How to Demagnetize a Watch – The Complete Guide

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Without mincing words, a few modern factors pose a serious challenge to mechanical watch movement more than the issue of magnetism. Even though water resistance is a fantastic feature, you should look out for when shopping for a decent wristwatch, but guess what?

You can always keep your timepiece protected from water. On the other hand, silent factors like magnetism are an unseen threat to the wearability of your watch, and we are sure that many watch owners have had to deal with a magnetized watch at some point.

What happens when your watch is magnetized?

When your timepiece is magnetized, it starts acting awkwardly and running poorly. And the reason is that the major parts of your timepiece aren’t interacting as they should. This may result in your watch running quickly or erratically. More so, if the magnetic force is strong enough, your watch may stop working altogether, and we doubt if you’d like that very much.

Now the million-dollar question is, what can you do to resolve the problem? Read on as we will get to all of that in a bit.

 

Demagnetizing your wristwatch

If you notice that your watch starts running quickly or erratically, you should know that something is probably wrong. And if you suspect that it is magnetized, the first option you should explore is visiting a watchmaker to have your watch demagnetized. Even though this is a brilliant choice for many people, especially people with a tight schedule, you may not have a watchmaker close to you. For those willing to get their hands busy, we highly recommend buying a watch demagnetizing tool. This would save you a lot of headaches.

We had used one before and had the job done within minutes. It is a very easy tool you can get from most online retailers who deal in watchmaking supplies. While they come at different prices, the cheapest we have come across sold for $15. Using this brilliant tool, you can easily demagnetize your watch without thinking outside of the box. More so, it’s so simple to use. All you have to do is push down a button and let the magic unfold.

Should You Demagnetize?

If your timepiece suddenly starts running erratically or quickly, you should know that your watch needs to be demagnetized. Not doing this will leave you with a timepiece with a poor power reserve and tacky accuracy. For those curious to find out why their watch suddenly starts acting funny, there are many ways to test if your wrist watch is magnetized.

You can start with a compass. To get an accurate result, we would recommend using a simple digital compass. Once you have a digital compass, turn on the compass and slowly bring your timepiece close to the display. If you notice that the heading changes significantly every time you bring your watch close to the compass, it means that your watch is magnetized.

Another option you can explore is using the compass feature that comes with your smartphone. Even though we have come across smartphones that deliver inaccurate results when doing this test, we have found the Lepsi iPhone compass app to deliver impeccable reading when testing your watch for magnetism.

For android users, you can use the same app to test for magnetism on your wristwatch. That said, we have always found a simple digital compass worth it every single time we test for magnetism. More so, a digital compass won’t cost you a fortune. As a matter of fact, we believe that every watch owner should have a simple digital compass in their toolbox.

How to use a watch demagnetizer

Once you’re sure that your timepiece needs to be demagnetized and taken delivery of the tool, the demagnetizing process is a walk in the park. From experience, we have come to realize that if you don’t follow instructions, the process may not work for you. More so, you may end up increasing the level of magnetism already plaguing your device.

Also, before you get started, keep in mind that this process should only be used on a watch that isn’t running actively. For watches with a movement that needs to be hacked, it’s important you pull out the crown to stop the movement. If your watch doesn’t hack, keep it aside, and allow the power reserve to run out before using the demagnetizer. Here is how to demagnetize your watch using this brilliant tool:

  1. Kick-off the process by carefully holding your watch above the smooth pad on the tool. Some guides suggest placing your watch on the demagnetizer, but from our test, we discovered that holding it slightly above the smooth pad delivers the best results.
  2. With one hand carefully holding your wristwatch, get set to gently lift the watch away from the tool while using your other hand to hold down the button.
  3. When you hit the button, you should notice a light come on. Once that light comes on, you can proceed to raise your watch away from the demagnetizer gently. While we aren’t particularly sure of the distance, anything around 30cm should work just fine.
  4. As the timepiece moves towards the top of its travel, proceed to release the button.
  5. Now, set the watch back down, but not on the demagnetizer. If you did everything correctly, then you must have completed one demagnetization circle.
  6. After every circle, do well to retest your watch for magnetism. Only stop the process when you’re satisfied with the result.

Frequently asked questions

Can a timepiece demagnetize itself?

Anything that becomes magnetized can slowly wean itself over time without any intervention. Unfortunately, a magnetized watch can remain in that state for many months or even years, preventing it from functioning properly. Thankfully, demagnetizing a watch isn’t rocket science. With the tips listed above, you should get the job done within minutes.

How can anyone tell if their watch is magnetized?

Diagnosing watch magnetization is pretty easy. Simply place your watch close to a simple digital compass and observe how the compass needle moves. If the compass needle reacts every time you bring your watch close, it is a tell-tale sign that your watch is magnetized.

What happens when a timepiece is magnetized?

Because your mechanical watch is built using many metal parts, it makes sense that it is susceptible to magnetic influence. When a watch is magnetized, it may start running quickly or very slowly. Also, it may function erratically, resulting in poor accuracy.

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