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An Inherited Oddity

I don't wear watches for the same reason my mother doesn't: I break them.  No, it isn't that I am particularly rough on them, or that I am careless.  They just stop working.

Well, perhaps that isn't entirely accurate.  I should say that electronic watches stop working, while mechanical watches simply run backward.  I'm not entirely sure why... Of course, people have electromagnetic fields-- as David Cohen of MIT helped verify in the 1970's-- so I suppose it's possible than mine and my mother's are a little odd.  That would probably explain why mechanical watches, which can be effected by gravity and magnets, run backward, and why electronic watches randomly die within a couple weeks.

It's not a particularly great loss.  I don't dislike watches, but I am not a mighty wrist watch fanatic either.  The truth is that I always found them to be a little bulky and uncomfortable.  My father, however, has always insisted that modern ladies wear wrist watches, so he kept buying them for me when I was a girl.  At first he was a little annoyed that they kept dying within a week or two, and that replacing the batteries would not make them run again.  Each time it happened, he complained about "cheap plastic toy watches."  When I got a little older he bought be a nicer watch, with a slender white leather band and a sterling silver face, but it died too.  He finally gave up when I turned fourteen, and he bought me my first and last mechanical watch.  (It was a pretty ladies' watch and bracelet set.)  After wearing it for a few days, I noticed that the time I had on my watch and the actual time were different.  My father finally asked me to watch the second hand closely and tell him which way it was going.

"It's moving backward!"  I was, needless to say, very surprised.

My father sighed.  "Just like your mother," he said.  (He loves his wife and he likes watches, so it has always bothered him that he can't give my mother a quartz timepiece.  At least my brother and sister can wear watches, so he has someone to buy them for.) 

That was the last watch my father ever bought me.  I keep it in my jewelry box for sentimentality's sake, though it would do me no good to wear it.  Ever since then, whenever Christmas or my birthday arrives, he gives me necklaces and books instead.  That's fine with me... I prefer them anyway.  :)
WildMagic WildMagic 26-30, F 4 Responses May 24, 2012

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How odd, never heard of this phenomenon before.
Personally I don't wear a watch because I have no need to keep close track of time.

I bought a brand new watch. In 3 days the watch stopped and started running backwards. This was a brand new Swiss Army watch. I returned the watch and the lady called me strange.i have always killed my watch batteries on my railway grade watch every 2months . I never had to pay for batteries because they would only last 60 days at the most anyways. I bought a new watch due to the inconvienaces of finding a battery all the time. The lady at the high end jewelry store recommended a divers watch. It has a very thick back plate and is very heavy. I still killed it every 4-6 months if I wore it all the time. I also tried watch wrist bands that go between your skin and the back plate . This lasted an extra month for the battery. Plus when I went to the jewerly shop they would say the battery is dead. Nothing in at all. They always thought it was strange.

Me too, I can't wear watches for the same reason.

I'm in about the same boat. Sometimes a digital watch will work for a couple weeks before it quits. Sometimes.



This may sound odd, but I've found if I talk to a mechanical watch, it will keep running (accurately) longer. They'll stop until I ask them to work, keep running, please, and will run for a while after I reset 'em.



I finally gave up on watches. I use my phone...and keep it OFF my person as much as possible!