The Rolex Milgauss GV: A Modern Classic

Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Green Sapphire Crystal Models

The Rolex Milgauss is a steadfast member of the Crown’s catalog. First introduced in 1954 and last updated in 2014, Rolex’s signature anti-magnetic watch remains a staple among sports watches and daily wearers.

Today’s Milgauss is anything but boring, however. While Rolex fans say it’s due for an update, the current edition holds its own among newer Rolex watches. Its green-tinted sapphire crystal is entirely unique to the collection and is just one of the compelling reasons to own one. Here’s a closer look at the Rolex Milgauss GV models:


Rolex Milgauss Steel 116400 and 116400GV Watches
Rolex Milgauss Steel 116400 and 116400GV Watches


Evolution of the Rolex Milgauss

The Rolex Milgauss, as a model line, dates all the way back to 1956 with the launch of the ref. 6541. At the time, it was one of the first wristwatches equipped with impressive anti-magnetic properties. Crafted to meet the demands of scientists and engineers, the Milgauss helped wearers keep track of time accurately even when exposed to strong magnetic fields.


Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss Steel 6541
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss Steel 6541 (photo: Christie’s)


Rolex created the Milgauss with shielding strong enough to withstand 1,000 gauss, which also inspired its name – gauss is a unit of measurement for magnetism, and “mille” is French for thousand. The capable tool watch was a cornerstone in the brand’s inventory from its inception and experienced constant design modifications for three decades before its discontinuation in 1988.

Fast-forward to 2007, Rolex revived the collection with the ref. 116400. This time, the Milgauss came with modern updates: a 40mm stainless steel case, a smooth domed bezel, and a fun mix of whites, oranges, and blacks on the dial, along with the line’s signature lightning bolt seconds hand.


Rolex Milgauss Black Dial Domed Bezel Steel 116400 /  Rolex Milgauss White Dial Steel 116400V 
Rolex Milgauss Black Dial Domed Bezel Steel 116400 /
Rolex Milgauss White Dial Steel 116400V 


Soon after, the watch would include another defining feature of the line, a uniquely designed green sapphire crystal, also referred to as glace verte in French, or “GV” for short. This exclusive feature was introduced during the 50th anniversary of the Milgauss.



The Rolex Milgauss GV

The Milgauss GV remains in the Rolex catalog, and at the present time, all Milgauss watches that are currently in production leave the factory with green sapphire crystals. Two editions are available – the black dial introduced in 2007, and the Z-Blue dial launched in 2014.


Rolex Milgauss Blue and Black Dial Green Crystal Steel Watches 116400GV 
Rolex Milgauss Blue and Black Dial Green Crystal Steel Watches 116400GV 


The green sapphire crystal is unique to the brand and was created in true Rolex fashion. Rather than simply being a coating, the light green tint is present throughout the entire crystal and will not fade or discolor even after lengthy use. According to the Swiss brand, the GV took years to develop and weeks to make, which is why they didn’t bother patenting it because they couldn’t fathom any other company wanting to go through the ordeal.

Like all sapphire crystals, the GV is scratch-resistant–but it is also fade-proof, and therefore the Milgauss GV will always have that irresistible green glow. Additionally, it exudes a contemporary appeal and gives the dial a distinct brilliance.


Rolex Milgauss Blue Dial Green Crystal Steel 116400GV
Rolex Milgauss Blue Dial Green Crystal Steel 116400GV


Despite its emergence a little more than ten years ago, the green sapphire crystal has swiftly become one of the main attractions of the Milgauss collection. Its mild green tint has no functional advantages over a typical, clear synthetic sapphire crystal; yet, the green crystal that is unique to the Milgauss 116400GV is one of the key reasons why people seek out this reference.

Between the black and electric blue dials, orange accents, and green crystal, Milgauss GV watches could be the most whimsical pieces to ever come out of the lauded Rolex factory.


Rolex Milgauss Black Dial Green Crystal Steel 116400GV
Rolex Milgauss Black Dial Green Crystal Steel 116400GV



The Rolex Milgauss GV blends an unusual design approach with a lengthy, fascinating history. It’s ideal for individuals looking for a timepiece that’s quirky and functional all at once. Explore our collection of Rolex Milgauss GV watches at


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