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Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Rolex Milgauss reference 116400 watch is a modern classic. Sporty and historic, this popular Rolex timepiece today serves as the slightly avant-garde, casual-to-dress watch evoking good taste, a focus on performance, and of course, a high station in life to the owner who is wearing it. aBlogtoWatch previously reviewed the Rolex Milgauss 116400GV here. This review, however, is for something a little bit different. This is a Rolex Milgauss which has been fully engraved in America under the MadeWorn label – so, in a sense, this is a review of a customized Rolex Milgauss watch.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The fact that this timepiece is aftermarket-engraved immediately factionalizes watch lovers: on one side are those who see the modification of any Rolex as being sacrilegious, and on the other side are those who see this as a way of taking something extremely popular yet ordinary and making it a lot more exclusive and unique. You know what? They are both right.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Buying a customized Rolex does not come without risk, but there are also rewards. First, for the most part, you invalidate any remaining Rolex warranty (which isn’t the end of the world – especially on a watch that is already out of warranty), and you also greatly risk inhibiting future resale value. Of course, that latter element really depends on the customization. Most customized Rolex watches today fall into two camps. One is aftermarket diamond or jewelry setting (though, I always recommend factory stones from Rolex since they can’t be beaten), and the second is color or design changes to the Rolex case and dial. This is where something like a Bamford Watch Department or Project X Rolex watch comes in.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

This MadeWorn customized Rolex Milgauss is different, making it among the less-common types of customized Rolex watches. Aftermarket watch case engraving is out there, but it is rare – and one of the major reasons for that is that there simply aren’t too many engravers who can do this type of work satisfactorily. If anyone knows this fact, it is MadeWorn founder Blaine Halvorson, who began the brand after selling his company JunkFood Clothing several years ago. Halvorson now runs MadeWorn out of its private studio and appointment-only retail space in West Hollywood – where, among other things, he continues to personally make shoes and clothing by hand.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

One of the most interesting parts of the MadeWorn brand is the very literal meaning of their name in what much of their work entails. If you recall a decade or so ago there was a big to-do in the fashion world about artificially aged clothing such as t-shirts and jeans, where fashionistas would pay premiums for new items of clothing meant to look old but that were actually new. Why pay extra for someone tearing your jeans? Well, there is actually a good reason. Blaine and his crew have utterly perfected the art of making new things look old. This doesn’t just apply to clothing, but to other things such as books and household items. The brand makes a range of things from knives to bags, all with the brand signature look which seems to blend classic masculinity with American vintage nostalgia. This makes sense for a guy covered in tattoos originally from Bozeman, Montana, who, despite his success and fanatical following, continues to get his hands dirty (often very dirty) on a daily basis.

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Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I was fortunate enough to debut the first engraved Rolex watches offered by MadeWorn on aBlogtoWatch here earlier in 2015. Produced and conceived individually, Blaine personally selects mostly Rolex watches and then delivers them to his private network of professional gun and knife engravers who live in various parts of the United States. While Blaine can do many things, engraving watch cases is not one of them – though he does have an eye for good work. According to him, most engravers, even if they think that can do a watch case, typically can’t. Part of his value as the middleman between customer and engraver is making sure the final product is top notch and that it is aesthetically on par with his tastes and expectations.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

While MadeWorn specializes in making new things look old, that obviously isn’t his tactic with watch customization. Instead, his tactic is to give these Rolex and other watches some “old character,” allowing them to exist in the world of high-quality tools men used to covet, such as their hunting equipment. There are lots of collectors out there who enjoy timepieces along with knives and guns – so this fits right into that mentality. In some ways, this MadeWorn-engraved Rolex Milgauss 116400 is Blaine’s vision of what the timepiece would look like if it was made 150 years ago.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I personally love the artistic integrity and how it takes something so universally appealing and makes it a bit more interesting. Engraving a Rolex doesn’t make it better, it makes it unique. That means the people doing it, as well as the people wearing it, need a strong personality and a desire to wear something that they know not everyone will like. Everyone I’ve shown this engraved MadeWorn Rolex Milgauss 116400 to agrees the work is excellent, but a few people don’t find it attractive. Of course, that makes sense, as this is a highly stylized look (that is sort of the MadeWorn point) which isn’t going to appeal to everyone. With that said, if you like the look of gun-style hand-engraving, I simply can’t see you being disappointed with this timepiece.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

One thing that really makes this engraved MadeWorn Rolex Milgauss 116400 watch for me is the fact that it is such a nice timepiece underneath to begin with. For instance, if the rest of the watch were themed in the same vein as the engravings, this would be a totally different watch. I am not saying that it would be better or worse, but it would be totally different. I also like that this is a modern Rolex Milgauss and not a vintage piece – so you have this combination of something that looks very new with something that has a more retro-feel to it.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The basic Rolex Milgauss 116400 is a fine watch that probably doesn’t require too much introduction. MadeWorn went with a slightly older model Rolex Milgauss produced before they introduced the green-tinted sapphire crystal for this model, making it the 116400GV. The Rolex Milgauss is Rolex’s “engineer watch,” with its built-in resistance to magnetic fields, which has today become the “dress watch for the thinking man.” At least, that is one way to put it. At 40mm wide in steel, the Rolex Milgauss is most often identified by its cool and distinctive orange-colored “lightning bolt” seconds hand and otherwise clean dial.

Rolex Milgauss 116400 Engraved By MadeWorn Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

With a simple polished bezel, Rolex removes a lot of the lifestyle element, making the Rolex Milgauss one of the most humble watches they make that, nevertheless, has a great personality. Inside the Rolex Milgauss 116400 is the in-house-made Rolex caliber 3131 automatic movement which is shielded by an iron core in order to prevent it from being effected negatively by magnetism (which would either break or effect the timing performance of the movement). The simple three-hand automatic makes for a great daily wear, and the 40mm-wide size makes the Rolex Milgauss 116400 really versatile.

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Comments

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  • Josh Graves

    Awesome! Take that engraving then add a Bamford dial and you could be on the way to perfection.

  • ZL

    I was conflicted about these MadeWorn watches at first, but not because I think every one of the zillions of Rolexes out there are holy. Now, I am totally convinced that if I were to get a Rolex, and $16K were not a big deal to me, it would be one of these and I would wear it often. Though, it would probably not be the Milgauss. The (only) problem with Rolex is that it can feel too standard and like not a very interesting choice, but this solves all of that resoundingly and without any sacrifice, in my opinion. I will add, though, that I would prefer the “MadeWorn” logo on the back to be much smaller or gone, but I wouldn’t be surprised if these were actually highly sought-after in the future.

  • IanE

    Obviously very impressive engraving, but, to my eyes, tasteless in combination with a simple watch dial. Still, chacun a son gout!

    • deuxani

      Not just a simple dial, but a very modern dial with that popping orange colour. I also feel that the engravings totally don’t match the look of the simple, modern, sporty dial.

  • Love it. Love it. Love it!!!

    • john coleman

      Agree – love it.

  • ??????

    Lots of work here! But, unfortunately, simplistic looks of Milgauss face don’t work well with all that complicated ornament everywhere on its case…

  • hatster

    ” a way of taking something extremely popular yet ordinary and making it a lot more exclusive and unique”….nods sagely & glances over to IanE

  • Mark Baran

    Beautiful engraving work. Really does give the watch an antique look and feel. I’m not sure the Milgauss dial and hand set works the best for this look. A more traditional combination might work better.

  • I_G

    The Swiss/modernist dial and the engraving have …interesting contrast.

  • DanW94

    Like others have said, the ornate case and bracelet just doesn’t mesh well with the clean look of the dial. Visually, the transition from the case to the dial is to fractured.

    • iamcalledryan

      Yeah, the engraving looks great, it just doesn’t match the watch. I think it would look better on a pocket watch or Saxon-style dress watch.

      It might have worked if the just did the bezel, or just the caseband, or just the clasp.

      • DanW94

        It looks like it be at home on a Victorian era pocket watch. It’s funny, I thought the engraved Urwerk reviewed a while back didn’t look to cohesive, but compared to this one it looks downright natural.

      • Shinytoys

        I would love to see the engraving work on other Rolex’s as well. Fine metal artistry !

      • Chris

        My thoughts exactly as well.
        The engraving is top notch for sure. I’m not even a fan of things that are engraved, but I can’t help admire the workmanship and quality of it.

        But the theme seems all wrong. It doesn’t fit with the watch in any real way — visually, historically, or otherwise.

  • pkansa

    Definitely an eye catcher!

  • SwissMatic

    Rolex Milgauss + MadeWorn engraving = frontiersman electrical engineer?

    • Essentially Artemus Gordon’s watch.

  • Shinytoys

    The Milgauss was sweet before, but that’s one finely detailed oyster ya got there !!!! Great photos, Ariel, because that piece had to be tough to capture!

  • WV WV

    Absolutely stunning!

  • “agrees the work is excellent, but a few people don’t find it attractive.” <— Me.

  • Alexandre Nishio

    The engraving technique is absolutely stunning, if the dial could be replaced, it’d be a true masterpiece.

  • Paul Stanley

    This model is not even in my top 10 Rolex watches, but with the engraving it takes the watch to a whole new level. The photos are awesome!

  • Todd Scarbrough

    I had no idea what price this was going to be, but the price given seems like a (too low) mistake. Which is a good thing.

  • JimBob

    This is surprisingly awesome, but I don’t think the Milgauss second hand goes with it. Then again, I never like the Milgauss second hand.

  • MeaCulpa

    Well I’m not particularly impressed by the engraving work. I have seen much, much better work on jewellery and, perhaps even more relevant to the discussion, firearms not to mention watches This looks rather sloppy if I’m honest.

  • Boogur T. Wang

    As the former owner of several engraved firearms, this piece represents one of the most exquisite examples of the art. This shows the engravers true craftsmanship.
    Totally complimentary to the MilGauss marque – Great combination. Looks Fantastic !

    MadeWorn has created a stunning wearable as well as a remarkable heirloom.

    Well Done !

    • Apalachicola

      Heh. I posted the same thing above, sort of. It looks like a Purdey shotgun.

  • WolverBilly

    I think it’s a perfect watch for those covered with tats who are into skulls, Shovelhead Harleys and piercings. If Hans Wilsdorf were still with us I think he’d go after this hideous goth wreck with a Hublot hammer and beat it into dust. Then, he’d set it on fire. Umm. . . just my 2 cents.

  • Apalachicola

    I think the engraving is very nice, particularly on the side of the case, but it isn’t a watch I would wear. I’ve a couple of shotguns I’d like to see covered in it, though.

    • Larry Holmack

      I was going to say the same thing! I have a couple of my late fathers’ shotguns that were presentation pieces he won at a National Skeet and Trap competition back in the 1960’s. These shotguns would look really nice with some high quality engraving on them.

  • mtnsicl

    I’m not a Rolex guy, but that is beautiful! Best Rolex mod I’ve ever seen, very classy and not cheesy like the other mods I’ve seen.

  • Lawrence

    dont like the girly pattern

  • funNactive

    I love it – makes the watch very interesting to look at & a great conversation piece.

  • Tomasina Covell

    I would have preferred a modern styling maybe art deco that would go with electrical, but this patterning seems more like it be something would going through the mind of a criminal lifer in prison for note forgery? And the finish looks too antiqued, or pewter, drab.

  • Fadi

    Hello,

    where from i can buy this watch?
    thank you in advance

  • Those watches will command a premium moving forward they are individual works of art.

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