Changing a watch battery is a relatively simple task, but it’s important to handle the process with care to avoid damaging your watch. Caring for watches is what we do and whilst we are happy to share some advice on how to change a watch battery, we would highly recommend you let us do it for you.
Why? Because you can easily damage the internal mechanism so your watch no longer runs properly, or you risk scratching the case, which will change the aesthetic of the watch and reduce its value.
We offer a watch battery replacement service while you wait and in most cases a battery and watch pressure test can be carried out within an hour. For £15.00 (or £45 for both tests) you will have the peace of mind that a qualified watchmaker will get it done right. Alternatively, we can arrange for safe pick up and return of your watch, wherever you are in the country.
Simply contact our Customer Care Team for more details.
Step by step guide
Different watches may have different designs, so these instructions are general and may not apply to every watch. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable, please avoid youtube and get in touch with us.
Tools you might need:
- Watchmaker’s case knife or specialised case opening tools: To open the watch case.
- Plastic tweezers or non conductive tweezers: To handle the parts without damaging them.
- New watch battery: Make sure you use the correct size and type of battery. The required battery type is usually indicated on the old battery.
- Prepare your workspace:
- Find a clean, well-lit area with enough space to work.
- Lay down a soft cloth to protect the watch and catch any small parts.
- Identify the type of case:
- Watches typically have one of two types of cases: screw-back or snap-back.
- If your watch has screws on the back, you’ll need a watchmaker’s specialised case opening tool. If it’s a snap-back, you may need a case knife to open it.
- Open the watch case:
- For a screw-back case, carefully unscrew the back using the appropriate tool.
- For a snap-back case, locate the small groove or lip on the edge of the case. Insert the case knife into the groove and gently pry the back open. Be cautious not to scratch the case.
- Locate the battery:
- Once the back is open, you’ll see the battery. In some cases, the battery may be held in place by a clip, screw, or a small bracket. Take note of how the battery is secured.
- Remove the old battery:
- Use tweezers to carefully lift the old battery out of its compartment. Be gentle to avoid damaging the watch components.
- Insert the new battery:
- Place the new battery into the same position with the correct side facing up. Ensure the battery is secure.
- Secure the battery:
- If there was a clip, screw, or bracket holding the old battery, carefully secure the new battery in the same way.
- Close the watch case:
- For a screw-back case, screw the back on gently. Don’t overtighten to avoid damaging the threads.
- For a snap-back case, align the back and press it down firmly until you hear or feel it click into place.
- Check the watch:
- Make sure the watch is working properly. If it’s a digital watch, check that the display is correct. If it’s an analog watch, make sure the hands are moving.
- Dispose of the old battery properly:
- Take the old battery to a recycling center or follow local guidelines for proper disposal.
Changing a watch battery might seem easy but it’s a very delicate procedure, hence why we advise caution. Remember, if you’re unsure about any step or if the watch is valuable or has sentimental value, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help.
Expert Horologist and watchmaker, Simon Michmayr says …
“As a professional, I would test the old battery with a voltmeter, to see if it’s dead or alive. This will reveal whether the problem is with the battery or the watch. I would also use test equipment to apply the lowest voltage that the movement manufacturer would specify to the movement to see if it runs at the lowest voltage. If it doesn’t this would indicate that the movement needs a service or that there is a specific fault that we would investigate further.
The reason we do this is so that we can guarantee the battery will be servicable for a minimum of one year from being installed. You will not receive this level of detail and accuracy, if you change the battery yourself.”
Visit our Watch Battery Replacement & Pressure Testing page for more information.