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HOW TO CHANGE / REPLACE A WATCH BATTERY:

The Ultimate Guide

Have you experienced the panic of running late for work because your watch somehow stopped ticking? Then you might start worrying about getting a new watch because it could be pretty expensive nowadays.

 

But hey, don’t panic! You might solve this problem by simply replacing a watch battery. You can either find an expert for watch battery replacement, or you can do it on your own!

 

In this post, we share everything you need to know on how to change a wrist watch battery.

 

If you need help from a professional horologist, you can find useful tips to avoid cheaters in the sections below.

Wrist watch on a wooden table

If you are looking for DIY watch battery replacement, you will find detailed step-by-step tutorials covering from tools to the actual steps! Read on!

CONTENTS

Get Your Watch Battery Replaced by an Expert

macro of replacing a watch battery with watchmaker tools

Getting your watch battery replaced by an expert is a good idea when your watch is really expensive and requires extensive expertise and care to deal with.

How Much Does Watch Battery Replacement Cost?

The first thing you might wonder is, how much to replace watch battery? The cost of a watch battery replacement will depend on three factors:

 

• the brand of your watch
• battery type
• the professional providing the service

Generally, watch experts charge between $5 to $14 to change a basic battery. However, as mentioned, it will still vary on your watch brand and battery type and the cities you are in.

 

Chronograph watches may cost you around $65 to $100. Chronograph models are pricier as they need special tools. The fees also include cleaning watch cases. Meanwhile, if you have a water-resistant watch, it may cost you between $40 to $65 as they need to be pressure-tested and resealed.

 

Watch retailers also charge different fees for watch battery replacement. For example, Sears, a famous watch retailer, asks for at least $15 for service fees for battery replacement. Meanwhile, Walmart, a discount retailer, only asks for a minimum of $5.

 

If you need more than battery replacement, then there will be extra charges. For instance, if the rubber gasket is damaged, you will be charged extra between $10 to $20 for a replacement.

Where to Find Experts to Fix Your Watch Battery

Now that you have a good idea of how much a watch battery replacement costs, you must now look for the right people to do it. Here are great places where you can find watch experts to change your watch battery:

Horologists

In case you’re not familiar, horologists provide a variety of watch services and one of them is battery replacement. They are watch experts but unfortunately, there are now only a few of them. So, finding one might be a challenge. Even though there are only a few of them, you should still be careful when choosing.

Watch Brand Outlets

A watch brand outlet is a store that sells authentic watches at discounted prices. Many of these stores also offer watch repair services, such as battery replacement. You can almost see these stores mostly in supermalls. So finding a good one should be easy.

Authorized Watch Retailers

Authorized watch retailers are those that are appointed or granted by manufacturers to sell their goods. They may cost a bit more but you can be assured that they have the right resources to replace your watch battery. They also offer other watch repairs, making them a convenient choice.

 

The biggest advantage of choosing an authorized watch retailer is they also provide after-sales services and warranties if you buy something from them. So, if you need other than a battery replacement, then you might want to go to an authorized watch retailer.

Jewelry Stores and Pawnshops

There are many pawnshops and jewelry stores that change watch batteries. But, in most cases, you need to bring the battery. You must first purchase a new battery and they will replace it for you. (Not sure which replacement battery to buy? We got you covered in the following sections!)

 

It may seem a hassle but this is actually a good thing. By bringing your own battery, you can be assured that you are replacing the old one with a high-quality one. Their services usually cost between $10 and $15.

In case you are still not confident about the person who’s going to replace your watch battery, here are a few tips to avoid fake experts on your watch repair:

Replace Watch Batteries Yourself

DIY replacing your watch batteries is fun! But you will need to spend time to find the tools and there are risks in damaging your beloved watch. There’s nothing to worry about though. The following sections will teach you exactly what to prepare and how to do it step by step.

Watch Battery Replacement Tools

Tools are really helpful in fixing things, especially when it comes to a delicate piece like a watch. Here we have compiled a list of all the tools to change batteries.

 

We have also gathered a second list of alternative tools that most people already possess in their home. If you only need to fix one watch and you don’t see yourself fixing a second one any time soon, this list is for you.

Wrist Watch's Battery Replacement

Standard tools

• Case-opening knife
• Plastic tweezers
• Selvyt cloth
• Pocket-case wrench
• Fiberglass scratch brush
• Spring bar tool
• 1.20mm Phillips Screwdriver
• 1mm screwdriver
• 1.60mm screwdriver
• Watch case opener

 

Most of these tools and watch battery repair kits can be bought on professional watch parts online and offline.

Simple tools (Standard Tools Alternative)

If you don’t have the standard tools, don’t worry! There are alternative tools you can use that are as functional.

 

Thin knife – This is small enough to fit the tip on the small openings of a watch back. You can use this instead of a watch case opener. But, be careful! Make sure it does not touch the other parts of the watch.

 

Flat razor blade – You can slide this under the backing hinge of your watch to open the plate.

 

Rubber ball or stress ball – This is also effective to loosen the watch backplate. If you have a rubber ball, you can definitely use it! Press the ball firmly against the plate. Once loose, you can use your fingers to entirely remove the backplate.

 

A pair of scissors – If your watch has a really tight backplate, you can use a pair of scissors to twist it and loosen the screws.

 

Precision screwdriver – This is also a great choice for unscrewing watch backings.

Common Types of Watch Batteries

Before getting a watch battery, you need to know what types of batteries are commonly used first and which one you should buy.

 

One of the challenges of replacing watch batteries is determining what type of batteries you should have. They may look the same but they are actually designed with different features. So it’s important that you are familiar with them. So here are the most common watch batteries:

Silver Oxide Batteries

The most common types of watch batteries are silver oxide batteries. They are affordable and generally have a shelf life of at least ten years.

 

These batteries have a stable voltage during operation. They are quite small, similar to M&M’s chocolate candies. If you have a digital or LCD watch, this type is usually what you are looking for.

 

They are available in two main types:

 

• The first type is held in place through a spring-loaded arm. The top portion of this battery type is very much exposed. It only has a small area on its edges that are covered in the arm.

Silver Oxide Batteries

Source: DIY Trade

• The second type is the battery you see in the back of a watch. It is held in place through cell straps. These straps are fragile metal attachments placed opposite the top of the battery. They are secured by using tiny screws.

Lithium button cell battery isolated on white

Lithium Batteries

If you have a digital or sports watch or if it has special features, such as lights, then lithium batteries may be the ones you need.

 

These batteries may be slender but they are durable. They have a capacity of three volts, which is the highest available. When they are used in low-drain watches, they can last up to at least ten years.

 

Although they are thin, these batteries are quite big. They are held securely using huge latch straps to connect them to the battery plates.

Watches With Two Batteries

Many watches have both analog and digital displays or have special features such as multiple alarms and the ability to play music.

 

If your watch is similar to these, then it’s most likely that it has two batteries. The main purpose of having two batteries is to ensure watches remain functional for a long time despite having several energy-consuming features.

 

Also, most modern solar watches now have secondary batteries in case these watches fail to work.

Watch with 2 batteries
Rechargeable watch batteries

Source: DIY Trade

Rechargeable Watch Batteries

If your watch is solar-powered, it’s most likely you need rechargeable batteries.

 

These watch batteries are recharged when they are exposed to light. Before, it used to be natural light only. But, thanks to technology, many of these batteries can already be charged with artificial light!

 

However, although they are rechargeable, it does not completely mean that these batteries won’t need replacing.

 

This just means that you will need less replacing with such batteries. For instance, a solar-powered battery on a Citizen Eco-drive can function optimally up to six months without recharging or exposing to light.

How to Find the Right Watch Battery

Finding the right replacement watch battery is already half of the success, you should find the right battery code before you actually buy one.

 

There is a coding system for watch batteries to make sure you have the right replacement battery. Either the type or the size is wrong or the battery won’t work with your watch. Find the code then we can start talking!

Here are the ways to determine the size and type of your watch battery:

So now, you should be able to find the 3- or 4-digit code on your watch to know the size. Then you can check a conversion chart like the one below.

Watch battery chart reference

Source: Time Piece Legacy

If you can’t find the exact battery code of your watch, consult with an online watch parts supplier.

Where to Buy a Watch Battery

Knowing about all these watch battery types, where can you find them? Here are two recommendations for you!

Here are the ways to determine the size and type of your watch battery:

Buy From Online Dealers

Buying watch batteries online is one option. This option is usually cheaper. However, with many online frauds these days, we are not always confident about the dealer we are buying from.

 

Don’t be too frustrated though, there are many reliable online watch dealers. You just need to know where to look. Before deciding on an online dealer, here are some tips:

A man holding a credit card to buy from online dealers

Buy From Amazon

Another great way to purchase watch batteries is through Amazon. It’s usually more expensive to buy on Amazon than the online vendors mentioned above, but if you just want to save some time and trouble, Amazon is a go-to market place.

 

Simply search for top watch batteries and you’ll get incredible results. You’ll immediately see their ratings, reviews, prices, and other important information.

 

To give you a headstart, here are some of the top-selling watch batteries sold at Amazon:

Amazon app

Step-by-step Tutorial to Watch Battery Replacement

Replacing a watch battery is a quick and simple process but there are still things you must keep in mind. A minor mistake could damage your watch and will result in needing more repair.

Before changing a watch battery yourself, please consider the following:

Finally, we have come to the point where we can replace the watch battery on our own! We have gathered a few watch replacement tutorials covering the most popular watches around!

 

These are:

Start changing a watch battery at home!

How to Change a Timex Watch Battery

Changing the battery of your Timex watch may seem a delicate process; however, it is quite simple. You just need to have the right tools and must do it carefully. If your Timex has screws, you are going to need a small screwdriver. If it doesn’t, you can use a knife to replace the battery.

TIMEX INDEGLO WEEKENDER WATCH with nato leather watch strap on white background

If Your Watch Has Screws

1. Unbuckle your Timex watch if it is buckled. Then, remove the straps and secure them in a safe place.

2. Remove the screws on the sides of your watch with your tiny screwdriver. Keep them in a safe place since small screws can be misplaced easily. (It’s better if you have a screwdriver that is made specifically for watches.)

3. Take off the back of your watch. After removing the screws, remove the watch back and put it somewhere safe.

4. Change the battery of your Timex watch. Using a small knife (you can use a similar tool if you prefer), poke the battery to remove it from your watch. Watch batteries are not stuck tightly, so you can remove your battery easily with minimum force.

5. Once the old battery is out, replace it with the new one. Once the new battery is secured in place, put back everything in place properly.

If Your Watch Has No Screws

1. Unbuckle your watch and remove the strap and put it somewhere safe.

2. Nudge the crown of your Timex watch into the case. The crown is a small knob found on the edge of the case. It is used to move the watch and adjust it to the accurate time.

3. Find the hole in your case back. Turn the head of your watch on its side and look carefully at the corners. Insert a slender tool into the small opening at the corner to open the watch back.

4. Turn your watch facedown and put a small cloth underneath. This is to protect your watch against scratches. With one hand, put the watch facedown on the cloth and secure the edges with your fingers. Firmly press your watch to the cloth.

5. Use a knife to take off the back of your watch. Insert the tip of your knife into the opening you found earlier, gently push the watch back upward until you hear a pop sound. You can now remove the watch back easily and put it in a safe place.

6. Remove the old watch battery. The battery is small and round and is found at the center. Gently slide your knife under the battery to remove it.

7. Once the old battery is out, install the new one properly. Press it against the watch until you hear a click.

8. The next step is to reassemble your Timex watch. Put a bottle cap on top of it and press it down until you hear a click. Make sure to use minimal force to avoid damaging the glass of your watch!

How to Change a Fossil Watch Battery

Fossil is famous for its reliable timepieces. Their watches are mostly pressurized and sealed, meaning the batteries may be difficult to change.

Fossil watch with leather belt on wooden background in soft focus

Follow these steps to make sure you get it right:

1. To start, find the small openings around the edges of the backplate of your Fossil watch.

2. Insert a screwdriver or a watch back opener tool into the opening(s). Then, carefully twist the backplate to loosen it up.

3. Once the plate is already loose, you can continue rotating the plate with your fingers.

4. Take off the nylon cover found inside your watch by nudging it with your tool.

5. Press the spring holding the battery catch with your tool until it comes off.

6. Change the old battery with the new one.

7. Do the steps backward to reseal and reassemble the watch.

How to Change a Bulova Watch Battery

Bulova is a Swiss company that makes several types of watches, namely Bulova, Accutron, Caravelle, and Wittnauer. Bulova watches have a “snap back,” meaning the watch cases pop up directly. How to remove a Bulova watch battery is simple and you can do it successfully even without experience.

To replace a Bulova watch battery, follow these simple steps:

1. Turn your watch face down on a soft fabric to prevent any scratching on the surface of your watch.

2. Use a tiny screwdriver to insert the tip on the hole that meets the watch case and the watch back. Wiggle the screwdriver to prompt the case to open. In some cases, you might need to use some force. However, be careful not to touch the other parts and scratch the case.

3. Once the case is open, you will find a rubber gasket on the outer part of the case. Put it somewhere secure as you must put it back exactly where you removed it after changing the battery. The gasket is useful to ensure that the watch case is waterproof.

4. Once the case is open, find a small battery. Then, place the screwdriver under the battery to take it off. When removing the battery, you can either use your fingers or a pair of tweezers.

5. After removing the old battery, replace it with the new one. Put everything back exactly how you found them.

How to Change a Seiko Watch Battery

Seiko watches either have an automatic movement that works with the wrist’s natural movement or a quartz movement that needs a battery. Replacing the battery of a Seiko watch is fairly easy, even if you are not a watch expert. However, if you are not careful, the watch movement might get damaged.

The SEIKO SARB033 with Seiko Automatic 6R15 movement

Follow these steps to make sure you are replacing a Seiko watch battery properly:

1. On a soft fabric, turn your watch face down to avoid it from scratching when you are replacing the battery.

2. Once the back part is on the top, take a look at your Seiko case. There are two types of backs your watch may have – a screw back and a snap back.

 

If the back of your watch has grooves, then it has a screw back. For this type, use a wrench specifically designed for opening a watch case. First, re-adjust the prongs on your wrench.

 

Make sure it fits in three prongs on the outer part of the watch case. Once done, tighten back the prongs properly. Twist your wrench’s handle to the left about a half turn to ease up the case back.

 

Now, remove your wrench and completely loosen the case back using your fingers.

 

If there are no grooves, then your watch has a snap back. You may use a tiny screwdriver to fit it into the hole in the back case. Twist your screwdriver until the case back comes out.

3. Take off the rubber gasket from the outer portion of your inner watch. This component ensures that the watch case is waterproof. So, make sure that you return it exactly how it was installed before closing the case.

4. Find the battery and drift your screwdriver under it to take it off. After loosening it from its place, carefully remove the battery using your hand.

 

(Remember to pay attention to which side was facing up as you must install the new battery in the same manner. Be extra careful not to let your screwdriver touch other parts of the watch as this could affect the watch movement.)

5. Install the new battery in the same manner as the old one. You can either use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to place the battery properly. After installing, check your watch to see if the second hand is working.

6. Place back the rubber gasket on the outer part of your watch similarly as you have found it. If you have a “screw back,” screw the case back on your watch using your fingertips. If you have a “snap back,” press the case back down until you hear a clicking sound.

Michael Kors Watch Battery Replacement

Michael Kors (MK) watches are becoming more popular nowadays. So, it’s only proper that this guide also has a tutorial on how to change their watch batteries. You may think that changing an MK watch battery is difficult, but it’s the complete opposite! You just need to have the right tools and be extra careful when doing the replacement.

Michael Kors watches in golden color

Here are the tools you’ll need:

When you have all the tools, it’s time to change the battery of your MK watch! Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. To remove the back of your watch, you need to adjust the watch back opener first. Adjust the tool so that it fits the back of your watch. Then, fit the tool to two dents on the case back.

2. Turn the watch back opener to the left carefully to remove the back case.

3. After removing the case, you will see a white plastic bracket along with the other interiors of the watch.

4. Use your flat screwdriver to remove the white plastic bracket gently. Be careful as the tip of your screwdriver could damage the other parts of your watch.

5. Once the white bracket is removed, you will be able to see the battery more clearly. Using a screwdriver to remove the old battery. Please use minimal pressure and be extra careful to avoid scratching the other parts of your watch.

6. Once the old battery is removed, you must now install the new one. When putting the new battery, make sure that it is underneath the tiny flap that secures it.

7. After installing the new battery, check your watch if it’s working again. If so, you can now put the white plastic bracket back to its original position. You can use your small screwdriver to make sure everything fits perfectly.

 

If your watch is still not working, check if you have installed the battery properly. For instance, if it’s facing on the right position.

8. Now, check your watch again if it’s still working. If so, then you may now return the back case of your watch. Simply press it against your watch until you hear a “click” or “pop.” 

Tag Heuer Watch Battery Replacement

Tag Heuer watches, particularly the sports and chronograph collections, are considered among the best Swiss-made timepieces today.

 

Before installation, make sure you have the right tools and the right battery size. You can refer above to find the right type and size for the battery.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

Now, let’s get started!

1. The first step is to remove the case back and bracelet of your watch. Take off the bracelet with the spring bar tool. Then, with your case-back remover, unscrew the case back carefully in counter-clockwise. Do not use bent or worn-out tools as these may cause serious damage to your watch.

2. After removing the case back, take off the o-ring and battery. To do this, use your screwdriver to unscrew the tiny part securing the battery.

 

Remove the o-ring and battery carefully with a pair of tweezers. Once out, discard the old battery and check the o-ring for any tears and rips. If you can’t find any, you may reuse the o-ring. But, if there are, it’s better to replace it.

3. Next, you will now put the new battery into your watch with your pair of tweezers. Make sure to do it carefully to avoid touching or scratching the other internal watch parts.

4. You’re almost done! All you need to do now is to put everything back.

 

Before you reinstall the case back, don’t forget to put the o-ring gasket first. If you have a new one, you can put it directly. But, if you will reuse the old one, you need to lubricate it first. Place it in a lubrication box and cover it properly.

 

When the o-ring is lubricated fully, you may now put it back to your watch. Then, screw the case back carefully.

5. When everything is in place, all that’s left to do is to adjust the time, date, and chronograph features. Here are the things you should do:

A. Pull the crown out twice to the hand-setting position. Press the chronograph pushers for three seconds to enable the settings of the split-second chronograph hand.

 

To move it, press the top pusher. When it reaches your desired hand position, press the bottom pusher to trigger the setting of the 1/10 split-second hand (you can find this at the bottom sub-dial).

 

Again, push the top pusher so you can set the hand to your preferred position. When that’s done, press the bottom pusher again to trigger the setting of the chronograph minutes counter. Repeat the process.

B. After setting all three hands, you have to check if they are functioning properly.

 

To do this, press the crown to a neutral position and push the top pusher to see if the chronograph hands are working properly. Reset positions back to zero and the synchronization is complete.

C. To adjust the date, pull out the crown once and rotate it clockwise. Once it reaches your desired date, push back the crown to its neutral position.

D. To adjust the time, pull out the crown twice and rotate clockwise. When your desired time is achieved, push back the crown to its neutral position.

E. Once the crown is in its neutral position, screw it back using only your fingers. Tools might over tighten the fragile thread in the crown, which could affect the water-resistance feature of the watch.

Skagen Watch Battery Replacement

Skagen watches are delicate, so you have to follow these steps to make sure you are doing it right.

Modern Skagen contemporary watch on a vintage wooden table with box opened

Before you start the process, please make sure that you have the necessary tools. These are:

1. The first thing you have to do is to see what kind of case back your watch has. Your watch has a snap case back if it smooth with a tiny groove on the side. Meanwhile, if your watch has two or more gaps at the back, then it has a screw back.

2. A. For a snap back case: twist the tip of your screwdriver slightly under the gap of the case back to remove it.

 

B. For a screw back case: Twist the tip of your screwdriver in the gaps of the case back to remove it.

3. Once the interior of the watch is exposed, unscrew the component securing the watch battery.

4. Take off the old battery and replace it with a new one. You can use your fingers or a pair of tweezers when doing this step. Just be careful that you are not touching or scratching the other watch parts.

5. Once the new battery is installed, put back the clip to its initial position to secure the new battery.

6. Once the new battery is installed properly, you now have to return everything back to their original position. For a snap back case, Align the notch and gently push the case back to lock it. For a screw back case, use your screwdriver to turn the notches and reinstall the case back properly. You will hear a “pop” or “click” if it’s installed properly.

Now you’re done! All that’s left to do is to set the correct time. We surely hope this post is helpful to you! If there are tips and tricks that we have missed out, please comment below!

Recent Blog

How to disconnect the battery The steps to disconnect or replace the battery are the same for all battery backup units. Your unit may look different from the one in the illustration below. If you are having trouble accessing your battery, you can view detailed information on where to access your battery by unit type.

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