The renowned Swiss watch brand OMEGA introduced the first truly anti-magnetic watch movement at a major press conference in Shanghai Science and Technology Museum on March 5th, 2013. This new movement uses various kinds of non-magnetic materials, and is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 1.5 tesla (15,000 gauss), far exceeding the levels of magnetic resistance achieved by any previous watch.
Stephen Urquhart, President of OMEGA, Jean-Claude. Monachon, Vice President of OMEGA and Head of Product Development, Michel Willemin, CEO of ASULAB, Thierry Conus, the Director of Research & Development at ETA and Wilson Yang, Vice President of OMEGA China presented at the press conference and shared details of the significant innovation and discussed its practical value with the guests.
Innovative Breakthrough in Anti-Magnetic Watchmaking
Magnetism affects the accuracy of watches, and has been an issue for watchmakers for centuries. Nowadays, magnets are not only more present in our daily lives than they have ever been before, but are increasing in strength as time goes by. However, OMEGA, working closely with its Swatch Group sister companies, resolved this problem by creatively challenging conventional anti-magnetic solutions and successfully creating the new anti-magnetic movement.
Stephen Urquhart, President of OMEGA, said: “The innovative movement not only marks a significant achievement of OMEGA, but also constitutes a breakthrough for the watch industry. Since its very beginning OMEGA has always strived to be a pioneer in its field, and without any doubt this anti-magnetic movement underscores the pioneering leadership of the OMEGA brand.”
Jean-Claude Monachon, Vice President of OMEGA and Head of Product Development further explained that the new watch movement was created not only to solve the magnetism issue in daily life but also to extend the brand’s legacy – in fact, the Railmaster, introduced in 1957 by OMEGA, has long been regarded as one of the classic anti-magnetic watches. He also pointed out that the creation of the new >15,000 gauss movement had been considered impossible by most experts. OMEGA finally turns “impossible” to “possible” with substantial support from Swatch Group.
Michel Willemin, CEO of ASULAB and Thierry Conus, the Director of Research & Development at ETA also made introductions at the Conference, focusing on issue of magnetism in daily life and the traditional anti-magnetic solutions respectively, highlighting the significance and advantages of the new OMEGA anti-magnetic movement. After the presentations, OMEGA made a live demonstration and let the attendees witness the superb performance of the new movement.
A Definitive Anti-magnetic Solution
Unlike the standard solution of placing the watch movement inside a magnetic shield casing, OMEGA has found its own way to address this problem. The innovative watch brand uses selected non-ferrous materials to create the movement itself, making the movement immune to magnetic fields from the very beginning.
The usual anti-magnetic solution relies primarily on a protective container inside the watchcase, such as a soft-iron inner case, to reduce the influence of magnetic field. Today, most "anti-magnetic" watches are only rated to 60-80 gauss; a few watches can reach 1000 gauss. The magnetic shielding is ineffective when a watch it equips is exposed to a magnetic field of more than 1000 gauss.
The new OMEGA anti-magnetic watch has advantages that distinguish it from every other magnetic watch: it is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 1.5 tesla (15,000 gauss); without the inner case, the anti-magnetic watches can have a date window and can have sapphire crystal casebacks that reveal the beauty of the movement. Without doubt OMEGA has again achieved a milestone in horlogical innovation.
The innovative anti-magnetic movement has been fitted in an OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra prototype. OMEGA expects to present the technology at the Baselworld trade fair in April. The new movement, the OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 8508, should be introduced to the market in 2013.