On the 10th of August, I wrote this post about the (new) Rolex Milgauss ref.116400, almost a year after its introduction during Basel 2007 (which I covered here). The post wasn’t very positive, because it seemed to me that the Milgauss wasn’t the immediate hit Rolex had hoped for. However, fast forward to 2009, it seems that the hype regains a bit. The availability of the Milgauss improved (you can even find the green sapphire version quite easily) and the prices dropped to an interesting level.

My watch friend John Chan has traded his Date-Just for a Milgauss (black dial) and after trying his and one at the airport, the watch doesn’t let me go. Last week, I ran into JK, owner of JKWatchStore.nl, and he showed me the Milgauss on his wrist. He had never been more enthusiastic about a time piece. Almost all sponsors / advertisers of this blog who sell Rolex or used watches, have one in stock at the moment. The price for a non-green sapphire model is approx 3500 euro. In the near future, I want to write a review on the green sapphire model, which I am hopefully able to borrow for a day or so.

To be honest, one of the nicest Rolex models in my opinion is the Explorer. I bought one for my girlfriend last year, which I documented on the Rolex forum of my friendly neighbours in Germany, you can view the pictorial by clicking here. However, at 36mm, this watch is simply too small for me. Although I don’t mind wearing smaller watches, this one is simply looking awkward on my wrist.

You might also like  Watches & Pencils #11 – Submariner: Name & Typography

Picture by Pelue. You will find the most interesting Explorer pictorial here on the R-L-X forum. Coverage on both new & vintage Rolex Explorer watches.

Anyhows, I am drifting off again, the Milgauss seems to be (after a second try and thought) a perfect alternative for the Explorer. The dial of the Explorer is not as clean as the Milgauss dial, but it doesn’t get ‘broken’ by a date window and the smooth bezel gives the watch a ‘quiet’ and understated look. Almost sophisticated.

At first I was afraid the second hand would bore me, although I liked the idea from the start, but I don’t think it will hold me back from buying one in the future. I can always have it removed by my watchmaker anyway 🙂 The next picture is taken by R-L-X member Tony, and he wrote an interesting review on the Milgauss including a lot of history on this anti-magnetic predecessors.

Besides the refreshing look of the Milgauss, the watch also features a great bracelet. Even though I like the – often called – flimsy bracelet that Rolex used (and still does on some models), the slight adjustments that Rolex introduced are very refined. This 40 mm watch also feature the Rolex movement caliber 3131 with the new Parachrom hairspring which J.Peter of watchmaking blog Tick Talk has covered already.

Photo by Hugo @ R-l-X

Although my next time piece isn’t going to be a Milgauss, my next Rolex will probably be one. It is a great alternative for the Explorer to me (the Explorer II is more or less the same as my GMT-Master II ref.16710, dial and case-wise), and offers a lot of bang for the buck. Especially when buying a young occasion or new at one of the advertisers of FratelloWatches. However, I am afraid it is not going to happen this year…

You might also like  Vintage Tudor Submariners: 94110 Snowflake and 94010 Lollipop

Have a nice weekend all!

Robert-Jan Broer
Follow me

Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
Follow me
  • Evert

    RJ, I met JK a few days ago and he is a great ambassador for the Milgauss indeed. I haven’t been very positive about it for 2 years but I’m warming up for the black version. I think it’s the most balanced one of the 3 models. Still I’ll stick to my guns for the green and white versions. But with the 41 mm DJ’s hitting the stores shortly, I think the urge to buy any of the 3 Milgauss’ will fade away again.

  • Evert, the black version is the one of my choice as well, but the green sapphire is something special as well. I am hoping to get one for a review soon.

    About the 41mm Date-Justs, these are completely out of balance in my opinion. I was very enthusiastic when seeing the first press photos from BaselWorld, but when I saw them in BaselWorld myself, I was heavily dissappointed. It’s some kind of pancake on your wrist. Too large, the dimensions of the Milgauss are much more in place.

    RJ

  • I almost bought the green sapphire Milgauss at a charity auction – it went for $6,000 US, and I was not willing to bid higher. For this kind of money, there are other watches I would prefer.

    Have a nice weekend, too!

  • Hi Kyle,

    You are absolutely right! 6K USD (or 5K Euro) for the GV is a lot of money, since the regular version can be had for 3.5K Euro. 1500 Euro premium for a green sapph crystal is nuts.

    RJ

  • Simon

    Hi All,

    I am ready to buy my first ever Rolex watch and very excited about it too. It had always been the 36mm Explorer for years without a shed of doubt. That was until a few weeks ago however, when I saw a Milgauss for the very first time. The white version immediately stood out to me and when I tried it on it looked and felt amazing. This was a complete shock as I have quite small wrists and never imagined a watch of this size could work but it is a perfect fit and a perfect look.

    It’s because its so unique that I like it. Most watches have black dials and a ‘standard’ looking second hand. This does not. The white and the orange work so well together. It really is a fantastic look and very different from so many other watches regardless of brand. OK, so I like it! The problem is this…

    I put a deposit down on a 36mm Explorer two months ago. This is the last of its kind since the changeover to the 39mm dial, which again, to my surprise I didn’t like when I tried it on earlier today.

    My natural instincts tell me to buy the watch I like the most and that is definitely the Milgauss. However, I can’t help but think the Explorer may well become sought after and collectable now; and, the one on hold for me is one from the very last batch from early September. So, what do I do? Its only between these two models because I don’t like any other Rolex watches.

    Looking forward to your thoughts and to hear what others base their decisions on. This will most likely be my only Rolex purchase. If I do buy a second watch it will be a Cartier Ballon Bleu second hand.

    Best wishes,
    Simon.