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Has the dreaded happened? You thought you were on time and then suddenly realised that your watch has stopped working. Thankfully, it’s most likely that your watch just needs a new battery, rather than needing to be totally replaced with a whole new watch. Depending on the type of watch you have, it may be a simple switch that you can learn how to do yourself with our handy guide.
Do I need to go to a jeweller to change a watch battery?
It’s possible (and often cheaper!) to change your watch battery yourself. However we recommend you take it to a jeweller if your watch has a high level of water resistance or if it’s under warranty, as opening the watch yourself may make the warranty void.
Different watches need different batteries. Be cautious when selecting a battery if you choose to change it yourself, as the voltage and size needs to be right for your specific watch.
Even if you don’t know a lot about watches, our trusty guide will help you with some watch DIY.
How much does it cost to change a watch battery?
This question is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is. It completely depends on the type of watch, the brand and if you need any extra servicing on your watch.
That being said, a rough guide on the price can be made based on whether or not the watch is waterproof or water resistant.
Those that can’t go underwater will, on average, cost less than £10. However if it’s designed to be submerged, you can expect a bill between £20 and £50, or potentially up to £100, for a top-of-the-range watch. This is because a highly water resistant watch has to go through the resealing process and the same tests as when the watch was made, to ensure water can’t seep into the crevices where it was opened.
How to preserve your watch battery
Watch batteries inevitably need replacing over time. Thankfully it’s not something that has to be done often, with modern watch batteries lasting between two and four years. Older watches may drain the batteries faster, as will chronograph and LED display watches.
To try and increase the longevity of your battery, we have a top tip: when your watch isn’t in use, pull the crown out to stop the watch. You simply need to set the time and push the crown back in when you’re ready to use it. Obviously this doesn’t work if you’re using your watch all the time, but it’s definitely worth doing for watches that are in collections or saved for special occasions.
How to change your watch battery - DIY style
What you need:
- New battery
- Small screwdriver
- Gloves (optional)
1. Opening the watch
Many modern watches have been made with a snap-off back panel. These are easy to remove with either your fingers or a flathead screwdriver. If the watch back is more intricate and sealed with screws, then use a really small screwdriver to gently unscrew them. If your watch doesn’t open via either of these methods, then we would recommend taking it to a specialist as it’s most likely a waterproof watch.
2. Remove the gasket
Once inside the watch, it’s a good idea to wear gloves to protect the inner workings from damage or dirt. If your watch has a gasket (a rubber ring inside the watch), carefully remove it with tweezers and place it on one side. Your watch may not have one - they are typically seen in chronographs - so don’t worry if you can’t find one.
3. Remove the old battery
Take note which way the current battery is facing so you know which way the new one needs to go in. Use tweezers to remove the old battery, carefully lifting the small clasps (if there are any).
4. Putting in the new battery
Use the tweezers to put the new watch battery in place - remember which way should be facing up! Press the clips back down, and before placing the back on, test to see if the watch is working. The hands should begin moving if the battery is in properly. If not, the battery may be faulty, or you may need to seek advice from a specialist.
5. Put the watch back together again
If your watch has a gasket, remember to put this back in first, then replace the back of the watch. If it’s a snap-off back, give it a gentle press to pop it back in. If it was screwed on, then line the case up and use your small screwdriver again to screw the back on.
That’s it! You just need to set your watch to display the correct time and you can have another two years without having to think about it again. It’s recommended that you replace your watch battery after two years if you’re using your watch everyday anyway, as it’s more likely to go through a lot of wear and tear with changes in temperature and pressure that could lead to potential leaks in the battery. If you’re ever unsure, go to a jeweller to prevent any damage to your watch. Now there are no excuses for being late!