How to Change a Watch Battery

Knowing how to change a watch battery yourself is handy. Although this service can be obtained for a reasonable price at jewellery and electronic stores, it is no more time consuming or difficult to do it yourself with caution and a few simply tools.

What you will need

  • New Watch Battery
  • Jeweller’s size screw drivers
  • Hand towel
  • Lint free cloth
  • Watch tool to unscrew base
  • Magnifying glass (optional)

Removing the cover

  1. Place watch face down on a soft pad or lint free cloth.
  2. Examine the edge of the back cover.
  3. If there is one small depression along the edge of the cover, pry it off.
  4. If there are screws present, remove the screws for the cover to lift off.
  5. If the cover has a raised edge with flat edges opposite each other, the cover can be unscrewed.

Removing the battery

  1. Carefully remove rubber-like gasket. Set it aside for reassembly.
  2. Locate battery (the battery is a round, shiny, metal object). It will likely be less than 3/8 inch and larger that ¼ inch in diameter. It will be held into the case by either a cover and screw or a clip.
  3. If battery is held with cover and screw, remove the screw with appropriate screwdriver.
  4. Carefully set screw and cover aside.
  5. If battery is held with a spring clip, pry the battery from under the clip with a small flat-bladed screwdriver.
  6. Note very carefully which side of the battery is facing outward and which side of the battery is facing into the watch case before removal.
  7. Remove battery and set aside.

Identifying the battery

  1. Watch batteries are identified by a number located on the back. Numbers are generally 3 or 4 digits such as 232 or 3037.
  2. One side of the battery is marked with a large plus sign (this is the positive side).

Buying the replacement battery

  1. Write down the battery identification number (the watch model is irrelevant).
  2. Take the number and the old battery to a drug, electronics or jewellery store to buy a new one.

Installing the new battery

  1. Remove battery from packaging and wipe away any film or fingerprints.
  2. Place battery into the watch body in exactly the same position as the old one.
  3. Put the battery into the clip or replace the cover and screw.
  4. Turn watch over and check to see that the second hand or digital display is advancing.

Replacing gasket and cover

  1. Place gasket onto the cover or into a groove provided for it in the case. Ensure that the gasket is fully into the groove around the cover evenly.
  2. Replace the cover carefully so as not to damage the gasket.
  3. Recheck operation of the watch and set to correct time.

Tips and warnings

  • Before you decide to change your watch battery, check the cost of the battery versus the cost of a watch. Some inexpensive watches will cost less than a watch battery.
  • Use a magnifying glass and adequate light to prevent the loss of small parts.
  • Use a black piece of construction paper to hold small parts. The contrast makes the parts easier to see.
    Use screwdrivers with caution as tshe watch case, face and insides can easily be damaged if screwdrivers are operated with negligence.

  • Do not apply pressure to the watch case without cushioning the face. Doing otherwise will break or scratch the face of the watch.
  • Some watches lose their water resistance after being opened. A watch technician will have to pressurise the watch if this is the case.
  • If you are worried or uncertain about replacing your watch battery yourself, consider taking it to a jeweller. Often the work is reasonably priced or at no additional cost other than buying the watch battery.