Claims of "I can't wear a watch. Just being on my wrist destroys them" - BS or not?

I have heard a good number of otherwise scruplously honest people, claim that they cannot wear watches because the watches (mechanical or electronic) break shortly (days or weeks) after being strapped on. I collect watches and I’m reasonably familar with the innards of watches, and short of generating a sustained electrical field several orders of magnitude greater than ever measured in a human being (or something else equally damaging) I can’t imagine this claim to be factually true. And yet there are lots of people that will take this as gospel about themselves or someone they know .

Is there anything to this, or or people who may have been unlucky enough to get one or two defective watches making logical leaps?

Lots of otherwise intelligent people (people I know with PhD’s, other doctorates, people who I know have very high IQs) swear that hair senses when it is cut and grows faster too.

My stepfather is a person who destroys watches. You can give him a new one, and it will be broken within a month. But if you examine it before it breaks and he throws it away, one can see that within a week it has several impacts, deep scratches, and other signs of misuse. It just gets banged around a lot in daily work. Yet, the family thing now is “he can’t wear a watch, there’s something about him”. Yeah, just like the Samsonite Gorilla can’t find a good roller bag…

Maybe you should “watch” this thread

I played drums for many years, and found that to be hard on watches. It was simple enough, though, to just take the watch off when playing.

Human flies can’t wear a wristwatch more than a month.

I can’t wear watches either, but it’s no mysterious magnetic field. I’m naturally fairly clumsy and I tend to bang them against things. I’m also not used to wearing them, so I tend to snag them on things. They usually break within a few weeks, at best.

I found a beat to shit Fossil Blue on the side of the road and have been beating the hell out of it for a year and a half now, and it keeps on ticking. It’s amazing. I think perhaps people need more durable watches. If people had internal magnetic fields strong enough to affect watches, they would affect cell phones too, it seems like.

I’ve always been told not to wear my watch when golfing. The shock that goes through it when you hit the ball can wreck it.
So i’ve been told.

Back when I was in my mid-twenties, I went through three watch batteries in less than a month. There was some other weird stuff going on in my life, so I was feeling a bit superstitious. I ended up giving up on wearing watches for several years, but I’ve started up again. How could I not wear my new Tigger watch?

A good friend of mine told me he had bought five watches from the same dealer at the Strawtown flea market. He was wearing the fifth. He said the first had all quit working after two weeks. I told him he might just be a slow learner. :wink:

HEY! There’s no such thing as “a watch.” Electronic watches and wind-up watches with balance wheels are totally different items.

For example, DC magnetic fields of a particular strength might ruin a mechanical watch by permanently magnetizing the balance wheel, but they would have zero effect on a digital one.

And suppose there is some sort of mysterious effect; one which is (presently) outside of contemporary science. Maybe it has an effect on transistors, or upon the chemistry of molecule-thin layers in the battery plates, causing the batteries to run down prematurely, and would have zero effect on a mechanical watch.

If you don’t even know whether the watch in question is mechanical or digital, any discussion is pointless.

I was talking about both kinds of watches as people’s claims to “kill watches” spans both electronic and mechanical watches. Also, just as an FYI, for a good many quality watches, the distinction between “mechanical” and “electronic” watches is quite blurred nowdays with various combos of battery powered electro-mechanicals (eco drives) and movement powered electronic watches (the kinetics) among others.

Even if we restrict the discussion to the classic mechanical and electronic watch categories there is nothing the human body generates in the way of an RF or EMF field that would disrupt either type of watch or the batteries. The electro-magnetic fields generated by the human body are several orders of magnitude too low to have any perceptible affect on an electronic or mechanical watch.

I would suspect that the main reason people “destroy watches” is that they are buying watches with near dead batteries (it happens all the time), or as Una indicated they are very rough on watches without realizing it, and it is understandable that after laying out some money for 2-3 watches that die one after the other a person might well come to the conclusion they “kill” watches" and give up wearing them.

I’m rough on watches while working and I realize it. It’s construction, I’m a strong guy, stuff happens. So I don’t wear a watch most of the time.

Besides, my phone has a clock.

I beat the hell out of phones and pagers, too.

I have a couple of nice watches for dress up that I often just forget to wear.

My SO is rough on watches. He is “The Death of Watches” around my family. I don’t think he’s ever had one last more than 6 months. The current one, admittedly, got slammed into the road when he fell off his bike, but has since also lost the pin to adjust the time (so he’s one hour ahead of everyone else!). He plans on buying a new one soon, but I have little hope for it.

Both of his previous watches worked fine until one day they just started BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPING non-stop (a sustained beep, not an intermittent one) and nothing we could do could stop it. Three days of beeping, and they both finally died. I refer to it as their “long, painful, screaming deaths”. The one before that just stopped suddenly, no warning.

I think most were Timex, but different models bought at different times. I have several watches, and while over the years batteries have died (many which I haven’t replaced) non have ever croaked like his have.

I don’t wear a watch, but that’s because (a) my wrist was hurting and (b) the metal straps were making mincemeat of my shirt cuff. I now use a pocket-watch.

I can’t wear quartz watches, but not because of anything mysterious; I’m a freely-perspiring person; thre watches usually last until their first battery change, then die within a few weeks - once the factory seal is broken, my unique blend of secrestions seems to work its way into the thing and mess up the insides beyond any hope of repair.

I solved the problem by purchasing a self-winder that gave me twelve years of faultless service before becoming too shabby to wear. I replaced this with a solar-dial-powered watch that has been fine for a couple of years now.

Buy better watches. I’ve had the same sekonda watch now for about 10 years. It’s had one battery change, and several strap-pin changes, but it still works and looks ok. I wear it every day. I feel weird if I am not wearing it.

Doesn’t matter how good the watches were - I’ve killed pretty much every brand, including Seiko, Citizen and Accurist (but also Swatch, Sekonda, Timex and others)

Me, I kill computers. And my CompuServe dial-up. And when my father died (not my doing, I swear), his computer and answering machine promptly expired as well. Just reporting, not interpreting.

Supposedly my grandfather could not wear a watch that had a metal back. The watch would go wonky in a matter of days (don’t remember if it died, or just wouldn’t work properly.)

If he wore a watch with a plastic back, no problem.

I don’t get it, either.