Can Electricians Wear Watches? Is It Safe?


Electricians perform jobs that keep our community going. However, to think of it, watches might be dangerous for electricians since they tend to be made of metal. Can electricians wear watches?

Electricians can wear watches. However, it is essential to ensure that the watch surface is non-conductive and smooth for protection and ease of clearing. Watch size should also not be large to not interfere with work, and digital quartz is advised for better shock and magnetism protection.

Can Electricians Wear Watches

In this article, let’s explore if electricians should wear watches and why they should not. Let’s also look at the characteristics of watches suitable for electricians and review sample watches that suit electricians.

We have also explored if people should wear watches while doing woodwork, and cooking in the kitchen. Feel free to check these articles out if you are keen to. 

Why Should Electricians Wear Watches?

Electricians should wear watches as some worksites may disallow phones, meaning watches are needed to tell time. Some also do not feel comfortable with a naked wrist, and surprisingly, the right watch can also protect an electrician. 

Workplace Policy: Some worksites might disallow phones for security, which means the usual method of telling time by looking at the phone cannot work. 

Unless there is a clock around, a watch is needed to tell time. There would not be clocks most of the time, as worksites are often outdoors.

Electricians Still Need To Tell Time: Electricians perform a wide range of work, from drawing plans and climbing up powerline poles to soldering components. 

When hanging up there on the poles, they will have difficulty telling time unless they have a watch. Electricians also might be wearing gloves when working with higher voltage items, which makes the process of unlocking the phone to tell time harder. A watch would be much easier.

Comfort and Habit: Some people just prefer to have a watch on their wrist. To them, not wearing a watch feels ‘naked and cold’ on the wrist. Some also feel odd that their wrist’s extra ‘weight’ is suddenly gone. 

This is just a matter of preference, so if you prefer to keep a watch on, just go ahead and wear it. It’s your watch, your wrist, your way.

Can Electricians Wear Watches

Why Should Electricians Not Wear Watches?

Electricians should not wear watches as there might be issues such as magnetism that may hurt their watch movements. Many watch parts are made with metals, meaning they might be dangerous for electricians since metals are electric conductors. Some worksites also do not allow watches for safety.

Magnetism: Magnetic forces are generally bad. They cause metal parts inside watches to malfunction and not perform up to standard. As a result, your watch may fail to keep time properly. 

Electricity can generate magnetic force that will affect its performance if absorbed by your watch. Some electricians either do not wear watches when working for this exact reason. Those who wear watches usually strap on timepieces not affected by magnetic forces such as digital quartzes or Rolex Milgauss.

Electric Conductivity: Watches are made chiefly with metals such as stainless steel. Steel is a conductor of electricity, so wearing watches while working may be dangerous. Even if the watch can be worn with a leather strap, it still carries a metal watch case. 

Workplace Policy: Certain worksites disallow technicians from wearing personal jewelry such as watches, rings, or necklaces for fear of causing workplace accidents. This is possible for electricians, as wires can get tangled and caught between these jewelry. These jewelry could also conduct electricity.

Scratches And Nicks: Electrician work is physical labor, involving pulling wires, installing components, and even climbing up power lines. As a result, watches can get scratched and nicked during work. If you are the type that cannot stand to see such marks on your watch, perhaps you should leave your watches at home.

What Makes A Good Watch For Electricians?

Electricians should wear watches with a smooth surface, made of non-conducting materials such as plastic or resin. This protects against electric shock and also makes the watch easy to clean. The watch should be digital quartz as it does not get affected by magnetic force from electricity. 

Smooth, Waterproof Strap

Electricians could be working outdoors, under the sun. As a result, they may sweat. 

If the watch strap is non-waterproof and made of cloth or leather, the strap will absorb the sweat, and the watch strap may turn smelly after a while. 

Some watch straps have many folks and crevices, for example, metal bracelets. These would strap the sweat, and when this sweat dries up, it may make the watch strap grimy. 

A smooth, waterproof strap would prevent all these and make watch cleaning easier. 

Non-Conductive Surface

An electrician should also consider wearing watches made with non-conducting surfaces. This is especially important when working within reach of any energized components.

Such practice is also advised by the United States Department of Labor, OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety Administration). The rationale is that it protects the wearer from electric shock if the watch comes into contact with a live wire. 

Common non-conductive materials used on watches are usually resin, rubber, silicone, or plastic. These materials should be the first that electricians look at. 

Digital Quartz

Magnetism is one of the worst enemies of watches. When a watch is exposed to magnetic force, its natural timekeeping functionalities will be disturbed. As a result, the watch will fail to keep time accurately. 

This is an issue electricians need to think about, as electrical power can generate magnetic force.

Automatic watches suffer the most under magnetism, as they are made of fully mechanical and metal parts. Automatic watches that have become magnetized will need a watchmaker to remove the effect.

Analog quartz movements suffer less, but magnetism will also affect their accuracy if they have motors or gears made of metal. 

Digital quartz is the only one protected from magnetism, as digital quartz does not have metal motors that move its watch hands. This type of watch movement suits electricians best. 

Small, Thin, Light

Electricians should also consider small watches that are thin and light. This comes with multiple reasons. 

First of all, at times, electricians would be wearing gloves to do intense work. A thin, small watch will slide easily under the gloves and not interface with work. 

A small and thin watch will also less likely hinder work. At times electricians need to reach their hands into tight spaces, and thick and chunky watches may hinder that. Thin and small watches are also less likely to get tangled up with wires. 

Best Affordable Watches For Electricians

After looking on Amazon for watches similar to the characteristics above, we managed to find a few. They are all digital quartz, have a waterproof and non-conducting surface, and are small. 

Casio W201-1AV

This watch has a small footprint, with a thin and light look. It should be there to tell the time when you need it and work silently on your wrist without hindering your work. 

It has a smooth surface made with resin. As resin is a non-conducting material, it should be safe for electricians. The strap is also waterproof and smooth, meaning it would catch less sweat and grime and be easier to clean. 

Armitron 45/7126 

Consider this model if you enjoy a bit of flash on your watch instead of the classic ‘black-black-black’ look most resin watches sport. An entire resin case with no metal buttons ensures full non-conductivity and scratch resistance. 

The resin strap is smooth and waterproof for easy cleaning and less grime pickup. The watch also has a 100M(330ft) water resistance. 

Timex Ironman Essential 30

This is an option for those that still prefer a larger, heavier presence on the wrist. This watch has a smooth, waterproof resin surface that is also non-conducting. The strap is silicone, meaning it is waterproof and will be more comfortable to wear.

The watch runs digital quartz for protection from magnetism, and the resin case makes the watch much more scratch-resistant. 

Armitron Classic 40/8423

This watch comes with a black resin case with a reverse LCD display for that ‘dark mode’ feel. The silicone is soft and perforated, allowing some air to go between your skin and the strap.

The watch runs digital quartz for protection from magnetism, and the resin button further ensures non-conductivity. The large display with a backlight option may also be helpful to tell time under low lighting conditions. 

Timex Ironman Classic 30

This watch is one of the smallest and lightest on the list. This is the watch if you just want something to help you tell time without imposing too much presence on the wrist. 

The watch is also running digital quartz for protection against magnetism. The entire resin case and strap are also non-conductible. The smooth surface helps to reduce grime pickup and makes cleaning easier. 

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of WatchPursuits.com, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

Recent Posts