Magnetized watches: Causes, solutions and how to avoid them
Magnetized watches can be a common issue for owners of mechanical timepieces, often causing them to run inaccurately or malfunction. Understanding the causes of magnetization, as well as how to detect and fix it, can help you ensure that your watch remains precise and dependable for years to come.
Why Magnetization Occurs in Watches
The modern world is filled with an abundance of devices and appliances that emit magnetic fields, such as smartphones, computers, refrigerators, and microwaves. Unfortunately, these sources of magnetism can have an adverse effect on the intricate workings of your mechanical watch. When your timepiece comes into contact with a strong magnetic field, it may become magnetized, leading to erratic performance or timekeeping inaccuracies.
One of the key components of a watch that is affected by magnetization is the balance spring. When a watch becomes magnetized, the balance spring can stick together at certain points, effectively shortening its length. This causes the balance to complete its oscillations more quickly than it should, resulting in the watch running faster than normal.
How to Determine Wether Your Watch is Magnetized
There are a few ways to check if your watch may be magnetized if you have a suspicion:
1. Observation: If your watch is consistently running faster (by several minutes per day), it could be magnetized.
2. Use a compass: You can use a traditional compass to detect magnetism. Just move your watch slowly around the compass. If the compass needle moves significantly as the watch approaches, this may be an indication that the watch is magnetized.
3. Specialized Apps: There are also apps available for smartphones that can detect magnetic fields. You can use one of these to check if your watch is magnetized.
Demagnetizing Your Watch
If you find that your watch is indeed magnetized, don't panic. The process to demagnetize it is relatively simple and can be performed at home with the right equipment:
1. Purchase a watch demagnetizer: These can be easily purchased online.
2. Use the demagnetizer:The process usually involves placing your watch on the demagnetizer and pressing a button to start the demagnetization process. You may have to repeat this process a few times to fully demagnetize the watch.
3. Check the watch:After demagnetizing, check the watch to see if it's running accurately. If not, you may need to repeat the process or consider taking it to a professional watchmaker.
While the demagnetization process is generally safe, it's worth noting that there's always a risk when performing any operation on a delicate piece of machinery like a watch. If you're at all uncomfortable with doing this yourself, you should consider taking your watch to a professional.
Preventing Your watch to become Magnetized
To avoid the problem of a magnetized watch, it's best to keep your timepiece away from sources of strong magnetic fields. Here are some tips:
- Keep your watch away from electronics like laptops, speakers, and smartphones.
- Avoid placing your watch on or near appliances like microwaves or refrigerators.
- Consider purchasing a watch with anti-magnetic properties if you frequently are exposed to strong magnetic fields.
A magnetized watch can be a common and frustrating issue for watch owners, but it's one that can be easily remedied with the right knowledge and tools. By understanding what causes magnetization, how to detect it, and how to fix it, you can ensure that your watch keeps ticking accurately for years to come.