View full screen - View 1 of Lot 34. Milgauss, Ref. 6541 Stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with 'tropical' honeycomb dial and bracelet Circa 1959 | 勞力士6541型號「Milgauss」精鋼抗磁鍊帶腕錶配熱帶蜂巢紋錶盤,年份約1959.
34

Rolex

Milgauss, Ref. 6541 Stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with 'tropical' honeycomb dial and bracelet Circa 1959 | 勞力士6541型號「Milgauss」精鋼抗磁鍊帶腕錶配熱帶蜂巢紋錶盤,年份約1959

VAT applies to hammer price and buyer's premium

Estimate:

70,000

to
- 120,000 CHF

PROPERTY OF THE FAMILY OF THE ORIGINAL OWNER

Rolex

Rolex

Milgauss, Ref. 6541 Stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with 'tropical' honeycomb dial and bracelet Circa 1959 | 勞力士6541型號「Milgauss」精鋼抗磁鍊帶腕錶配熱帶蜂巢紋錶盤,年份約1959

Milgauss, Ref. 6541 Stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with 'tropical' honeycomb dial and bracelet Circa 1959 | 勞力士6541型號「Milgauss」精鋼抗磁鍊帶腕錶配熱帶蜂巢紋錶盤,年份約1959

Estimate:

70,000

to
- 120,000 CHF

Live auction begins in:

Live auction begins in:

3 days, 21 hours

3 days, 21 hours

PROPERTY OF THE FAMILY OF THE ORIGINAL OWNER

Rolex

Milgauss, Ref. 6541

Stainless steel anti-magnetic wristwatch with 'tropical' honeycomb dial and bracelet

Circa 1959

勞力士6541型號「Milgauss」精鋼抗磁鍊帶腕錶配熱帶蜂巢紋錶盤,年份約1959


Dial: 'tropical' honeycomb

Calibre: cal. 1066 automatic, 25 jewels

Movement number: 872'850

Case: stainless steel, screw-down back

Case number: 412'283

Closure: stainless steel Rolex Oyster riveted bracelet and folding clasp

Dimensions: 38 mm, bracelet circumference approx. 195 mm

Signed: case, dial and movement

Box: no

Papers: no  

Accessories: Rolex travel pouch

MVT: is running at the time of cataloguing.

CASE: in good condition retaining healthy proportions. There are signs of wear visible with the naked eye throughout, such as nicks and scratches. The bezel was switched to the current one and is equally with scratches and some chips. The bracelet in fair condition with signs of wear and stretching, reference 7206 and the endlinks stamped 82.

DIAL: in attractive condition having turned 'tropical' with an even brown hue. The lume plots are later-added and have aged in a uniform way, no longer showing any reaction under UV light. There are some fine spots and surface scratches visible on the dial with the naked eye. The hands have been replaced at some point during a service. The crystal with noticeable scratches as well as with a fracture within the crystal around 4 o'clock.


Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of time and may need a service at the buyer's expense. Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts.


You are advised that watch straps or bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator or crocodile) are not sold with the watch and we reserve the right to remove these straps or bands prior to shipping. Furthermore, the watch may not come with its original manufacturers strap or band.


Prospective bidders should review the Conditions of Business, Authenticity Guarantee, the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and any Important Notice in the sale catalogue.


"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."


**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping."

The reference 6541 'Milgauss' was launched in 1956 and designed to be used by scientists and those working in areas where exposure to high magnetic fields was unavoidable. Conveniently for Rolex, they were able to have their innovation tested by some brilliant scientists just a few kilometers away from their headquarters, at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

The watch was guaranteed to resist magnetic fields up to 1'000 gauss (gauss being a measurement for magnetic induction), which is also the explanation for its name. Magnetic fields can affect a watch's accuracy at just 60 gauss and at 100 gauss a regular watch will normally no longer work. The Milgauss overcame the effects of magnetic fields by using anti-magnetic alloys and an iron movement cover to create a Faraday cage (a nonporous enclosure used to block electrostatic and electromagnetic influences).

Reference 6541 has an Oyster case and graduated rotating bezel, similar in appearance to the early Submariner references. The dial is made of webbed laminated copper to protect the movement from the magnetic fields, which collectors refer to as a 'honeycomb' dial. For many aficionados, the dial is the most important part of a Rolex. It is reflection of the soul of the watch and expresses its character and charm. The dial of the present lot is incredibly attractive as the original black color has turned to an even and strong tropical brown, making it particularly unique and appealing to collectors. 

In 1960, shortly after the initial reference 6541 was released, the Milgauss received its only major update during the 20th century with the introduction of the reference 1019. The new model was equipped with a smooth bezel, new hands and new indexes. Not as successful as other models, Rolex stopped the production in 1988 and only re-launched the Milgauss in 2007 with the reference 116400 that still remains in production today. 

The present lot is an exciting opportunity to acquire a historic Rolex model, rivaling the earliest Submariner or GMT-Master references. This watch has been worn and cared for over time, and is offered in honest and attractive condition with its case retaining generous proportions with well defined bevels, a later bezel and hands, carrying a lot of charm and history.