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 foundthat, “… 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:
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.