Long story, buckle up.
I've seen a lot of debate over whether or not the phenomenon is real, of batteries going dead rapidly when in contact with certain people.
Can't really debate it with me, I'm one of those people. The batteries in my key fob last about 3-4 months. Watch batteries last about a week. I don't keep my cell phone in my pocket.
Checking the time by cell phone gets old. Particularly when you usually have to go find it. More annoying when you ask others and hear that same old line all the time. What time is it? "Time to get a watch!"
Well I would. If it'd last, or I could afford a mechanical.
Enter the Seiko 5.
I got tired of it. Had some spare cash and a weak moment at the same time and said to myself, "I'm buying a friggin Rolex!". Then I stopped myself and thought about it.
What do I really need and want in a watch?
I'm not a diver.
I'm not a pilot.
I don't travel the world anymore, don't need multiple time zones.
I'm not a competitive sort, no need for chronographs.
I need to be able to tell the time of day. That's it.
While I'd love to have a multi thousand dollar work of art on my wrist, I'm also a blue collar worker. I'm exposed to chlorine gas every day, I have to reach my hands into tight spaces in an industrial setting, many other aspects of my daily life that'd prohibit a nice luxury watch.
Also, no offense to the folks on the opposite end of the spectrum, I think the gigantic time pieces that cover the entire wrist and snag on pockets and jacket sleeves are downright silly looking. FLAVA FLAV!
So I needed small, mechanical, basic, cheap enough I won't cry if I break it, and maybe not pretty, but not ugly either.
This is where I thank this forum for the first time. Took just a few minutes of googling and I found the Seiko 5. A few more minutes searching for reviews and I found this forum. That was about a year ago. After reading the reviews I decided this was about the best I was going to find that suits my needs just absolutely perfectly. One of the biggest selling points for me was, the crown being tiny and near the 4 o'clock position. With all the flexing my wrists do, I don't need a big crown digging into the back of my hand. I can do pushups with this watch on, and often do, and not even notice it's there.
I ordered one. Only complaint was, the seller on eBay took the pics in crappy lighting, so I was surprised and disappointed when my black watch turned out to be OD green. Oh well. The color's grown on me now.
I knew it wasn't the most accurate time piece from the beginning after reading reviews. In the first few days, it'd gain or lose two-three minutes. I'd also read this apparently sometimes happens when they're new, so I gave it about a week then set it to the NIST clock. After that, I was gaining about 3 minutes per week. Perfectly acceptable for MY needs, although I know many people are far more particular.
That went on for a few months. Then it started going fast as hell. When I started gaining 5-10 minutes per day, I took it off and let it wind down and quit. Started going fast again as soon as I'd put it back on.
Last week it was going so fast I was wondering how it wasn't being damaged, or if it was being damaged and I just couldn't tell it. 25-40 minutes per DAY. Didn't even need to compare it to another clock to see the second hand racing ahead. My step daughter said, "Dad, I think your watch is on crack."
Here's where I thank the forum a second time. This forum is where I learned how to adjust it.
But those of you more familiar with mechanical watches probably wouldn't be too surprised to hear that even when I tuned it down as slow as I could, it was still running fast as hell. What's more, the way it was positioned had a DRASTIC effect on the speed. Downloaded the clock tuner app I'd read about on this forum, and tested it in every position I could think of. It was detecting BPH from 20K up to 45K.
So what's wrong? More googling. Hmm. Magnetized? Don't have a compass to check it against...
Looked up home remedies. Found a story about using the degaussing feature on old tube TVs. Also mentioned was, many of the later models don't have that feature but that they do a sort of "auto" degauss when you turn them on. "Probably not enough to demagnetize a watch though". Well, I needed to try anyway.
Figuring a larger TV will need a larger effect, I held my watch to the screen of a 27" CRT TV in the shop and turned it on. I watched the second hand slow noticeably. So I did it about 15 more times just to be sure. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. By that point it was crawling.
I adjusted my watch accordingly (Barney simple). Tested it at different positions and found little to no variation in the rate. Set it to NIST. This final step of resetting the watch and putting it back on my arm happened about 24 hours ago. And my watch is running approximately 5 seconds behind. Some folks would scoff at that. I've seen a review somewhere, in which a man said his watch running 2 seconds fast per 24 hours made him want to puke. He declared it "completely unusable". Crybaby. Two seconds ain't gonna cause you to miss lunch. Just my opinion, if your schedule's so tight that two seconds makes that much of a difference in your daily life, you need to come spend a day with me and the fam on the bayou, drinking some beers and drowning some worms.
In closing, thanks to the forum for leading me to, and helping me "fix" an awesome watch!
It goes through hell, and not a scratch. Only extra precaution I take is, I don't submerge it in water. Not even because I don't think it could handle it, but just because I don't want the wet band around my wrist for however long it'll take to dry out. What's the point in taking it off to let it dry, when I can take it off to avoid getting it wet to begin with?
That's a far sight better than 30 minutes fast.