Your watch died?
The time is only correct twice a day?
That makes you think about changing your battery yourself.
After all, that juice is needed for the hands, date, alarm and music, right?
But Before you change that cell, know this:
Changing a battery can be a simple process… CAN BE… Sometimes!
Here we go…
To start, most watches have backs that are hard to remove. Some tist, some pop off, half require special watch tools that clamp into the grooves on the back of your watch to give it leverage so you can rotate the cover off.
Then, if you can pop or rotate the back off, you’re now looking into the guts of the watch.
What a mess!
Watches are complicated, unique machines. Almost all watch brands and inside movements are fairly similar, but laid out totally different. The size of the battery, the position of the battery, the clamps that hold the battery down are all different from watch to watch. Plus some watches have very tiny screws that fly and get lost easily. You may not have a screwdriver small enough to work. And if you have large hands you may have a hard time getting it all back together again.
So let’s talk about…
5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T change your own watch battery!
1) Warranty Void
It will normally VOID your watch warranty. Read the manufacturer’s replacement battery manual. Most warranties require you to send your watch out to an authorized dealer or watch repair center for that “simple” battery change. Some take as long as 2-6 weeks for a new battery, and that’s not a guarantee either (Hope you have a spare watch).
If your watch never got moisture under the glass, if you were able to wear you watch in the rain or shower without it fogging up, if you were able to wear your watch swimming or snorkeling, then watch out… Opening the back of that watch up will BREAK your seal and gasket, meaning, your watch will no longer be air-tight!
Your watch from there on will leak, get wet, and corrode the insides with horrible rust. So be careful about that gasket. Especially if you have one of those waterproof or water-resistant diving watches. If you break the seal, rust up your parts, that will also VOID your lovely little warranty.
You’ll have to pay to have it fixed, warranty or not (or just buy yourself a new watch).
Still thinking about changing that watch cell?
Let’s keep going…
3) Jump Started?
Some watches need to be jump-started. What? Yes, some watches need to get re-started by taking narrow-pointed watch jeweler tweezers and connecting point A inside your watch to point B! Crazy, eh? Usually if your watch is the type of watch that needs to be kick-started, it will say so on the inside of the back cover’s lid. Look before you leap!
4) Blank Cells
Some batteries have symbols, weird markings, numbers, words, or even nothing at all to identify the type of battery it needs. It’s true, I’ve seen some BLANK watch batteries! (in that case a watch battery selector is necessary!) Remember, a lot of watch movements are made overseas, and what you get may be in a foreign language. What you may see is this: Y5o&CC3-L (And we know how hard it is to translate godzilla movies…) It gets very tough sometimes trying to find a watch battery converter booklet that really does convert all types of gibberish. (But you can use my watch battery replacement chart here.)
Plus it gets trickier, because some batteries look alike. Some are the exact same width, but NOT the same depth. Some are low voltage and some are high voltage. Will you choose the right cell? If not, you could short-circuit your watch and fry the insides.
5) The Cover Bends!
You could warp the back cover!
Seriously! So many people try to push the cover back on thinking they’ve succeeded. But don’t! Many people actually bend the back. And once you warp the metal cover, it gets extremely tough to straighten it back up again to snap it into place I’ve been there. Without a watch-press, it’s almost an impossible feat (Ane almost ALL water proof watches, like diver’s watches will NEED this watch press tool.)
So all in all, you may save a couple of bucks doing the battery change yourself, but you could also short-circuit your watch, break the stem, crack the crystal or band, and then you’ll realize, that “CHEAP” battery replacement just cost you a TON of money.
Let the pros do it!
Take it to a jewelry store, they’re more than qualified. Plus if the store happens to break your watch while changing your battery, they’ll fix it for FREE!
One more thing to remember…
If you have one of those watches that plays music (a lot of cute holiday watches are like this), chances are, your watch has more than one battery. And more than likely, you’ll have to dig down a couple of layers within the movement just to find them. Almost like the game “operation”
So Good Luck there…
And if you pop your minute hand off, bend the alarm buttons, or rip the leather strap…
Don’t say I didn’t warn you!