negotiable. It was a cool watch, but unless you were a particle physicist, it wasn’t a go-to option for most people. In 1960, Rolex decided to refine the Milgauss with the reference 1019. This model is closer to what we see today (an Oyster Perpetual), but far more understated. The 1019 came on a steel bracelet with your choice of a black or white dial. They also got rid of the lightning bolt second hand, replacing it with a traditional stick hand. Again, nothing crazy compared to the rest of their catalog. The Milgauss was discontinued in 1988.
In 2007, Rolex released the modern Milgauss (Ref. 116400). This new reference offered green-tinted sapphire crystal, a black or white dial, and a bright orange lightning bolt for a second hand. Over the years, Rolex phased out the white dial and the clear sapphire. They brought in the distinct sunburst 'Z-Blue' dial in 2014. This new reference is the best of all worlds: the distinct second hand of the 6451, the refined silhouette of the 1019, and a modern twist on the color scheme. The green sapphire gives a unique look, and pays homage to Rolex’s signature color. Of course, this new model still has resistance up to 1000 gauss. Rolex hit the nail on the head with this new Milgauss. They perfectly encapsulated the watch’s history, but positioned it as its own unique product. The design language might be polarizing, but it's meaningful. The Milgauss has a rich history, and the 116400 is somewhat of a definitive reference.
Being a characteristically unique product, the Rolex Milgauss welcomes customization. The easiest (and most financially responsible) way to customize a watch is changing out the strap. Because the Milgauss has more color than other Rolex models, it presents a unique opportunity to match or contrast with your watch strap. Everest’s Curved End rubber straps are tailor fit to the dimensions of the Rolex Milgauss (Ref. 116400), seamlessly hugging the case and lugs. They’re offered in black, green, and orange, allowing you to accentuate the colors of your Milgauss. Rubber excels as a strong, lightweight, waterproof strap material (just make sure your watch is waterproof too). Rubber isn’t just practical, it’s one of the most comfortable materials for a watch strap. If you like the sporty look, rubber is a great everyday option. It’s a welcome addition to any strap collection. If you’re looking for a new strap for your Rolex Milgauss (Ref. 116400), Everest bands are your best bet.