The Milgauss model was designed for use in areas of high electro-magnetic fields found in laboratories and electro-engineering. One of the most distinctive of all Rolex Sports models, the 1019 was the last 'tool' watch designed for a specific activity to be made by the renowned firm. In production from 1966 to 1990, the model was only available in stainless steel. Its name is derived from the Greek "Mil" for thousand and "Gauss", the unit to measure magnetism. A normal watch movement can withstand to 70-90 Gauss whereas the Milgauss keeps its incredibly precision in a magnetic field up to 1000 Gauss.
The present watch has several notable features on the dial that distinguish it as an early example. The metal baton numerals at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock are filled with luminous material, while the remainder have applied luminous dots on the upper end. The outer scale is also calibrated for seconds, quarter and half seconds. As of the mid-1970's, all of the baton numerals were filled with black paint, and the luminous accents were set directly onto the dial plate. The outer scale also only showed seconds and half seconds.
Reference 1019 is illustrated in 100 Years of Rolex by F. & G. Mondani, 2008, p. 120.