Magnetisation and How It Can Adversely Affect Your Watch

No matter how expensive or complicated a watch’s structure is, it is no match for magnetism.

Watches are one of the most basic yet essential tools that men and women have used since the 16th century. They have been able to adapt and survive the changing times and even wars.

They are used for various tasks such as synchronising military manoeuvres, timing a race, indicating time for diving, or simply keeping up with fashion. Given its varied uses, clockmakers continuously develop new designs and mechanisms for watches to satisfy every wearer’s needs and demands.

However, even the most complex and quality watches, such as Seiko mod watches, are not invincible to magnetism.

What Does Magnetism Do?

Magnetism is a natural force that produces either an attracting or repelling energy on a magnetic material such as the metals in Seiko parts. 

Magnetism can also be reproduced artificially for tools such as compasses used for navigation. Exposure to these magnetic forces at certain levels or for prolonged periods can damage your watch.

A mechanical watch is composed of small components that operate on an intricate and miniature scale to provide accuracy to every tick. This includes stainless steel, ceramic, titanium, metals, and alloys that make these watches durable and high-performance.

A magnetic force can misalign or alter these minute details and affect your watch. The balance spring is a particularly fragile and vital part of a watch that can be affected by magnetism.

This part is a thinly coiled stainless steel that maintains the release of energy on the balance wheel. This directly affects the accuracy of the watch movement. 

A magnetic field can make the balance spring stick to itself, make it shorter, and cause friction with each movement. This can make the watch move faster, slower, or completely stop its movement.

What Can Magnetise Your Watch?

Various things can magnetise your watch. You may unknowingly expose your watch to a magnetic source. Some common ones include:

  • Cell phones
  • Refrigerator doors
  • Hairdryers
  • Washing machines
  • Microwave ovens
  • PC speakers

After a long day, you may brush along these surfaces daily or drop your watch on the counter near these items.

While small exposures do not automatically magnetise a watch, they could influence your timepiece negatively over time.

Signs and Testing for Magnetisation

There are various indications that your watch is magnetised. You may notice changes in the watch’s speed, whether it is going faster, slower, or it’s stopping completely, even if you have not dropped or impacted the watch recently. A second hand may gain or lose momentum by several ticks.

There are some ways to test if your watch has been magnetised. You can try any of the following:

  • Use the Lepsi app for iOS users, and hover your watch above the phone screen for detection
  • Use a standard needle compass to see if the compass needle follows your watch

These methods may not give you a reliable answer, so it is best to get your watch checked by a local watchmaker or an authorised service centre in your town.


As a watch mechanism is powered by small components that rely on accuracy, getting your watch magnetised can negatively affect its performance. Various items in the home can magnetise your watch without you knowing. If you notice signs of magnetisation, it is best to seek an authorised service centre to diagnose and fix this problem.

Are you looking for an authorised dealer of Seiko parts in the UK? We at Seiko Mods specialise in custom parts to ensure the accuracy and function of your Seiko watches. Check out our collection of pieces through our online shop.

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