How To Replace A Watch Movement Quartz

Not all quartz movement can be repaired, examples are japanese Hattori Movements (PC series). So after attempting to replace the battery in a watch with such movements, you see that the movement is not functioning anymore, you would want to replace the movement instead of putting the watch aside.

In this post we will show how to replace a watch movement. In fact, most quartz movement can be replaced with an substitute movement. For instance, the hattori PC21 can be replaced with a Miyota 2035 movement as they are both of the same size and can support the same hands. Their prices are almost similar too and replacing with a Miyota 2035 is better as it has rooms for repairs whereas the Hattori PC21 cannot be repaired but can only be replaced.

pc21 and 2035

So, other Hattori PC series models can be replaced with matching Miyota Models. For instance the Hattori PC32 which has the date function can be replaced with the Miyota 2315. There are models that can’t be substituted by an alternative and hence you would need the exact movement. Hence, if you are replacing with an alternative movement, you should check well whether the movement are of the same size and thickness because it should match the movement case ring. E.g:


If you have doubts, let us know in the comment section below and we will try to help you.

How to proceed to remove a watch movement?

  1. Gather your watch repairs tools.
  2. Open the watch case.
  3. Indentify the movement make and model number.  Then look for a matching movement. You may want to go to a watchmaker shop or buy the movement online from ebay (if available) or elsewhere. In this tutorial we will assume we are replacing a Miyota 2035 movement.
  4. Remove the stem. Different movements have different ways of removing their stems. In principle it deal with the setting lever. Sometimes they are indicated and sometimes not. Sometimes there is a hole in which you can insert a pin and push its dimple, then the stem will be released. In some movements the setting lever has a screw and thus must be unscrewed. For the miyota 2035 movement, the dimple is located as shown in the image below:remove watch stemPush the dimple with a pair of tweezers or any other tool which may facilitate this, and then pull out the crown/stem.
  5. Remove the case ring with your tweezers.
  6. Take out the movement along with the watch face.
  7. Remove the hands. Place a dial protector or piece of paper under the hands so that the dial doesn’t get any scratches. You will need a watch hand remover tool which is the best way or you may use a watch back case opener knife. If you are using a knife, you should proceed with lot of precaution, mainly with the second hand, so that the cannon holding the hand does not break, because you’ll be lifting the hand from one side with the knife blade. If the cannon got broken inside the hand hole, you might not be able to remove it, and hence would need to replace this hand.
  8. Remove the case ring with your tweezers.
  9. Separate the watch dial from the movement. Sneak a blade slightly between the watch movement and the dial. Pay attention well, because some movement has screws holding the feets of the dial (two small metal posts unders the dial), which you should unscrew to separate the dial. So if you force it, you might break the feets. Some dials are connected to the movements with adhesives only and hence there is no fear of breaking anything.
  10. Place everything you remove safely and on clean surfaces.

How to proceed to replace a watch movement?

  1. Connect the new movement to the watch face/dial. Here an issue may arise. If you’re replacing with a substitute movement, the dial feet location may not match with the movement. In this case, you can remove the feets from the dial by slightly moving them back and forth with a pair of tweezers or nose plier and then attach the movement to the dial with adhesives or glue dots. When using glue pay attention not to put any glue near or on any wheel. miyota-2035-movementBase on this image; you can put glue in the blue area and avoid the yellow zone. Normally two small dots on each side will suffice. I suggest the vigor jewelers two part epoxy glue. The red squares are the two holes where you should insert the dial feets. You should make sure to insert the stem in the movement so that you can position the dial well. The number three (or any other marker where the hour hand read 3) must be inline with the stem.
  2. Place the hands. It is very important to place the hands correctly so that it gives time correctly. For example if you happen to place the hour hand exactly on two and the minutes hand on 10, when the minutes hand moves and reach twelve, you’ll see that the hour hand is not on two exactly. In order to get your time exact, first place the hour hand on any hour number/marker, then place the minutes hand on twelve and the second hand on twelve too. You may use a watch hand presser to help place the hands correctly.
  3. Pull the stem and turn the hands to ensure that all hands are working properly. Sometime it might happen that they touch each other when they meet, so you should adjust it with your tweezers by lifting slightly the hand which is touching the hand below it.
  4. Use a dust blower and remove any dust inside the watch case.
  5. Remove the stem and place the attached movement and dial inside the case.
  6. Align the movement correctly so that the crown/stem hole from the watch case is inline with the stem hole of the movement.
  7. Place the plastic movement ring.
  8. Insert the stem/crown again, but now from outside the watch case. However, if you have replace the movement with another model, you will need to remove the crown from the previous stem and then adjust the length of the new stem to match the watch case and then fasten the crown to the new stem. This is because each movement stem is different. I will explain how to do this in detail in another article.
  9. Close the watch case while ensuring that the gasket is well in place.
  10. Enjoy your watch again.

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