Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rolex of the Day: Ladies Pink Sapphire Masterpiece Datejust in Yellow Gold

This is a beautiful Ladies Masterpiece Datejust with Pink Sapphires.  Very, very rare watch.  You and I will probably never see one of these in our lifetime on a woman's wrist.

Supermodel Elle Macpherson wearing her Trademark Yellow Gold Rolex Daytona

Nicky Hitlon Wearing Her Rolex Milgauss

Pictured Above: Nicky Hilton with her Sister Paris Hitlon.

Old School Milgauss v. New School Milgauss

The first photo below is an old school 1980s Milgauss and the second image is a current Rolex Milgauss.

The Following Rolex Milgauss Background History is from the Watch Report:

May 19, 2007

The Rolex announcement at Basel of interest is the new Rolex Milgauss, so named for its ability to resist a magnetic field of 1,000 Gauss.

Why should you care?

If you take a mechanical watch into a strong magnetic field, some of the parts in the movement become magnetized which causes problems; typically the watch will start to run quite fast and require demagnetization. The hairspring, made of an alloy called Nivarox, is particularly susceptible. A watch is normally considered "antimagnetic" (DIN 8309) if it can ignore 4,800 A/m. This works out to about 60 gauss, or 6% of what the new Rolex is rated for. Rolex achieved the superior rating of the Milgauss by encasing the movement in soft iron, which is known as a Faraday cage. They also introduced a new hairspring material, Parachrom-Blu, which is unaffected by magnetism. Quite an achievement!

The Milgauss model has an interesting history. It was introduced in 1954 for people who worked in environments with strong magnetic fields: power plants, research labs, etc. As you might suspect, that's a pretty small market, further crowded by the IWC Ingenieur, the Patek Philippe Amagnetic, and the Omega Railmaster, all of which had similar magnetic resistance. The Milgauss was the slowest seller in the Rolex lineup, and was sold for about 20 years before being removed from their catalog.

The Milgauss comes in the new, slightly larger case size of 40mm, with the 3131 movement. There are white and black dial versions available, both with a nifty and surprisingly modern lightning shaped second hand and 'ROLEXROLEXROLEX' around the face on the chapter ring. (As Christian noted, for better or worse, the new models are more heavily branded than their predecessors.) One difference between the two versions is that the black dial has a sapphire crystal that is slightly green at an angle, as you can see from the image gallery on their site. List price on both is rumored to be $5,900.

One word of caution: for the new model, Rolex also lists "medical imaging" as a target market, but a bit of math reveals this to be disingenuous. Current MRI systems start at 0.3T and go up to 5T. Even the smallest of those is 3 times the rating of the Milgauss, so don't take your new watch into the MRI!

A Few More Milgauss Shots

The first two shots are just of the Rolex Milguass by itself.  The last two shots are next to a Rolex GMTII-C with the Rolex Green Dial.  Since the introduction of the Rolex LV Submariner, Rolex has been on a Rolex Green kick and it is great!!!

Green is a great color and it fits in well with the current Green Movement.

Non Green Crystal v. Green Milgauss GV

The Milgauss comes in three versions today.  The GV which has the green crystal, and the standard black dial and white dial versions.

The GV with the green glass is extremely popular and rare today.  As a Rolex friend of mine says "People get Stupid over certain Rolex models."  Today the green is the one everybody wants

The Photo above shows the green crystal GV Milgauss on the right with the standard white dial Rolex Milgauss on the left.  All the photos below are of the standard Non Green Crystal Milgauss. 

More on the Milgauss...

My pal from College, Michael was checking out Jake's Rolex Blog yesterday and he asked me what the watch was next to the LV Submariner in the post below.  He was referring to the Milgauss and had never seen it before.

When I met Michael at Arizona State University three decades ago, he was wearing a Stainless Rolex GMT with the Black bezel and I was wearing a Stainless Rolex Submariner.  Michael is an extremely talented photographer and we are working on putting together a photo blog to showcase talented photographers and their work.

So this is the Milgauss that Rolex came out with a few years ago.  This model, referred to as the GV has a special synthetic sapphire crystal that has a green glass glow which is unusual.

The new Milgauss also has an orange second hand in the shape of a lightening bolt.  I refer to the Milgauss as the "Shazam" Rolex.  The new Milgauss is 40MM so it is the size of most of the sport Rolex watches like the Daytona and Submariner.

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