Magnetism is an issue that affects mechanical watches. A significant change in timing is a clear sign that your watch could be magnetised. A watch that started out by running a few seconds faster per day can start running hours faster per day if it’s magnetised.
How Does a Watch Get Magnetised?
It’s actually very easy for a watch to become magnetised. Most of what you do during a normal day as the potential to cause this issue.
For one, appliances and electronic devices can slowly start to magnetise a mechanical watch, including microwaves and computers. Basically, any device that has a strong magnetic field has the ability to magnetise a watch. A watch’s balance spring is the component that’s usually responsible for most of the magnetism.
When a balance spring is magnetised, it causes the watch to oscillate faster, which is when a change in time occurs.
Signs Your Watch is Magnetised
There are two ways that you can tell whether your phone is magnetised. The first is a compass and the second is an application called Lepsi.
If you happen to have a compass at home, set it on a flat table and hold your watch over it. If your watch causes the needle of the compass to move, it’s magnetised.
The Lepsi app is currently only available for iOS. There is an app called Kello for Android devices but it isn’t known to work very well.
If you have an iOS device, download the Lepsi app – it’s completely free. The app provides clear instructions on how to set up the magnetic sensor. Once you start the sensor, place the watch about 1cm away – be sure not to touch the screen. The app will then tell you whether magnetism has been detected.
What to Do If Your Watch is Magnetised
If your watch is magnetised, you will need to fix it. The first option is to send it off to a repair centre such as Martins of Glasgow. It only takes several minutes to demagnetise a watch and it’s an affordable repair too.
The other option is to purchase your own equipment. A demagnetiser is inexpensive but it’s only worthwhile if you have several mechanical watches and want to ensure you can fix them at home whenever you need to. A demagnetiser is also very easy to use. You simply press a button while your watch is placed on top of it.
Do Anti-Magnetic Watches Exist?
Yes, there are several brands that have taken steps to reduce the effects of magnetic fields on their timepieces. One method is to protect the mechanics of the watch with a metal cage. Most of the time this cage is made from soft iron, which keeps the magnetism away from the internal mechanisms. The other way to reduce the effects is to build parts using non-iron materials, which can’t be magnetised as easily.
If you’re interested in purchasing an anti-magnetic watch, Rolex and Omega are two brands that make them. If you already have a collection of watches you love, magnetism isn’t a cause for concern and can easily be corrected.