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I will be travelling to the Philippines next month which means passing through 3 sets of airport security. Departure, stop-over and arrival. I intend to take 2 of my vintage pocket watches with me as I will be away a couple of months, and I use a pocket watch every day. I am concerned that the x-ray equipment may magnetize my watches. Both watches were bought from e-bay and both watches were magnetized when sent to me causing them to gain rapid time. I know that they were not magnetized prior to being sent, so that means that it occurred in transit. I have had both watches demagnetized, but am wondering if any members know of a way to prevent this happening again? should I pack in checked luggage rather than carry-on? Any advice would be greatly received. or am I worrying unnecessarily?
Thanks
 

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Never heard of watches being magnetized by X-ray.....Luggage gets lost and stolen.
 

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My local watch repairer, who demagnetized them for me, told me that x-rays use 'electromagnetic radiation', and that was the possible cause? I have to admit, it was news to me also.
 

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My local watch repairer, who demagnetized them for me, told me that x-rays use 'electromagnetic radiation', and that was the possible cause? I have to admit, it was news to me also.
No...Radium....Is a different device,MRI......Two diff. things.
 

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Magnetizing was never a concern traveling for me I was MUCH more concerned about the TSA attempting to get a 5 finger discount on a Rolex. My wife and I vacation twice a year and travel with about 30k in watches/jewelry and let me tell you it is nerve wracking carrying that on in a jewelry roll and sending it through that x ray thing for carry ons. We work it out so she goes through first and then I send it through so it isn't around anyone unsupervised.
 

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My local watch repairer, who demagnetized them for me, told me that x-rays use 'electromagnetic radiation', and that was the possible cause? I have to admit, it was news to me also.
The electromagnetic spectrum extends from low frequency radio waves, up through the Visible Light wavelengths, and continues up past X-rays and Gamma rays. With that in mind, we are continually exposed to some part of the electromagnetic spectrum!

I would agree with inhaus that watching as they pass through the inspection process to avoid theft would be of more concern.
 

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Ok, thanks for the replies. So it would appear there is no risk of magnetism from the x-ray security check. I therefor wonder what caused both of my pocket watches to become magnetized in transit?
 

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I fly frequently and have run watches through both ways without issue. I prefer to keep them on my wrist but some agents are 'picky'.

God knows what your watches were subjected to in the mail - they may even have been placed next to a large magnet for days in a mailing warehouse. And since they were bought off ebay............well, there have been one or two instances of sellers being less than 100% truthfull as well.

I never travel with more than one watch and my wife never takes more jewelry than she can wear. Things DO disappear from checked luggage. But the one time we broke that rule we did as inhaus did with her through first and I waited until she was at the other end.
 

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Should be no issues. I only keep it to a G-Shock when I travel just in case. Good luck.
 

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The subject of X-ray scanners causing magnetisation in watches has raised its head before and the final verdict was "no they can't".
 

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I usually will take off my watch and put it in a pocket of my carry-on right before sending it through the xray machine. Sometimes I have taken it off and weirdly (or maybe not) I don't recall one ever setting off the metal detector. I've never had one show any adverse reactions though no matter how it goes through. I would not put anything of real value in checked luggage as it might get lost as mentioned.
 

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My local watch repairer, who demagnetized them for me, told me that x-rays use 'electromagnetic radiation', and that was the possible cause? I have to admit, it was news to me also.
"Electromagnetic radiation" is the general term for everything from ultra-low-frequency radio to cosmic waves, including visible light. I'm throwing the BS flag on this one.

X-Rays are way up there next to cosmic rays in frequency and wavelength. There is absolutely no way it will create the necessary field. The power supply for it might, but that will be well shielded, as it would have to be to pass UL approval requirements.

The metal detector is more apt to cause a problem, but even then... To magnetize ferrous metal (i.e., iron and steel), one puts it in a fairly powerful electric field or rub it against a permanent magnet. It takes a pretty substantial field. My demagnetizer is pretty hefty, draws ten amps, and can only run for ten seconds every three minutes or so, or something like that, to avoid tripping its thermal circuit breaker. Meaning: It moves a LOT of current at very low frequency (60 Hz) through a very large coil wrapped around a ferrite plate donut about twice the size of a bagel. The field is created in the hole that is just big enough to pass a watch through it. That's not happening with a metal detector, and if a metal detector was capable of it, it would have a really unhappy effect on anyone carrying any magnetic metal on their person, not just makes the lights blink and the buzzer go off.

More likely, the watches were store next to a loudspeaker or some similar large and powerful permanent magnet. Maybe someone was having a set of loudspeaders shipped at the same time.

In other words: Don't worry about it.

Rick "who carried a 70-year-old JLC with what's prolly a blued steel hairspring through security twice last week with no effect" Denney
 

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I will be travelling to the Philippines next month which means passing through 3 sets of airport security. Departure, stop-over and arrival. I intend to take 2 of my vintage pocket watches with me as I will be away a couple of months, and I use a pocket watch every day. I am concerned that the x-ray equipment may magnetize my watches. Both watches were bought from e-bay and both watches were magnetized when sent to me causing them to gain rapid time. I know that they were not magnetized prior to being sent, so that means that it occurred in transit. I have had both watches demagnetized, but am wondering if any members know of a way to prevent this happening again? should I pack in checked luggage rather than carry-on? Any advice would be greatly received. or am I worrying unnecessarily?
Thanks
I say it's just something you have to deal with and many on the forums have talked it over and it's really not that big of a magnetic field- you'd be surprised.. so you'll be fine.

If you want to stop worrying- get an anti-magnetic watch, some of the higher end watches like Rolex's and Omega's come with that feature.
 

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a very dishonest move, but i wonder if they'd actually be able to charge him with stealing? the headline should really read silly lady left rolex behind after clearing TSA screening.

In my opinion, the X-ray is the least of your worries while traveling with a watch. I would be more concerned with any moment the watch/watches are out of you sight or possession.

Do a Google search for "Watches Stolen TSA". While your thinking about it, watch this Rolex being stolen at a TSA check point.

Man Steals Rolex Watch From Passenger At TSA's Airport Security Checkpoint (WATCH)
 

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a very dishonest move, but i wonder if they'd actually be able to charge him with stealing? the headline should really read silly lady left rolex behind after clearing TSA screening.
Agreed, but sometimes your watch is still in the tray while you are still being detained.

What happened to me was my watch was in the plastic tray while I was being double frisked. All the while my watch was sitting in the tray out of my sight and unattended. I told them I had valuables in the tray but was told to stay put and not move until told to. I do realize that safety is the priority, not my watch and would never debate that fact. It basically looked just like the video. My watch and iphone were sitting in my hat with trays backing up behind it and people walking by. I did not want to leave it unattended but it was due to the circumstances. I am thankful my CX 20,000 was to ugly to steal.
 
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