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Rolex Milgauss Ref. 1019

When thinking of holy grail Rolex watches, this Ref. 1019 Milgauss is definitely high up on many connoisseurs’ lists. And boy, do we have an amazing specimen on our hands here!

This stunning Milgauss features a brushed silver dial livened up with red details. The oversized, 38mm case is razor-sharp, just like the MKI rail dial and original Oyster bracelet.

And as if that is not enough, have a look at the stunning lume. The tritium has turned an ever-so-slightly warm tone of yellowish off-white. And it is spotless! The hour markers are fitted with unique square tritium plots.

This Rolex Milgauss Ref. 1019 is in absolutely amazing condition. A true collector’s item designed in cooperation with CERN, aimed at scientists. Just imagine having this on your wrist when you conduct your next experiment…

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Brand Rolex
Movement Automatic
Model Milgauss
Diameter 38 mm
Reference 1019
Bracelet/strap: Steel
Year of production (circa) 1970
Lug Width 20 mm
Material Steel
Set Content Service papers
Crystal Acrylic
Warranty 2 year (AWCo)
Dial color Silver

Rolex is known to make watches for niche professionals. The Milgauss is such a watch, originally aimed at scientists, working in the presence of magnetic fields. Pretty niche, if you ask us.

Magnetism is a natural enemy of the mechanical watch movement. It can cause major disruption of time-keeping, rendering a watch useless. Rolex teamed up with CERN in the 1950’s, to create a watch that could withstand a thousand (Mille) Gauss of magnetism. The result was the Ref. 6453, launched in 1953, in a form-factor very similar to the Submariner. It featured a Farraday cage around the movement, providing the required protection. The Ref. 6453 is extremely rare, only between 80 and 200 pieces are estimated to have been made.

The range saw only three updates throughout its existence. In 1956, the Ref. 6541 was introduced. This reference came with the typifying lightning bolt seconds hand and a larger 20mm lug width. The Ref. 6541 is another exceedingly rare vintage Rolex that has appreciated into the stratosphere.

A more common and more attainable vintage Milgauss is the Ref. 1019. In appearance quite similar to other Oyster case models, but scaled up to 38mm. This size gives these vintage 1019’s a very modern stance on the wrist. They come in black and silver dial variations, with straight or lightning bolt seconds hands. A dial variant without any lume is known as the CERN dial.

The third update was launched in 2007, with the Ref. 116400. A striking, large Oyster Perpetual variant with a bright orange lightning bolt seconds hand. A green-tinted crystal was added later.

The Milgauss is one of those quirky Rolex lines that are reserved for the true aficionados. Often overlooked, but truly worthy of your attention. And the combination of scarcity and desirability have turned these into veritable collector’s items.


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Year of production (circa)






Dial color





38 mm



Lug Width

20 mm

Set Content

Service papers