How to change the battery of a watch?

Watchmaking is often a story of passion. If you are looking to change your watch then you have landed on the right spot. We are going to explain the complete process of changing the battery of a watch.

Your watches, you love them and they quickly end up becoming a little piece of yourself. As time passes and the minutes that your second hand preciously counts, your watch battery may run out and time will stop. Of course, this type of problem does not happen to all watches. 

The mechanical watch, whether self-winding or manual winding since it has no battery, but operates using a barrel, escapement, and regulating organ, is not affected. However, if you have a quartz watch in your watch collection, sooner or later you will be faced with this problem.  

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How to change a watch battery easily?

There are basically two options for you. One is to go to a watchmaker and he shall do it for you but if you wanna do it yourself then you remember you have to keep reading.

Go to your watchmaker or your favorite jeweler

We say it because it seems important. The battery in your timepieces has a lifespan and replacing it yourself is not a trivial act. For a used battery change to occur in the best possible conditions, the safest thing is to make an appointment with a specialist.

Changing your battery yourself: the risks to take into account

The main danger is that your watch is no longer waterproof, making it vulnerable to humidity. If you open your watch and you do not perfectly replace the gasket on the edge without damaging it, your watch will no longer be perfectly hermetic.

To ensure that your miniature clock is protected from water, humidity, and all liquids, have this step carried out by a specialist. 

How to change the battery of a watch?
Did you know?  Some watches indicated as being waterproof up to 100m are sometimes completely devoid of this seal.

You should know that it is better to avoid handling the battery with your fingers! Since these are conductive, the battery could discharge quickly and create a short circuit. will also prevent fingerprints, sweat, and dust.

To carry out these manipulations, it is advisable to use tweezers, plastic tweezers, or a  Rodico-type eraser.

Be sure to clean the battery with a soft cloth before replacing it. 

In case some of you would like to try the experiment, here is a little tutorial that will help you.

The different types of housing bottoms and the tools required

What you should know first of all is that there are three different types of case backs and that not all of them open the same way. It is therefore not necessary to rush into buying the whole panoply of the perfect budding jeweler but to see what type you have to do.

  • The clipped back opens with a watchmaker’s knife: Be careful though, these backs can be difficult to close, and to avoid damaging your timepiece when replacing its battery, you will need a special press that allows you to apply evenly distributed pressure so as not to break the glass of the dial of your small clock.
  • The screwed back opens with the help of a key: Not too much difficulty here, except that you have to check the diameter and width of the notches and the correct positioning of the tool, otherwise a scratch quickly arrived.
  • The bottom with independent screws: All you need is a good-sized, quality screwdriver so as not to risk damaging the screw head, which is often very fine and delicate.

To replace the watch battery safely and without the risk of damaging your object during the operation, follow this carefully:

  1. Avoid putting your fingers on the movements of the watch as much as possible.
  2. Be sure to reposition the “retaining ring”  (“retaining ring”) before closing the case back.
  3. Check the condition of the gasket and do not forget to reposition it correctly. If you have the slightest doubt about it, go to your watchmaker for a professional opinion. A liquid enters the case and time freezes. 

Read our guide on Mineral crystal or sapphire crystal, which one do you prefer?

Change your battery yourself in a few steps 

  • Open the box: depending on the type of box identified, you will have to unscrew using an adjustable wrench or a good-quality screwdriver or unclip it using a knife. Mark the slots carefully to place your tool correctly. 
  • Once the watch is open, use tweezers to remove the casing ring before replacing your watch’s battery with an identical one. Be sure to identify the “+” and “-” battery poles. It must be similar at all levels: component, size, and voltage.  

There are 3 types of battery: silver oxide battery, alkaline battery, and lithium battery.

  • Silver oxide batteries are recognizable by the letter S engraved on them. This type of battery provides a voltage of 1.55 Volt.
  • Alkaline batteries look like silver oxide batteries. Annotated by the letter L, they deliver a voltage of 1.50 Volt.
  • Lithium batteries found on many analog watches are engraved with the letter C and provide a voltage of 3 Volt. 

Finally, the diameter of a battery differs from one watch to another. So take care to identify the one that corresponds to your watch model.

Some watches with a screwed or clipped back have a tab that keeps the battery in place. Don’t panic, it is easily removed with your fingers or tweezers, you just have to act as a lever to avoid seeing your tongue suddenly fly off.

Do you know What are the parts of a watch?

The last step of this tutorial is to close your watch by replacing the back cover. For it :  

  • On the back of the watch, locate the notch in the strapping at the stem of the crown and replace the casing ring.

Also, be aware that not all batteries are created equal. The functions of your watch (alarm clock, stopwatch, etc.) impact the life of your battery.

Want to know more about your watches? Take a look at our article which deals with the differences between automatic watches and quartz watches.

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