The Rolex Milgauss was designed to meet the
demands of the scientific community and is capable of withstanding magnetic
fields of up to 1,000 gauss.
The reliability and precision of an ordinary mechanical watch can be affected by a magnetic field of 50 to 100 gauss.
But many scientists are exposed to much higher magnetic fields during the course of their work. Rolex’s solution was the Milgauss — the first watch of its kind.
Hence the name of the watch, mille being French for thousand. The Milgauss
became known notably as the watch worn
by scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.
The first Milgauss from 1956
The European Organization for Nuclear Research
pour la recherche nucléaire ), known as CERN;
derived from the name Conseil européen pour la recherche nucléaire ), is a European research organization that operates
the largest particle physics laboratory in
the world. Established in 1954, the organization is based in a northwest suburb
Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border and has 22 member states.
Rolex and CERN, the world’s pre-eminent particle physics laboratory, have had an association since the 1950s.
In 1956, Rolex developed a watch to solve the problem of magnetic fields disrupting mechanical watches; the Milgauss was designed to withstand interference of up to 1,000 gauss.
Rolex asked CERN’s scientists to test the watch and they were
able to confirm its magnetic resistance thanks to a patented shield protecting
Today, more than 60 years on, Rolex continues to partner CERN by supporting its scientific conferences and outreach events.