NEWS! Rolex Discontinues Milgauss 116400GV
Finally! The time has come for Rolex to present its novelties for the year. Rolex has released a lot of new and exciting models but prior to the launches, there was a lot of speculation about what Rolex would decide to do with the Milgauss. In 2022, Rolex discontinued the 116400 and only kept the 116400GV in the collection. A lot of people speculated that because the Air-King had been upgraded to ref 126900 with crown guards and a new caliber, the Milgauss was also due for an upgrade as these models share the same case.
And the fact that Rolex discontinued the 116400 in 2022 caused people to speculate about whether Rolex was getting ready to release a new Milgauss in 2023, reference 126400GV. Most people believed that Rolex would discontinue the old Milgauss references in 2022 and release new versions in the same year but this didn’t happen. Instead, they discontinued one of two Milgauss models and instead focused on the Air-King.
But now it’s 2023 and Rolex’s novelties for the year have been announced and that was not what happened. Instead, Rolex discontinued the Milgauss collection.
Background to the discontinuation of the Milgauss
For years, people had been saying that the Milgauss range was long overdue an update. Up until 2023, the Milgauss 116400 was powered by the old-generation caliber 3131 whereas almost all of Rolex’s other watches had been equipped with newer-generation calibers.
The Milgauss 116400 and 116400GV references were launched in 2007. In 2022, Rolex discontinued the 116400 but kept the 116400GV in the collection. As such, until finally being discontinued in 2023, it had a total production run of 16 years. That is a lot even by Rolex standards without receiving any technical upgrades. And during this time, Rolex’s know-how and technical expertise had certainly improved a lot – but the Milgauss hadn’t.
The Air-King, which shares cases and movements with the Milgauss, was upgraded in 2022 when Rolex discontinued the 116900 and replaced it with the 126900 with the new-generation 3230 caliber. Since these two models share cases and movements, people assumed that it was only a matter of time before the Milgauss would be upgraded as well. And frankly, it came as a surprise that Rolex didn’t upgrade it in 2022 at the same time as the Air-King.
Based on the Air-King, most people suspected that Rolex would release a new Milgauss in 2023 with crown guards just like the Air-King- and that it would respond to a big complaint a lot of people had about the model, which was its thickness.
Why Rolex discontinued the Milgauss
So why did Rolex discontinue the Milgauss altogether without replacing it with a new, upgraded version which everyone thought would happen? Well, we have our guesses.
Rolex’s shocking decision to discontinue the Milgauss collection altogether certainly sparks questions about whether Rolex will ever reintroduce the Milgauss again.
The only reason why we say this is that Milgauss means 1000 gauss. As you probably know, 1000 gauss is essentially the very least amount of anti-magnetism we expect for virtually any watch to avoid having the watch magnetized. For that reason, if Rolex is to create a new and improved anti-magnetic watch, they would have to dramatically improve its anti-magnetic properties. And in that case, a “mil gauss” won’t cut it.
So the question is therefore whether Rolex will keep the Milgauss discontinued or whether they will reintroduce it again in the future and retain its name, despite the fact that there will be a discrepancy between the watch’s name and its true anti-magnetic properties.
Omega, for example created an anti-magnetism of 15000 gauss for its Aqua-Terra. Compare that with Rolex’s 1000 gauss and you can see that Rolex is losing the battle by a long shot.
But because most people who wear Rolex watches are not scientists, the question is whether or not the Milgauss has a place in Rolex’s collection in the modern world. The Milgauss was originally developed for scientists but that was many years ago. The question remains to be seen whether Rolex reintrocuces the Milgauss with greatly improved anti-magnetic properties, introduces a completely new line of watches for anti-magnetism, or if they let the Milgauss remain discontinued. We’ll likely find out in the years to come, but that’s all we know for now.