Electric Watches On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Electric Watches On Shabbat


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

May one wear an electronic watch on Shabbat?


Answer:

One may wear an electronic watch on Shabbat, if he is extra careful to not press any buttons. However, if, in order to see the time, a button must be pressed to light up the screen, then the watch may not be worn. [See Footnote 1]


Similarly, a watch that works through movement of one’s hand, is permitted to be worn on Shabbat. [2]


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 362; Yechaveh Daat 2:49; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 267; Yabia Omer, vol. 7, 37:3 and vol. 9, 108:155. See also in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, ch. 70, footnote 41 and Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, book 1, vol. 4, p. 26. Nonetheless, apple watches or the sort, that have a touch-screen, may not be worn on Shabbat, since one will almost definitely touch the screen on Shabbat and thereby violate the Shabbat by using an electronic device. Even though this is done by accident, one must avoid any potential accidents on Shabbat if it is within his power to do so. See also in Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 26:10; Igrot Moshe, O.C. vol. 5, 22:25.

[2]. See Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 5, p. 363; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 265; Yabia Omer, vol. 6, 35:8 and vol. 7, 42:5; Yechaveh Daat 2:48; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 28:28 and footnote 61; Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 9, 20:4. It seems that one should be stringent not to pick up the watch if it is not currently working. See also in Orchot Shabbat 26:50.


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