How Can You Tell If a Watch Is Magnetized?

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If you take your watch in for professional servicing, one of the things the repair person will do is check the watch to see if it’s been magnetized. If it is discovered that it is actually magnetized, they will demagnetize it. This means that if your watch becomes magnetized, the problem is not irreversible, but why is a magnetized watch so bad? Does a watch that’s been magnetized really have to be demagnetized? In other words, what is the big deal about a magnetized watch?

As a general rule, a watch that has been magnetized can affect the spring inside of the watch, which means that it’s easy for the watch to be inaccurate. An inaccurate watch will run fast or slow, and before you know it, a lot of time has been lost and the watch will essentially be way off from that point forward. Fortunately, it is easy to demagnetize your watch and you don’t even have to do it yourself.

What Causes a Watch to Become Magnetized?

We live in a very high-tech electronic world, and this can directly affect our watches. If you look around, you’ll likely notice tons of electronics around you that produce some type of magnetic field. All of these things can accidentally magnetize your watch. Some of the scenarios that cause your watch to be magnetized include:

  • You wear your watch while getting an X-ray
  • You wear your watch while going through airport security
  • You work in a place where there are radio waves all around you
  • You get your watch too close to a microwave oven
  • You lay your hand on top of a speaker
  • Your watch gets too close to your cell phone

If you experience any of these things and your watch starts to act up and run either too fast or too slow, it is likely magnetized and needs to be serviced.

How Can I Tell If My Watch Is Magnetized?

If you’d like to know if your watch is magnetized before you bring it to a service repair shop, there is one simple test that you can use to test the watch, and all you need is a standard compass. Here is all you need to do:

  • Lay the compass face up on a flat surface
  • Place the watch over and above the compass
  • If the needle on the compass moves in any direction, it means that your watch has been magnetized

There are also mobile phone apps that you can use to do the same thing. One of those is called Lepsi, and it puts a sensor on your screen that you use just the same as the compass in the above description. Both of these methods are reliable and tell you instantly if your watch is now magnetized.

Can a Watch Demagnetize Itself?

While watches can demagnetize themselves without any intervention, it can take a very long time for that to happen. A magnetized watch can stay magnetized for months or even years. This is a very long time to put up with a watch that is not accurate.

In fact, most magnetized items will demagnetize on their own over time, but since it can take years for this to happen, you might want to consider your options. These options include taking the watch to a watchmaker and trying out one of those demagnetizing machines that you can buy for your home.

The devices that you buy for home use are called degausser machines, and they can decrease or even eliminate the magnetization from your watch. Most of these machines are very inexpensive, not to mention very easy to use. Below are some excellent demagnetizers currently found on Amazon:

These demagnetizers are true miracle workers, but as with any product found online, you need to do your due diligence to make sure that the company is reputable and the product itself has high ratings from its customers. Doing a little online research ahead of time will help you find the right demagnetizer for your watch and allow you to take care of the problem quickly.

Is it Bad to Demagnetize a Watch?

It is not bad to demagnetize a watch, but this doesn’t mean you should be doing this every week. If your watch needs to be demagnetized, by all means get it done. In the vast majority of cases, your watch will not suffer by getting demagnetized often, but since the components in the watch are delicate and have to be set up just right for the watch to work properly, you don’t want to do anything that might throw off those components.

It’s actually a “better safe than sorry” measure. So while demagnetizing doesn’t harm the watch, it might — just might — throw off the components a bit if you were to demagnetize too often.

A watch that has been magnetized can cause all sorts of problems, with the most common one being that it is inaccurate and you’ll either lose or gain seconds or minutes during the day. Over time, these seconds can add up and cause the watch to be way off when you look at the time.

Demagnetizing the watch isn’t that difficult, but the decision to either buy your own degausser machine or let the watchmakers do it instead is a personal one. Either way, it’s good to know that demagnetizing a watch is simple, efficient, and inexpensive.

Last update on 2024-05-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API