The halocho is a person may wear jewellery in the street on shabbos without an eiruv provided the reason why he is wearing it is for the adornment of it and not some other use. Therefore the poskim stipulate that a gold watch may only be worn on Shabbos if that person would also wear the watch when the battery is dead, proving that the reason why he is wearing it is because of its beauty and not to tell the time.

My question is, what about if you would not wear if it were broken, but not that it proves you wear it to tell the time, its just that its odd to walk around with a broken watch? Really the reason I wear it is for its beauty, just that I do not want to seem wierd to everyone else so that is why I do not wear it when it is broken, but it doesnt prove that I am only wearing it for the time?

So am I allowed to wear my gold watch on Shabbos based on this logic?

  • 1
    +1 I would only take it off when the battery is out because it would drive me crazy to keep looking down at it and remember that it was dead. But I do think it looks nicer to wear it.
    – Double AA
    Jan 2, 2012 at 22:56
  • Ditto @doubleAA
    – Seth J
    Jan 3, 2012 at 3:52
  • My battery is broken so I dont have that problem, it applies all week!
    – Yehuda
    Jan 3, 2012 at 6:55

3 Answers 3


It sounds like you are a bit uncomfortable wearing this non-working watch. Therefore the danger that you will take it off and carry it, is enhanced.

You say, “I do not want to seem weird to everyone else”. This is similar to the idea of someone taking off an item in case people laugh at him and is mentioned, for example, in the Mishna in Shabbos 6 (2) “A man may not go out ….. with a single sandal if he have no wound on his foot”. Bartenuro in his second explanation says that maybe people will laugh at him for wearing only one sandal and so he will take it off and carry it.

This would point to your LOR suggesting that it is better not to wear it on Shabbos.


It seems from this Yalkut Yosef (301:48) that it would be fine since it is not even speaking about the idea of using the watching for checking the time, rather only as a Tachshit (jewerly): מח אולם שעון יד העשוי מכסף או מזהב, המחובר לשרשרת, מותר לעונדו ולצאת בו לרשות הרבים גם במקומות שאין שם עירוב, אף לכתחלה, מפני שהוא גם דרך מלבוש וגם תכשיט. ואף אם השעון מתכסה לפעמים בשרוולו, אין בכך כלום. ומעיקר הדין יש להקל בזה גם בשעון עם רצועות של עור. ומכל מקום עדיף יותר שהקונה שעון יד במקומות שאין עירוב יקנה שעון עם רצועות כסף או זהב. והמחמיר על עצמו שלא לצאת לרשות הרבים עם שעון יד, אפילו של כסף ושל זהב, תבוא עליו ברכה. וכל זה דוקא במקום שאין עירוב, אבל במקום שיש עירוב, אף הנוהגים להחמיר שלא לטלטל שם בשבת, רשאים להקל לצאת בשעון יד, ואינם צריכים להחמיר.


When in a public domain where there is no eiruv, we may only ‘carry’ the clothing and jewelry we are wearing (though the halachic parameters of wearing jewelry are complicated). Everything else is considered a masa (load), and may not be carried due to the melachah of hotza’ah (forbidden act of carrying) on Shabbos.

Watches don’t assume the halachic status of jewelry according to most opinions and may not be worn in an area without an eiruv. There’s a minority view that considers a wristwatch a garment, but many poskim reject that position and maintain that it is a keili (device) for telling time. The exception is—according to many opinions—a woman’s watch that is made of gold or is otherwise exceptionally elegant, that would be worn even if the watch stops working.

There are people who are particular not to wear a watch on Shabbos even indoors or in places where there is an eiruv, either because they consider it at odds with the kedushah (sanctity) of Shabbos or due to the concern that they may inadvertently wear it in a forbidden area as well. This is similar to the halachah that we should avoid putting things in our pockets on Shabbos as a precaution against carrying

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    Menachem, we don't know you, so your claims about what "most" or "some" poskim say are basically worthless to us. For all we know, you are not a Talmid Chacham who knows what all the opinions out there are. Please use direct citations to verifiable claims if you want your posts to be worth much around here. Right now it's just your word against someone else's. Why should we trust a random user on the internet?
    – Double AA
    Apr 10, 2016 at 3:27

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