Magnetized Watches: Symptoms and How to Fix It
Today let’s talk about a Magnetized Watch, and what you can do about it!
Watches used to be regarded as one of the most fundamental tools and are essential for both men and women. It differs from the wristwatches we wear now, they once were seen hanging around chains and kept them in our pockets. It wasn’t until the 1910s that it was created to be worn on the wrists during wartime and other changing events.
Watches have a variety of purposes, which were solely dependent on its wearers, and of course told the time. Military personnel used it in order to coordinate their moves. Then wealthy individuals used it as a sign of their sense of style to members of the general public. Whatever the case, it has become a must-have item for every individual. It was a staple for every outfit, not because it was a way to tell the time, but because of how it actually accentuated the look.
Clockmakers have been regularly creating new watch designs after noticing this trend. In order to meet the needs and expectations of every wearer, improvements have been made to the materials utilized. The way they were constructed, and how they function were also improved.
This innovation time allowed a range of specialists to operate in challenging environments. This includes pilots and mountain climbers, deep sea divers with increasing water pressure, even geographers and archaeologists in places with extreme heat or cold.
No matter how expensive or intricate the materials and structures are used to make a watch, magnetism remains one of its greatest adversaries.
Effect of Magnetism on a Watch
How does magnetism impact a mechanical watch’s movement? This is the major question.
Let’s put it this way: magnetism is a natural phenomenon that, when it comes in contact with a magnetic material, produces either an attracting or repelling force. It can be created artificially or organically.
A compass, for example, uses magnetism. This little device is designed specifically for navigation because, when exposed, it finds the North and South poles by detecting the Earth’s inherent magnetic fields.
Analog watches can, in some cases, serve as an alternative to navigation devices. Unlike a compass, the watch would experience distressing alterations if subjected to this kind of force for an extended period of time or at a certain level.
With every tick, the parts that make up a mechanical watch’s movement perform on an incredibly complex scale, providing precision time telling.
Wathes are incredibly strong and efficient thanks to titanium, ceramic, stainless steel, and even metal or alloys.
Imagine that one of these tiny components were to be unexpectedly misaligned or changed by such an unexpected phenomenon. The balance spring, which is a very important yet delicate component is especially susceptible to magnetism.
The balance spring is made of thinly coiled stainless steel or can also be made of any suitable spring material. It is responsible for maintaining the release of energy on the escapement wheel, causing it to swing the same distance on either side. This is something that directly affects the accuracy of a watch movement.
The balance spring of a watch shortens when it is subjected to a magnetic field, which then creates friction in the escapement. This causes the watch to move more quickly, more slowly, or not at all.
As we all know, a watch loses its main function when its accuracy is gone. If your job and daily duties depend heavily on timing, it is a horrible hassle.
But there is nothing to worry about. There are still fixes you can try, which will be discussed later in this article. A magnetized watch is not necessarily permanently damaged. Don’t throw it away yet!
What Could Magnetize a Watch?
One of the common mistakes that many people make but do not realize is exposing their watch too close to a magnetic source. (Like your phone).
You might be exhausted after a long day, wanting to just take a bath and lie down on the sofa. After entering your home, you prop your keys, wristwatch, phone, and everything in your pockets on the counter for the whole night. Phones are actually magnetic and can affect your watch big time.
You may also accidentally brush your hand against the refrigerator door when you’re busy in the kitchen.
In fact, magnetic fields are present throughout the entire house. Wherever you go, it’s on everything. This includes home furnishings like microwaves, hair dryers, dishwashers, and washing machines, even gadgets like computer speakers and cell phones.
The reality is that a watch does not automatically become magnetized by small exposures. However, as was previously indicated, it could adversely affect your timepiece depending on the length of exposure and strength of the magnet.
What are the symptoms of magnetization in a watch? How to Test for Magnetization
What should you watch out for that will suggest your watch is magnetized? Now that you are mindful of how magnetism and the common things that can affect the performance of your watch.
It could be magnetized when you have no recall of dropping or otherwise affecting the watch, yet its running funny. Symptoms could include the watch speeding up, running more slowly, or even totally stopping.
You most likely notice these variations on the second hand, increasing or losing momentum by a few ticks, if you pay great attention to the smallest of details.
Moreover, it might not be sufficient to simply look at your watch. Here are three simple and typical ways to determine whether your mechanical watch is actually magnetized whenever you’re in doubt.
Users of iOS can download the Lepsi app. You may use it right away after setting it up by holding your watch over the detector area on your phone’s screen. Since it won’t take long, doing this won’t result in your watch becoming more magnetic.
Android users can download a similar app called Magnetometer.
Another way to check is to lay a flat standard compass on a table when you have one with you. Hold your watch close to it. It is magnetized if you notice the needle pointing at your watch.
You could also Consider getting your watch examined by a professional watchmaker or any certified repair facility, such as Watch-Modz. If the previous two at-home diagnostic procedures fail to provide you with a trustworthy response, that is. They will have the right tools to examine your watch for magnetism.
Magnetized Watch Repair
If you decide to have a professional examine your timepiece, you can request that they repair it for you. Have them look for additional damage as well while they are at it. This process will only take a few minutes, if even that
If you find yourself in a situation where you would want to do it on your own, here’s how you can fix it from the comfort of your house. You might want to invest in this solution that you can access whenever you may need it.
A demagnetizer should be a must have for any watch aficionado. You can tell it’s a tried-and-true method because watchmakers also use this instrument frequently. Even though it will cost you a few dollars, you can use it in the long term. The more mechanical timepieces you have, the more of a reason to have one.
A demagnetizer is also very easy to use. Place your watch on top of the demagnetizer after it has been laid out on a flat surface. Next, hold the button down for 10 seconds. Then, slowly raise your watch away from the demagnetizer while keeping your finger on the button.
Generally speaking, this method will take the magnetism out of your watch. If it is still magnetized, you can reapply this method as frequently as needed. It can be checked by re-verifying it with a compass or the Lepsi/Magnetometer app.
What are Anti-Magnetic Watches?
Although repairing a magnetized watch is easily understandable, most busy people will undoubtedly find it inconvenient to run into this issue.
Contrary to popular assumption, magnetism does not arise as a result of technical advancement. Over the years, the watch industry has developed a number of solutions to this issue.
Reflecting closely, one of its main solutions was to replace the inner cage’s original material with soft iron in order to safeguard the watch’s internal components. This substance serves as a faraday cage because it draws magnetic field lines but does not remain magnetized after the source is taken away.
With the release of the Milgauss in 1956, world-renown watch designer and manufacturer Rolex made a popular anti-magnetized watch. The anti-magnetic watch, designed specifically for the researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, can withstand magnetic fields up to 1000 gauss (CERN).
Alternative techniques were initially used far earlier, in 1915, when Vacheron Constantin, the first watchmaker to receive credit, produced a successful anti-magnetic pocket watch. Years later, in 1930, Tissot made industry history by creating the first anti-magnetic wristwatch under the moniker Antimagnétique.
The trick behind this? Palladium has replaced the steel that was once frequently used to make balance springs. To fight magnetism, others have pursued nickel-iron alloys and related alloys.
Ulysee Nardin did not alter the game until the early 2000s. When they introduced the “Freak”. They produced the first wristwatch to use silicon material in its escape wheel, outdoing competitors and dominating the market.
Because of its many advantages, silicon has since been a popular material among watchmakers, manufacturers, and modders. In their 2012 and 2013 designs, well-known brands like Christophe Claret and Breguet eventually merged silicon and magnets, pushing what was previously problematic into a mechanical watch.
Some people considered the pros and cons and then went all out. They started converting the complete metallic movement of watches over time to anti-magnetic materials.
Yes, Omega did it in 2013, when they unveiled the Master Co-Axial movement (Calibre 8508). It became a powerful competitor in the watchmaking business that could endure a new record of up to 15,000 Gauss.
We obviously won’t forget one of the greatest brands in watchmaking and modding, Seiko, while discussing anti-magnetic watches. Their objective is to create functional and dependable timepieces, and they consistently deliver on that promise.
Seiko manufactures its watches with a minimum magnetic resistance of 60 gauss in accordance with the ISO minimum specifications for the movements of divers’ watches. The adaptable NH35A and NH36A are a few of the well-known anti-magnetic calibres. But, don’t be fooled, they can still become magnetized!
Mod with a Non-magnetic Movement
For newcomers, purchasing their first Seiko watch may be more intimidating than modifiying one.
We think you should better design the ideal look that best suits your preferences and that you will embrace for a very long time. A timepiece is usually more desirable when it has the full complement of aesthetic appeal, practicality, and durability.
If you want to modify your watch, durability is one of the most important things to consider. In contrast to quartz or battery-powered watches, automatic movements can provide you with extended winding times with no need for a battery.
Since you are modifying to “upgrade,” it is preferable to select one with anti-magnetic qualities to avoid the time and hassle of demagnetizing.
To begin with, the NH35A can provide you with a high-quality timepiece thanks to its ISO standard magnetic resistance, shock-absorbent qualities, and impact resistance.
You could definitely check out the NH36A if you want a choice that has the same functions but adds day and date complexity.
Watch-Modz can guarantee that you will receive only the genuine and top-notch mod parts that will help you complete your first, second, and countless future Seiko mods. All of our products are regularly inspected and prepared for use at the time of purchase.
A magnetized watch can be easily fixed with the appropriate tools. Likewise, you can modify your watch if you have the appropriate Seiko mod tools, suitable Seiko mod parts, and a solid skill set.
True, quality craftsmanship can take time and practice. However, it is because of this fulfillment that the Seiko modding community continues to expand and draw new enthusiasts to the pastime.
As they say, the very first time is generally the hardest. The wide selection of Seiko mod parts we recommend here at Watch-Modz can help you expand your modding horizons once you’ve mastered modding. Watch-Modz will always be here to help you and provide you with your watch modding needs.
About The Author
Pamela Tabago is an Information Specialist at Watch-Modz LLC. She is passionate about everything related to watches, from the best automatics to modding a Seiko.
She brings her data-driven experience in informative writing and her love for watches to the blog. She also provides watch-related content for other modding enthusiasts like herself.