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Before we set out to answer that questions, let’s examine what happens to a mechanical watch when it is exposed to a magnetic field. The simple truth is that certain parts of the escapement like the balance wheel and hairspring, become magnetized upon such exposure. For example, the concentric circles of the hairspring may bunch together, thus leading to friction. This could ultimately affect the escapement’s amplitude and accuracy. In most cases, once the magnetic field is removed, the watch might start running as normal again but in the case of a particularly strong magnetic field, it may stop working altogether.
In 1915, Vacheron Constantin created an anti-magnetic pocketwatch and in 1930, Tissot produced its first amagnetic watches. In both cases, palladium was used in the construction of the escapement.
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