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Shielding of electromagnetic pulses

In the case of analogue quartz watches like our 434 series, the gear train is powered by a stepper motor. When the hand of a quartz watch jumps ahead one second, the stepper motor powering the movement generates electromagnetic radiation. Because you wear the watch directly on your body for a longer period of time, we’ve minimised this electromagnetic impulse on all 434 series watches – as confirmed by the [Q] symbol on the dial.

Electromagnetic radiation

In analogue quartz movements, the gear train is driven by a so-called stepper motor. Rather than turning continuously, this little electronic motor only rotates every second by a certain angle. Like all components with a flowing variable electric current, the stepper motor of a quartz watch also generates electromagnetic radiation while running.
In the case of a stepper motor, this takes the form of an electromagnetic pulse. It is possible to make the magnetic component of this radiation plainly visible using a compass. To do so, place the compass (undamped, i.e. not filled with liquid) on the crystal or the back of the watch. In this case, the compass needle makes small, jerky movements every second around its north-south orientation.

Every jump second of a quartz watch radiates an electromagnetic pulse. A control current starts flowing through the motor coil, causing the motor to rotate and generate an induced current. The graph shows exclusively magnetic components for a typical stepper “cardiogram”.

Shielding measures

The models of the 434 series featuring the [Q]-symbol on the dial, minimise the electromagnetic radiation (pulse) emitted by the movement. The quartz movement has a special alloy sheath which is designed to absorb the exact frequency of the movement radiation. This helps prevent for example a compass needle from jerking or an electronic timing machine for quartz watches picking up a stepper signal. The radiation emitted by the movement is ‘trapped’ in the case, preventing it from escaping.

Effects on humans

The effects of electromagnetism on humans is the subject of various analyses of the impact of electromagnetic radiation on the environment. Here, the focus is on the effect of electronic devices – particularly on public health. Unlike many household devices, quartz watches emit weak electromagnetic radiation. Since some people are highly sensitive to such radiation and a watch is worn directly on the body for an extended period of time, we offer shielding.

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