How to Change A Battery In A Watch

How to Change A Battery In A Watch? Quartz watches use batteries and they have limits. Some batteries may last for a year and others up to 10 years. What bothers us is when they end, and the need to replace them.  And more often, watch batteries are cheaper than the service fee the watchmaker or jeweller usually charges to change a used battery in a watch. Hence, many people prefer to change their batteries by themselves. However, this cannot be done effectively by just anyone and sometimes, the watch might need some troubleshoot, often when a used battery is left for a long time in the watch movement.

What you should know first

How to open a watch case? Do It Yourself

After opening your watch case, just make sure that you don’t touch anything (if it’s your first time), because there are parts in there that you should be careful not to touch as they might get damaged or broken, such as the coil (see image below).

how to change a battery in a watch

For instance, let me relate the case of a customer who once brought an expensive watch to us to change the battery. He had received the watch from a relative from France. On opening the watch, we found that the coil of the movement was broken and that was clear as the strings were cut. So the customer told us that just before coming to us he went to someone else who was not a professional and maybe he got it broken. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a replacement coil for it so he had to return the watch to France to get it repaired. Thus, this is actually a pretty serious matter, especially if you have an expensive watch. If you don’t want to take the risk, then you better go to a professional.

How to Change a Battery In A Watch

There are several types of quartz movements, from cheap to expensive, depending on their make and size.

By moving a locking bar
Most miyota (japan) or ronda (swiss) movement have this type of battery lock. You just have move the bar slighty with a pair of tweezers or just a simple flat screwdriver and the battery will pop-out. Just make sure not to touch the coil, its wire is very this and might get cut.

change watch battery

Locked with a strap or clamp
You just have to loosen the screw holding the clamp a little bit and then move the clamp, and then remove the battery with a pair of tweezers (plastic ones). Replace the battery and tighten the screw again.
change watch battery

It should be noted, however, that there are some movements in which the cell strap is held by a screw and by the tip of the opposite side. You should pay attention while loosening the screw, the strap can bump and get lost.
change watch battery

There are other types of movement whereby you can remove its battery simply using a pair of tweezers, as nothing restrains the battery, such as in Japanese PC movements.

There are watches which has a movement ring which covers the battery area. In this case you should remove the movement ring first.

Which battery does my watch use?

You can see the serial number of the battery written on the battery itself.

Most quartz movements uses SR626SW battery, this is the most common.

Flatter movements might use SR621SW or SR616SW.

Smaller movements might use SR516SW or SR521SW

And larger movements might use SR916SW or SR920SW or SR936SW

Understanding battery sizes
To understand, we have to divide the numbers into two parts. The first part will represent the diameter of the battery and the second part will represent the thickness of the battery.

For example:
4 is the smallest in diameter and 20 is the largest in diameter
16 is the most flat and 32 is the thickest.


Batteries brands
Sony, Maxell, Varta, Renata and Seizaiken (does not last long but ok). Other known brands might be good as well. I don’t recommend Chinese batteries at all, they end quickly and might spoil the circuit from the movement when they end as they discharge acids. Popular batteries like Sony and other do discharge acids as well when they end but after a longer period.

What if the watch still doesn’t work after changing the battery? Stay tuned, we will post a troubleshooting guide soon!


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