Your watch ran out of batteries, and you’re left wondering: Can I change my watch battery myself? The answer is yes, you can usually change a wristwatch battery yourself, but how you do it, and what tools you need, depends on what kind of wristwatch you own. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
1. Figure Out the Right Battery Type for Your Watch
The first step is to figure out the exact battery style your watch uses. The battery type is usually a code comprised of letters and/or numbers. In some watch models, like a Timex watch, the code is inscribed across the back of the watch. In other models, you need to open the watch case to figure out the battery code (see step 2). Once you figure out the code, you can often check online or at your local watch store to see if they carry the battery you need.
2. Open The Watch Case
This step depends on the kind of wrist watch you have. For a so-called “snap back” watch, you can use a flat blade to unclip the back of the watch case. You can use a pen-knife or buy a specific opening tool from a watch store. You should also take special care not to cut yourself, especially if you’re using a knife.
With a screw-off watch case, you’ll need a watch-back removing tool which you can get at most watch stores (or order it online). Adjust the distance between the teeth of the tool until they fit your watch. Once you loosen the back, you can finish unscrewing it with your fingers. If you need further help, be sure to read the instructions on the tool or ask the salesperson. Some watch backs have actual tiny screws in each corner. For these, you’ll need a tiny screwdriver to undo each of the screws and remove the back. You can purchase such a screwdriver at a watch store, online, or perhaps even at your local hardware store.
3. Remove The Old Battery
Once you’ve removed the back and set it aside, it’s time to take out the old battery. Different watches have different means of keeping a battery in place. In some, the battery will be screwed in with tiny screws that you will have to unscrew. In other cases, such as in Casio watches, the battery may be held down by a clip, which you can usually unhook manually.
In other cases, you may need a tiny screwdriver that you plug into one end of the clip to unhook it. Yet other watches use small springs to hold the battery. For those, you can use plastic tweezers to pull the spring away from the battery, which will cause the battery to pop out. Avoid using metal tweezers, as they may impair your watch’s inner workings.
4. Put in A New Battery and Replace the Back
Once you take the old battery out, it’s time to put in a new battery. Make sure you’re using the correct battery for your watch, or you may risk damaging your watch. Once you put in the new battery and held it in place with the original screws, spring, or clip, you should also check that the watch is working before you replace the back. Once you’ve confirmed that the watch is working, you can replace the back. If your wrist watch is the kind whose back is held in place with tiny screws, simply screw it back in place using the tiny screwdriver you used to unscrew it. If you watch has a snap back case, it will usually come with an indent (a circular metal part) that holds the back in place.
Make sure the indents all lineup and then press down on the back to get it back in place. You should make sure the back is pressed in evenly (i.e., the top or bottom is not more “pressed in” than the other side).
So, there you have it: a simple step-by-step guide to replacing your wristwatch battery. The good news is that it’s usually pretty simple, and if you do it correctly, your watch should be as good as new (and if it was waterproof before, and you’ve done everything correctly, it should still be waterproof). The even better news is that many watch retailers will replace the batteries for free or a small fee, so if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you have options. This might be particularly important for expensive watches under warranty, which sometimes require professional battery changes to maintain the warranty.