Omega has announced the creation of a watch movement that is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss − far exceeding the levels of magnetic resistance achieved by other watches and solving a problem that has challenged watchmakers for centuries.
Introducing the Omega Co-Axial calibre 8508 prototype at a press conference in Geneva, Omega vice-president Raynald Aeschlimann said that “unlike other efforts to combat the effects of magnetism, the Omega movement does not rely on a protective container inside the watchcase but on the use of selected non-ferrous materials in the movement itself”.
Omega head of product development Jean-Claude Monachon then explained that magnetism had always been an issue for watchmakers but magnets were now more present in our daily lives than ever before.
“Watchmakers have to deal regularly with the issue of magnetism as it is necessary for them to demagnetise mechanical watches whose performance has been compromised by exposure to magnetic fields.”
Monachon said the prototype, which has been fitted in an Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, was subjected to magnetism levels of 15,000 gauss but “testing showed that the watch was as accurate after its magnetic exposure as it had been before”.
Several patents are pending for the new movement which is due to be launched onto the market later this year.