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Nowadays, magnetic fields are omnipresent and exist wherever there is electricity. Luckily for us watch fans, fine timepieces for the every day are protected against general magnetism. The average mechanical timepiece can be affected by magnetic fields of 50 to 100 gauss. But for those watch lovers who work in environments where higher levels of magnetism prevail, such as engineers, a specific instrumental timepiece must be worn in order to ensure that the inner components of the watch are protected. Thus, the ideal watches for engineers must feature antimagnetic properties. Engineering watches are specifically designed to reliably display the time in highly magnetic environments. Discover the origin of Engineering timepieces and our top 5 recommendations for these magnificent tool watches.
If a watch comes in contact with a strong magnetic field, this could have a negative impact on its accuracy and result in the timepiece no longer functioning reliably. While most modern timepieces are able to withstand everyday magnetism, special watches are required for highly magnetic environments. The need for antimagnetic watches arose in the 1950s as a direct result of the work carried out by scientists and engineers. Since then, the watch industry has manufactured many engineering watches, all of which are resistant to magnetic fields while simultaneously looking extremely refined on the wrist.
The Omega Aqua Terra > 15,000 Gauss is an impressive example of the innovative breakthroughs that Omega has achieved in the Swiss watchmaking industry. While antimagnetic features are usually achieved via an antimagnetic cage enclosing the watch movement, Omega has instead created a movement that is comprised of antimagnetic materials, thus allowing this Aqua Terra to resist magnetic field reaching an incredible 15,000 gauss.
The German watchmaker Sinn offers impressive functional timepieces, including the Sinn 857 UTC, which demonstrates exceptional resistance against magnetic fields. However, this model serves as more than an exceptional engineering watch – it also features a GMT function and is water resistant up to 200 meters. The antimagnetic properties of the Sinn 857 UTC are achieved via a soft metal cage inside the watch case, which protects the watch movement. The timepiece is resistant to magnetic fields up to 80,000 A/m.
One of the most iconic timepieces in the luxury watch market also happens to be the perfect watch for Engineers – the Rolex Milgauss. The cleverly composed name of the model – “mille” standing for thousand and “gauss” standing for the unit of magnetic induction – represents its ability to withstand magnetic fields of up to 1,000 gauss. The timepiece is not only able to resist magnetic fields thanks to the inner case protecting the movement but also due to the blue parachrom hairspring, which is composed of a stable paramagnetic alloy, ensuring t cannot be affected by magnetic fields.
IWC presented the iconic Ingenieur to the market in 1954. As the name suggest, today’s highly regarded IWC Ingenieur series was originally developed for engineers and scientists – with “Ingenieur” being the German word for “Engineer”. Since the movement was protected by a soft inner cage, the watch could withstand 80,000 A/m, which corresponds to 1,000 Gauss. While the current Ingenieur series from IWC does not provide any special protection against magnetic fields, vintage enthusiasts should not forget about the Ingenieur reference 3508. The fine timepiece was designed by the legendary Gérald Genta and can withstand magnetic fields of up to 500,000 A/m. The watch was only produced between 1989 and 1993.
The manufacturer Panerai, whose history has revolved around diving watches, introduced the Luminor Submersible Amagnetic or PAM 389 at SIHH 2013. The timepiece provides magnetic field protection of up to 40,000 A/m, which is achieved by a soft inner cage protecting the movement. For this reason, the typical showcasing of Panerai movements via the sapphire case back is not present in this model, which is powered by the Calibre P.9000. In addition to its antimagnetic properties, the watch is waterproof up to 300 metres and features a sleek titanium case.
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