The market for luxury products such as wristwatches is highly reliant on human emotions and perception. Dealers of artistic or lifestyle luxuries have long known that perception and availability are for many consumers much more important than actual inherent value.
It seemed as though the beefed up Submariner was to receive its own reference number, 6540, given the amount of modifications, but, likely due to the small production run, the reference defaulted to A/6538. In fact, documented examples show a crossed-out “6540” stamped inside of the casebacks, with “A/6538” stamped alongside.The MilSub is one of the priciest vintage Rolex watches, the result of having serious military provenance combined with such low production numbers. All told, from 1971 through 1979, only about 1,200 MilSubs were issued, of which an estimated 180 or so still exist today. Regardless of whether it’s an A/6538, 5513, 5513/5517, or 5517 purchasing a MilSub takes patience, lots of research, a trustworthy seller, and a healthy bank account. In good condition and with documentation, don’t be surprised to see a MilSub fetch over $100,000. That’s a lot of coin for a modified Submariner that can only be worn on a nylon strap.
If the Rolex Submariner is the most famous dive watch, then the Rolex Military Submariner, or MilSub, is the most famous military-issued dive watch. What is now a highly sought after piece of watch history — and one of the rarest collector’s watches ever — was once merely Ministry of Defense (MOD) standard issue equipment.
The Brits were one of the early militaries to use divers for offensive purposes during wartime, complementing ongoing recon and defensive missions. Coming out of WWII, the MOD realized a robust and reliable dive watch would be absolutely necessary for diving units. At the time, Rolex was the clear leader in waterproof watch technology, catching the attention of the MOD and marking the first appearance of a military-issued Submariner.
The movement is the same Rolex calibre 3131, a COSC certified movement running at 4 Hz with a parachrom hairspring, paramagnetic nickel-phosphorous escape wheel and a power reserve of 48 hours. The Milgauss also comes fitted to an Oyster bracelet with the easy link extension system that allows for simple and tool-free micro adjustment.
The (Z) blue dial looks great and offers a completely separate and bright appeal compared to the black and white versions. The dial has a brushed metallic finish and works well with the orange accents and white gold markers and hands. The 40mm wide sizing feels great and the bracelet ensures the Rolex Milgauss Z Blue Dial 116400GV will be versatile enough for everyday wear.
We also like that the Rolex Milgauss Z Blue Dial 116400GV isn’t an instant crowd pleaser. At first the combination of blue, green, and orange colors feels random, and the lightning bolt seconds hand feels out of place for Rolex. After a while it starts to grow on you as the odd Rolex out – which is often a good thing – and the timepiece’s legibility and entertaining colors win you over.
With a list price of 7,800 CHF , this new Z blue dial on the Rolex Milgauss 116400GV is a welcome addition to the Milgauss line up. The Milgauss is a strange watch, sporty yet refined while being wholly distinctive among its siblings at your local Rolex dealer. Perhaps more than anything else, this new blue dial version improves on the Milgauss’ core strength – standing out in a sea of Submariners.
he newest term in the dictionary of obscure Rolex vocabulary is “Z blue.” Hidden among the buzz of the new Sea-Dweller and the white gold GMT-Master II, Rolex quietly added a new dial color for the estranged cousin within the Oyster line up, the Milgauss, with the new 2014 Rolex Milgauss Z Blue Dial 116400GV watch. The Milgauss name has been around since 1956 and the current version (ref 116400) was released in 2007. Sporting magnetic interference resistance up to 1000 gauss, the Milgauss was originally designed for engineers, technicians and scientists.
Where the GMT-Master on the right (ref.16758) shows the old style case, in gold, and the brown dial with nipple hour markers, you almost think the new Rolex GMT-Master II Everose gold is much bigger. The lugs are beefier, but the diameter is exactly the same at 40mm. The brown color is different from the vintage GMT-Master, and has more a cappuccino color on the new reference 126715CHNR. The bezel with its two-colour brown and black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations, works like a charm. The current mechanism feels much nicer and better engineered than the bezels from the old days. The color scheme of the new <strongRolex GMT-Master II Everose is very nice, but miles away from the former brown dialed (and bezel) GMT-Master model.
The image below shows the difference in thickness as well as a good demonstration of how different the gold tones are. The new Rolex GMT-Master II Everose has, of course, a Triplock crown to ensure water resistance (up to 10ATM).
My initial enthusiasm was not so big for this model, since it did not have the brown dial and was not made of yellow gold. That said, this disappeared rapidly when I had the chance to try it myself. It’s a well balanced watch, and the use of the brown and black on the bezel matches perfectly with the Everose gold case and bracelet. The gold details also come back in the dial, in the writing of ‘GMT-Master II’ as well as in the indices and hands. Did you also notice the little crown between Swiss and Made? The new Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi with Jubilee also has this feature.