Omega yesterday unveiled a new prototype of anti-magnetic movement said to be resistant to magnetic fields greater than 1.5 tesla, “far exceeding the levels of magnetic resistance achieved by any previous watch”.
Several patents are pending for the prototype movement, which uses non-ferrous material to ward off the effects of magnetic fields on timekeeping accuracy, rather than relying on an interior anti-magnetic container within the case. This first prototype movement has been fitted within an Omega Sea Master Aqua Terra.
The watch is the result of a challenge from Swatch Group’s chief executive Nicholas Hayek for Omega to create a totally non-magnetic watch, a task that Jean-Claude Monachon, Omega vice president and head of product development, said had been met by engineers, scientists and metallurgists from its sister companies had met the challenge.
Fellow Omega vice president Raynald Aeschlimann addressed the guests present at the launch, describing the collaborative effort of the teams at Omega, ETA and Asulab, Swatch Group’s corporate research and development laboratory, describing how their shared creativity and enthusiasm has helped to “introduce this important innovation”.
The new watch is said to go a step beyond the typical anti-magnetic timepiece design, whereby the watch cases is designed to limit the effects of magnetism. The prototype was subjected to higher levels of magnetism – a measurement of 1.5 tesla, or 15,000 gauss – and continued to perform with accuracy and without stopping or slowing. Testing showed that the watch was as accurate after its magnetic exposure as it had been before.
The press conference also included a live demonstration. Omega says it expects to present the technology at Baselworld in April.