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​How to Change a Watch Battery

repairing a watch

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Watch batteries are capable of lasting for several years, but expert timekeepers recommend that you replace the battery every 12-18 months to lower the risk of a corroded battery, which could damage your precious timepiece. Taking a watch in for a battery replacement can be an inconvenience. You need to take time out of your busy schedule to go to the jewelers and, possibly, leave your luxury watch with them for 24 hours. Learning to change the battery at home can save you valuable time and money. But before you start, check your watch’s warranty. Ensure that replacing a battery yourself won’t void your policy. If your watch is waterproof, a jeweler will need to pressurize the watch to prevent leaks. Read on to discover how to change a watch battery at home.

Tools You’ll Need

To successfully replace your watch battery at home, you’ll need to gather the appropriate tools, which include:

  • Magazine, newspaper, or a soft cloth
  • A blunt knife or small flathead screwdriver
  • The replacement battery (you can look up the correct model by Googling your watch style)
  • Tweezers
  • Needle nose pliers

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How to Change a Watch Battery at Home

Once you’ve got the right materials on hand, you can follow these steps to change the battery yourself:

1. Place the Watch Face Down on the Table

Remember to put down a magazine, newspaper, or a soft cloth before you place the watch face down, to protect the face from scratches while you work on it.

2. Determine the Type of Cover Your Watch Has and Remove It Appropriately

There are three types of watch covers, and there is a different method for removing each of them:

  • Secured with screws

On this type of cover, you will see several small screws around the edge of the cover. To remove this cover, use a small screwdriver to carefully take them out and set them aside in a small dish so you won’t lose them.

  • Screw-on cover

If your watch has a screw-on cover, there’s a pattern of notches, usually 6-8 of them, along the edge of the cover. This type of cover screws on, so to remove it, place needle nose pliers in two notches, and carefully spin the back cover.

  • Snap-on cover

The most popular type of cover, you’ll notice a slight overlap or lip at the edge of the back cover, so, to remove it, slide the edge of a blunt knife or the head of a small flathead screwdriver under the lip and use leverage to pop it off.

3. Remove the Spacer

Once you’ve removed the back cover, you’ll notice a plastic spacer between the cover and the inner workings of the watch. This spacer protects the mechanism of the watch and keeps everything in place. To remove the spacer, use a set of tweezers to grab it and carefully lift it straight up. Then set it aside, but be careful to place it somewhere clean. You don’t want it to pick up dust or dirt because that could damage the internal mechanism when you replace it later.

rolex daytona oyster face

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4. Remove the Battery

After removing the spacer, you should see the battery held in place with two metal clips. These clips keep the battery in place. One of the clips is stationary, while the other can be moved to change the battery. In some luxury watches like Rolex watches, screws may hold the battery in place. At this point, it’s a good idea to use your phone to take a picture of the battery placement to avoid putting in the new battery upside down. Carefully determine which clip is moveable and use a pair of tweezers to move the clip gently. The battery should pop right out. Set it aside.

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5. Install the New Battery

Use the tweezers to move the clip again, but this time install the new battery. Before you go any further, make sure the watch is ticking. If it isn’t, make sure the battery is seated correctly. Most commonly, the battery is simply upside down or not wholly held in place.

6. Replace the Spacer

Once the battery is ticking, carefully use tweezers to replace the spacer. Ensure no dirt, dust, or hair is on it, to prevent damage to your timepiece.

7. Replace the Cover

Replace the back cover of the watch.

  • Secured with screws

Place the cover on the watch and use a small screwdriver to reinsert the screws you set aside earlier. Make sure the screws are tight but don’t over-tighten, or you risk damage to the piece.

  • Screw-on cover

Set your needle nose pliers in the groves and screw the watch cover back into place. Make sure it is secure, but don’t over-tighten.

  • Snap-on cover

Place the cover on the watch and push until you hear a click. You may need to exert some force, so ensure you protect the watch face to avoid scratching it.

button cell batteries

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8. Dispose of the Old Battery Appropriately

The batteries in watches contain hazardous materials, so they should be disposed of as if they were rechargeable batteries (throwing them in the trash is illegal in some states). Home improvement and office stores often have battery recycling boxes where you can dispose of your old watch battery safely.

Replacing Watch Batteries Regularly Is Important to Protect Your Investment

It’s important to replace your watch battery regularly, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle or involve a trip to the jewelers. Include changing the battery as part of your regular care and maintenance of your watch. Keep it clean and store it in its original case, and you’ll enjoy your luxury piece for years. Are you looking for a new watch to add to your collection? Visit Luxury of Watches and explore our full catalog of prestigious watchmakers such as Rolex, Cartier, and Patek Philippe.