Magnetized During Transit? This Happen to Anybody Else?

Place for watch and non-watch related topics
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1690
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:16 am
Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Magnetized During Transit? This Happen to Anybody Else?

#1 Post by tnwareagle89 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:40 am

I visited the watch repair shop I use yesterday and had a few examples needing work - one was a Hamilton "Skip Jack" diver's watch from the mid 70s. The movement is the "Electronic" 702. It's the second one purchased because it was a good price. After I received it and observed it for accuracy, I noticed it was running very fast (approx. 10 min a day). After a few weeks, it had taken off into the future.

Anyways, the repair guy thought the main spring might have gotten magnetized. He checked it and sure enough it had. After a couple of zaps with his tools, the magnetization was little to none and the watch has been keeping accurate time for the last 24 hours.

Has anyone else experienced this? Does it happen during transit from the seller as packages are "checked" or "scanned"?

Lastly, would this affect all movements or just the Electric or Electronic?

What's the best way to prevent this? Input appreciated


P.S. On a good note, it's the cheapest repair bill so far ($0)
better than a regular service (runs approximately $160 on these movements)

Posts: 957
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:02 pm

Re: Magnetized During Transit? This Happen to Anybody Else?

#2 Post by mrtoad » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:54 pm

It's the hairspring on the balance that gets magnetized and causes a watch to run fast: when it's magnetized, a couple of turns of the spring stick together, which in effect shortens the spring, just as moving the regulator does. The shortening from turns touching is much more than the shortening that can be accomplished by the regulator, and so the watch turns out running very fast. This can happen to any watch with a balance, whether it's a regular mechanical watch or an electromechanical, including both the electric and electronic Hamiltons.

Magnetization of the mainspring is less of a problem, unless magnetic induction causes the hairspring to become magnetized as well. (Magnetic induction is the effect in which an object becomes magnetized by being in the presence of another magnetized object. Depending on the material and environment, this can be temporary or permanent. It's this effect that lets you magnetize a screwdriver by rubbing it on a magnet.)

Yes, shipping can cause magnetization, and there are several possible ways. Security scanners may have power supplies and other components with magnetic fields. You never know what's in the other packages around yours. And, yes, a sudden jolt to a piece of ferrous material, such as a hairspring, can cause it to pick up environmental magnetism that wouldn't otherwise affect it. It's an almost random effect, but well known outside watchmaking circles.

User avatar
Posts: 2646
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:34 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Magnetized During Transit? This Happen to Anybody Else?

#3 Post by HandyDan » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:42 pm

I once gave a Hamilton Dennis to a friend of mine named Dennis. He's an avid golfer and he took his watch off and put it in his golf bag. When he took it out, one of his magnetic ball markers was stuck to it. The watch ran like crap after that. He gave it to me and I put it though my demagnetizer and poof, like magic, it went right back to running well.

It doesn't take a lot to magnetize a watch slightly. I often find that the hands on project watches are magnetized as they stick together when I take them off.
"If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy" - Red Green

Posts: 930
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Magnetized During Transit? This Happen to Anybody Else?

#4 Post by Squash61 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:04 am

I just got a modern Hamilton with an eta 2824 automatic movement and was running about 30 secs fast per day and a couple zaps on the damag got it to about 6 secs per day. I guess the shipping process did magnetize it just slightly.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:11 am

Re: Magnetized During Transit? This Happen to Anybody Else?

#5 Post by HarveyRag » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:53 am

Can't day make the package protect the watches from being magnetized somehow though?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests