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What are Anti-Magnetic Watches and Why Do They Matter?
Just like deep dive watches, anti-magnetic watches have enjoyed their own niche fans – and for a very good reason. Initially established for the pilots and engineers, the technology behind these timepieces are treasured more so in the contemporary age. Popular pieces like the Rolex Milgauss and the Omega Aqua Terra even have their own devoted followers.
Why were these watches made in the first place? Why does it even matter today? I will break down these common questions in regard to these strong and protective anti-magnetic watches and provide you with a list of the popular and affordable ones you can consider buying on the market today.
What Are Anti-magnetic Watches?
One looming threat to the accuracy of most mechanical watches is contact with magnetic fields. Your laptops, smartphones, and speakers all have magnetic fields. A small contact can throw off the preciseness of an unprotected watch by a few seconds. The worst part, your watch can be off by a lot more. A real hassle.
Initially, these sturdy watches were created to fit the needs of professionals within the aviation and engineering industry where close contact with magnetic fields is met on a daily and heavy basis. Now, several contemporary watches are equipped with anti-magnetic technology to protect their movement.
There are usually two ways to go about keeping the watch from being magnetized invented by watchmakers. First, creating a protector for the entire movement in the form of an inner cage made from highly magnetically permeable material which will attract magnetic field lines and help preserve the accuracy of the movement.
The alternative is to create the inner parts prone to magnetism such as the balance springs in nonferrous materials. This way, the accuracy of the watch can be kept. Materials like alloy have been favored by the industry in contrast to ferrous steel. Aside from that, silicon-made parts have also enjoyed popularity due to their effectiveness.
Why Does It Matter?
During the olden days, these anti-magnetic watches were necessary for pilots, engineers, and professions that regularly in contact with magnetic fields. These days, magnetic fields surround us. Our toasters, stainless kettle, laptops, monitors – most are made from ferrous materials with the capability of slowing down our precious timepieces.
The question posed is how much of a threat all these surrounding magnetic materials are to the accuracy of our watch. Well, as an example, a fluorescent desk lamp produces only up to 4 gausses (gauss: unit of magnetic induction).
Although a demagnetization fix is a common request in watch services, you may prefer to buy an anti-magnetic watch altogether to avoid the inconvenience.
The everyday person may not need the Rolex Milgauss (withstands up to 1.000 gausses) or the Omega Aqua Terra (15.000 gausses), but similar to dive watches, an anti-magnetic watch is a powerful tool possessing a certain attractiveness to them. Timepieces under the ISO 764 standard that can withstand up to 60 gausses are also available options.
5 of the Best Antimagnetic Watches
Fancy buying an anti-magnetic watch to add to your collection? Consider the best and most affordable ones as noted on the list below.
1. Rolex Milgauss
The most iconic of all anti-magnetic watches is the Rolex Milgauss. Offering a Faraday inner cage to shield the movement, the modern rendition highlights non-ferrous materials. This watch was first established in 1955 for CERN scientists, this hardy watch offers protection of up to 1.000 gausses (hence the name, Milgauss).
The watch comes at a modest 40mm size and features the signature lightning second hand. With a price tag of $8.200, this timepiece is of great quality and assurance for top-notch precision in time reading.
2. Damasko DC66
Next on the list of best anti-magnetic watches is the Damasko DC66. Presented by the best of German engineering, this fantastic timepiece is also the most affordable anti-magnetic watch coming on the list at $2.295. The watch is also equipped with in-house movements, the Valjoux 775.
This mostly black watch is peppered with white details. As can be seen on the matt black dial highlighting white hour markers and also numerals. Also in its leather strap with white stitches for decoration.
Oh and here’s a very pleasant fact: all Damasko watches are fitted with anti-magnetic properties able to withstand up to 80,000 A/m (1.000 gausses).
3. Sinn 756 Diapal
The Sinn 756 Diapal is an anti-magnetic watch you would not want to miss. Made in German, the brand Sinn is famously connected with the professions regularly in contact with ferrous materials. The 756 pilot watch utilizes a Faraday cage and nickel-free materials contributing to the anti-magnetism.
With a matt black dial and double dial showcasing the minutes and seconds, the attractiveness lies in the simplicity of white markings, numerals, and hands. Priced at $3.580, this is one of the more affordable anti-magnetic watches and beautiful addition to any watch collection on the list.
4. Omega Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss
One of the best anti-magnetic watches out there comes from the renowned brand Omega. The Omega Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss can withstand up to 1,200,000 A/m. While there’s no Faraday cage, this timepiece is armed with only nonferrous materials contributing to its ever compelling anti-magnetic abilities.
This Omega timepiece is a mostly black and minimal yellow combination. The vertical squared lines provide a subtle but elusive backdrop on its dial. Priced at $6.300, this is a great watch for the powerful technology and beautiful design it offers.
5. IWC Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth
The last on the list of best anti-magnetic watches is the IWC Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Watch. This timepiece comes from the Ingenieur collection famously designed by the great Gerald Genta now renowned as one of the most capable anti-magnetic watches.
The Swiss-made Mission Earth instills Gentas’ design cues and although capable of only 80,000 A/m of magnetic protection, other features such as the shock-absorption system, 44-hour power reserve, and a 110m water resistance makes this watch a marvelous piece at a price tag of $8.300.
So, have any of these watches made an impression on you? Whether you choose to buy one or not, like other timepieces with powerful features, these anti-magnetic watches are proof of the fine craftsmanship in the era of contemporary horology that remains to be worthy of our appreciation.
Find out more about the world of horology and timekeeping catered for the watch enthusiasts and collectors at our Gnomon blog.