Can some people make watches lose time simply by wearing them?

My mother doesn’t wear watches because she swears they speed up on her and end up 10 to 15 minutes off. I find other people claim to have this happen to them, too. But is this just a myth or what?

It’s possible there are watches that move differently depending on whether they lie still or are being worn. It’s possible some people, wearing a watch like that, have more effect on it than the average person. Maybe they’re particularly prone to gesticulating. Are there people who cause any type of watch to speed up, and speed up a lot? I’ll put my money on “no” as I believe in the ordinary laws of physics and cause and effect.
My own watch speeds up 3 seconds per day, if I didn’t know this, and only rarely, say every 3 months compared it to other time pieces with a good degree of accuracy, say 5 minutes, I’d suddenly be surprised to find it being 10 minutes off.

Every single mechanical watch I’ve had ends up going fast. I don’t know why.

Quartz watches work fine, though.

My guess here would be that it’s for the same reason that speedometers tend to be set a bit high. Both are, or used to be, mechanical devices that have a certain inaccuracy, and the consequences are much more benign when the watch goes a little fast, or your speed is a little lower, than the other way round.

I know this is going to be met by disbelief, but my mother killed watches on a regular basis. She simply could not wear a watch for more than 6 months or so without it dying. She tried some fairly expensive watches (not Rolex, but good brands) and they didn’t last either. There were several nice (dead) watches in her jewelry box when she died.

She died in 1988, so maybe some of the newer ones would have worked on her.

Well, maybe, but I’m talking about gaining 20 minutes in a day. They were Swatches, so I took them for servicing… and they would be fine for a few days. And then they would start gaining ridiculous amounts of time again.

This happened with 3 separate mechanical (self-winding) watches… in the end, I just gave up and got a quartz analogue instead.

Nope, my mother’s exactly the same. She can’t wear any watch at all without it dying on her.

So – is this a consensus that this is not just a urban legend or a myth but an actual phenonmenon? Is so, what causes it?

Well, I guess it’s *possible * for a battery-operated watch to run fast or slow when worn. For this to happen, the crystal oscillator would have to have a pretty large temperature coefficient, to the point that the rise in temperature due to body heat would make a discernable difference in the resonant frequency.

It’s definitely got the hallmarks of an urban legend. Yes, many people do wear watches of various types and sometimes the watch stops. Was it their “aura” or “magnetic field?”–no. That’s just so much hooey.

Many times there are the explanations such as wearing a watch in the kitchen near magnets(kitchen cabinets) and the watch becomes magnetized and stops. This would of course seem like magic to the person wearing it.

I don’t mean to suggest that this is the answer, just one of many.