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General Science => General Science => Topic started by: theThinker202 on 21/09/2018 19:29:26

Title: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: theThinker202 on 21/09/2018 19:29:26
I have had several watches of different makes through the years that were powered by a battery but within a week of putting them on, the battery acts as if all the charge is gone and it stops functioning. It doesn't matter if the watch had a vinyl, leather, or metal band, or what type of rear cover the watch had. I have replaced battery after battery in the hopes that it was just a fluke, but even those new batteries did the same thing. I have had to use a winded pocket watch or use my celllphone my entire life. I was told that my grandfather suffered the same problem and that he had a high level of iron in his system. Is that the caiuse>? Surely there is someone else that has the same problem. I am asking you ahead of time, please don't insult my intelligence with some of the answers I have seen in a topic like this in the past. I have an educated history, good common sense, was a business owner/operator, and worked for a Sheriff Office. SO with that in mind, please offer some good suggestions please?
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: alancalverd on 21/09/2018 23:04:34
If  the  cellphone charge duration is normal, then the problem lies with your wrist environment. Sweaty wrists, or failure to remove a cheap watch before washing the dishes, bathing the dog, working on a trawler, or scrubbing up, can corrode the battery contacts. Judging from your extensive  career and life experience, I find it unlikely that your grandfather had many  battery-operated watches as they did not exist before 1960.

In a spirit of scientific enquiry, you could invest in a solar-recharged watch. Accurist  and Citizen make reasonably-priced "eco-drive" watches that are well sealed against the usual insults (mine regularly cycles up to 15,000 ft and I will admit to some sweaty moments) and never need to be opened - the one I am wearing now has run continuously for over 10 years. As a control, you could wear a self-winding mechanical watch on the other wrist, and see which one fails first.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Bored chemist on 22/09/2018 00:28:14
please offer some good suggestions
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 22/09/2018 01:15:36
These battery watches, let me guess, they weren't the best quality???

Otherwise you could have returned them under warrantee, and got a replacement. Good-quality watches with good quality batteries fitted by jewellers don't do that.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: evan_au on 22/09/2018 01:50:20
A high level of iron (eg from haemochromatosis) will not affect battery lifetime.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_overload

Could you have fitted an expensive zinc-air battery (usually used in hearing aids) inside a sealed watch?
- No air=no power
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: theThinker202 on 23/09/2018 13:39:07
   I feel as if I have committed a 'sin' by not fully describing to the nth detail of the issue I am referring to. All of you have given valid and appreciated answers or suggestions, but now I am taxing your brains even further, I'm afraid.
   First item is, that watches, in my family, are luxery jewelry pieces that should be taken care of and used appropriately. I do not believe a watch should be a 9mm slug, but a delicate timepiece. The one's given to me over the years were quality gifts. Not a timex or 'made in taiwan' piece of plastic. All of them that I received, I endeavored to replace the battery a few times, and there were no 'air' batteries back then. (At least none that I had heard of as I had just spent $2000.00 on a dual 250mb hard drive custom pc that was top of the line at the time and assembled it myself.) At the time I had started a construction company and was also a part of the work force with my men and there was NO way I would be wearing a watch in a rough sweaty environment like that.
Thanks for the reply about the iron in the blood. I have been curious about that for a long time. As far as the psychological reply, well... I dislike psychology only because the few psychologists I have met have seemed to go out of their way to be distant and aloof with a look of stabbing in the back, however, in this matter, I have not jumped to any conclusions as to 'why' I am unable to wear watches due to a perfectly good battery draining down in the length of a week. (yes, I have timed it.) The cell phones, I have determined, are keeping a charge due to being in my outer sheath for it, which is also the thickness of a belt away from my skin. I haven't done any other experiments on that. I need my cell phone for emergencies as I have a history of minor seizures.
I DO apologise for this lack of information from the start. Please forgive me.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: theThinker202 on 23/09/2018 13:51:45
Should it make any difference that, if I wear any gold jewelry, my skin turns black and the gold piece starts to get smaller and gain a 'dimpled' surface? 
   I am considering building a Sundial watch and eliminating the whole battery issue all together. That would be a conversation starter, wouldn't it !? If I bought a Solar watch, my fear is that the sun would be drained of it's charge in a week as well !
I will never be accused of not having a sense of humor.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 23/09/2018 19:56:45
Look, all you have to do is take the watch to a jeweller, get them to fit a new battery. If/when it stops in a week or two, take it back to the jeweller, they will fix it for you, and explain to you why it's happening.

Iron in blood or your body magically stopping watches is not a thing. Sticky bearings or bad batteries, or leaving a trail of sweat across the battery when you fit it will drain it, or a seal on the watch failing and letting in water or sweat, IS a thing. Or if you work with really strong magnets, that can stop them too, but that's rare.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: chiralSPO on 23/09/2018 21:47:27
Should it make any difference that, if I wear any gold jewelry, my skin turns black and the gold piece starts to get smaller and gain a 'dimpled' surface?

Perhaps people think you are gullible and are routinely ripping you off? High purity gold should not leave a mark on you and won't be corroded by any bodily secretions—you can swallow a small piece of gold (not recommended, other than the gold leaf suspended in beverage such as Goldschlager) and even the acid in your stomach won't do any harm to it whatsoever.

Gold alloys less than 18 karat might leave a dark mark, but shouldn't visibly corrode, but other alloys like brass (which contains no gold), on the other hand can certainly leave dark colored residues on the skin, and could potentially corrode fairly quickly as well.

https://www.fashionlady.in/why-does-your-jewellery-leave-black-and-green-marks-on-the-skin/36450

If you are getting the watches and batteries from the same source that you get your corroding "gold" jewelry, it might be worth looking elsewhere...

If, however, you are certain that you are not getting ripped off, then the fact that you get marks from jewelry lends credence to the notion that your sweat is either more abundant or more corrosive than the typical individual...
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: alancalverd on 23/09/2018 23:15:58
The only common chemicals that attack gold at body temperature are "aqua regia", a mixture of concentrated hydrochloric and nitric acids, and mercury, which forms an amalgam used in mining and metal recycling.

If your sweat rots a gold watch, you would be wise not to travel by air - it is illegal to import aqua regia or mercury into the passenger compartment.

If anything other than aqua regia or mercury attacks your gold watch, ask the Fraud Squad or the local Trading Standards Office to visit your jeweller.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 24/09/2018 01:00:46
To be fair to him, the lower carats of gold do corrode somewhat, and even 24 carat gold can rub off and create a black mark, if there's anything abrasive on the skin (some cosmetics do that for example). It would be worth checking the hallmarks.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: theThinker202 on 26/09/2018 07:28:51
Look, all you have to do is take the watch to a jeweller, get them to fit a new battery. If/when it stops in a week or two, take it back to the jeweller, they will fix it for you, and explain to you why it's happening.

Iron in blood or your body magically stopping watches is not a thing. Sticky bearings or bad batteries, or leaving a trail of sweat across the battery when you fit it will drain it, or a seal on the watch failing and letting in water or sweat, IS a thing. Or if you work with really strong magnets, that can stop them too, but that's rare.
Surely you would believe that I have done this remedy you prescribe. The jewelers and watch builders have no answer for me. They have no idea why thiis happens and have asked that if I find out why to contact them. If I had been an average Joe, this would be a great idea and I would not be asking such a mundane question.
Peace brother.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: theThinker202 on 26/09/2018 07:39:51
Should it make any difference that, if I wear any gold jewelry, my skin turns black and the gold piece starts to get smaller and gain a 'dimpled' surface?

Perhaps people think you are gullible and are routinely ripping you off? High purity gold should not leave a mark on you and won't be corroded by any bodily secretions—you can swallow a small piece of gold (not recommended, other than the gold leaf suspended in beverage such as Goldschlager) and even the acid in your stomach won't do any harm to it whatsoever.

Gold alloys less than 18 karat might leave a dark mark, but shouldn't visibly corrode, but other alloys like brass (which contains no gold), on the other hand can certainly leave dark colored residues on the skin, and could potentially corrode fairly quickly as well.

https://www.fashionlady.in/why-does-your-jewellery-leave-black-and-green-marks-on-the-skin/36450

If you are getting the watches and batteries from the same source that you get your corroding "gold" jewelry, it might be worth looking elsewhere...

If, however, you are certain that you are not getting ripped off, then the fact that you get marks from jewelry lends credence to the notion that your sweat is either more abundant or more corrosive than the typical individual...
Afraid not, my friend. All jewelry I buy is brought to an inspector right after purchase, and I warn the seller of this, should they consider the cost that would be required of them if the piece was not of the quality advertised. One does NOT sell me trash. I will not go deeper into this subject. It wouldn't be wise, not for you, but for me.
That would be a slightly comical idea though.... I must be a corrosive individual. ;-)
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: theThinker202 on 26/09/2018 07:49:32
To be fair to him, the lower carats of gold do corrode somewhat, and even 24 carat gold can rub off and create a black mark, if there's anything abrasive on the skin (some cosmetics do that for example). It would be worth checking the hallmarks.
I am glad you added this. I had a 24 carat gold thick chain bracelet that was beautiful to me. I would only wear it for special occasions.
Even it turned my lower arm black and started whithering away with a pock marked suface that was embarassing and sad. I ended up selling the gold that was left.
I feel, as if, the great minds here are starting to narrow down the causes and will have an epiphany soon. Although the gold is really not the question. The watch battery longevity is the actual question, unless they go hand in hand for other materials than gold. ie: Silver and Plastic type watch back covers that don't leave my skin black or pock mark the surface. It has been suggested that I try the "Air type" of battery that is used in hearing aides to see if that makes a difference. I will do that soon.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: evan_au on 26/09/2018 11:25:05
Quote from: theThinker202
It has been suggested that I try the "Air type" of battery that is used in hearing aides to see if that makes a difference. I will do that soon.
I think I have been misunderstood...
I do not recommend zinc-air batteries for a sealed watch. Once opened, these batteries have a very limited life (around a week).

I was wondering if you had made the mistake of using a zinc-air battery in a watch?
Quote from: evan_au
Could you have fitted an expensive zinc-air battery (usually used in hearing aids) inside a sealed watch?
- No air=no power
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: SandlerSmith on 12/09/2019 16:01:18
My watch battery lasts only one month and after every month i have to visit watch repair shop for doing watch battery replacement. Any suggestions for a new watch that has a good battery life span.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Halc on 12/09/2019 16:28:24
Any suggestions for a new watch that has a good battery life span.
I wear one with an automatic movement. No battery to replace. They run off your arm movement.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Bored chemist on 12/09/2019 20:05:18
I had a 24 carat gold thick chain bracelet that was beautiful to me. I would only wear it for special occasions.
Even it turned my lower arm black and started whithering away with a pock marked suface that was embarassing and sad. I ended up selling the gold that was left.
How much did you get for this "24 Ct gold"?
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: jfoldbar on 15/03/2020 07:51:42
im no scientist or doctor, but i reckon people who say "this simply doesnt happen" are assuming that we are all the same. what they mean is "it doesnt usually happen therefore it must be impossible"
i have personally met a guy with this same problem, he just went for wind up watches. i met someone once who has to change light bulbs in her house every month. myself, i can not go in an MRI machine. who knows why, we are just all different.
my hypothesis is the cells in your body 'fire' slightly different. probably nothing you can do about it given our current technology.
have you ever tried to determine if distance from your  body is a factor? what if the watch is in your pocket instead of wrist. what about something like rubber or lead between you and the watch?
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Colin2B on 15/03/2020 09:29:48
i can not go in an MRI machine. who knows why,
What symptoms do you get? Why are the MRI team not investigating?
If this is true it needs thorough investigation and would be a major piece of research, I’m amazed no one has written it up.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/03/2020 09:45:07
i can not go in an MRI machine. who knows why,
What symptoms do you get? Why are the MRI team not investigating?
If this is true it needs thorough investigation and would be a major piece of research, I’m amazed no one has written it up.
I wondered about that , I'm guessing it's claustrophobia or maybe shrapnel or the like , but if I'm wrong then it's potentially very interesting
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: alancalverd on 15/03/2020 11:49:13
i can not go in an MRI machine. who knows why
You do. Radiographers have a standard questionnaire for prospective MRI patients, asking about implants, tattoos, aneurysm clips etc. They are not psychic - exclusion depends on your answers, and a "don't know" or "possibly" should be followed up with an x-ray if there's a suggestion of unacceptable risk.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: pensador on 15/03/2020 12:11:46
There is a remote possibility that a watch battery could discharge due to electromagnetic waves, interfering with the watch electronics causing it to draw more current than normal.

Is the OP a radio amateur or live directly in front of a radio mast, maybe he has a high body temperature due to microwaving himself?

Ref the MRI scanner, maybe he is not human, and emits microwaves :)
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/03/2020 13:52:09
Ref the MRI scanner, maybe he is not human, and emits microwaves
Humans emit microwaves.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: jfoldbar on 15/03/2020 18:16:54
electricity is made by spinning magnets around. this is how a generator works. when the magnets of an MRI spin around, it makes electricity in me. it feels the same as if i grab an electric fence.
it is not claustrophobic or shrapnel .

why would anyone investigate if it only affects 1 person. surely they have better things to do?
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/03/2020 18:21:43
why would anyone investigate
Because it's really interesting.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: jfoldbar on 15/03/2020 20:20:21
Because it's really interesting.
i guess so. it is quite rare. . as u probably guess, ive only had the 1 MRI. i was about 35 y.o. when i done it. the doc thought i had epilepsy but i told him no and described what i was feeling. even after turning off the machine and getting out, it was about 2-3 hours for the symptoms to stop enough for me to drive home. they didnt seem the slightest bit curious about the "why". i was just simply another patient.(that couldnt leave for 3 hours)
ive never even researched the "why" myself. i just dont have MRI again.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: alancalverd on 15/03/2020 20:47:56
MRI magnets don't spin, but they do induce currents in conductors. Occasionally we get a fault in the insulation of the receiver coils, which can produce a localised shock or burn, but I've never heard of persistent symptoms.

Happy to investigate further - PM me with the details, please! You may not be the only such case, just the first one to report it as a serious adverse event. I am a consultant in medical physics, always interested in patient safety, and I really have nothing better to do - there is nothing better!
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: Bored chemist on 15/03/2020 21:01:52
it was about 2-3 hours for the symptoms to stop enough for me to drive home.
That's tricky to explain in terms of an induced current.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: evan_au on 16/03/2020 09:27:03
Quote from: jfoldbar
when the magnets of an MRI spin around
Could you be describing a CAT scanner?
- They look sort of similar: you lie in a tube and have 3D images taken

In a CAT scanner, the X-Ray source and detector really does spin around your body.

I've never had either if them, but I understand that the MRI scanner is very noisy, as there are currents flowing through wires in a very strong magnetic field.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CT_scan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_resonance_imaging
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: alancalverd on 16/03/2020 12:03:17
Good point! The CAT scan can produce a very eerie effect.

If you undress quickly or shuffle about in a surgical gown on a nonconductive mattress, you can generate a static charge of a millicoulomb or so, which will raise your surface potential up to a few kilovolts. The rotating fan-shaped x-ray beam ionises the air around the part that is being scanned, which discharges to the grounded parts of the machine. The resulting current flow from the rest of your body towards the scanned area will indeed feel like an electric fence.

You can get a similar but less alarming sensation from a plain x-ray, which discharges a larger area. The usual report is a creeping sensation as the hair on your arms or legs relaxes.

Worst case I've had to deal with was a very posh private mammography unit for seated or wheelchair patients. The radiographers shuffled across the carpet on their knees to position the patient. Wise superintendent specified a wool carpet with antistatic treatment but the hospital accountants obviously knew better and bought nylon. The first patient nearly hit the roof as sparks flew from her nipple.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: pensador on 17/03/2020 08:08:04
Electrolysis ?

Is it beyond the realms of possibility that the gold and the OPs body are acting like an anode and a cathode in gold electroplating https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_plating? If this is a possibility the batteries on his watches might also be eroding internally in a similar way to his gold jewelery.

Would there be any mileage in dismantling one of the batteries and seeing what it is like inside?
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: jfoldbar on 17/03/2020 10:26:33
hhhmmm. i always thought MRI  had spinning magnets. before i done the MRI, the little research i done on them suggested this, and whenever i talked to any doctor about this they confirmed it. perhaps it it more complex than that it that is a way to satisfy the layman.

it definitely wasnt a CAT scan. ive had that many times without a problem. not sure what is meant by eerrie, i have never experienced any mental uncomfortable feelings in either machine.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: alancalverd on 17/03/2020 11:20:17
Aha! The "spinning magnets" are the hydrogen nuclei in your body, and they spin all the time anyway! The primary MRI magnet and radiofrequency field simply aligns a few of the spins, then we "listen" with a radio receiver as they relax back to their random orientations. We apply three time-and space-varying magnetic fields to select which part of the body we are aligning and listening to. The strength of the emitted signal as the spins relax is determined by the density of protons and the rate of relaxation is related to their chemical environment.
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: pensador on 19/03/2020 18:47:49
My last guess !

All the symptons are linked ? Assuming the OP is human :)

There is a slim possibility that galvanic corrosion is taking place between the gold jewelry and the watch batteries, via your skin/sweat/blood.

Have you examined the dead batteries? do they have a gold deposit on or in them. 

Galvanic corrosion is common boats either on the land or in the water, https://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/magazine/2015/july/marine-corrosion-101.asp
Title: Re: If I wear ANY battery watch, within a week the battery is dead. Why?
Post by: vhfpmr on 06/04/2020 14:52:52
Good-quality watches with good quality batteries fitted by jewellers don't do that.

I once had a jeweller put a new battery in my watch (trouble-free for 20 years) and a week later it stopped. I took it back, and then a week or two later it stopped again. I forget how many times this happened before I made a key to take the back off myself. The problem was apparent immediately: someone couldn't be bothered unscrewing the battery clip, so they just bent it out of the way to remove the battery. Each new battery was just popping out from under the bent clip.

Another tradesman in the "If you want something done properly, do it yourself" pigeonhole with all the rest.