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Thread: rashes from watch bands

  1. #1
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    Default rashes from watch bands

    For many years I had a Seiko watch with a two-tone (steel and gold tone), band. I presume that the gold plating was either not real or not of very high quality, but I don't know.

    I also frequently had a rash on my left wrist that cleared up when I stopped wearing the Seiko and started wearing a titanium watch. Obviously, something in the Seiko band was causing the rash. Has anyone else had a similar problem? I ask because I am looking at some non-titanium watches (Orient stainless steel, mainly) and I don't want to get something that will cause the same problem I had before. (I never got tested to see if I'm allergic to something like nickel. My understanding is that with good quality stainless steel, the nickel is bound into the alloy and doesn't cause problems, in any event).

    I'd appreciate any thoughts or insights you guys might have.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I don't have that but I usually wear watches with a leather band...
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    I'm guessing it was the metal in the gold plated part of your old band that was causing your problem. The silver part might have too, if it was chromed.

    Stainless steel, like titanium, is pretty much an inert metal and should not cause you any grief. That is why they use these metals for surgical implants. There are different qualities of stainless but, providing it is real stainless steel, none should cause a rash.

    If your budget allows have a look at the bands on some of Omega's watches. I have been wearing one almost constantly for three years now and they have GREAT quality bands. Very comfy.
    Last edited by Legion; 10-03-2009 at 11:48 PM.

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    I have an alergy to base metals especially nickel, it's used as a coating for alot of metals, and is like a quarter of most golds

    get one without that :)
    -Cameron

  5. #5
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    Being two-toned, usually there is no plating on the underneath portion of the bracelet (the part that only touches your wrist. Even in some watches where the crown is trimmed in gold plate, on most Seikos the bezel and dial sit up high enough off the wrist that it'd rarely touch your skin.

    Here's what happens. With metal bands; dirt, grime, germs, bacteria and chemicals, etc. get caught in the grooves and pin slots. It is wise to clean your watch band on a regular basis. That black stuff in there can be bad.

    Addtionally, some time pieces have bracelets that cause irriation. I have a few that do this on certain parts of my wrist. It is just the way they rub my wrist and pull my hair. A good fit has helped. Make sure it fits you well. Also, keeping that part of my arm shaved I've noticed it less too. Perhaps it is I had it adjusted and the shaving is a coincidence. Titanium is lightweight. Even if it is moving about your wrist due to a poor fit, it isn't going to produce that friction like the Seiko does.

    Just a whole long way to say....dunno.

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    Worth mentioning though, if you do decide to clean your watch, DO NOT use an ultrasonic cleaner. Especially on a mechanical watch. It will screw it up, bigtime!

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    Quote Originally Posted by legion View Post
    I'm guessing it was the metal in the gold plated part of your old band that was causing your problem. The silver part might have too, if it was chromed.

    Stainless steel, like titanium, is pretty much an inert metal and should not cause you any grief. That is why they use these metals for surgical implants. There are different qualities of stainless but, providing it is real stainless steel, none should cause a rash.

    If your budget allows have a look at the bands on some of Omega's watches. I have been wearing one almost constantly for three years now and they have GREAT quality bands. Very comfy.
    That's my theory as well. I'm not interested in another gold tome watch n any event, but I'm a little worried about some stainless steel watches on which part of the band is shinier than others. I wonder if they simply polish those parts or coat them with something.

    If I could afford an Omega stainless steel watch, it would already be n my wrist! I do have my grandfather's old Omega De Ville, which is gold with a leather strap, and doesn't cause irritation even where the gold case is against my skin.

  8. #8
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    Your grandfathers watch sounds perfect. I too think you have nickel allergy. I can't wear a watch with a metal band all day without developing red/itchy skin. My earrings have to be gold (poor me:) for the same reason. You may wish to ask a jeweler if there is an alternative for your existing band.
    Sue

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    I don't know if you got it in the US (but I would think so), but here we can buy a test set at a pharmacy which can test for nickel.

    My sister has nickel allergy and now use such a test set to test jewellery after she got rashes wearing a white-gold watch.
    Søren o;)

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    I don't know if I have a nickel allergy or not, but I'm thinking that I may just go with another titanium watch to be safe. I know the higher-end stainless watches are ok for allergy sufferers (at least according to Omega's website), but I'm not sure it's with taking a risk with something like the Orient.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luc View Post
    I don't have that but I usually wear watches with a leather band...
    I would get rashes from leather bands all the time.

    Can only wear metal now.
    David

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    My father was allergic to nickel and copper (and brass because of the copper). Stainless steel didn't bother him.

  13. #13

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    Almost all stainless has nickle in it and many people are allergic to it. There are some stainless like medical grade that are more chrome and no nickle so you need to find out if the stainless has nickle in it. Most watches are 316L stainless which has nickle. To be safe get Titanium. Most plated stuff has a coating of brass or copper and then is plated as the gold doesn't adhere to stainless well. Some of the cheaper watch bands that look like gold plate are not, rather an anodized type coating.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in Boston View Post
    I would get rashes from leather bands all the time.

    Can only wear metal now.
    Usually this is because the leather is tight against the skin with no ventilation.

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    Lots of folks have issues with nickel. It's unfortunate that nickel is so prevalent in everyday alloys. I discovered my intolerance for it after I essentially corroded the arms of my old metal-framed eyeglasses into green pocked raspy bits of unpleasantness. On the upside, I did feel good about being able to melt metal with my face...
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  16. #16
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    Obsessed, did a lot of searching to find you and respond to your subject on "rashes from watch bands." Had to join this group and search and search, but wanted you to know that I, TOO, HAD A RASH DEVELOPED FROM FROM SEIKO "TWO-TONED" WATCHBAND. I bought it at a reliable jeweler and felt that Seiko is a good watch. It was bought for me as a gift. The rash didn't start till about two weeks into wearing the watch. Didn't know what caused the rash, but didn't wear watch for awhile. When wearing again, rash started to develop and took the watch back to jeweler. Was told the back of the band was stainless steel, should'nt cause a rash. Left watch with jewelry store employee who wore it for three days to see if she developed a rash. Didn't happen. She called Seiko salesman, they sent another watch band and attached it to watch. Again, after two weeks, rash started to develop.

    I also don't know if I'm allergic to nickel or if I have developed an allergy with age. However, your understanding that a good quality stainless steel shouldn't cause this problem makes me think that Seiko is not good quality. However, the cost of the watch should show it's value by not causing an allergic reaction if that is the case. End result: did you ever get an answer on what caused your allergy or a watch band replacement? I ended up giving the watch to my daughter who has had no problem whatsoever. However, now I'm afraid to buy any watch with a stainless steel band. Would like to know if your problem was solved.

  17. #17
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    Lots of folks have issues with nickel

    yes! and if you are and ever have a knee or hip replaced be sure the Doc knows it. cause it ain't really something you want to do twice. (not me I use to work in a hosp)

  18. #18
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    My father suffered the heartbreak of psoriosis, and he had constant issues with watch bands, no matter what material they were made from.
    His solution was to take a handkerchief or napkin, roll it into a 2-inch wide tube, wrap that around his wrist, then put the watch on top of it.

    You could do the same thing by wearing a wrist-band like they sell in tennis shops, or if you wanted to improvise, an Ace bandage.
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  19. #19
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    Just put clear fingernail polish on the underside of watch band, you should be fine.

  20. #20
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    I use alum to avoid that as well. As an aside, I own an Orient Mako and like it quite a bit.
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