Great news for all you magnet lovers out there. Omega has announced a new movement, the caliber 8508, that is resistant to magnetic fields greater than 1.5 Tesla (15,000 Gauss).
What the hell is Gauss? In short, it’s how we measure the strength of a magnetic field. To put this into numbers we can all understand, an average sub-woofer has a magnetic output of around 7,500 Gauss while a set of Buckyballs is around 5,200. As it turns out, magnets are watch killers, accounting for a large number of repairs and returns in the watch world — who knew?
The Rolex Milgauss, previously the best anti-magnetic watch, was only able to resist 1000 Gauss. Sure, this might have been acceptable for scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN but who knows where space-time travel could take you. As long as you’re not transported to a neuron star, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra can work in all environments.
So how did Omega manage something 15x more resistant to magnetic fields than the Milgauss? The answer is incredibly simple. Most anti-magnetic watches encase their movements in soft iron which distributes the electromagnetic radiation in such a way that it cancels the field’s effect on what lies inside. Omega, instead, opted to make the movement itself out of non-ferrous material. The solution seems pretty obvious, but it took the combined effort of scientists, metallurgists, Swatch group assets and engineers to create the 8508.
Naturally, this kind of exciting new technology will cost quite a bit, around $7,000 if not more depending on location and taxes. Is it worth it? For normal people, the cost doesn’t really outweigh the benefit.
While magnets are certainly more present in our every day lives than ever, the strength of these electromagnets don’t necessitate purchasing a watch this anti-magnetic. Now if you plan on creating a magnetic death ray, traveling through space via a strong electromagnetic field or, work with some huge electromagnets, it might be worth it to plunk down the cash — or you could always just spend .99 on a reminder app that alerts you to take your watch off.