Electromagnetic fields are trouble for the accuracy of a watch, even for a Rolex Watch. This is a problem, but it was especially so for people working in power plants and research labs in the 1950's. In order to offer a solution to this problem, Rolex designed the Milgauss Ref. 6541 in 1954. Anti-magnetic alloys and an iron shield protected the watch from harm. The name comes from the watch’s magnetic intensity rating of 1000 oersted. The French word for one thousand is mille, and gauss is the unit of magnetic flux density. The first model was very similar to a Submariner in its oversized case and bezel, Twinlock crown, and riveted Oyster bracelet. Over time, however, the style morphed into the one with which we are familiar today. A few notable changes occurred in the second model (Ref. 1019). First, the hands were changed from the original leaf shape to the “Mercedes style” and lightning bolt second hand. Secondly, a plain smooth finished bezel replaced the Submariner-style numbered bezel of the previous model. In 1988, the Milgauss was discontinued altogether, but then reemerged in 2007 as Ref. 116400. This model comes in three versions: the Anniversary Edition or GV (Glace Verte), the black dial version, and the white dial version. All three can be seen below.
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