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  #1  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:42 PM
weisser83 weisser83 is offline
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Why do wrist watches stop working for some people?

I've heard people claim that wrist watches stop working for them after a very short period of time. They replace the batteries, switch watch brands and styles, etc., but to no avail -- every watch quits on them. Even when well taken care of and not dropped, damaged, or submerged, they seem to die after a few months of wearing them.

My mother and her husband both claim to have this problem. I don't know if it pertains to only analog watches or digital as well. They say "cheap" wrist watches seem to work better for them and believe it has something to do with their body chemistry or magnetism.

So, what's the "straight dope" on this?

Thanks in advance for your expert knowledge and information!
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:53 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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I'd heard this before, on another forum, basically, someone was sure that a person was generating a massive, watch ruining magnetic field. And I said that I didn't believe that there is a good biophysical model for explaining how a human could generate a significant one, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a lack of peer-reviewed research to search for one. I have no citations available.

My WAG at the time was that I tended to chew up and spit out watches rapidly, back in the day. I bashed more than a few crystals, because I wasn't careful with how I swung my arms. So I have an idea why the watch stopped, and maybe the same thing, on a lesser scale, is happening in your case.

I'd heard people say how psychics can restart stopped witches, by warming them in their hands, the heat thinning gelled lubricating oil for a time. Or something like that.

I'd also have you ask them, if they believe they have mystical body chemistry or magnetic blood that stops watches -- do they stop alarm clocks if they hug them? Can they affect other electronic devices they're near -- computers, other timers?

Maybe the whole thing is a personal confirmation bias.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:55 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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One of my watched stopped recently. I can only imagine I over-wound it; but it's supposed to have a clutch to prevent that. Unfortunately an overhaul costs at least $550.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:07 PM
valleyofthedolls valleyofthedolls is offline
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I think Cecil Adams did a column on this subject. I could be wrong about that and I'm most certainly to lazy to go and find it but IIRC, he said it's not true.

Speaking from own experience, every time I've worn a watch, it goes completely dead after about a month's time. This happens with new watches, old watches, cheap watches, expensive watches, battery operated watches and wind-up watches. Never tried a digital watch or a self-winding watch so I can't speak to that.

It could be a personal confirmation bias. Don't know and don't really care. I got tired of getting new batteries and going to get the wind-up I have repaired. The cost was completely out of proportion to the value of the watches. So no watch for me just my cell phone which is more than adequate.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:22 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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I also overwound watches, no one told me you're not supposed to wind them until you can't wind them anymore. I've also broken wind up travel alarm clocks in that way. I recently replaced a battery in an old watch that ran down, and it still didn't start running. Then it did, for a few hours, then it stopped, and may have started again. But I guess it's just porly made, and not making contact.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2009, 05:08 PM
weisser83 weisser83 is offline
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The question came up because my step-dad had a set of hearing aids that over the last 2 years have been in disrepair for at least 36 weeks. They send them in, fix and test them, but within a short time, the hearing aids don't function properly. I asked why they had so many problems with them and my mother speculated that "maybe it's his body chemistry." I probed further and she said, "Well, you know, like the way that some people can't keep watches working. We both have that problem." I called "B.S." and told her I would Google it to prove her theory wrong, but came up with no concrete answers.

Thank you all for your input. Interesting thoughts, Arkon, but they don't seem to have any problems with alarm clocks, computers or say, microwaves, but those all run on standard household AC electricity, rather than a battery.

Personal confirmation bias I can believe, plus that fact that my mother is beyond gullible and believes almost every urban legend she hears. I, however, am a bit more discerning and like to get facts whenever possible. I searched the Straight Dope archives but wasn't able to find the previous article on the topic. Can anyone point me in the right direction on that?

Also, if this phenomenon is true (a very remote possibility in my mind), are there any wrist watches that are less likely to be affected by "weird body chemistry?"

And, if it is some form of unusually high natural magnetism in the wearer, what other things in their life could be affected by this? I did a bit more searching and found that, "... some people have a high electrical field in their body and they end up draining their analog watch battery in less than a couple a weeks." This, however, would not logically affect wind-up watches, though over-winding could.

I remember my grandfather having a self-winding watch powered by a person’s daily movement. According to Wikipedia, “this type of watch allows for a constant winding without special action from the wearer: it works by an eccentric weight, called a winding rotor, which rotates with the movement of the wearer's wrist. The back-and-forth motion of the winding rotor couples to a ratchet to automatically wind the mainspring.”

Here are a few additional theories I came across:
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11419

So, what is it? Self-fulfilling prophecy, random chance, or (my favorite) “because Satan doesn’t want me to have nice things.”

Your input is pertinent.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2009, 05:16 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyofthedolls View Post

Speaking from own experience, every time I've worn a watch, it goes completely dead after about a month's time. This happens with new watches, old watches, cheap watches, expensive watches, battery operated watches and wind-up watches. Never tried a digital watch or a self-winding watch so I can't speak to that.

It could be a personal confirmation bias. Don't know and don't really care.
It's almost certainly comfirmational bias.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:00 PM
valleyofthedolls valleyofthedolls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
It's almost certainly comfirmational bias.
Thanks for repeating and misspelling what I already said.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:02 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
I'd heard people say how psychics can restart stopped witches, by warming them in their hands,
until their teats are no longer cold?
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:07 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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I've had people say this to me and it was supposedly some magnetic field. But when I take a magnet and put it right to the watch, the watch doens't quit. You can leave the magnet up against the watch for days, and the watch always runs.

So I fail to see how if a person was putting out a magnetic field that it would solely effect the watch and nothing else
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:20 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyofthedolls View Post
It could be a personal confirmation bias.
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
It's almost certainly comfirmational bias.
Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyofthedolls View Post
Thanks for repeating and misspelling what I already said.
I cop to the misspelling. I don't agree that I repeated what you opined. You offered it as only a possibility. I suggest it was almost certainly the case.
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:24 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
So I fail to see how if a person was putting out a magnetic field that it would solely effect the watch and nothing else
How about streetlights?
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  #13  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:49 PM
valleyofthedolls valleyofthedolls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I cop to the misspelling. I don't agree that I repeated what you opined. You offered it as only a possibility. I suggest it was almost certainly the case.
Fair enough. I should have been clearer but I do think your post should have had more substance. FWIW, while I certainly leave in the possibility of a confirmation bias, I think I was probably doing some sort of repetitive motion that unseated the battery or disrupted the mech of the wind-up watch.
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  #14  
Old 12-31-2009, 06:55 PM
samclem samclem is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyofthedolls View Post
Fair enough. I should have been clearer but I do think your post should have had more substance. FWIW, while I certainly leave in the possibility of a confirmation bias, I think I was probably doing some sort of repetitive motion that unseated the battery or disrupted the mech of the wind-up watch.
Good post. I agree with you. I never thought that you believed in voodoo.

I get this kind of thing at work at least once per month. I want to grab them and shake them and say--"The watch stopped for some explainable reason. It wasn't magic. You don't have a magnetic field that caused it to stop."

Sorry for the confusion.
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2010, 01:23 AM
kayT kayT is offline
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Can someone explain to me how having every watch stop in 30 days is confirmation bias?
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2010, 01:29 AM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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For me. normall a new watch is good for 11 months. Most of the time it just stops working.
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  #17  
Old 01-01-2010, 01:49 AM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Can someone explain to me how having every watch stop in 30 days is confirmation bias?
It's a confirmation bias for a few reasons:

1) No one is taking detailed notes as to how charged the batteries are in the watch each time they get replaced and to see how long they last.

2) No one is taking detailed notes as to how long the batteries are lasting at all, they're only estimating how long they lasted months or years after the fact.

3) They aren't taking detailed notes for any occasion where the batteries/watch lasted longer than one month.

It's all just pure recollection. The first time a watch might have died 6 weeks after ownship. Easily enough dismissed as dying only a month in. Then the next one or its batteries go out in two months but because eight weeks isn't too far off from six, unless that person was keeping a detailed log of events, they'll mentally file it away as "about the same amount of time the last one held out." Each time it dies and they mentally file it away as such, they're confirming what they suspected based on pretty much no hard and fast data, just some sort of gut feeling.

Last edited by Covered_In_Bees!; 01-01-2010 at 01:53 AM..
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  #18  
Old 01-01-2010, 02:08 AM
Apricot Apricot is offline
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I break watches. They usually stop running entirely, and cannot be repaired with a battery change. Sometimes they slow before stopping, other times the second hand seems caught at 11 o'clock for a while before the watch expires.
I used to wonder if it was a body chemistry thing.
In my older age I've found out I'm exceptionally clumsy or not mindful of what I'm doing. I get stuff wet and smash my hands into things much more often than my husband, siblings or coworkers. I've always got random bruises. My rings especially show the wear and tear of someone who uses and abuses her hands.
I think that has much more to do with it than any particular chemistry or field thing.

For time keeping, I use my cell phone (also banged up) or a pocketwatch (I'm very very careful with them as they were my father's and grandfather's watches), or Timex children's watches, which even survive weekly washing in the washing machine (they get filthy at work).
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:33 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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I cant stop streetlights, or change traffic signals, or affect anything other than a wrist watch worn consistantly, but they will die, in the case of analog battery operated watches or in the case of a very nice and expensive g-shock that was a present got it to run backwards after only wearing it 3 months. mrAru took it to a watch repair place that did g-shocks and wears it himself, and it has given 10 years of good service.

I take my watches off to shower or swim, and the only one that I have not screwed up are mechanical self winders or windup wrist watches [old school timex I got back in the 60s when i was a kid]

I also turn gold earrings of good quality black where the wires or posts go through my ears. Give me surgical steel or titanium any day.
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  #20  
Old 01-01-2010, 04:28 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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The self winders became broken very regularly by people that were very active with their arms. Dad learned after a couple watches that self winders break if your a carpenter. Many people had this problem. To someone that doesn't connect that they did something very physical a day earlier they won't understand why the broke the watch. it doesn't have to be a selfwinder either for one impact to kill a watch. A consequence of a watch on the wrist is they do get whacked on a door frame in passing sometimes and you don't notice.
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  #21  
Old 01-19-2011, 12:41 PM
ablebodyworks ablebodyworks is offline
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Why do wrist watches stop working for some people?

I only have problems with mechanical watches. Electronic are fine with me. But I found that if I used a metal plate that hooked under the watch band and kept the watch about 1/8 inch off my skin I had no problems.
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  #22  
Old 01-19-2011, 01:04 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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oh look another old thread I already answered and basically wasted time answering again. F###ing zombies.

Last edited by Harmonious Discord; 01-19-2011 at 01:06 PM..
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  #23  
Old 01-19-2011, 01:16 PM
Philster Philster is offline
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It's very much like eating. Some people grossly underestimate how much they eat in a day, and they will swear on anything that they've only eaten X amount of food. If someone were to monitor them, they'd be off as much as 30%.

There are people who are just good at ruining certain things -- in this case: watches -- but will swear it was a new battery (from where? Someplace that has an old stock?), or swear that they always take it off when they should, or swear that they aren't too rough with it, or that they don't over wind it... and the list goes on and on.

When it comes to certain mechanical things, the person destroying the mechanical thing will swear on anything they took care of it. Yeah, well, I know a few people that can destroy any automobile in short time, and they swear on anything that they aren't hard on cars. Okay, take a few rides with them and watch them over a period of time and you'd be mortified by what they consider 'taking care of something'.

Anyone who can't keep watches working, and swears they are taking care of them, or using the proper battery, etc: ::FINGERS IN MY EARS GOING LALALALALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALALALALALALA::

.
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  #24  
Old 01-19-2011, 02:14 PM
Bootis Bootis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valleyofthedolls View Post
I think I was probably doing some sort of repetitive motion that unseated the battery or disrupted the mech of the wind-up watch.
I think you're on to something; my watches also were always breaking, but I never broke another one after getting a girlfriend
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  #25  
Old 01-19-2011, 06:14 PM
Askance Askance is offline
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Let's make a couple of assumptions: there are a billion people who wear routinely watches in the world, and that 1% of watches are badly made and will die within a year of purchase.

In our thought experiment all 1 billion buy a watch on 1 Jan of a given year. 10 million of those watches die in that year and those people all buy a new watch. In the second year 100,000 of those who bought the second new watch have to buy a third one. In the third year 1,000 people have to buy a fourth watch, and in the fourth year 10 people need to buy a fifth watch. Those 10 people post on internet forums about how they mysteriously kill watches.

If you spread out the initial purchase of watches amongst the 1 billion over, say, 10 years it makes no difference to the maths, you still end up with 10 people who "kill" watches.

There will of course be people who treat watches badly, and watches that are worse made than others, and these factors will raise the numbers. Treating watches well and well made watches are already accounted for in our initial assumptions so those factors don't decrease the number.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:13 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
...
I'd heard people say how psychics can restart stopped witches, by warming them in their hands, the heat thinning gelled lubricating oil for a time. Or something like that.

.. .
I actually did this when I was in 6th grade. I rubbed the watch and willed it work and it did, but I didn't think it was physics I thought I was psychic.

I break watches but I'm not magnetic, I just tend to whack them on things or get them wet too much. I finally gave up wearing them.
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  #27  
Old 01-19-2011, 07:24 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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I, Salinqmind, have killed dead more watches than you can believe. I do have a cheapie that keeps on tickin', though. It's set in a bracelet made of big chunks of lapis lazuli. Maybe that blocks the death rays.
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  #28  
Old 01-19-2011, 09:48 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Some watches are sold with a bad battery. A few years ago, I bought one that only lasted me a few months. Let's say that, say, one watch in ten is sold with an almost-dead battery. Now, let's say that a whole lot of people buy watches. One person in ten gets a bad watch, and so has to get a new one. OK, of those folks, one in ten will get a bad watch again. Those folks have to buy a third watch. And of those, one in ten will again be bad, so one person in a thousand will end up getting three bad watches in a row. At this point, most folks would just come to the conclusion that they have a propensity for killing watches and give up on getting another one, so you've now got one person in a thousand (a large enough proportion that most people will know such a person) who is convinced that they will kill any watch they wear.
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  #29  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:43 AM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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<hijack=slight>
I know of several people who have problems with their computers. Yet I find nothing wrong. But the moment they starting using their computer again, it stops working. Over the years I've run my own experiments. I've gone so far as to build out a computer, use several applications and determine it to be functional. Then I deliver it to the person, complete with instructions so they do exactly what I just did. The computer stops working and I'm there the whole time observing. They get up from the computer and and I begin using it, only to find nothing wrong. I stop, move away and have them attempt to continue. Complete failure. (The only difference is it's their fingers on the keyboard and not mine.) I've done this long enough with several different people with a variety of computers and arrive at the same results.
</hijack>
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  #30  
Old 01-20-2011, 01:05 AM
Triskadecamus Triskadecamus is offline
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In my workplace there is one specific piece of equipment that is attached with a hinge that has to be lifted up to allow it to swing out of position. It gets "stuck" for some of my coworkers pretty much anytime they try to do it. I am always informed that it must be "jammed" by dirt in the hinge. Every time I walk over, and open it by lifting with one finger, and swinging it out. This is explained to me as being caused by them working it loose struggling with it, and me just lucking out.

The thing is, if you lift at the far end of the hinged piece, you put a torque on the hinge pin so it binds up and won't lift all the way clear. So, the retaining system that keeps it in place in use still keeps it in place. I started the one finger method when I was told "Well, I am not strong enough to lift it up like you."

Multiply that by the level of complexity of a watch, compared to a hinge. Yes, there are some people who break watches. Hell, I am one of them! But I don't need magnetic fields, or primative animism to explain it. I am careless of my watch. It gets wet, gets dropped, and if I have one, I generally have no idea when I got it.

Tris
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  #31  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:12 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
I cant stop streetlights, or change traffic signals, or affect anything other than a wrist watch worn consistantly, but they will die, in the case of analog battery operated watches or in the case of a very nice and expensive g-shock that was a present got it to run backwards after only wearing it 3 months.
I once worked with a guy who claimed his brother made watches run backwards, and nobody could figure out why. I always found it hard to believe but he had nothing to gain by making it up. This is the second time I've ever heard this claim. I'm intrigued.
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  #32  
Old 01-23-2011, 12:20 AM
Askance Askance is offline
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Sure he does, he gets notoriety, which some people crave.
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  #33  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:36 AM
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My mom has had this problem her whole life as well. She's never been able to wear any type of watch without it dying a few days later (and she's tried several kinds), wearing them around her neck, etc. They just don't work, and not because she bangs them around or winds them up too much. If she gives them to someone else it'll start working again after a couple days. She read somewhere that people who have technically "died" and then came back to life have this problem, which makes sense for her since her heart stopped beating for a few seconds when she was born...
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  #34  
Old 01-30-2011, 10:57 AM
S_A_ S_A_ is offline
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http://blog.syracuse.com/news/2008/0...around_ri.html

(for those with computer problems...this is a pretty cool story)

Last edited by S_A_; 01-30-2011 at 10:58 AM..
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  #35  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:11 PM
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Coincidentally enough, I bought a new Casio at our local Sears early last December, (replacing an identical model purchased seven years ago that still worked, but with a dial so discolored that it was hard to read). Early in January the new one started acting squirrley, randomly loosing 1 to 10 minutes a day.

Yesterday I took it back to Sears, and discussed the problem. The had me take it into a local watch repair, and have the battery checked. I did, and the battery turned out to be very low (after only two months). So they put in a new one and the watch seems to be OK.

During my discussion with the Sears watch people they did say that they had found that some folks couldn't keep an electronic watch going more than a few days.

By the way, the reason I got an identical model is that I didn't want the hassle of going thru another 80 page instruction manual just to tell the f___ing time. Getting too f___ing old for that!
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  #36  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:35 PM
robcaro robcaro is offline
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I have had a Seiko Quartz watch for nearly 20 years. I replaced the original battery after 4 or 5 years with a battery from J.C.Penny. That one lasted 6 or 7 years. I replace that one with another one from J.C.Penny and it lasted for another 10 years. Well, I no longer am living in the US, so I replaced it with a battery from a watch repair shop. No telling if it will last or not. My daughter gave me a quartz watch a few years ago and it, the watch, didn't last more than a year and a half. Certainly not as good a watch as my Seiko. I think it was a Citizen.
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  #37  
Old 12-11-2011, 03:56 AM
carrielynnmastin carrielynnmastin is offline
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suggestion

My ex mother-in-law had this problem but hers would stop working within hours no matter what kind if it had a battery. She went through numerous texts and was told she had more electrical current in her body than an average person...put simply. This tends to happen with people (according to her specialist) that have been exposed to electric currents at higher levels... electric shocks etc... She found that if she place a piece of felt on the back of the watch that completely covered the metal back, she no longer had this problem. My fiance's father also has this problem with wrist watches only. I suggested that he attempt the felt on the back of the watch and after 3 months his still was working. First time in years he could wear a wristwatch without a problem. Just thought I would suggest this as an idea for those that do have this problem.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:36 AM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Originally Posted by carrielynnmastin View Post
...was told she had more electrical current in her body than an average person...put simply. This tends to happen with people (according to her specialist) that have been exposed to electric currents at higher levels... electric shocks etc.


This "specialist"... was he or she an MD?
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  #39  
Old 12-11-2011, 11:15 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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do these people ever try wearing their watches without batteries to use up some of that energy?
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  #40  
Old 12-11-2011, 06:03 PM
impatien impatien is offline
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I'm 55 years old and of sound mind and pretty much body. Ever since I was a kid with my first Timex wind-up watch, I have never been able to keep it running beyond a few days. They always lose time right away and very soon stop working altogether. I've tried many kinds of watches--battery, self-winding etc. and have never found one that would work for more than a week or two. Can't explain it.
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Old 12-11-2011, 06:59 PM
astro astro is offline
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Originally Posted by carrielynnmastin View Post
My ex mother-in-law had this problem but hers would stop working within hours no matter what kind if it had a battery. She went through numerous texts and was told she had more electrical current in her body than an average person...put simply. This tends to happen with people (according to her specialist) that have been exposed to electric currents at higher levels... electric shocks etc... She found that if she place a piece of felt on the back of the watch that completely covered the metal back, she no longer had this problem. My fiance's father also has this problem with wrist watches only. I suggested that he attempt the felt on the back of the watch and after 3 months his still was working. First time in years he could wear a wristwatch without a problem. Just thought I would suggest this as an idea for those that do have this problem.
What medical test would measure your personal amount of "electrical current"?

As an aside I deal with lots of dead watches as an amateur. IMO 90% of all watch issues are due to using batteries that have aged out. A lot of people don't realize that watch batteries do not have infinite storage lifetimes. Manufacturers tend to buy lots of batteries at once and some sit around for quite some time. The batteries that get put in new watches may measure OK at installation, but if they are long in the tooth and on the back end of their lifetime bell curve they will not last nearly as long as a fresh battery. In some cases you may only get a few weeks or a month out a battery when buying the watch new.

Look at it this way, if a battery will last 3 years or so in storage - it sits around after being manufactured for some time before being shipped to the manufacturer, then it may be a year before the manufacturer uses it, then the watch will be shipped and may sit in inventory for months to years before being sold. By the time you get a watch the battery might be on it's last legs. It's not uncommon.

Last edited by astro; 12-11-2011 at 07:01 PM..
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:17 PM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philster View Post
There are people who are just good at ruining certain things -- in this case: watches -- but will swear it was a new battery (from where? Someplace that has an old stock?), or swear that they always take it off when they should, or swear that they aren't too rough with it, or that they don't over wind it... and the list goes on and on.
I trust there are multiple explanations.

One of them might be that a watch labeled "Water Resistant" is not water resistant. If it says, "30 m", that means it's resistant to 30 meters static pressure, which never happens in the real world. You can allegedly splash water on "30 m", but you can't go swimming.

I take care to buy watches that are rated to 50m or more. Those are suppose to work while swimming, which allowing for error might allow you to splash water on them. They will not work for diving. Neither will a 100m water resistant watch. Details are here and in the fine print of your watch instructions. Work this out before you purchase the watch.

Note that new watches, old watches, cheap watches, expensive watches, battery operated watches and wind-up watches can all be "Water Resistant" that is to say not waterproof at all.
-------

Admittedly, I've had uneven luck with replacing watch batteries. Sometimes (ok once that I can document) it was due to a scammer. Some watches have a 10 year warranty (again, read the fine print). This one has an embedded solar cell, so it will last forever, or so I claim to credulously believe (others may look here).

Last edited by Measure for Measure; 12-11-2011 at 07:19 PM..
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  #43  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:13 AM
paracelsus paracelsus is offline
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I just found this board while searching this type of question, and, yes, my experience could be biased, since I'm me and I haven't found anyone that is like me so we can compare notes. My family has noticed it though, as when I was a kid, the parents had to buy the watch batteries. I figure not every single watch battery could be that old and that frail and once replaced, the watches would run for a while again, so they weren't broken. I kill watches off and on. Got so bad when I was in my late teens that I started wearing a pocket watch. No wristwatch would live. I have a drawer full of watches, which will run if I put new batteries in them, but then die. They are not broken, they just won't keep running for me.

I also interfere with radios and tv antenna signals. GPS devices, the kind with pointing arrows, reverse direction when I hold them, as verified by every one else in the group. Tried several times, but was then not allowed to touch it again.

I finally found a watch that lives. It stops every once in a while, but then starts again, which happened last night. Had the watch checked out by a watch repairman and there is nothing wrong with it and the battery was good, but I have them replace it anyways. I have to stay away from my clock radio, any clock radio, as I've tried many brands, if I want to avoid static. The watch I have that has lived is a Swiss Army made from titanium. My skin does not eat it, as it eats metal or plating of most anything and discolors my skin. No one can tell me why, though I did have a doctor, an MD, tell me that my magnesium level was high. So, perhaps try and give them a titanium watch to see if it makes any difference.

I do not, however, seem to affect computers, as they are my job. Stuff magically starts working again when I touch it, but I believe that has more to do with user error than anything. I also electrocute people throughout the year, not just in the dry part of the year. I've tried to find a pattern of eating or activity, but haven't found anything so far. I have a pretty consistent schedule. I would love to have a nice peer reviewable study done. I think it would be quite interesting.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:44 AM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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Would static electricity caused by wearing man made materials that rub up against each other, have any affect?

Also I've noticed that its not that uncommon for people with "wind up "wristwatches, to wind them up while its still on their wrist, which apparently bends the spindle or somesuch.
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:42 PM
mamaewe mamaewe is offline
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I have very simular problem as did my grandmother and other family members! But I kill watches dead within an hour or 2! I seem to be a walking magnet! The problem is static related. One day I got shocked so many times that we started counting, I stopped after I hit 100 times! I have an unusually high static levels due to unusually high levels of copper in my body. I have a lovely disease called wilson's were I don't get rid of excess copper normally. When I found this out I started taking higher then normal levels of calcium magnesium and zinc. Now my static levels are much lower. But I still effect the computer, radio waves and TV! The only plus side to this is if I break a bone it heals much faster then normal. If liver problems run in your family, you might get checked for wilson's too. I think it can be high levels of many metals that does this but not sure.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:01 PM
bouv bouv is offline
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Whoa...double zombie!
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:48 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Originally Posted by Wile E View Post
I break watches but I'm not magnetic, I just tend to whack them on things or get them wet too much. I finally gave up wearing them.
I wonder if the Dunning-Kruger effect plays a part here: the klutziest people are also those least qualified to evaluate their klutziness. It seems like there are probably two groups of people that break watches: klutzes who know it and aren't surprised when their watches break, and those that don't know it and blame it on wooish factors.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:01 PM
Commander Fortune Commander Fortune is offline
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Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
A consequence of a watch on the wrist is they do get whacked on a door frame in passing sometimes and you don't notice.
Well, I had always counted myself among those who just inexplicably "kills" watches. I gave up wearing them ages ago. This, however, is more likely since I just run into stuff like doorframes all the time. Klutz.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:55 PM
misscoriander misscoriander is offline
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I think it's interesting that the people who are saying that it's just normal for watches or watch batteries to be faulty are ignoring the fact that there have been several people who pointed out the fact that there are people who have stopped watches and then when those same watches were given to other people, the watches started working again. If the watches were able to work again for someone else, then there's no way that it was the watch that caused the problem.

I'm a teacher and I often have my students use hand held devices to answer questions. Today one of my students' remote started having all kinds of weird problems. I didn't think much of it at first, until I had him try at least 5 other remotes and all of them had the same issues for him. The remotes he used included remotes that his classmates had just used successfully and a few of them were tried by other people right afterwards and worked fine. In that one students' hands multiple of these devices had the same bizarre problems that no one else experienced.

I'd looked this stuff up before because I had a boyfriend once who'd been one of those people who would stop watches (and for him, sometimes they'd even start running backwards, which also seems like more than just normal poor craftmanship). His skin would also eat away at metal, so if he had been able to successfully wear a watch, he'd have eventually burned a hole through the back of it. I've always thought that his issue was chemical, because his skin would irritate my skin. Someone else said that they thought this was related to having died previously, which fits for him because he was pronounced dead at birth and then had his heart stop again in his 20s. We've always joked that he was a zombie, but I was hoping to get a better explanation for my student. The poor kid's classmates were already calling him a witch.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:58 PM
pagzer pagzer is offline
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Hemochromatosis (too much iron in a persons system) can cause a watch to stop. the iron collects in the carpals and the constant movement causes it to magnetize. Problem solved. I have this condition. I can only wear a watch a couple days and when I take it off it starts running after a couple days. when i have blood drained every week for several weeks, viola! I can wear a watch again.

Last edited by pagzer; 03-27-2012 at 06:02 PM..
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