In 2014 Zeller's closed all their stores here. They were selling Timex watches at 30% off. I am not kind to watches so a $25 Timex was as good as I deserved. About a month ago the battery finally expired. Many of us grew up with lead acid batteries. If you had a battery operated bike light it was good for about 5 night shift commutes. The newer bike batteries will last for several months. The modern day lithium batteries seem to last about 10 times longer. I sure Mr. Musk is continuing to stretch out the life of newer batteries so he can put the gas guzzlers out of business.
Shelf life of an alkaline cell is mostly a matter of ingredients. When Gillette bought Duracell the new management switched to cheaper chemicals and battery life declined. They eventually went back to the good stuff after Rayovac and Energizer took market share at Duracell's expense.
Some states now require non-replaceable batteries in smoke alarms. In some states the battery must be guaranteed for 10 years. Long shelf life is easy if you don't mind the cost.
We had a speaking toy pirate that had lithium batteries. One of the boys dropped it through a small hole in the wall. I wasn't going to tear the wall apart to get a toy. Unfortunately, it landed on it's button. For six months... "Load and Fire! Load and Fire! Load and Fire!" 24/7. It wasn't loud, but it was definitely a test of nerves.
I found an early 70’s Motorola HT440 Portable 2 way radio a few months ago in an old drawer at work. I thought for sure that the rechargeable battery would be shot. However when I put the radio on the charger...it charged up and has been holding a charge and working fine the last several months.
I had a watch given to me many years ago. once a week I'd wind it up and it lasted 5/6 years. then one day it stopped. happened to ask someone about watches one day he asked to look at it.....said the battery was dead....lol I never knew it was a battery watch....I really thought I was winding it up....I wasn't doing anything by winding it. ... anyway put a knew battery in it (the watch guy at Sears did)...the thing lasted another 4 years before it died completely. The watch man at Sears said it was a cheap watch and not worth trying to repair it.
my parents lived in a house where a closet light bulb which got used almost every day....lasted at least 17 years that we know of.
another battery story. we worked in an old house where the not so bright carpenter sheet-rocked over a battery smoke detector......when the battery started going bad it started to beep.......that beep lasted over a year. it wasn't loud and you had to be in the hall way to hear it.....but no-one wanted to start making holes to try and find it.....