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People who claim their static electricity stops their watches

  1. May 13, 2010 #1
    I was out in the shop earlier, and came back inside the house, noticed my watch fast a few hours.

    Did a search to find out what kinds of things cause this, and found that it was probably the magnets/electrical fields from the power tools I was using.

    Also came across a lot of people swearing that watches stop or malfunction constantly when they wear them, and a lot of people claiming it is because some people generate excess static electricity.

    This reminded me of my father, who died when I was six, who claimed in an essay I read, that both him and his mother experienced this. Supposedly, their watches would only last a short while before they stopped working. And he claimed this was due to static electricity.

    Is this really due to static electricity in the body?


    Also, if anyone knows, what factors can cause a watch to malfunction/speed up, and how does this play out.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2010 #2


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    When I was quite young, I wore analog watches. In a couple of weeks, any watch I wore would start gaining about 15min/day. After another week or so, i cuold actually watch the watch run backward fo ra few seconds, then forward again, then back, and so on.

    Later in our planets history, I tried digital watches. After a week or so, they would begin to fade. A few days later, they were blank. A new battery would make the numbers appear again, but only for a day or two. I tried putting thick pads of duct tape on the back of the watch (between it and my skin), and that seemed to postpone the malfunction, but never for more than a couple weeks.

    Either people are making better watches now, or something about me has changed, because I always where a watch nowadays and they work just fine.

    Never even came up with a decent geuss as to the cause.
  4. May 14, 2010 #3


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    Perhaps you changed environments...did you move or did you use to work in a different place?

    Perhaps where u were had strong enough magnetic fields to mess around with the metals in the watches...
  5. May 14, 2010 #4


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    Stopped attending highschool. Hardly seems a likely cause, though, as many other students were in the same building an dtheir watches all seemed to work fine.
  6. May 15, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think it far more likely that you guys just buy cheap watches!

    One thing that does come to mind for electronic watches is the possibility that some people have sweatier wrists than do others, and some watches are vulnerable to sweat. Also, some people are just harder on watches than are others. Perhaps you are doing something without even realizing it, that damages the watch. Shock and vibration might be one possible explanation. Does anyone happen to be a drummer or run a jackhammer? :biggrin:
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  7. May 15, 2010 #6
    well along time ago I was attempting to replace a capacitor on a microwave, I installed the wrong one or something(hazy memory very old) the magnetron tube exploded and I had an iron man triathlon that never worked again, static or emp you decide.
  8. May 20, 2010 #7
    Impressive, but not exactly "static electricity" ;)
  9. May 21, 2010 #8


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    A strong enough emp can damage the pn junction of semiconductor devices. A magnetron at close range could probably do the job.
  10. Jun 6, 2010 #9
    This isn't exactly related, but I've heard that some members of the next generation aren't taught how to read an analog clock because everything is going digital. It's sort of like that strange little square you click on to save files on your computer. Most kids haven't seen that 3.5 inch floppy disk and never will.
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