View Full Version : Is there a Watch for Someone with Super-Sensitive Skin?

07-21-2002, 05:00 AM
Is there a watch for someone with super-sensitive skin?

Specifically, I have this "friend" whose skin gets irritated by watch bands, especially on hot days.

Something with a combined analog/digital readout would be nice :)

07-21-2002, 05:06 AM
Oooh, me too! After my lovely Victorinox got mangled by a watch repairman with paulsy, I've bought myself two watches- both resulting in a rash. I actually still have a scar on my left wrist from where the adjust dial was. I think it must be crap metal, because the Victorinox was stainless steel, and I never had a problem with it. I need a good quality watch, preferably analog, made of a high-grade plastic or something.

07-21-2002, 05:34 AM
I have *never* worn a wrist watch. I just carry in my shirt pocket a cheap calculator watch. It also makes it much less conspicuous to check the time in those boring meetings. You just pretend you need to calculate something.

Hari Seldon
07-21-2002, 07:55 AM
I have hairy wrists and those metal expansion bands were always catching hair, moderately painful. Cloth bands were better but I didn't like them in the summer. So for about 40 years I have been using a pocket watch. Now I mostly wear jeans since they have a small inner pocket, but that is probably not a choice for most. In addition, I have a neat watch from Levenger that has an arrangement of snaps that can either clip onto a belt or prop up as small table clock. If it only had an alarm and a light, it would be perfect. Anyway, that is what I use when I can't wear jeans.

07-21-2002, 08:59 AM
Is there a Watch for Someone with Super-Sensitive Skin?

Pocket Watch.

07-21-2002, 11:45 AM
I'm slightly confused by your post. Is it the metal that's causing the problem? Is the metal back of the watch not causing a problem while the band is? Is this really a plastic watch?

If your friend is sensitive to metal, then the easiest fix is a layer of nail polish on the metal that comes in contact with the skin. I had one watch once that gave me a rash, and I applied nail polish periodically to it as the old coat wore off to stop the rash. If he/she has a flexy band, switching to a leather band will be easier than painting every link.

Do they make all-plastic watches?

07-21-2002, 02:34 PM
My mother has the same problem. Her watch is gold-plated--any lesser metal, even platinum, silver and stainless steel, will cause her skin to break out.

07-21-2002, 02:39 PM
Originally posted by Zyada
Do they make all-plastic watches?
SWATCH watches are all plastic (at least they used to be).

07-21-2002, 05:43 PM
Most of the Velcro (tm) straps have a mesh-y cloth on the wrist side, and they're made so that the watch itself never touches the skin. I've been wearing them for a while, and I haven't had a rash there for years.

TV time
07-21-2002, 10:46 PM
There are ring watches, pendent watches and pocket watches made for both sexes. I know women who have necklace and ankle watches. I know a guy who had a very thin LCD clock he carried in his shirt pocket as a digital pocket watch.

07-21-2002, 11:07 PM
Try this: http://store.yahoo.com/simplywhispers/watches.html
I set the link to open on the watch selection, but if you have trouble with metals on any part of your skin, they have tons of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces too. I've bought nothing but this stuff for 20 years and I highly recommend it.

07-21-2002, 11:50 PM
If it's a nickle allergy (which is pretty likely), I'll attest to the quality of Simply Whispers that riblet posted a link to. I have extremely sensitive skin, and never have a problem with their jewelry. The watches run around $70 IIRC.

07-22-2002, 10:34 AM
I'm gonna three-peat the suggestion to get a pocket watch. or you can hang a wristwatch in unusual places. I've seen them dangling off of purse straps, backpacks, bicycle handlebars..

07-22-2002, 02:56 PM
You are not alone Lucwarm!! I went expensive, I went plastic (almost all the plastics still have metal on the back for battery access), I did fingernail polish, I didn't do gold, what...do you think I'm made out of money?!?

Here is my solution, and I'm damn sure it'll work for you. Most outdoor stoors (REI type places) carry bands that go all around your wrist, and the clasp/clip is made out of plastic. It's not a total solution, because the part of the watch that the strap goes through still touches the skin, and a sliver of metal shows on each side of the back. BUT, it has cured my problem. The best part about these is that they can be adjusted perfectly, most bands with holes have the "either too tight or too loose" aspect to them. Too tight always gave me a rash, too loose just drove me crazy. If I wear the watch just tight enough to prevent it from flopping to the other side of my wrist, but loose enough so a little air comes under, I've never had the rash. If it gets wet it can cause irritaion though. Luckily, it dries fairly fast, so it becomes a pocket watch when wet.

Here's one similar to what I have (they can be purchased in solid colors, not just the hideous designs)

07-22-2002, 03:10 PM
I found my exact watch band after more searching, here it is. http://www.chisco.com/cgi-bin/cat/R00210B.html

It's a basic black, so it can fit into a professional setting without looking like a hippie.

Patty O'Furniture
07-22-2002, 03:30 PM
Most semi-decent watch stores have a selection (albiet small) of hypo-allergenic watches, just ask the salesman to identify them. If you see a watch that does not have a hypo-allergenic band, they may be willing to substitue the existing band for one that is.

As porcupine said, the offending substance is usually nickel, which is added to metals to make them stronger and cheaper to manufacture.

07-22-2002, 03:32 PM
Swatches have a metal battery cover, or at least they used to. I haven't seen a new swatch in years, so I don't know what they have now. They also had a metal adjustment knob that comes into contact with the skin.

The problem I've always had with the velcro bands is that at some point they start to stink - and I mean seriously smell really bad, and nothing you can do will stop them from stinking ever again. You can throw them in the wash (with the watch removed), and they'll start stinking again about a week later. Something about the nylon trapping bacteria that feed off whatever it is they pick up from your skin.

Now I just use my cellphone as a pocketwatch. It's small and fits in my pocket, and tells time.

07-22-2002, 03:53 PM
My solution has been a watch with a loose band--either metal expansion band (I don't have hairy arms) or standard leather buckling strap. I also clean the metal parts with rubbing alcohol every couple of days--it seems to reduce the irritation.

07-22-2002, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by buckgully
[B]The problem I've always had with the velcro bands is that at some point they start to stink - and I mean seriously smell really badB]

You are soooo right, I'm not sure if it was the Velcro or the nylon, but man do they get stinky. I also hated how the end of the velcro strap begins to curl up and no longer stick. The one I have now is ultrasuede, which is a little more porous than leather. I have washed it a few time, but I've had it for around 2 years. The plastic clip eliminates the curl.

07-23-2002, 04:56 PM
I seen a watch at Mark's Work Warehouse that is a one of those woven bracelets. I think it was designed for rock climbers. It is a small digital watch that isn't too expensive. Hope this helps

07-24-2002, 09:06 AM
My 1 year old son has started showing an allergy to metal (we're guessing nickel). We noticed it from an irritation that he got from the snaps on his onesies and shirts, and we are now covering the snaps with bits of fabrics bandages. I suspect he will have the same problems.

One of the components of stainless steel is nickel, but I guess it makes a difference in the formulation and your own sensitivity. My father in law has a titanium cased watch. Would that work for you? I don't know if the metal has any nickel in it or not (I suspect very little considering the lightness of the watch).

07-24-2002, 11:40 AM
Buy a piece of mole skin and glue it to either the back of the watch or the band. No more rash.

This has been your hint from Heloise for today.

07-24-2002, 02:17 PM
I never wear wrist watches for the same reason, although I did try a daring fashion alternative in middle school: wristband under the watch band. Stylin!