When changing a watch battery, the actual act is fairly simple, but there are many things you need to be aware of beforehand to keep from damaging the watch movement. If you open your watch case and can see the battery immediately, without any small strips of metal cover the battery, you know that your watch doesn’t have a cell strap and you should follow these directions to change the battery.
Once the back of the watch case is open, before you touch any part of the movement, you should put plastic finger cots on your fingers that might touch the watch movement. We recommend doing this because any dirt, oils or grease on your fingers can get on the movement and damage the inner workings of the watch if you touch it with your bare fingers. These finger cots will keep that oil from transferring to the watch.
When your fingers are protected, before you attempt to remove the watch battery you need to locate the battery number on the battery. Since batteries sometimes jump out of the watch case and get lost, it’s important that you note the number on the battery before removing it in case it does get lost.
Usually the batteries are marked with their three digit number, but sometimes they are marked with a combination of letters and numbers. If it marked with letters and numbers you will need a Watch Battery Replacement Chart to find its 3 digit number. Use the watch battery number to get the right size replacement battery for the job.
To be able to remove the watch battery, you will probably have to remove the plastic movement ring that keeps the movement in place inside the watch case.
Now you are ready to work on actually removing the battery. There will usually still be a spring loaded arm holding the battery snug in the case. To remove the old battery, take your screwdriver and gently pull the spring loaded arm back. Do not be concerned if the battery jumps out of the case. Once the old battery is free of the case, set it aside in case there is a problem and you need it later.
Take the new battery out of the package and pick the battery up with the plastic tweezers. Make sure that the side of the battery with the engraved number is facing upwards.
Insert the new battery into the battery well. It usually works best to start by sliding one side of the battery in toward the arm first. When the battery is most of the way into the well, take your watchmaker’s screwdriver again and gently pull the spring loaded arm back again and push the battery flat into well. Release the arm while holding the battery steady to ensure it holds the new battery perfectly in the watch case.
Now that the battery is back in place, you can put the plastic movement ring back in place around the movement to keep it from moving in the watch case.
When all the parts are back in place you can replace the watch case back and begin to wear you watch again. For information on How to Close Your Watch Back, click here.