The Mystery of the Stopping Watch… Why do Watches Stop When Some People Wear Them?

Watch-Human-Magnetism

A mysterious and yet common occurrence; why do some watches stop working when people wear them? Why do some people seem to stop every watch they put on their wrist?

It seems there has not been a serious study regarding this phenomenon and much like something you may see on a popular television series, or read in an internet chat room, appears to be widely debated and has a cloud of skepticism around it.

Although it is true that some watches will not function properly when around some electronic or highly magnetic equipment, there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer on why, when some people put a watch on their wrist, it will inexplicably stop working immediately or within a few minutes.

Many sources suggest that it is the watch itself, either being made poorly or the movement not being protected sufficiently from static electricity. While others who experience this problem regularly, swear it is in fact their body, whether it be a strong electromagnetic current or other form of electric or magnetic abnormality. The most common “proof” given is that if  someone else puts the same the watch on, it runs fine. However, there have been studies which concluded that the body doesn’t produce a significant enough source of such energy to cause this. Others claim that it may be another jewelry item that is being worn which may contain a magnetic clasp or be causing a disruption in current if in close proximity to the watch – or perhaps even another electronic device such as a cell phone, hearing aid, MP3 player, pacemaker, or fitness tracker.

In most cases, references state this only happens to them with quartz (battery operated) watches. We did not see any reference regarding solar watches (which in fact operate using a rechargeable cell much like a battery), however some people claimed to be able to wear a mechanical or automatic watch, while others could not.

Solutions range anywhere from wearing a non-battery operated watch such as a mechanical or automatic timepiece, while others claim that simply putting a plastic barrier (such as a band aid) on the back side of the watch where it meets the skin solves the problem. There are also anti-magnetic watches available, but we did not find an instance where someone with this problem has attempted to try an anti-magnetic timepiece.

So where does this leave this mysterious phenomenon? Is it fact or fiction?

For now it remains a mystery…

Does this happen to you? We want to hear your story! Post your experience below:

90 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Stopping Watch… Why do Watches Stop When Some People Wear Them?

  • March 5, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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    This drove me crazy to the point I just changed watches. It did not always do this, but once the battery died and I replaced it, it never worked for me again. Just as posted here, it worked fine when I did not wear it, but after a few minutes of having it on.. time stood still. Not long after it would start working again.

    Reply
    • May 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm
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      I found out at the age of 7 that I couldnt wear a watch, my Disney Cinderella watch broke right away as did others I tried over the years. And when I get worked up ( I have high anxiety) my phone will malfunction and computer too. Try this… my brother in law tried an experiment on me. He had me hold the prongs to an electrical outlet tester. Try switching hands. When I did this the needle went way over. Crazy, but true!

      Reply
  • May 12, 2016 at 9:40 pm
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    As young as twelve yrs it was determined that I had anti-magnetism and was unable to wear a watch without it stopping dead within 2-3seconds. It drove my family crazy, especially because my sisters and I shared a small room and over night all watches and our alarm clock regularly lost time even though they were attentively monitored, except when I wasn’t sleeping at home. The doctor couldn’t explain it, however the local jeweller assured my parents that it wasn’t a spooky phenomenon but simply an anti-magnetism that he learned about back in Europe. I was no longer treated like a freak but everybody got a kick out of seeing
    P their watches stop dead on my arm.

    Now almost sixty yrs later we are finding that I have far less tolerance (than neighbours and family) of electromagnetic radiation off the satellite and cell towers that were erected right behind our property. I try hard to get on with my life, but the effects I’m experiencing are disconcerting. I really wish there was better information and some studies that a person could refer to.

    Thanks for listening

    Up

    Reply
  • May 18, 2016 at 10:33 am
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    I found a good solution not to prevent my mechanical watch from being magnetized cause like you said in the article this is not always possible… but at least to detect the magnetism and take it off. If you have an iPhone you can download a free app here (https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/lepsi-watch-magnetism/id1080183882?mt=8 ), see if the app detects magnetism on your watch and if yes then buy a demagnetizer to fix it (you can one on lots of websites at good price)

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  • May 24, 2016 at 9:46 am
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    As you said in this article, it is very difficult to prevent watches from being magnetized. But if you want to see if your watch is magnetized or not the most simple is to download the Lepsi Magnetism app . It’s free and very simple to use with an iPhone. After, if the app detects magnetism you can demagnetize it with a watch demagnetizer.

    Reply
  • September 2, 2016 at 3:19 pm
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    I killed every watch I wore until I got one with a quartz battery. Those I can wear. Finally!!!!

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  • September 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm
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    I am a ballroom dance instructor and it is very common for those of us to wear wrist watches for the purpose of telling time without appearing impatient for the lesson to end. Every experience I have ever had with a watch resulted in it becoming useless after one day. Just so, I purchased a quartz watch yesterday, used it to the end of the day, and this morning it was dead. I did not sleep in it. The watch had a plastic sticker on the back in addition to a leather strap across the bottom, eliminating skin-contact.
    I have been trying to find a logical explanation and solution, but nearly every discussion on the topic concluded that people claiming to have this problem are dumb, clumsy and/or superstitious. While I don’t apreciate these claims, especially as some one employed and trained to be graceful, I simply want to be able to discretely tell the time during my lessons. Most people seem content to rely on their phones, but one can imagine how polite it would be if their dance instructor pulled out her phone during class.
    I have not encountered this problem with other instructors, however, my father, brother and sister all have the same problem. They have either given up on watches entirely or carry a pocket watch. Unfortuantely, my attire never has pockets, rendering this solution useless.

    Have there been any recent finds regarding this inconvenience? My searches have proven more irritating than informative. This article has been the most intelligent, and least offensive, addition to the speculations.

    Andrea

    Reply
    • January 10, 2017 at 11:36 pm
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      I’ve had better luck with a fitness tracker. If I forget to synch it to my phone, it gets a few minutes late but it does work for being able to tell the approximate time.
      Interesting point: besides being unable to wear a normal watch, my car clocks get behind too. I’ve experimented with this in other vehicles. Can’t keep a working clock on the wall in my living room or bedroom but if I move the clock downstairs it works fine. Have had many episodes of malfunctioning phones, computers, equipment (even xray problems.) When it goes haywire, I leave and all is back to normal.

      Reply
    • January 13, 2017 at 7:05 pm
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      Hi Andrea,
      I’ve had the same problem my entire life. Like your family i’ve pretty much just given up on wristwatches at this point.
      While in Nursing School I did find 1 thing that seemed to help the watch to last a little bit longer.
      I put several coats of clear nail polish on the back of the watch which created a barrier. Eventually the polish started to wear off and then the watch would die but had I kept up on the nail polish thing it may have lasted longer.
      I agree that this is a well written article as well. Its frustrating to see some of the things that are written out there.
      Good luck!
      Cara

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      • April 29, 2017 at 2:10 pm
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        This actually does work. My father had his watch battery dieing and he always borrowed my sister’s clear fingernails polish. It does wear off, but if you just wear the watch for just the practice you be fine. He ended up switching still to a pocket watch. Those last 2 or 3 months, but they never lasted like they were supposed to either. :/

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    • February 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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      Why don’t you just put up an artsy wall clock where everybody can see it and gage their timing as well!

      Reply
  • September 20, 2016 at 8:07 pm
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    I have never been able to wear a watch for long before it dies. I initially thought that it was just because the watches were cheap however after trying several expensive watches with the same result, I am stumped related to finding a cause. I would love to see more research.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2016 at 11:46 pm
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    My watches only work if I have a band that separates it from my skin, if I have direct contact the watch dies in a week or so, new battery or not

    Reply
  • September 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm
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    For the past couple of years the batteries in my watches will only last a couple of months. I have 6-7 watches and I alternate them to make the batteries last that long – if I wear them 2 days in a row they won’t last at all. This happens with expensive and inexpensive watches. I am so frustrated that I am going to give up wearing watches at all. I would like to try a Fitbit to see if those would work; or someday an Apple Watch. Has anyone with these issues tried these devices and had them work ok?

    Reply
    • December 12, 2016 at 8:33 am
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      What ‘s about fingerprint scanner ? Did you get problem with fingerprint scanner?

      Reply
    • January 7, 2017 at 10:26 pm
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      My fitbit lasts about a year and a half–but I’m on number 3.

      Reply
    • January 10, 2017 at 11:38 pm
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      My fitness tracker seems to do fine as long as I synch it with my phone and keep it charged. It is most often about 2 minutes slow within 1 day. I can live with that!

      Reply
    • January 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm
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      Hi! I have the same problem with watches dying very quickly and have many that I just gave up on. I also drain fitbits. I’m on my 8 th Fitbit after 805 days. Fit bit has replaced them as I was under warranty. My boyfriend has had only three fit bits and only one died after years of use. We wear them daily. I tried recharging one of my old ones and he wore it and the battery lasted about 3 days which is average for very active people. When I tried it again it died for good. Just had my 2nd Alta die on me since May of 2016. It may not be the same for you but I definitely love my Fitbit

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    • March 8, 2017 at 10:45 pm
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      I have the same problem of killing watches, as does a friend. I have not tried a Fitbit, but he has tried a similar device with the same disastrous results as wearing a watch. The only watched I don’t kill are the wind-up (which can’t be found anymore) and the ones that have a solid leather strap that goes all the across the back of it (so that it doesn’t contact skin).

      Reply
    • March 20, 2017 at 11:51 pm
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      The fit bit did work for me but the strap made me sweat. Then I had a rash . I still can’t wear a watch, And I’m now 59 .

      Reply
    • March 21, 2017 at 6:08 pm
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      I just came across this website, as I’ve always had problems wearing watches as a child. As most people on this site, they all stopped working on me. I was given a Fitbit in October last year, and I’m already about to receive my fourth replacement. Each one so far, after about 3/4 weeks, the battery slows down and will only last for at the most a day, if less. Has made me wonder if the same thing is going on for Fitbit as well as watches. Have asked Fitbit if they will look into this, but they seem happy enough to cover another replacement, which is brilliant customer service – but what I really want is to wear a Fitbit or watch without it stopping!

      Reply
    • April 27, 2017 at 8:39 am
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      I have a Fitbit and it works! My mom kept replacing batteries in my watches as a kid, wondering what I could be doing to make them keep stopping. My grandmother also had this problem. My grandmother just wore pocket watches around her neck. This also works for me.

      Reply
  • October 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    My mother could not wear watches for the reason they would not work on her. I have the same issue and it does not matter if it is wind up, which seem to be the worse, or battery operated. I have 2 very nice women’s watches that I had taken to the jewelers/watch repair shop on several occasions only to be told there is nothing wrong with them. But when I put them on they start losing time. Battery watches last longer but usually can’t get more than 6 mths out of of them and have had them lose time also. I do believe and have heard that it is the electric impulses in our bodies that is the problem, but why ?, no one seems to have an answer to it.

    Reply
  • October 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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    I was at skool with a lad who claimed watches (mechanical in those days) stopped on him because he was ‘magnetic’ – I thought he was just showing off, been clever – ‘oh, look at me, I cant wear watches’ – years later I wondered why he said this, I wondered if it was a cover because his family did not have a lot, perhaps… but years and year after I knew a ex-telecom engineer who told us about static electricity. The body does not generate as such but will store a charge or theres a potential difference between the body and items it comes across. The charge will discharge when the body earths to another object say a car, front door of a house, etc that’s when we experience that tingle ;o) but the thing that made me laugh was when the telecom man said – if people wore socks, had sweaty feet, perhaps didn’t change there socks (tights?) that often then a charge will build up. Now, I for one am not suggesting any one on this thread has sweaty feet ;o) but its a thought that perhaps if a watch stops on you, change yer socks (tights) more frequently ha, ha, haa

    Reply
    • October 22, 2016 at 8:39 pm
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      I don’t have sweaty feet, and I prefer to be barefoot. Yet my watches still stop.

      Reply
      • March 6, 2017 at 7:24 pm
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        I have not been able to wear any kind of watch for over 20 yrs – clocks in my home lose time and I am prone to painful static shocks if I press a button in a lift. Some people can say I exaggerate – others may think I am lying – but I seem to know how it feels – there is no exact explanation- my Dad was a highly qualified electrician – and didn’t want to believe it was happening – but he saw it first hand on numerous occasions- so he bought me a manual wind up pocket watch- it works for a short amount of time – til I wind it – as with other vintage pocket watches. I was told it was related to electro magnetism

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        • May 23, 2017 at 9:35 pm
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          Watches also die on me within twenty minutes or so, but I too experience very painful shocks on car doors so much so that I close them with covered elbows. I also sometimes get shocked when I pet animals, especially cats…the animals do as well.

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      • April 1, 2017 at 8:39 am
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        Amen to being Barefoot! Lol.. Regarding our watches stopping I like to think it’s our magnetic personalities!

        Reply
  • October 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm
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    This does happen to me. I have had many watchs, mostly bought as gift, or a few for work. Everyone with hands no matter wined up or battery operated has stopped working within a few minutes or up to an hour depending on the quality of the watch; never to work right again. The life spand of a digital watch for me is normal 6 months tops then they to stop working not even replacing the battery fixes it. I hardly every wear other jewellery, so for me that theory does not apply. I can also rule out pacemakers or any other kind of electronical medical device, as I don’t have any.

    Reply
  • November 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm
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    In reading all the replies I see where it is common to stop quickly. My experience is that the watches last me a few months before they stop. Even when I replace the battery, once it has stopped it does not work again. I have had wind up, with the hands and digital all stop.
    I have been wanting to get a fitbit and worried it have the same result. has anyone tried?

    Reply
    • January 10, 2017 at 11:43 pm
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      I like my generic fitness tracker. It gets slow throughout the day by about 2 minutes but there is an option to keep it synched to my phone. I don’t get the 7-10 day battery life that it boasts. I get 3-4 days. Since it is easy to synch and charge daily, I have found it is the best option for me. I’m always late anyway but at least now my husband believes me

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    • March 4, 2017 at 7:20 am
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      I too have given up on watches, I too like you, have the problem of wearing them for a while then they stop and you take them to the jewellers for a new battery or a clean and they don’t work anymore. I have a drawer half full of dead watches of various types, wind up, battery, quartz and cost. I don’t wear jewellery except my wedding band. So I can understand that you would worry about wearing a fit bit.

      Reply
  • November 4, 2016 at 10:14 pm
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    I could never wear wind up watches–they always died withing a couple of weeks. I used to think it was because I was over-winding them, but I was very careful not to wind them too much. My grandmother had the same problem. Watches died on her very quickly, so she didn’t wear them. I went for years without wearing a watch. Then quartz watches became available, and I bought one of those. I’ve had the same Swiss Army watch for nearly 30 years.

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  • November 16, 2016 at 8:47 am
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    I’m curious whether any of you who are not able to wear a watch, have any problems with tachycardia (racing heart). I’m not able to wear a watch myself and do have problems with my heartrate going anywhere for 96 to 180.

    Am wondering if it happens to be an electrical issue with some people’s hearts caused by an extra electrical pathway or two in their heart.

    Further pondering makes me wonder if you do have that problem and wear your watch on your left wrist (closest to your heart), if the messed up signals travel down your left arm and mess with your watch.

    Reply
    • December 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm
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      I have brachycardia with a reading hr of 35-45 and I stop watches, even wind up ones too. Always have, my mother has same problem.

      Reply
      • February 14, 2017 at 10:49 pm
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        I have never been able to wear a watch of any sort – all eventually ‘die’ with in hours to days. As a kid in the 70’s/80’s this was just annoying. I stopped trying to wear a watch and forgot all about it, but now that we are surrounded by and carry electronics, I notice I also ‘kill’ them! Phones, hard drives, the electronic ‘brains’ in appliances… I notice strong emotions exacerbate the problem. When I am calm all is well! Yes, my heart beats irregularly at times (when upset), sometimes races and is less often slow. My dad has the same problem! I am a physician and have tried to make medical or scientific sense of this, but so far haven’t been able to come up with a good explanation.

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        • May 8, 2017 at 8:20 am
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          I wonder if this phenomen could relate to the copper/zinc levels in your body?

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    • January 27, 2017 at 12:20 am
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      Hi I just read your comment and had to reply. I do have a fast heart rate 100-160 but take medicine. I too can’t keep a watch alive.

      Reply
    • June 15, 2017 at 12:41 pm
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      I have never been able to wear a watch. The time will be behind every time I look at it. I can reset the time and it will be wrong the next time i look at it. And the battery will die in a day or two. I have had problems with tachycardia, heart rate 132 after sitting still in exam room for 30 min.

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  • November 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm
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    I was unable to wear any watch (expensive or cheap) with a metal back — they always stopped working. I now wear only plastic case (like Swatch), and they work just fine.

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  • November 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm
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    That is wind up, or battery type — if it has a metal back, it stops working.

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  • November 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm
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    I’ve had a fitbit flex (all plastic) for a couple of weeks now, so far so good….

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    • January 3, 2017 at 11:21 pm
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      Thank you so much for writing. I am so glad to find someone with the same anomaly!
      I gave up wearing a watch, I drain my cell phone if it is in my pants pocket, ditto on the key cards too. I get motion sickness easily. I can always tell which way is north. I have only been lost once in my life, (but that was in Oklahoma so I blame the state).
      Have you ever noticed a sensitivity to magnets? My work provided magnetic name badges and it makes my heart race and I feel very nervous.
      Have you tried an Apple Watch? My husband speculates that I might actually recharge it instead of draining it.
      Also, when I was tested for anemia they said I had iron rich blood. Maybe we are becoming super heroes?

      Reply
  • December 9, 2016 at 4:26 pm
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    I was never able to wear a watch without a piece of felt on the bottom. ( ever! stopped in like 2-3 weeks max.) Now I wear a Movado bracelet style, which does not fit up next to the skin. I also wear a Garmin activity tracker, that is loose too. (it works)

    But, I have an additional issue, often when checking into hotels I find that the key card does not work for me. (And I do not have it next to my phone.) On a cruise ship last year, my key card, which is the ship card for everything had to be changed out 5-6 times in 7 days. ( it was not next to a phone. They were mad at me, that was a lot of fun!) But i was told that credit cards are made with a better magnetic strip than the ones hotels, and ships use, which is why i do not have an issue with these.

    Also, static electricity has always been rampant in my system, shocking anyone I touch if on carpets. My husband claims my sense of direction in many situations is uncanny also. ( This is a Man admitting that a Woman, has an uncanny sense of direction. 🙂 )
    I do get seasick on a large ship without a patch on too, so we used to think this was just an inner-ear thing. (small speed boats no problem. )

    Do you guys have any of these issues, or am I just a strange anomaly, as my husband nicely says?

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    • January 7, 2017 at 10:29 pm
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      I had lots of static as a child. I also find that my key card doesn’t work and I get cranky front desk folks. My sense of direction is horrible, but I get seasick and motion sick very easily.

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    • January 13, 2017 at 7:23 pm
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      Wow!!
      I have all of the same problems. I had honestly never thought about any of them much but reading your post has my mind spinning.
      I’ve had issues wearing watches my entire life. They die within a few day-a few weeks. I just don’t wear them anymore.
      I always have problems with key cards, shocking others when I touch them and I get seasick on large ships (small ones too though). My sense of direction is amazing as well. Nobody has ever told me that but I just always seem to know which way is which regardless of where we are.
      Anyways, I find this all very interesting. Thank you!
      Cara

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  • December 15, 2016 at 4:42 pm
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    I have purchased quite a few watches for my wife and they all “lose time”. We have tried cheap, expensive, plastic, metal, wrist and even keychain watches. Within a few days, they are a few minutes slow. I finally gave up after 10 years. (When the watch spends enough time away from her, it will start keeping correct time again.)

    Incidentally, if she keeps her credit cards in her pocket, it wipes them (keeping them in her purse is fine). This applies to all magnetic strip cards including hotel card keys and gift cards.

    I have no vested interest in some unfound mystery for psychic phenomena…I would just like to stop being her “what time is it” machine.

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    • December 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm
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      Richard, you wife sounds like me especially with the key cards. ( and come to think of it, its happened to 2-3 gift cards over the years.)

      Does she have an uncanny sense of direction, as well?

      Reply
  • December 21, 2016 at 10:25 pm
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    I have purchased 14 watches over the years for my wife. Quartz, wind-up, cheap, expensive, plastic, etc.. None lasted more than a day. Some stopped immediately. Even a broach style stopped. We quit buying her watches 20 yes ago.

    Reply
  • December 28, 2016 at 7:18 am
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    I have never been able to wear a watch or hold anything that is run on battery. I have tried a lot of watches and they died within an hour. My friend didn’t believe me until she had me put on her watch. I have to get cellphone batteries and new cellphones due to them not working. I had this phone less than two months and I have to leave it charging due to the fact that the battery won’t stay charged anymore.

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    • January 10, 2017 at 11:47 pm
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      Mine too! My husband can go days without plugging in his phone and he’s on it more than me. I had my phone replaced and same issue. I happen to “mess up” his phone somehow when I use it. Have had many phones over the years. I just learned to have chargers everywhere I go and a backup battery when traveling.

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  • December 29, 2016 at 3:33 am
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    I have the same problem. Over the years every watch I have had gains 15 minutes nearly every hour soon after wearing them. I have had different brands and analogue and digital and they all do the same thing. Eventually they just stop working. The only solution I can find is to put a barrier between the watch and my skin. I find a patch of stick on velcrose works. Then the watch works fine for some time. I purchased a new watch a couple of hrs ago (digital) wore it for 1 hr 30 mins and it has already gained 10 mins. The watch was set at the jewellers at the correct time. Back to the velcrose and hopefully it will last a while. I have no explanation for why this happens, it is a mystery to me!!

    Reply
  • December 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm
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    My mom has had this problem now it seems i’ve had inherited this same thing also Starting today I went to work with the watch working today i got home the watch was completely dead i took it off for about 30 mins it was ticking again . then i put it back on and of course it’s stopped really a odd thing.

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  • January 10, 2017 at 5:01 am
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    I have had an issue with watches so much that I don’t even try anymore. I could put on a watch in the morning, it would start losing time immediately and stop by the end of the day. The only watch that worked for around six months was the quartz watch with a band aid on the back. I was a happy camper at first, when it stopped I changed the battery and it still didn’t work. I bought another quartz watch which immediately stopped working when I put it on. I do not wear watches at all, I just use my cell phone. The battery on the phone is wonky as well. Wouldn’t want to buy the Apple Watch to have it stop on me. Has anyone had experience with using it? Does it work?

    Reply
  • January 12, 2017 at 5:35 am
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    There are watches made specifically to resist magnetization. The ones I know of are expensive, e.g., the Rolex Milgauss, but it may be worth looking into for those of you with this issue. This is fascinating.

    Reply
  • January 17, 2017 at 10:51 am
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    My mom and I both stop watches. We are both kind of hyperactive and with elevated blood pressure. I feel like I could have an irregular heartbeat once in a while but very rarely and never diagnosed. Her home PC and laptops had to be “fixed” all the time for random malfunctions. I’ve sometimes worried about working as an ER RN and if I may one day interfere with out cardiac monitors or patients’ pacemakers, etc but have not seen evidence of this yet- probably helps that we rotate to different areas of our ER every 4 hours and only rarely stay in the same area for 12 hours and sick patients are usually admitted pretty quickly. This has been the most informative information I’ve read in a while – especially the mention of other physical traits.

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  • January 20, 2017 at 9:41 am
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    I have the same problem. Watches die on me so fast. I brought it up during my last doctor visit but he was not familiar with this phenomenon. Im glad I found this site that Im not the only one who stops wrist watch batteries from working within a week. I also get pain in my sinus, eyes, temple when Im on cel or wireless phones. I dont like the vibration sound from a microwave oven. I can feel the vibration, more specifically, my head and sinus.

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  • January 26, 2017 at 5:28 am
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    Ever since my first watch as a child I have caused watches to lose time and stop within a few day’s, depending on how much I wear them. I assumed it was the watches until I received an expensive one with a lifetime warranty. Within 3 months I had sent it in for repair twice. The second time they returned it with photos of its inner workings that showed the tiny springs unwound and mangled beyond repair. My warranty became void. This all happened before the days of cell phones and portable electronics. I have noticed that the watch will die faster or more slowly, depending on the quality and thickness of the back plate, but the difference is a day or two at most. In the years since I have also encountered the ability to disrupt electronics, having worked in a casino and caused massive system crashes with a touch. The solution was to line the floor with a thick rubber mat and for me to wear better shoes. It was explained at the time as an ability to store excess static energy in my body. This makes some sense as I am well known for shocking friends (and pets) frequently. I have since discovered that there is one other person in my family with the same problem. His remedy is to wear a thick leather band under his watch. My solution is to wear a pocket watch and check it’s time keeping frequently.

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  • January 29, 2017 at 10:24 pm
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    I have bought my wife many watches last one was a pulsar but before she wore it her aunt wore it for 2 weeks and it worked fine so wife put it on and it went dead in less than a day! even machinacial watches stop dead on her! so where do i go from here? she loves a watch and i feel bad because i cant find one she wont kill! thank you!

    Reply
    • June 8, 2017 at 11:56 pm
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      I have the same problem. A jeweler friend said she has encountered this many times in her years of running a jewelry store and suggested a Citizen Ecodrive. I’ve had it for about five years now with no problems. Every other watch I try dies within a few days, whether cheap or expensive.

      Reply
  • February 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm
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    Analog watches die within 2 weeks, digital 2 months. Ring or necklace watches,the same. It’s highly annoying. My resting heart rate is generally between105-110. I’ve also noticed when I get close to electronics, like a radio, the signal comes in stronger, as I walk away it will fade back out. I’ve always wondered why. I wonder now if I’ll ever know.

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    • June 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm
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      I can’t wear watches either. They will get slower and slower until they die in a couple days. My Grandma was the same way.
      Electronic signals (like a radio) also come in stronger when I get close and fade as I walk away. I thought everyone affected antennae signals this way until two years ago and I’m 36. I have also had problems with tachycardia, heart rate 132 after sitting still in exam room for half an hour.

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  • February 8, 2017 at 10:18 pm
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    I got my first wrist watch when I was 7 years old. It was a wind up Timex and it stopped working after 2 days. I had put it away and thought the watch was bad. My twin brother found my watch (he thought it was his), and it worked just fine for him! However when I tried it it stopped working after a couple of hours. I gave it back to my brother and it worked fine for him. After a month or so I asked for it back and again it stopped after 1 day. We tried this back and forth for a year. This was back in the day before battery or solar powered watches. This same scenario repeated itself for the next 5 watches I owned over a period of several years. It wasn’t until they came out with the red LED battery powered watches that I could actually wear a watch that did not stop on me. I thought I was alone on this wierdness.

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  • February 9, 2017 at 11:55 pm
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    Loved the respectful article! And I would very much like research that explores this phenomenon to be conducted. I am old enough to have started with wind-up watches which worked great. I then went through a series of quartz watches and concluded that I am unable to wear them, as they stop within hours; not minutes and not days. For years I was able to wear old wind-ups, but now folks who repair them are few and far between. I have had luck with Seiko kinetic watches and they worked about 2 years each for me. My phone has been adequate for years as a time keeper but now I work in a facility that does not allow mobile phones and will order another kinetic watch. I am sorry that others have the same trouble but am relieved to not feel so alone in this weirdness!

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  • February 16, 2017 at 1:44 pm
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    It’s happened to me all my life. If a watch lasts it’s no longer than a year. In the last few years the time has gotten shorter and shorter. Most recently one lasted 3 months. Put a new battery in it and the one I purchased 6-8mos ago both worked perfect kept perfect time. Put one on with in a few hours it began loosing time. Went back had another new battery put in it. It keeps loosing time while on me. When I take it off it works and kept perfect time.

    Today had a watch I put it on, after a few hours it lost time. I changed to the other watch which has perfect time. Put it on within 30 min it lost 30 min and the other watch I took off kept perfect time. Never thought about it until recently when the batteries didn’t last. In the last year to two I have gone through so many watches.

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  • March 2, 2017 at 9:50 am
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    I have a strange one. 17 years ago this month my father had worn a watch for at least 30 years. On the Monday he noticed the watch was losing time so he and my mother went to the local pharmacy and got a new watch battery. The next day the same thing was happening on a Tuesday. So they went and got another new watch battery. They spoke before they went to sleep that night and my mom had to use the restroom at 3:40 when she came back to bed she noticed my father did not move she touched him and he had passed in his sleep his watch quit at 3:23 a.m. he was 68 years old. I am 57 and wore a watch for months and months and noticed yesterday it’s losing time so I took it off overnight and it’s keeping track of time now. I just put it on my wrist will see what happens today. I will come back to this website and post what happened. Hopefully I’m not a repeat of my dad’s story.

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  • March 5, 2017 at 6:06 am
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    So it is 2017. I have random relatives who don’t wear watches cause “they won’t keep time”… I’ve always been very curious about it. Now my daughter not only has issues with watches but all electronic devices from cell phones not keeping charge, watches, even laptops and tablets… some I blame on her but in my heart I know there is something different and a reasonable scientific explanation for this…

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  • March 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm
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    Just found out from my cardiologist that I have a congenital heart defect: extra nerve pathways, that cause heart palpitations (fluttering and racing). It’s called PSVT or Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia. It’s related to SVT and WPW Syndrome (Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome). Since childhood, I haven’t been able to wear watches, cheap or expensive, without killing them! There may very well be a connection.

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  • March 30, 2017 at 8:21 pm
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    HI! I realize I’m late to the game and it may be over,r but I didn’t see any resolution. My experience is like Cheryl’s – my watches will last for a few months but once they stop, they don’t start. The exception was a beautiful silver movado my dad gave me for my bday – I mean, it did stop way before it should have, that battery had an average life of 5 years and it lasted less than 3 months. AND it cost $60(!!!!) to have the damn battery replaced, only to have it stop less than a week later and now I use it as jewelry, haha! I also experience tachycardia, like Roni, and at weird times with no apparent cause. I was just wondering if any of you were born around the same time as me – I was born in August, 1980. If you were born between 1979 and 2002, please shoot me a note at synergy@kemoli.com. 🙂 My best and warmest blessings to all and a big Aloha from the 808! xo- Kerissa 🙂
    Kerissa

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  • March 31, 2017 at 1:30 am
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    I had this happen too, actually ran some tests and amazingly the battery was completely drained.

    Pretty sure that somehow conductive salts are getting inside the board (eg from sweat etc) and causing slow leakage over time.
    The good news is that a thorough clean in IPA and changing the quartz crystal fixes most of these.

    Also happens with USB pendrives and microSD cards a lot, had to clean a few of these to get them going again.

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  • March 31, 2017 at 1:36 am
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    Also this one has a 260K resistance to ground, found a transistor marked L6 which *could* be the cause as if this for some reason goes leaky because its linked to the backlight this will drain the battery quickly.
    It lasted about a week (£7.50) before failing so going to attempt a transistorectomy and see what that does.
    Solder flux on the board is well known to be a cause in some cases, as is any sort of high resistance across the quartz crystal because shock can do this yet the clock/watch will run just fine for a while.

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  • April 9, 2017 at 6:44 am
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    Im 40 now but I stopped wearing watches in my teens. Wind up, battery,gears or digital. Even a necklace with a watch pendant. They all stopped in weeks if not days of me wearing them. Im sensitive to “cheap” jewelry causes open wounds green skin. The plating wears of easily. I also feel/hear[?] electricity. Downed power lines, storms ect. Now that cell phones are here I find myself going through battery time faster than my SO. Chargers stop working. Screens go green or blue. And this is on multiple mobile phones. I always seem to know how to fix the reception on the antenna just so. You may think some of these things are silly. But I think Im one if those ppl that blow up emf detectors. Allergic to most metals. Batteries are drained. U can hear electric currents. Like downed powerlines, I can hear a tvs electricity when its turned on. Halogen led and fluorescent light hum. I get very tired and/or a migraine if exposed to them for hours. So what’s wrong with me? Or am I one if the gifted ones? Am I a fairy? Lol

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    • June 15, 2017 at 2:07 pm
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      Wow. All of that happens to me too. I have been in a game store where all of the employees have walkee talkees and I heard a message being sent to the walkee talkee in front of me a split second before the walkee talkee got it. I mean I heard it in my head before the walkee talkee spit it out.

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  • April 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm
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    Try a high quality, reasonably priced auto-winding watch (mid-range Seiko and Tissot are reasonably priced and good quality), meaning not a “fashion” watch (Fossil, Guess, Anne Klein). These will have comparatively high mechanical tolerances without the need for a battery; the higher the precision, the better. Two reasons for this: 1) body heat will cause internal metal parts to expand, and if they are cheaply made (Chinese movements, for example) the parts will stop functioning due to warping and friction; and 2) If you’re like me, quartz (battery) watches go dead within a day or two for some reason.

    Solved it by going auto-winding and high precision.

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  • April 13, 2017 at 8:23 pm
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    I have had the problem of stopping watches my whole life. Now I wear an eco-drive and that seems to work fine. I have had some problems with cell phone batteries lately though, and am wondering if it is the same thing – the batteries die very quickly.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 7:26 am
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  • April 29, 2017 at 12:47 am
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    I can only wear watch for 2 weeks before it quits. I can wear windups. I can’t put my cell phone in my pocket or the battery won’t recharge. My computers break if the sit next to me, even at work. I am allergic to metal. So watches cause blisters. Automatic doors don’t always see me. I have to wait for someone else to go through. The airport ones lock me in until the next person comes along. It’s rediculous. And everyone thinks I make all of this up, so I look crazy too.

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  • April 30, 2017 at 10:31 am
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    I do not recall ever having a problem wearing a watch, however, I decided to look into this phenomenon because I seem to have a problem with every electronic device I touch! Cell phones and computers never work right for me. Some tell me its just user error, but come on! I am sure I have some kind of energy that rins through my body reaking havoc on every electronic device I come in contact with! Or, maybe I just have bad luck and always get the ones that have some wancky problem already!

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  • April 30, 2017 at 11:32 pm
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    When I was a young boy I would wrestle with my friend and every time my watch would stop running for a hour or two. It happened with more than one of my watches, for were were friends for a long time. I can’t remember when it started, maybe in 3rd grade in school. He could not wear a watch for that reason. This watch thing is not a lie.

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  • May 3, 2017 at 8:21 pm
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    I kill EVERY battery in EVERY watch I wear. The longest a battery lives is a couple of days. I have replaced batteries many times, at different jewelers. I have decent amount of watches, from cheap ones to relatively expensive ones. It is frustrating. I have been telling friends and family for many, many years that something in my system is killing the batteries and time and again, I get a chuckle out of the person I am telling. Even though there is no answer or resolution, it is comforting to know there are others with the same issues and it’s not my imagination. I am definitely going to try the bandage on the back though….great idea!!

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  • May 14, 2017 at 10:10 am
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    I used to “try” and wear watches. I would receive a watch and about one month later it would stop. So when i was in my late 20’s I had accumulated quite a collection of really nice watches, none of which worked. I saved them, I’m not sure why. Anyway, a few years ago we were burglarized and that was the ONLY thing I was happy about, they took a box of watches that didn’t work, good luck trying to pawn those!

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  • May 19, 2017 at 12:20 pm
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    cannot wear battery powered watches. the batteries drain a few days after . I have replaced batteries, purchased new watches, only to have the same problem occur again and again. I gave up and no longer try to wear watches. all in all, once I got used to it I find it to be freeing. It is nice to no longer have the compulsion to check my wrist for the time any longer. Silver lining and such.

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  • May 21, 2017 at 1:06 am
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    I’ve never been able to wear watches without them dying within a few days. I also destroy a laptop each year & malfunction other electronic devices. The IT guy at work hates me. I’m very sensitive to electricity, temperature change of a single degree & to emotions. I can’t keep a cell phone to my ear for more than 10 mins without getting a headache and it becoming hot. I also can’t wear a Bluetooth. It’s a condition called electro sensitivity that can be diagnosed in Europe but in the US they consider it a mental issue. I was prescribed a heart monitor in 2008 & within an hour of putting it on I got severe migraine headaches and digestive issues. The company argued with me for the next week telling me there are no side effects to heart monitors and that I was crazy. I did some research and found that the gift is called electrokenisis. It’s lowest form is malfunctioning electronics but at its highest form it is the ability to manipulate energy & the gift of healing hands. There are some cool experiments you can do to see if you have it. The first is to create something called a psi wheel, a propeller made from a piece of paper, balanced on a needle, stuck into an eraser. When you put your hand next to it, if you are electrokinetic, you’ll make it spin. It’s freaky but also pretty cool. Apparently it is hereditary as several of my family members all have the gift. It is an issue I have struggled with my entire life and due to recent events I finally was able to research it and gain some clarity. I hope this is helpful to anyone who struggling with it also.

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  • May 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm
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    I’ve had this same problem for many years. The last watch that I killed happened within an hour of my initial wearing, but after removing it for a bit, it started working again. So, put it on again, and an hour later, dead. This time forever.
    I was sold a Seiko watch back in 2007, with a promise that if it died, they’d refund my money. A week later, it died. To the retailer’s surprise, he asked me to try one more watch. It still runs fine today. So, it sounds to me like it may just be because of cheapness?

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  • June 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm
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    I have never been able to wear a watch much more than an hour or so without it stopping. My father was the same. His hypothesis was something to do with electrical resistance. I know when he held the clips in each hand, the ohmmeter would go into the red, likewise for me. When my watch wearing sisters and brothers did it, it stayed in the green. Not a large sample size.

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  • June 6, 2017 at 6:32 pm
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    Received a wind-up Timex for Christmas the year I was ten (1962). My mother, a nurse who wore her watch at all times except bathing, showed me how to wind it, not over-wind, etc. I happily wore it all day, thru the night and the next morning it was dead. I felt hollow-out and so sick I could barely function. I left the watch on my dresser and the next day it was ticking again. So I reset the time, carefully wound it, and killed it by bedtime. I would wear it to church once a week hoping my parents never figured it out. And if anyone asked me the time, I said oh darn my watch stopped.

    My story is much like all the tales here. Endless watch failure and battery failure. I did manage to wear a Benrus for about four years in the early 80s but with many battery replacements. Three years ago I bought a Citizen Eco-Drive, and it has held up well and kept accurate time, but I only wear it when I leave the house which is 2 or 3 times a week—so maybe 15 hours a week at most.

    I get ill in jewelry stores and electronics stores, which I assume has something to do with the security systems, and so many machines running, and fluorescent lighting. I don’t like using a cell phone and if I have to talk on one for very long it makes me sick. And wearing headphones makes me ill since they split the sound. My husband worked for a small ISP and I would get very ill in the office because of all the electronic equipment. Apparently I was born in the wrong century 🙂

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  • June 16, 2017 at 6:02 pm
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    Dear all friends, i have the same issue but slightly different. My wrist watch looses time after some time. This happens to mechanical watches (one having needles) only. At my early life when i was in school and during exam days, i always adjust time from local TV station. At that time i thought it is due to cheap watches or may be cheap batteries. Later when i entered in my professional life i purchased Rolex chronograph automatic watch. when during night i put aside on my side table it usually stops. The reason i think was zero movement of watch at night so during day time i usually unconsciously shake my hand vigorously and before sleep so that i does not die out, but of no use (1 out of 5 times it suddenly stops in morning). This made me pathetic. Until then i purchased CASIO watch with digital display and equipped with needles to show time (the reason for watch with needles is that for me i feel easy to note time during driving and etc). For my surprise the digital time remains intact but the needles slow down .. approx 2- 3min after every month or so. So I started to search this very subject and searched a lot on internet and books .. talked to my friends (strangely peoples thought i am mad or freaky) then at last I came to a conclusion: “i reviewed myself what is special in me and then I realized that I am quite charismatic, people feel comfortable with me in parties social as well in private life. The reason behind when i was reading a spiritual book recommended by a friend on this issue was Human Magnetism. In simple words certain people in this world have strong magnetic vibes coming from their body. These waves/ vibes interfere with wrist watch and so i starts malfunctioning. I am Electrical engineer by profession and understand the inter changeable phenomena between magnetism and electricity so bottom line is that some people effects wrist watches and some electronic equipment because electricity and magnetism both interconnected thing. One more thing that came across is Telekinesis may be we people posses involuntarily Telekinesis which we don’t know our self but exist and effects iron objects like gears inside wrist watch.”
    But since I am not the authority on this subject I am still searching for better reasons for this mystical phenomena of stopping or time lagging of world most accurate watches ever made like Swiss or Japanese watches. Hope one day I will find a better answer !!

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