Collector’s Best Rolex Milgauss 116400 Watch

Between large, easy-to-read pilot’s replica watches, complex chronographs and durable dive watches, there has always been an undeniable appeal to tool watches. You don’t have to count your remaining oxygen or time your way around Le Mans to appreciate the intersection of form and function that defines a tool watch. While antimagnetic watches are often buried in the back pages of manufacturers’ catalogs, they serve a unique purpose. Since the 1950s, the Rolex Milgauss has been a representative of this often overlooked category. After six years of almost daily wear, this black dial Milgauss remains sturdy, comfortable, and, if possible, subtle with its orange lightning bolt seconds hand.
First released in 1954 as the Reference 6543, the Rolex Milgauss was designed to be no less functional than the Submariner or Daytona. Although not the first antimagnetic watch, a title that belonged to the Tissot Antimagnetique in 1930, the Milgauss greatly improved the movement’s resistance to magnetism.
The Milgauss went through some early iterations, including the addition of the iconic lightning seconds hand to Ref. 6541. Despite its functionality and futuristic gadgetry, Rolex struggled to sell the Milgauss, eventually removing the model from its catalog in the late 1980s. After nearly 20 years of silence, the Milgauss debuted in 2007 with the Ref. 116400. The watch debuted in three 40mm versions: a white dial with a black dial with a distinctive green sapphire crystal, and this one with a black dial with a clear sapphire.
The difference between these two Replica Rolex Milgauss watches with black dials is not only in the color of the sapphire. In addition to the green crystal, the Ref. 116400 GV, or glace verte, includes orange applied baton indicators at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock and orange digital minute markers for each hour. The transparent sapphire model simplifies things compared to its green brother.
Daily wear and tear has aged this watch beautifully and subtly. The stainless steel “Oyster Steel” case has resisted any major dents and has replaced its original mirror polish with a soft, lovingly worn finish. The flat sapphire sits slightly above the bezel but does not strike fear into the narrow doorways as some domed crystals do. Unsurprisingly, the sapphire has remained flawless and will continue to do so without any errant diamonds.
While the black dial Milgauss was axed from Rolex’s lineup in 2013 and the white dial three years later, it still compares favorably to the rest of the green sapphire models. While the case design deserves some praise, the black dial and minimal orange highlights make the watch easy to dress up or down.