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How to Change Watch Batteries: A Complete Guide

how to change watch batteries

It can be quite frustrating to realize you are running late because you relied on your watch, but it wasn’t telling the correct time. A dead battery can do you harm, so it’s often better to avoid these minor accidents by changing your battery ahead of its anticipated expiry date.

Why You Should Change Your Watch Battery

The obvious reasons are if your battery is dead, your watch has become slow, or it has stopped working altogether. But, aside from this, you may need to change your battery every 2 years in order to avoid the battery corroding

Corrosion can damage the inner components of your watch, and this is something you want to avoid in your luxury piece. 

How Long Does a Watch Battery Last?

The battery duration of a new watch is about 3 years. However, in some cases, it can last 4 – 5 years. In general, an older watch will drain its battery faster. 

To be on the safe side, we recommend changing your watch battery at two year intervals. 

How to Change Watch Battery Yourself

You can learn how to change your watch battery yourself by using the guide below.

What You Need

When it comes to changing your watch battery, you don’t need special tools. All you need is a few of the following items:

  • Screwdriver or blunt knife
  • Coin
  • New battery
  • Old newspapers 
  • Plastic tweezers 

how to change watch batteries

Opening the Watch

The first thing you need to do is lay your watch on an old newspaper. This will prevent the face of the watch from scratching. There are all different kinds of watch covers, so opening each one can be slightly different. 

For a snap-on cover, locate the lip on the back of the case. Once you find it, gently twist your flat head screwdriver under the lip until the watch unclasps. 

For a screw-on cover, it usually has screws driven into the back of the case to keep it secure. First, you have to use a knife or screwdriver to loosen the screws. Then keep the screws away until you are done changing the battery.

For a slot cover, they usually have a groove behind them. All you need to open this type of watch is a coin. You should hold the watch firmly and insert a coin into the groove. Then, rotate the coin counterclockwise until the back comes loose.

Remove the Gasket

A gasket is the rubber gasket on your watch. A gasket is used to prevent foreign particles from getting into the watch. It also helps to maintain the correct pressure for the watch to close. 

When removing the gasket, don’t use too much force, as the rubber may rip. Not all watches have gaskets, so don’t be surprised if you don’t notice one once you remove your case. 

Locate and Identify the Battery 

To replace the battery, you need to get the right battery size. If you are lucky, you may have found the battery part number on the back of the watch case. If not, it might be inside the watch case or it might be written in bold on the battery itself. 

Once you find it, you can pop into a regular hardware store, pharmacy, or you can get the correct replacement battery from a jeweler. You can also order it online.

Remove the Old Battery

Before removing the old battery, you should study which side is facing upwards. This will ensure that you place the new battery in the correct way. Some watches have tabs holding the battery in place, so the battery may not pop out easily. If that’s the case, you can gently pull the battery out with plastic tweezers.

If you have a soft wipe or small cloth, gently use it to clean the connection point. Cleaning it will help your watch retain optimal energy transfer. 

Insert New Battery 

Insert the replacement battery where the old battery was. Again, you can use plastic tweezers to place the battery in more easily. Ensure you avoid touching other parts of the watch, so you don’t damage anything. Reset tabs or holders, if any, to keep the battery secure. 

Confirm the Battery Is Working

Turn your watch around to double-check if the battery is working. If it’s not, you may have either gotten a defective battery or placed the battery in incorrectly. 

In the worst case, other components of your watch might be damaged. Either way, try placing the battery in again and, if you still can’t get it to work, pack it up and take it to a professional jeweler.

Cover the Back Gasket and Watch Case 

Depending on the watch, reinsert the gasket as it was. Next, gently press it into place. For the back panel, place it back exactly as you opened it. This depends on the type of back. Ensure you don’t over-tighten the back so that the threading of your watch isn’t stripped.

how to change watch batteries

DIY or Jeweler: Which Is Better? 

Taking your watch to a jeweler ensures you have optimum service and, in case anything else is wrong, an expert will notice immediately. 

Knowing how to change watch batteries yourself will save you time and a trip or more to the jewelers. Besides, if you have a high-end watch, you should hesitate before dropping it off with just any repairer.

You can also cut down on costs by changing it yourself, as the only thing you will be buying is a battery. But, if you have to take it to be repaired, you may have to pay five times the battery price to cover the service fee. 

Final Thoughts 

Your watch’s battery life determines whether it’s just a piece of jewelry or if it’s a true timepiece. With the knowledge of how to change watch batteries, the quality of your watch life will drastically improve!

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