Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert
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  1. #1
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    So as I've been whining about over on the MKII forum, my Sea Fighter, which normally does a pretty good chronometer impersonation, started gaining about 15-20 seconds a day. I was afraid I had knocked it out of adjustment but just for fun I decided to give it the compass test. My only compass appears to be a piece from my niece's Lego pirate ship, but it works, oddly enough. I was able to determine that the watch is in fact magnetized.

    I used to live in Osaka, Japan, a city the size of Chicago, which is where I got into watches. I literally know where to find ten watchmakers within half an hour of my apartment there. Every big department store has them and there are plenty of independent shops. While I don't expect the same now, I was unprepared for the land of quartz in which I now find myself.

    My first stop was a jewelry shop in Cookeville, Tennessee, population 30,000. Their building proudly proclaimed them to have been founded in 1900. Surely such an institution would have a watchmaker. I walked in and was encouraged by a neat shop with a rack of tools behind the counter.
    "Excuse me, I think my watch has been magnetized."
    "How did you magnetize it?"
    "No idea, mate."
    "Well, we have a demagnetizer around here somewhere...fill out this ticket and we'll let you know when it's done."
    I filled out the ticket and left without a watch. The more I thought about it though, the more I felt unsure about it. The guy didn't seem to know how to get the nato strap off my watch when he was trying to look at the caseback. Oh well. They'll call.
    That was Tuesday. Today is Monday, so I stopped by to pick up my watch. A different guy was there but he found it in the pile of junk on the workbench easily enough. He noted that it had stopped and proceeded to "wind" it with a vicious side-armed wanking motion. It looked like he was trying to skip it across a lake. After a few seconds of that I said, "That's okay. I'll wind it later when I set it."

    I did so in the car and synced it to the time.is and put it on. I went on to classes (first day of Engineering school today!). Six hours later I checked it and it was already a full minute fast. Hm, so now it's twelve times as fast as it was. I'm glad he didn't charge me for failing to do a ten second job in six days. I had some time after class, so I stopped by a jeweler, since I'm told here on WUS that's all I need. They have a nice selection of Citizen/Bulova watches.
    "Excuse me, I think my watch has been magnetized."
    ..."Hey Sara, this guy thinks his watch is um...magnetic."
    "Yeah, it's running really fast and a compass needle points to it. Do you have a demagnetizer?"
    "Let me call Tommy. Maybe he can reprogram it for you."
    "I don't think he can do that. It's mechanical."
    "I KNOW it's mechanical....but he can do it."
    "Let's not do anything too drastic here. I really think it's just magnetized."
    "I don't think watches have magnets in them."
    "Just so. Thank you for your time."

    I stop in the parking lot of a few other purported jewelers but they all seem to be of the cash4gold variety. On to the next town, Crossville, Tennessee, population 11,000. There's one jewelry shop in town, but I remember my dad getting an old Elgin fixed there fifteen years ago.
    "Are there any watchmakers left in town?"
    "No."
    "Too bad. I need to get one demagnetized."
    "I don't know what that means."
    "Thanks."
    "Good luck."

    So in the real world I am sure all kinds of things can be quickly done to watches by the legions of competent people who inhabit major cities, but there are vast watchless wastelands out there, folks. I'm pretty much ready to just box up all my mechanicals until about three years from now when I'm ready to get out of Tennessee and rejoin the human race.
    Ottovonn, CitizenM, CCCP and 4 others like this.
    Guys, I really really really do understand that there was a hack and that my password was reset, but I'm about to take a year off from WUS if you can't stop telling me about it every time I log in. With my password. That you reset.

  2. #2
    Member Formerguide's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    Wow, that's a tale of woe for sure! I feel for you...

    I happen to literally live in the desert, but feel fortunate to be surrounded by not only quite a few terrific retail outlets, but I also have 3 repair guys that I wouldn't hesitate to have work on one of my watches.

    BTW, you write descriptively and well, I enjoyed the above.

    Dan
    Current Collection:

    Longines Master Collection Moonphase, Deep Blue World Diver 500M, Raymond Weil W1 Chronograph, Tissot PRS516 Chrono, Omega Seamaster 300, Citizen Skyhawk, Citizen Signature Automatic, Orient World Traveler GMT, Accutron VX-200, Citizen Eco Chrono BL5400-52A, Hamilton Cushion Chrono, Breitling Superocean Heritage 46, Orient Star GMT, Seiko Sportura Kinetic GMT

    "It's a fake. And that's because all 'is my Patek a fake' posts contain only fake Pateks." quote, WUS member geoffbot

    "... The minute a watch costs more than a well equipped Camry, I'd start feeling guilty about the purchase... " quote, WUS member LosTresGatos

    "I think the only people who make rational decisions regarding watches are the people that do not post on watch forums." quote, WUS member digivandig

  3. #3
    Member averagejoe303's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

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    Seiko SNKEO9K1 ----- Omega Seamaster "Geneva" ---- Seiko 6309-7290 ----- Seiko SSC015 ---- Revue Thommen Airspeed

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  5. #4
    Member CheapThrills's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Monocle View Post
    So in the real world I am sure all kinds of things can be quickly done to watches by the legions of competent people who inhabit major cities, but there are vast watchless wastelands out there, folks.
    Greetings from a land of watch wasteland.
    Here a setting up of hands of a watch is quoted to be "around 125-150$".

    I have not dared to even ask for something as "complicated" as demagnetization... I ship'em abroad for fix.
    CitizenM likes this.

  6. #5
    WnS
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    Why don't you get a watch demagnetizer off eBay? The cheap ones cost around $10. That's what I did.
    CitizenM likes this.
    I'm content with my watch collection

  7. #6
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    Next time take it to a watch repair shop or a jeweler that advertises themselves as doing watch repair. Not a shop that only sells jewelery. I'm not surprised at the results.

  8. #7
    Member Perseus's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    Brutal. I'm fortunate to have a great shop close to my house. I think they are are a little pricey bit I know they will get the job done right.

  9. #8
    Moderator 24 hour watches forum l3wy's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    Stop browsing the site and drive over to Nashville. I'm sure someone there will know how to help you.. with all those country stars, someone has to be selling and fixing overpriced watches... :)


    hmm.. just realized that could be taken the wrong way. I just meant there's money in Nashville, and it's more likely that there will be watchmakers/jewelers that offer a bit more than the base line citizen and bulova models. Not referring to anyone's watch choice.. over priced or not :)
    Last edited by l3wy; August 28th, 2012 at 04:57. Reason: foot/mouth

  10. #9
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    That's more gas money than I'd have spent buying a demagnetizer off of eBay.

    Quote Originally Posted by djspite View Post
    Stop browsing the site and drive over to Nashville. I'm sure someone there will know how to help you.. with all those country stars, someone has to be selling and fixing overpriced watches... :)


    hmm.. just realized that could be taken the wrong way. I just meant there's money in Nashville, and it's more likely that there will be watchmakers/jewelers that offer a bit more than the base line citizen and bulova models. Not referring to anyone's watch choice.. over priced or not :)
    Guys, I really really really do understand that there was a hack and that my password was reset, but I'm about to take a year off from WUS if you can't stop telling me about it every time I log in. With my password. That you reset.

  11. #10
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Re: Magnetization: A Tale from the Watch Desert

    Quote Originally Posted by John MS View Post
    Next time take it to a watch repair shop or a jeweler that advertises themselves as doing watch repair. Not a shop that only sells jewelery. I'm not surprised at the results.
    My whole point is that there simply isn't such a thing. I googled for one and discovered that while it's still listed, it actually closed three years ago. Another in Knoxville turned out only to work on clocks, not watches. I wasn't actually surprised at the results (other than the first shop that held my watch for a week and simply didn't do the job), but I see posts here all the time about how you just go ahead and have your local watchmaker or jeweler do this or that simple procedure that I thought it would be fun to see what happens when I try just that.
    Guys, I really really really do understand that there was a hack and that my password was reset, but I'm about to take a year off from WUS if you can't stop telling me about it every time I log in. With my password. That you reset.

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