The Rolex Explorer II seems like the perfect place to start if we’re talking about hard-working watches. This model is arguably the closest to Rolex’s roots, and it’s the one that best embodies the definition of a true tool watch. It’s big, strong, rugged, and mechanically reliable, so you can truly wear it every day, no matter what your profession.
As always, the option of the dial is straightforward, with only black or white available. Each brings a definite personality to the watch, with the white “polar” dial giving a clean, crisp look, while the black is more discreet and understated. An interesting element of the latter is its “phantom” hands, where the bottoms of all three main hands are also painted black to give the impression of floating.
The Milgauss first appeared in 1956, stemming from the golden age of the replica Rolex. This era gave birth to the tool watch genre itself, with the Milgauss adding protection against electromagnetic forces, which made it aimed at scientists, technicians, medical personnel, and anyone who dealt with equipment that emitted strong magnetic energy.
It was pure bad luck to compete with some of the most iconic Rolex models ever made. In just a few short years in the mid-1950s, the brand also released the Explorer, GMT-Master, Submariner, and Day-Date – the closed environment of the laboratory could never inspire the same level of imagination in the face of watches built for adventurers, transcontinental travelers, deep-sea divers, and world leaders.
Another 1950s watch is the Turn-O-Graph, and although it is one of Rolex’s lesser-known models and is no longer in production, you could be forgiven for not having it on your radar. debuted in 1953, the Turn-O-Graph actually boasts a series of firsts, despite its “forgotten” status among the brand’s many iconic models.
Our choice is the white dial example, the Ref. 116400 Milgauss. The white dial Milgauss was only produced for about seven years before being replaced by the Z-Blue dial Verizon, something of a rarity for the company in fact. Rolex replica did not produce that many white dial tool watches, so that, combined with the limited availability in general, makes this particular Rolex Milgauss both an uncommon sight and a potential future collector’s item.