Replacing a Watch Battery

When your watch stops working, the first possibility is that the battery is dead. Although it is sometimes difficult to remove the back, you can replace the battery yourself. This is a guide about replacing a watch battery.

Purple and Black wrist watch

November 18, 2010 Flag

I have several watches. Some for good, some for everyday. When I am not wearing the watches, I pull out the stem and that makes them stop working. This saves on the life of the battery and won't wear them down when they aren't being worn.

By dwedenoja from New Creek, WV

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Anonymous Flag
November 18, 20100 found this helpful

Great tip! I do this too. :-)

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May 30, 2007 Flag

My watch battery suddenly went out on the weekend, so I looked for cheap watches and they were almost $10 and hideous. So I went to the 99 Cent Store and got myself a Betty Boop watch (They had Lucy ones, too, really cute.) Unfortunately the buckle was flimsy and flew off in the car, I taped it temporarily. Once home, I applied 2 of my 99 Cent Store velcro squares for a closing and now it looks great and fits, too. It will get me through until I can get to the jeweler to change the battery. (We did try to do it ourselves, but there's a trick to it...) Frugality wins again!


By pamphyila from Los Angeles

May 30, 20070 found this helpful

Be careful about changing your own watch batteries if you are worried about voiding the warranty. For example, Fossil watches require you to mail them back to them to have the battery changed. The more expensive watches are more picky about this.

Also, if you take your watch AND battery to a department store watch counter, they will often put it in at no charge. I've done this at Nordstrom (who are renowned for their service) I've also had them adjust bands and take out links on a watch that wasn't purchased there, for free.

I wonder if you could get batteries out of the dollar store watches and put them in your nicer watch? I don't know how many types of watch batteries there are.


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May 30, 20070 found this helpful

Lucky you to find a BETTY BOOP watch for 99 cents. I live in Massachusetts & am jealous that I don't have access to such a store as I love BETTY BOOP.


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May 31, 20070 found this helpful

I observed the jeweler replacing my watch battery very closely. At first, he tried to pry the case open, and then put it down in search of something "special". He came back with a tool that looked like an upside down capital U. The open end of the u's legs had little horizontal grippers. He seemed to insert the little grippers into the watch, then a little tugging and twisting, and the back of the watch case opened up.

So, to summarize, not all watch cases are easily opened. Darn. This is a Speidel watch.

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May 31, 20070 found this helpful

Oh boy. I used to work in the jewelry dept. of a large retail store and we changed lots of watch batteries. There were also some watches we would not touch. The warranty can be voided on some, as noted on an earlier post.

Read and keep your instructions. Keep the old battery, at least until you can match it.

The watches we stayed away from were: 1) digital - they don't always re-start after you put the new battery in; they may have to be re-set, and that can be a little tricky, 2) anything expensive, 3) anything monogrammed or inscribed or otherwise irreplaceable, 4) anything with more than one battery, like a musical watch, 5) anything notoriously difficult to get closed again, like the large Timex mens watches. You need a press to get the back back on those.

There are websites that explain how to change watch batteries. You'll need a very thin blade knife to pop it open. Or, if it's a screw-on back, you're probably out of luck. That requires a special tool. If it's a small watch with a back that pops off, you'll probably be able to close it by hand.

I think you can also find on the web a conversion chart that shows which battery numbers are essentially the same and can be used interchangeably. I've bought dollar watches too, and the battery numbers turned out to be something no longer on the market. Usually, if the battery is the same height and diameter, you can use it. Most dime-sized batteries are 1.5 volt.

Please also check to see if your watch battery can be simply thrown in the trash. Many cannot - they contain a harmful metal.

Incidentally, if your watch second hand is going forward and backward between the second notches on your watch face instead of just forward, it needs to be de-magnetized. Just have a cashier run it over the de-magnetizer at their register.

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May 31, 20070 found this helpful

November 11, 2010 Flag
1 found this helpful

How do you change the battery of a Timex watch that takes a CR1216 battery?

By dg from MN

November 11, 20100 found this helpful

Radio Shack will also install a new battery in your watch. It was closer than a drive to WalMart for me and I figured I saved it on gas in my car to have them do it and buy the battery there.

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November 11, 20100 found this helpful

FYI - Walmart will only change batteries in watches they sell. If you did not buy your watch at Walmart they will not assist you in changing your battery.

Another bit of info, when I lived in Maryland I found a jewelry store that would sell me a lifetime warranty watch battery. They installed it as well. It cost a little more, but every time I needed a battery I went back to them and got a new one installed no questions asked. That lasted 8 years and about 5 batteries until I moved away. I still have that watch and if I went back they would probably replace it again. God I loved that.

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November 12, 20100 found this helpful

Any jeweler shop will do it. I don't think I would trust an inexperienced Radio Shack employee to change a watch battery.

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November 12, 20100 found this helpful

I have to agree with those that go to a jewelry shop (my best experiences are with locally owned businesses) for watch battery replacement. Even if they don't have exactly what you need on hand, the good ones will find a replacement battery for you within days and will probably clean and shine the watch as well.

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Anonymous Flag
March 17, 20110 found this helpful

February 11, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

I am looking for a replacement batterer for a Fossil wrist watch FS 2689 (250001). If the back is opened, do I need to replace the waterproof gasket?

By Andrew

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February 11, 20110 found this helpful

I took mine to a watchman/jeweler. They only charge a few dollars for installation + battery.

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February 13, 20110 found this helpful

You can find directions on the internet for changing Fossil watch batteries, but I think you'd be better off having it done. I know, jewelers charge a lot. Maybe you can find an experienced repair person who charges less. Maybe a Batteries Plus store would know someone.

You do have to put that little rubber gasket back in, and if it's broken, you need to get a new one. Otherwise, your watch will no longer be water-resistant (no such thing as waterproof).

Some watches have notches on the back which are just for decoration, and those watch backs can be popped off with a thin knife blade, but I think Fossil backs have to be unscrewed.

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February 15, 20110 found this helpful

We take our Fossil watches to the Dakota Watch kiosk at the mall. They have to use a special tool to get the back off.

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February 17, 20110 found this helpful

Both of my daughters have Fossil watches and when contacting the company they were told that the warranty on the watch (usually lifetime) would be voided if the battery was not replaced by an authorized Fossil dealer. Yes, it's a tad pricey, but to keep the lifetime warranty I believe it's worth it!

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