Rolex and other companies take pride in their luxury timepieces becoming COSC certified. But what is it and why is it important?
Watch Chest’s AWCI CW21 watchmaker, Glenn Rutledge, explains the difference between a quartz watch movement and a Rolex’s automatic mechanical movement.
Conversation With A Watchmaker is a series featuring Watch Chest’s watchmaker, Glenn Rutledge, giving insight on the watchmaking of Rolex & other luxury timepieces.
Recently I spent a little time with Glenn Rutledge, Watch Chest AWCI CW21 watchmaker, to ask him a few of the common questions people have when they call in! Today I have for you a few minutes of when I ask Glenn to tell us about the first things he does as the watchmaker when a Rolex comes into the Watch Chest office before the first time before it is posted for sale.
In the middle of the 20th century, the world was abuzz with innovation, science, and technology like never before. It was the time of the space race, but we were also discovering how the universe works through even the tiniest particles. Science and this age of discovery inspired Rolex, and thus the spirit of the Milgauss was born.
What Does Milgauss Mean?
The Rolex Milgauss is known as the scientist’s luxury watch, as a Rolex timepiece that can withstand magnetic fields up to 1000 Gauss, as many scientists are exposed to higher fields than normal. The first generation developed in 1956, the name Milgauss originates from the the French “mille”, meaning “thousand”, and the magnetic field measurement of Gauss. The CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research) was one of the first scientific institutions to confirm that the Rolex Milgauss could resist the powerful magnetic fields. Other mechanical watches can be affected by a field of 50 to 100 gauss.
Rolex would not be the brand it is today if not for its craftsmanship. Rolex is the definition of meticulous when it comes to the materials selected for each part of every timepiece, adhering to their own philosophy of doing things unlike any other company. The dedication to create and focus on a single perfect product is inspiring, where you truly feel a part of something special.
A unique Rolex serial number is recorded on each watch, giving it a unique set of numerals for the purpose of identification and record keeping, much like any other product. Older models consist of only numbers but around 1987, Rolex placed a letter at the beginning of the number that would change about once a year until late 2010, which is now a random set of numbers and letters.
In the first of many in a series of addressing the most frequently asked questions heard while I worked at Watch Chest, I thought I would a write about the one heard most often: “What year is this watch?”
As a potential customer who is about to spend thousands of dollars with a company, you have every right to ask any question you want. Even after being around this industry for many years, I would still ask that question if I were buying a pre-owned Rolex or other luxury timepiece from someone. However, there is a skewed amount of emphasis that is placed upon the age of a Rolex, when an entirely different aspect should have precedence when you make your selection.
“My Rolex won’t keep time correctly.”
“My watch is always slow.”
“My Rolex just stops altogether.”
These are statements I’ve heard in the Watch Chest office and it can get quite annoying. It’s not that the customer is annoying at all, but I would get frustrated that their lack of knowledge would cause a rift in the experience of owning their Rolex – because usually there is nothing wrong and they are just unaware of how a mechanical Rolex watch works.
The watches sold and shipped out from Watch Chest are held to Rolex factory standards and expectations, but – to be completely honest – I’m not sure what these specs would mean to you if I just sat here and gave you a list of what’s inspected and required of a Rolex before a sale. So to try and help I would like to explain the mechanical movement and how it pertains to you, skipping most of the technical talk that even sometimes goes over my head.