General Question

Dog's avatar

How do I replace a battery in a watch?

Asked by Dog (25152points) December 31st, 2009

I have a couple of watches that need a new battery. Neither are expensive watches and none are waterproof/resistant. I just like them and do not want to toss them in a landfill.

Can I learn to do this myself and if so where do I get the tool to open the back?

Can anyone here tell me how it is done and how not to mess it up or at least point me in the right direction to figure it out?

(Please do not tell me to go to a jeweler as I am flat broke and the watches have a value of less than the jeweler would charge to do it. Thanks!)

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13 Answers

faye's avatar

Usually there a small depression on one side of the back of the watch. I don’t have any special tools- tweezers, small screwdriver, stand on your left foot with your tongue out! This said, the watch I have now defies me, so maybe the makers have made them Not DIY.

Jeruba's avatar

My husband is very good at this sort of thing, and he destroyed a watch by trying to do it himself. He allowed the screwdriver to touch something it shouldn’t have touched, and that’s all it took.

I think it depends on the specific watch. Some have a fairly open and accessible battery. I wouldn’t mess with the others.

But of course it should be possible to learn what a jeweler knows, if you really want to go all the way with that. My guess, though, is that it would cost more to buy the tools than it would to pay for a battery change. Your best bet for now might be just to get an inexpensive throwaway digital watch at the drugstore.

Zen_Again's avatar

Watchmakers usually don’t even charge anything more than the cost of the battery – unless it’s very time-consuming and special or something.

Regardless of the cost of the watch, if it’s of sentimental value or even if you just want to hang onto it and would like it to run – don’t risk doing it yourself. Let the pro with the monocle do it properly, at little cost, and you’ll be both ensured and insured of a good job.

From one watch nut to another, this is my friendly advice.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

My experience is the same as @Zen_Again, I have a little neighborhood jewelry shop that I take ours to. They charge $5 to put a battery in a watch. Usually they buff the watch crystal at no charge. Find a family owned jeweler in your area.

Jeruba's avatar

Someday we are going to be very sorry that we’ve lost wind-up watch technology.

faye's avatar

I have my father’s old pocket watch, about 70 yrs old. I hope to get it rejuvenated when I get together some money. Xmas did me in for now. I have a small jeweller I’ve gone to for years, it’s so nice. They took the back off the watch that defied me and told me it was broken anyway, gave me the battery that was still good and didn’t charge.

augustlan's avatar

I ruined my favorite watch trying to do it myself. I then took it to a jeweler, who spent half an hour trying to repair my damage to no avail. He didn’t charge me a dime for his time. I sure wish I’d taken it to him in the first place. I second (third, fourth?) everyone’s advice and experience, here. Find a small jeweler. You’ll be glad you did, and amazed at how little it costs.

warka1's avatar

take to a clock repair shop “if the broken clock is right two times a day”

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

You might want to go to a watch Kiosk at the mall,they have the know how and it’s just a few bucks above the cost of the battery !

Zen_Again's avatar

@Jeruba—Just as I listen to my old LP’s, I’ll never stop loving the wind-up Edox watch I got for my bar. If it aint broke, as they say…

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The battery is the main expense. The jeweler will install it for free if you buy the battery from them.
If Wal-Mart sells your kind of watch, they don’t charge for installing batteries purchased there.

Dog's avatar

Bummer… Well thanks everyone. I have batteries so I was hoping to fix the two watches free.

I really appreciate the input!

LunaChick's avatar

You should be able to do it yourself. I used to work in the jewelry dept. of a department store and I changed batteries all the time – it’s quite easy, most of the time. Here is a site with step-by-step instructions: Click me, you know you want to.

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