A fine and attractive stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1968
    Reference No: 1019
    Movement No: M'210'703
    Case No: 2'012'709
    Model Name: Milgauss
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 1580, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Later stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet stamped 78360, end links stamped 580, max overall length 220mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex deployant clasp stamped 78360 and MA2
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex has long been associated with “tool” wristwatches, which originally were designed with a functional purpose in mind, but today they have become icons amongst watch connoisseurs, both for their modern masculine design and innovative mechanical performance. From their collaboration with Pan American Airways and the GMT-Master dual time zone wristwatch, to the Submariner watch for professional deep-sea divers, these timepieces have captured the imagination of collectors and are today highly sought after in the international market. The Milgauss, reference 1019, is another example of a Rolex sports model that today enjoys considerable prestige beyond its original intent, but is a watch that due to its niche target market, was not considered a commercial success. Originally released in 1954, the Milgauss reference 6541 was designed to meet the needs of scientists and engineers working in a magnetic environment. Rolex worked in collaboration with the Conseil Européen de Recherche Nucléaire, or CERN, to develop a watch that could withstand strong magnetic fields. The timepiece’s name derived from the Latin word “mille” for 1000, and “Gauss” the unit of measure for magnetism, it was a watch that could withstand 1000 Gauss of magnetism with no effect on timekeeping precision. Typical watches of the era could only withstand up to 70-90 gauss. Along with its companion piece the reference 6543, the two remained in production until the beginning of the 1960s when Rolex released the reference 1019 to replace these models.

    The reference 1019, likes its predecessors, featured a soft iron cage surrounding the movement. The new model was thinner and produced in stainless steel only. It remained in production until 1990. The present example is well-preserved and checks all the boxes savvy collectors look for in vintage timepieces. The unpolished case has strong proportions and sharp clean lines with a smooth polished bezel. The silvered dial has luminous plots and luminous dashes at the 3-6-9, with the model name boldly printed in red below the Rolex signature. The present wristwatch has a sophisticated mid-century modern aesthetic and when compared to better known Rolex “tool” watches, offers great value while being a pleasure to wear.

  • 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
A fine and attractive stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with center seconds and bracelet

1968
40mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, and clasp signed.

Estimate
$15,000 - 25,000 
CHF15,000-24,900
€13,000-21,700
HK$118,000-196,000

sold for $20,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

STYLED. Timeless Watches & How to Wear Them

New York Auction 5 December 2018