Watch stoppage mystery

Thread: Watch stoppage mystery

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  1. #1
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    Confused Watch stoppage mystery

    Whenever I go to a movie theatre, my watch stops. This has occured 4 times now, and I'm convinced it has to be more than a coincidence.

    I have an early '60s Seamaster (with a 562 cal movement) that has recently been overhauled by a recommended watchmaker, and otherwise, it keeps very good time.

    Last night, after the children were in bed, I went to a 9:55 showing of Shutter Island - by 10:25, my watch had stopped. It only began running later on when I pulled out the crown to re-set the time.

    This has happened each time I go to this theatre - its a modern, stadium-style set-up. Could there be sonic issues because of the surround sound? Could it have to do with my wrist's angle of repose? Vibration?

    This seems silly, and right now I'm mostly just bemused; still, I'm looking for any suggestions as to why this happens

    ??

    Thanks,

    Jim

  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    Neat. Low frequency vibrations would be my first guess. Find a subwoofer to sit it on top of and see if that makes it stop too.
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  3. #3
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    Witchcraft, clearly.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

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  5. #4
    Member AAWATCHES's Avatar
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    Some folks would think you were just telling stories, but it is very likely there is some sort of problem.
    We had a similar problem with a car only when parked at the same spot at work...We finally figured out it was a radio signal at the same time every day.
    With your watch it could be something magnetic maybe, don't know but good luck.

  6. #5
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by AAWATCHES View Post
    Some folks would think you were just telling stories, but it is very likely there is some sort of problem.
    We had a similar problem with a car only when parked at the same spot at work...We finally figured out it was a radio signal at the same time every day.
    With your watch it could be something magnetic maybe, don't know but good luck.
    Well - I have no clue, to be honest, but I'm glad to know I'm not just tetched (regarding this, anyway).

  7. #6
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    I'm reminded of a story I heard once about a car that only liked Vanilla ice cream. Seriously. The customer would drive to the store and get ice cream, and if they got vanilla, the car would start when then came out. If they got anything else, the car wouldn't start.

    They actually brought in the car company, and eventually they figured out that the vanilla ice cream was stored in a freezer near the front of the store. The difference was in how long it took the customer to get the ice cream, pay, and come out. The extra time to get anything other then Vanilla was enough for the car to develop a vapour lock.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  8. #7
    Member mike184's Avatar
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    So you have to see filmlets only.
    Unhearable subsonic or ultrasonic noise from the sound system could be an explanation - if it´s strong enough to create vibrations of the case. But they must be tremendous.
    Best regards, Mike

  9. #8
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_H View Post
    Witchcraft, clearly.
    I think it's a combination of being afraid of the dark and loud noises.

    Do you always go to the same theater?

  10. #9
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by jimw View Post
    Whenever I go to a movie theatre, my watch stops. This has occured 4 times now, and I'm convinced it has to be more than a coincidence.

    I have an early '60s Seamaster (with a 562 cal movement) that has recently been overhauled by a recommended watchmaker, and otherwise, it keeps very good time....
    Years ago I used to work for a watchmaker who once spent some time telling me about customers who claimed that their watches would not work right or kept stopping because of "natural magnetism" as he called it. He told me he could never find a rational explanation for it. This was when quartz watches were just coming in, so basically he suspected quartz themselves, but it occurred with mechanical watches too.

    It was not too frequent, and it occurred more with women then with men. In his entire time as a watchmaker, he had seen or heard from other watchmakers of perhaps a dozen genuine cases of this, and it was one of those type of folk lore discussions that watchmakers kicked around.

    Related to this, but maybe not the same, was the tendency of the old iron mainsprings in pocket watches to shatter into dozens of pieces during a thunderstorm. I never saw this with wrist watches that were equipped with pre-alloy solid steel mainsprings, but I myself have actually seen it once with a pocket watch. Maybe it was a function of size. After a particularly severe thunderstorm in my area, my boss once called me over to his desk to look at a pocket watch that had come in. The mainspring ( a steel, non alloy mainspring) was still in the barrel, and it had split in radiating spokes into at least three dozen segments.

    Once again, this too was part of old watchmaker's lore, the tendency of non-alloy pocket watch mainsprings to shatter in thunderstorms.

    So maybe it is "natural magnetism"

  11. #10
    Member rmelle's Avatar
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    Re: Watch stoppage mystery

    About the springs I can asure you that that is a true urban watchmakers myth!!!
    In the year 2003 we had quite a very long and hot summer, fot Dutch proportions!!
    It ended early august with very heavy thunderstorms.
    I was living near a big river at the time and the thunderstorms colided with the river resulting in extremes.
    that end of summer I HAD quite a stock of new finely Swiss made springs for French pendulum clocks for the 18th/19th century.
    So you know the amount of money involved..... Now my stock is as little as possible.
    When I needed a spring a week later, most of my springs were damaged.
    There was also a direct hit in the electric system of the town, quite some damage to electrical systems all around town.
    The picture shown here is of a french pendulum after a severe thunderstorm late summer 2008.
    The client wouldn't believe me, so I took the picture for him.
    Ok, the clock was not resently serviced, but it WAS in good running condition. Later that week more clocks found their way to me , all with the same problem: broken (IE shattered) springs




    regards,
    RJ van Melle.
    Last edited by rmelle; March 23rd, 2010 at 11:57. Reason: mistake/spelling

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