The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss from 1958 was offered at the November Watch Sale on Tuesday, where it was estimated at £40,000-60,000. Following bidding over the phone, online and in the room, it soared past its estimate selling for £110,000 plus buyer’s premium.
Named for its ability to withstand a magnetic flux density of 1000 gauss (the unit of a magnetic field), the Milgauss was the first Rolex to include defence from magnetic fields. It employs a honeycomb dial made from laminated copper to protect the movement.
Not produced in great quantity, the model was originally designed for those working in power plants, medical facilities and research labs. It remains much sought-after and is known for its lightning bolt second hand and Milgauss Bezel.
The example at Fellows featured a black honeycomb dial with dot hour markers and quarterly arrowhead markers and was fitted to a signed stainless-steel Oyster bracelet.
Watch specialist Steven Yambo said: “It is very rare to find a Rolex Milgauss nowadays. This is the first one we have had for sale – hopefully it’s not the last.”
In the same sale, Fellows set another record when an Urban Jurgensen Tourbillon Repeater achieved a £36,000 hammer plus buyer’s premium. It is the highest price for this model achieved anywhere, toppling a previous record set by Sotheby’s in 2013 of SFr56,250 (then £38,520, but this includes buyer’s premium).