Don't Bother

Submitted by stoddrob on March 24, 2012 - 11:46pm


Posted March 25, 2012 - 3:10am

I'm sure that your watch has been magnetized. As you know, you should demagnetize your watch. Usually, professional watch demagnetizers are very expensive, and they are powerful. However, we're just watch lover, we can use small blue color demagnetizers. You can search and buy them on ebay watches category under $20. They're demagnetizers for screws, tweezers or small watch parts, and they have a little bit weak power than professional demagnetizers. However you should get a good result, if you try to demagnetize 3 to 5 times continuously when you use it for your watch. Good luck.



Jim Townsend
Posted March 25, 2012 - 5:17am

I have a watch doing this too mine will gain 45 min. in 24 hours and i was told i needed to have the hairspring replaced. Maybe i will try this also. You can watch the sub second hand through a loop and it really is moving way to fast. How does this happen that a watch becomes magnetized ?

Reverend Rob
Posted March 25, 2012 - 12:03pm

We come into contact with magnetic fields often in our daily routines. Magnets reside in speakers, on the backs of fridge magnets, magnetic stripping, cell phone closures, etc. Electromagnetic fields from various electric and electronic appliances are also part of this unseen 'pollution'. Magnetism is transferred easily from object to object, as anyone with a magnetized screwdriver knows. When you are dealing with parts as tiny as those in a watch, a little magnetism does a lot of harm. 

Another possibility, and one I have come across too often, is the watch having been worked on by someone who pinned the hairspring too short. Sometimes when the hairsping is replaced, or the balance complete, the spring has an incorrect pinning point or ending at the stud. I see this often in pocketwatches, where the hairspring has been replaced with the incorrect one, or improperly installed. If this is the case, it usually means the hairspring must be replaced again, with the correct one, or the pinning point corrected. The difference can be as little as 4mm. Watches will also run fast (or slow) if they have timing washers improperly installed or screws improperly adjusted or cut. 

Posted March 25, 2012 - 12:37pm

..or the hairspring is bent.

Posted March 25, 2012 - 1:24pm



I picked up one of the blue demagnitizers and have seen several different procedures for using it to demagnitize watches. What method do you use that works best for you?



Posted March 25, 2012 - 2:07pm

Good stuff guys! Thanks for the input! I had a PM that suggested the hairspring could be touching or rubbing a wheel (Seond wheel most likely) or "snagged" while re-installing the balance. All of these are possibilities. I think i'll try a demagnetizer first, and check hairspring contact with a wheel at the same time. This should eliminate two possible conditions. The last resort would be change the hairspring.

Speaking of which...many of us are pretty good at watches, but balance repair is an expertise I have not mastered. First, it is very exact, and second, it required all the right tools and know-how and experience. Is there anyone out there who can affordablly re-staff a balance, change a hairspring, or even completely re-build a balance using NOS parts (rollers, hairspring complete, staff)? I could generate some work for someone who has the knowledge and long as it's more afforable then finding and buying a NOS Balance Complete (which is what I normally do!). I have messed up too many balances trying to use my punch set! I can usually remove the hairspring (although sometimes they get maessed up!) and remove a broken staff...but getting the new staff to seat properly, re-inserting the roller in correct position, and inserting the hairspring has been a challange...never seems to work right for me! I'd even pay someone to show me how!

Should this be a separate Forum post?


Posted March 25, 2012 - 2:12pm

Moved it under Watch Repair.  Seems to fit that catagory pretty well.

Jim Townsend
Posted March 25, 2012 - 2:43pm

I have looked at the back and can see no service marks on this. It is quiet possible that it was worked on by someone and never was marked as such. I think i will send mine to timemachiens and have him get it right. He did a great job on the last watch i sent him.

Reverend Rob
Posted March 25, 2012 - 8:35pm

I have several demagnetizers, including a little blue Etic one, which says made in Switzerland. Suspiciously, it looks  exactly like the blue ones made in China. It works the least well of the ones I use. Depending on the part or whole movt being demagged, it depends on your procedure. Some parts must not touch the surface and be pulled up and out of the field, others seem to be ok with sitting on the surface and very quickly tapping the button. This is not an instantaneous demagnetizer, if you hold the button down, the field remains active. I have had to use different methods to get results from it. I have demagged screwdrivers by pulling them out of the field, and small parts by holding them down so they don't jump. Full movts seem to only be demagged by holding them an inch or two above the surface, engaging the field, and drawing them straight up and out of the field. As I say, I find this one to be the most hit and miss, and usually end up trying different methods to ge the part demagged.

I have an old Magna Flux, which is instantaneous and works well. I also have a new Helmut Klein (Greiner AG) which blows them all away. It works instantly and flawlessly, but costs about $280. 

Hairspring manipulation and regulation, or springing and timing, is absolutely critical to watchwork, and it's something you have to be taught hands on, and practise a lot. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Under absolutely no circumstances should you let a quartz watch get anywhere near a demagnetizer. It will kill it instantly. Other strong magnetic fields will also wreck quartz watches. Also, even minute particles of dust can stop a quartz watch, while a mechanical one will be largely unaffected.