An attractive and rare stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with center seconds and silver dial

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1979
    Reference No: 1019
    Movement No: 711'788
    Case No: 6'164'061
    Model Name: Milgauss
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1580, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Oyster bracelet, reference 78360, end links stamped 580, max. length 180mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel deployant clasp, stamped 04 and 78360
    Dimensions: 40mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Rolex pouch

  • Catalogue Essay

    The term “tool watch” is often used to describe Rolex timepieces, and is perfectly appropriate for the Milgauss which is the result of a direct collaboration between Rolex and Geneva-based CERN - Centre Européen de Recherche Nucléaire (European Organization for Nuclear Research). Their aim was to develop a wristwatch that could withstand intense magnetic fields and could thus be worn by CERN’s engineers working in highly magnetic environments. The result was the Milgauss, deriving its name from the Latin “mille” meaning a thousand, and “Gauss” representing the unit measure for magnetism. Accordingly, it could withstand exposure of up to 1000 Gauss with no effect on accuracy, whereas a typical watch movement can only withstand up to 70-90 Gauss. In the early 1960s, the newly introduced Rolex Milgauss reference 1019, like the present lot, replaced the original two versions: references 6541 and 6543. Significantly thinner than its predecessors, it was manufactured until 1990 and was available only in stainless steel. The Milgauss was never a commercial success and consequently production numbers were low. The present example is in exceptionally well preserved condition, retaining excellent bevels to the lugs and sharp angles on the smooth polished bezel. Being from the late 1970s, its dial features luminous dots placed outside the applied hour markers, and its distinctive hands are in matte finished aluminum. Thanks to its timeless design, large diameter, and excellent wearability, crisp examples of the reference 1019 Milgauss are a great value proposition to the connoisseur of vintage wristwatches.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Rolex

Ref. 1019
An attractive and rare stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with center seconds and silver dial

1979
40mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF15,000 - 25,000 
€13,800-23,000
$15,500-25,800

sold for CHF18,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016