Watch maintenance

The benefits of the popularity of antimagnetic watch movements

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The benefits of the popularity of antimagnetic watch movements

For some watch collectors, checking the specification list is very important for choosing a watch. Potential buyers may look for diving watches with deep sea depth ratings, pilot watches that can withstand greater acceleration than the human body, or watches that have a power reserve in days or weeks instead of hours. This specification makes it easy for buyers to understand why watch A is more expensive than watch b. This is also a way for people who sell our watches to convince us that their watches are better!
Rolex high imitation watches

For many years, the specification competition between watch brands has been reluctant competition. Rolex) Mika Wus watch was born in the 1950s (named after the ability to withstand 1000 Gauss magnetic induction). Recently, Omega boasted that some of its watches can withstand 15,000 Gauss. Other brands such as Sinn advertise that some of their watches can withstand 80,000 A/m. These watches can be identified by the stylized magnetic core on the dial. It is said that many movements conform to the ISO 764 antimagnetic watch standard or its German equivalent DIN8309. What do these numbers mean? Do they have anything to do with you and your watch?

make an antimagnetic watch

Generally speaking, watchmakers use one of two methods to shield their watches from magnetism. The “old school” method is to wrap the movement in an iron cover to prevent the magnetic field from reaching the movement; many people call it a Faraday cage, but the Faraday cage can actually block electromagnetic fields instead of magnetic fields. According to Omega, these cages are only effective at 1000 Gauss, which makes sense, because this is the method used by Mikagos without a date window. The frame also requires a thicker shell and prevents the use of a transparent bottom cover to show movement.

The modern method of manufacturing antimagnetic watches is to use materials that are not easily affected by magnetism to construct the movement, especially the adjustment parts. Over the years, Nivarox and other alloys used in hairsprings have been very common. More and more watch manufacturers are turning to silicon to make components that affect timekeeping, such as balance wheel/hairspring and escape wheel/lever. Watch art watchmaker Kelly Hunter said, “Omega uses silicon and “amorphous paramagnetic alloys” throughout the movement to achieve a higher resistance, which is 10-15 times that of Mikavos.” This also Eliminate the need for thick cages and let Omega show its movement.

The so-called antimagnetic watch must maintain accurate timing after magnetization. For example, a watch that complies with ISO 764 and German Industrial Standard 8309 must continue to work during the exposure period, and must not exceed /-30 seconds per day after being exposed to a 4,800 A/m magnetic field.

What is Gauss? Gauss is a measurement unit of magnetic induction intensity, referred to as magnetic field intensity. Other measurement units of magnetic induction are Tesla and Ampere per meter (A/m). 1 Tesla is equal to 10,000 Gauss, which means that Omega’s 15,000 Gauss model can withstand 1.5 Tesla. Sinn antimagnetic watch 80,000 A/m rated load is equivalent to 1000 Gauss (equivalent to Rolex Mika Wusi).

For everyday objects, the built-in magnet of iPhone 12 pro will generate 57 to 60 Gauss. This is roughly equivalent to refrigerator magnets (and 4800 A/m specified by ISO anti-magnetic watches). This means that this magnet is unlikely to affect most modern watches. Movements such as ETA2824 or Seiko 4R36 meet this standard. However, Apple’s Magsafe charger can generate 123 Gauss. Keep your watch away from one of them, unless it has an iron cage to protect its movement! So, what can Omega’s top diamagnetic movement prevent? Most MRI magnets are suitable for 1.5 to 3 Tesla (15,000 to 30,000 Gauss). So in theory, the watch can be worn on a 1.5T nuclear magnetic resonance instrument and it comes out unscathed.

What should I do if my watch is magnetized?

If your watch is not hit, but it suddenly starts to run very fast or very slowly, it is likely to be magnetized. The most common problem that magnetism can cause is that the coils of the hairspring stick together. In addition, according to Kelly, “the escape wheel (escape wheel and pallet fork) is traditionally made of steel, so they can also be magnetized.” The magnetization of these parts affects the beat frequency of the watch.

In order to diagnose whether this is the case, a compass is usually placed next to the watch to indicate the magnetization. Fortunately, Kelly told me that magnetism usually does not cause permanent damage. However, he did say that he “sees that the balance spring calibration has been adversely affected, requiring intervention and adjustment by the watchmaker. This is especially true for hairsprays that lack proper end curves (with dog legs and/or upper spirals) in low-quality sports. “Except for these more extreme cases, magnetized watches are easy to repair. Any watch repair shop should be able to quickly diagnose and demagnetize the watch. If you don’t live near a store or don’t like to do it yourself, you can buy a device that claims to demagnetize your watch for less than $20 on websites such as Amazon and eBay.

How much reluctance do I need?

Initially, antimagnetic watches were sold to engineers and scientists. In other words, I am an engineer and never let mechanical watches be magnetized. For many people, a watch that meets the basic ISO or DIN anti-magnetic requirements should be sufficient to avoid magnetism. If you have magnetized your watch in the past, it is worth buying a watch with an iron cover to protect its movement. I expect that the 1,000 Gauss it can resist should be enough to cover any “typical” situation anyone might encounter. However, if you tend to encounter very powerful magnets (or if you like to collect extreme spec watches), something like the Omega 15000 Gauss movement may be worth it. Is reluctance important to you when buying a watch? Is your watch magnetized? We are happy to hear it in the comments.

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