If your watch is failing to keep accurate time or has stopped entirely, it is most likely time to change the battery. For most watches, this is a simple task. However, there are some pitfalls you will want to avoid along the way. Here are some tips for changing a watch battery without frustrating yourself or damaging your timepiece.
You will want a tea towel or a soft cloth to rest the watch face on while you are removing the back panel. The last thing you want is to scratch or crack the crystal face while you change the battery. You may also find it helpful to use a dark piece of paper or fabric to lay out any parts you remove, as the contrast will help you to see them better. Finally, a magnifying glass and a bright lamp will assist you in seeing the tiny inner workings of your timepiece without straining your eyes.
Inspecting the Watch's Back Panel
There are three different manners in which the back panel may be fastened to the watch. Some panels are designed to be screwed off. You will be able to see two grooves set into the sides of the panel to use for leverage. Other back panels use tiny screws. You may need to purchase a screwdriver in the correct size to remove them, which you should be able to find at any eyeglass or jewelry shop. Finally, some panels are designed to be levered off and snapped back on. This type will have a small notch in the lip of the panel. You can use a small butter knife, fingernail or a flathead screwdriver to pry it off, but you will need to be very careful.
Removing the Battery
Hold the watch up to the light and look carefully to see how the battery is held in place. Some watches use a small piece of rubber or plastic to hold the battery in. Other timepieces have a small metal arm with a screw in the end to hold it in place. If this is the case, carefully loosen the screw so you can swing the arm out of the way. Then turn the watch over into your palm and allow the battery to fall out into your hand. Take the battery with you to the store and buy another exactly like it. Many discount shops, watch repair businesses and jewelry galleries sell batteries. Make sure the numbers on the back of the battery matches with your old one before attempting to insert it.
Inserting the New Battery
Carefully seat the new battery into the timepiece and hold it in place with your finger. Turn the watch over and make sure it is operating. If it is a digital watch, the display may be flashing or simply showing 12:00. Classical watches with moving mechanisms should show a ticking second hand. Once you see the watch working, reverse the steps you took to disassemble the watch. Make sure that all the parts you removed are replaced exactly as they were and that the screws, if any, are tightened securely.
Replacing a watch battery can seem intimidating, but most timepieces are made in such a way that the process is very simple. By following these steps, you can avoid damaging your watch and also avoid the cost of paying a jeweler to do this simple process for you.
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Video of battery replacement on a Fossil Watch