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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:54 pm 
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Just want to say a big thanks to Ian for making the the original post. I was a "physics man" myself for a number of years before switching (bizarrely) to economics, so this was a great refresher..... especially as magnetism wasn't my thing! :bow:

(And I've got absolutely NOTHING to say about cell phones! :shock: :wink: )

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Roffensian wrote:
Shadow87 wrote:
Physics 101, i loved that class (way more than biology or chem).

You still won't see a cell affecting your watch (related to the other thread).

Now bigger magnets, sure... heck if some can fubard electronics, i'm sure they can fubard something mechanical.

Now anyone wanna try 'Is a swiss watch microwable?' :poke:


I don't often do this, but I absolutely hate misinformation and as Ian has gone to so much trouble to make this a wonderful thread I can't stand back. So, with apologies in advance for any patronising tone........

I know that you have just turned 23 and make an undoubtedly good living, but.......

I have been studying watches since you were in kindergarten, am learning watchmaking (which requires an understanding of dealing with magnetism) and have studied pretty much all of the modern and vintage classics on watches, movements, repairing and adjusting - from Breguet to De Carle to Daniels.

Additionally, Ian is clearly extremely knowledgeable on magnetism as evidenced by his extremely educational post at the start of this thread.

As Ian states, permanent magnets are found in speakers of any size and pose a real risk to your watch.

Cell phones contain speakers and they have magnets in them - that's an indisputable fact.

Magnets can affect watches - that's an indidputable fact.

The risk of a watch being magnetised by the relatively weak fields is clearly less than throwing your watch into an MRI machine, but that risk clearly exists - to say that it doesn't is simply untrue.

The risk can be virtually eliminated by not storing your watch on top of the cell phone, and of course putting your watch on your cell phone for a few minutes once is unlikely to cause problems. However, to say that cell phones cannot magnetise your watch is simply untrue. People these days often keep their cell phone next to the bed - same as their watch, and keeping the two separate is a sensible precaution to avoid any risk.


That's absolutely fine 'old man' :D

But i have been disassembling electronics since i was old enough to smash things :uplaugh:

If you truly believe your cell can affect your watch, thats fine, but you are absolutely wrong. The magnets in them are ridiculously small and weak. Now if you were to maybe stick a big rare earth magnet to your watch, i am SURE it will affect your watch. But NOT your cell.

You also fail to take into account the strength of magnets, the shielding of magnets, and the raw distance from the magnet to the watch. I could make a very long post about magnets in cell/electronics, disassemble some stuff (including my old HTC Touch), throw some pics up and invite a physics teacher from Polytechnique over, but it would simply be a waste of time.

Your watch is safe next to your cell, or even on top of it :)

Unless your cell is some-kind of old monstrosity with large rare earth magnets in them... Honestly i would be more worried about hitting your watch against the corner of a door than your cell magnetizing your watch.

dhalem wrote:
You should try disassembling a cell phone. The magnet inside the speaker is so tiny you can barely see it. I doubt very much you can magnetize a hairspring through it. I too hate misinformation. I'm the same age as you and I've been taking things apart since we were both in kindergarten. I've seen speakers with magnets large enough to pick up a heavy wrench. The speaker in a cell phone is smaller than a dime. I just tried picking up iron filings with it and I couldn't.

I'll post a picture of a cell phone speaker. You could do the math based on the size and figure out how many Gauss a magnet that size can put out. My guess is that it is tiny.


Yupp, i actually have a drawer of old parts from old cells (funny how they break right after warranty finishes...), and they are tiny. You find WAY more powerfull magnets at the dollar store. Now those would/could be dangerous for your watch.


YES a magnet can/will affect your watch if its strong/large/close enough. But NOT cell magnets for MULTIPLE reasons already stated. No one (i think) say's that a watches are invulnerable to magnetism! My argument is strictly about magnets in a cell VS a watch

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:44 pm 
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Thanks Ian, great to have a refresher. One always learns something new when the information is presented in a different way. I've actually been trying to work out for a while now what strength magnet can actually cause damage and also how far your watch has to be from that magnet before it's affected. If I learn anything I'll be happy to present.

Certainly an interesting thread in more ways than one :shock:

Driver8 wrote:
Just want to say a big thanks to Ian for making the the original post. I was a "physics man" myself for a number of years before switching (bizarrely) to economics, so this was a great refresher..... especially as magnetism wasn't my thing! :bow:

Not so bizarre Driver. I went from business to science and then back into finance/business.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:56 pm 
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Tim S wrote:
Thanks Ian, great to have a refresher. One always learns something new when the information is presented in a different way. I've actually been trying to work out for a while now what strength magnet can actually cause damage and also how far your watch has to be from that magnet before it's affected. If I learn anything I'll be happy to present.


You would need to figure out the magnet strength and its field.

I'm glad to see i'm not the only one that had troubles finding his 'path'. I started university in Computer Science, switched to Political Science (hated it) and i'm now in Business Management and wrapping that up... And i'm a photographer haha... :poke:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Interesting article on watches and magnetism on a Seiko distributors website.
http://www.thongsia.com.my/v2/support/l ... etism.html


Last edited by br549 on Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:17 pm 
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br549 wrote:
Interesting article on watches and magnetism on Seiko's website.
http://www.thongsia.com.my/v2/support/l ... etism.html


Quote:
Be aware of mobile phones
If you put your watch in your handbag along with your mobile phone or you put your watch close to your mobile phone after taking your watch off your wrist, your watch will be easily affected by magnetism. Keep your watch away from mobile phones.


So a 'warning' from Seiko to stay on the safe side, even though they state previously that you would need a strong magnet to affect watches (which aren't found in cells).

Again, pretty sure everyone is on the same page, magnets affect watches, yes, but do cell magnets affect watches? No. They aren't powerfull enough.

Now what needs to be done is to measure how much Gauss you need to affect the hairspring in a watch.

Then you need to take into account the strength, shielding and the distance of the magnet to the hairspring to figure out if it would affect it.

Again, regular cell magnets won't, they aren't powerful enough. Dollar store rare earth magnet will though.

And with this i'm off to the restaurant. If you guys want to be safe, keep your watch away from your PC/Laptop, now the magnets in those ARE powerful enough.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:26 pm 
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Shadow87 wrote:
So a 'warning' from Seiko to stay on the safe side, even though they state previously that you would need a strong magnet to affect watches (which aren't found in cells).

Well I think it actually says this"
Thong SiA SDN BHD. (Seiko distributor.) wrote:
Be aware of mobile phones
If you put your watch in your handbag along with your mobile phone or you put your watch close to your mobile phone after taking your watch off your wrist, your watch will be easily affected by magnetism. Keep your watch away from mobile phones.

I think the article is really speaking more to quartz than automatic watches although because it does mention that the automatics are not effected as much as the quatz by magnetism.

I did find the table with relative magnetic strengths of different devices extremely interesting.

I'm not tryting to start an argument or add to one. Just looking for info on the subject as I think we all are. The table provided in the article, I believe, can be a useful tool in furthering the healthy debate on this subject.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:46 pm 
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The solution to this seems simple.

We buy two cheap automatics, Invicta's or something like it. These would do:
http://www.amazon.com/Invicta-Diver-Col ... 018&sr=1-4

We measure how well they're running. Then we set one on a cell phone and one not on a cell phone. Then we observe. Wind them manually and take daily or weekly readings. If one of them becomes magnetized, it should be quite obvious.

I'd be willing to kick in $25 to the cause. We probably don't need more than $200 to buy the watches. Are there 7 more members who want to know the answer? Heck, I might even just do it myself to know the answer and to revel in the joy of being proven right.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:23 pm 
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dhalem wrote:
The solution to this seems simple.

We buy two cheap automatics, Invicta's or something like it. These would do:
http://www.amazon.com/Invicta-Diver-Col ... 018&sr=1-4

We measure how well they're running. Then we set one on a cell phone and one not on a cell phone. Then we observe. Wind them manually and take daily or weekly readings. If one of them becomes magnetized, it should be quite obvious.

I'd be willing to kick in $25 to the cause. We probably don't need more than $200 to buy the watches. Are there 7 more members who want to know the answer? Heck, I might even just do it myself to know the answer and to revel in the joy of being proven right.


I guess i wouldn't mind but it would be a waste of money and time...

Heck i can chip in some personal expensive and some from my old man. He owns one of those fancy titanium watch for pilots (forgot the brand). It's been resting on its google phone ever since it came out (i beleive last year). Still zero issues.

PE: Iv had my cell next to my old beater swatch watch resting togethere for the last 2 years, every night. Zero problems...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:00 am 
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Ideally this testing would be performed by an independent, third party and reviewed by our peers. Not having a vested interest in the outcome of an experiment is integral to the validity to the results. That's why PhD advisers use so many interns for their research :wink:

IMO, it's all about the level of risk you're willing to accept. There is no truly "wrong" or "right" answer. I'm not entirely sure why everyone feels a need to make an assertion one way, or the other (aside from ego). If you're cool with putting your watch near a magnetic source, good for you! If not, Godspeed!

I hate to be Reginald Denny, but "Can't we all just get along?"

EDIT: Also, thanks for for the positive comments all! You're more than welcome. I only hope to contribute.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:47 am 
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Iantheklutz wrote:
Ideally this testing would be performed by an independent, third party and reviewed by our peers. Not having a vested interest in the outcome of an experiment is integral to the validity to the results. That's why PhD advisers use so many interns for their research :wink:

IMO, it's all about the level of risk you're willing to accept. There is no truly "wrong" or "right" answer. I'm not entirely sure why everyone feels a need to make an assertion one way, or the other (aside from ego). If you're cool with putting your watch near a magnetic source, good for you! If not, Godspeed!

I hate to be Reginald Denny, but "Can't we all just get along?"

EDIT: Also, thanks for for the positive comments all! You're more than welcome. I only hope to contribute.



Fine, PAM217 going on my cell for a week. I'll only take it off to rewind it, thats it.

Cell is one of those Bell slim phones POS (I hate Bell.... so much...).

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:04 am 
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Shadow87 wrote:
Iantheklutz wrote:
Ideally this testing would be performed by an independent, third party and reviewed by our peers. Not having a vested interest in the outcome of an experiment is integral to the validity to the results. That's why PhD advisers use so many interns for their research :wink:

IMO, it's all about the level of risk you're willing to accept. There is no truly "wrong" or "right" answer. I'm not entirely sure why everyone feels a need to make an assertion one way, or the other (aside from ego). If you're cool with putting your watch near a magnetic source, good for you! If not, Godspeed!

I hate to be Reginald Denny, but "Can't we all just get along?"

EDIT: Also, thanks for for the positive comments all! You're more than welcome. I only hope to contribute.



Fine, PAM217 going on my cell for a week. I'll only take it off to rewind it, thats it.

Cell is one of those Bell slim phones POS (I hate Bell.... so much...).


So, my little research assisstant, any findings to report?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:11 pm 
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Great post Ian, and a very interesting read. I did some physics once, but it's been a long time since I did anything even close.

Thanks for taking the time to out this up.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:04 am 
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I hope Roff doen't talk or act like that to people in person! Oh that's right... he has a computer screen to hide behind.....my bad!!!! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:39 am 
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deeznutts wrote:
I hope Roff doen't talk or act like that to people in person! Oh that's right... he has a computer screen to hide behind.....my bad!!!! :D


Click on my profile for my website, and all my contact details are on the site and very easy to find - it's under Contact Us - e-mail, address, phone.

Thanks for the accusation though anonymous person hiding behind a computer screen :roll:


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