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How to Change a Watch Battery

How to Change a Watch Battery

How to Change a Watch Battery

Ever wonder how to change a watch battery? Watch the video to find out!

I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a qualified technician to change your watch battery.

We see watches on a weekly basis that have had batteries replaced and in the process, have been damaged, have parts missing, or have been replaced improperly.

As you watch the video on this page you may see the battery strap or the coil in the movement, both of which need to be handled very delicately. These are often the parts that we see missing or scratched when people get their batteries changed by someone unqualified.

The battery strap (this holds your battery into the watch) often springs off into the air when loosened to release the battery, they are so tiny it is almost impossible to find. If you ever notice a watch maker’s desk has a screen underneath to catch anything that the watchmaker may drop. The small mechanisms in batteries are not themselves expensive, but can be lost because of their tiny size. We see screws missing, and bridles that hold the battery in place no longer in the watch.

Additionally, there are plastic battery insulators that need to be in place to keep positive pole parts from touching negative pole parts. It’s extremely easy to lose these tiny lightweight static charged insulators. This is vital because the watch will not run without the insulator.

When a coil gets scratched this will ruin the watch altogether. At that point your watch will not work again unless it has a complete movement overhaul. The delicate copper coils in all battery mechanisms are wrapped with wire thinner than human hair. Inexperienced battery replacers can damage the coils without even knowing it. As you can imagine, the watch will not function with a damaged coil. Often we see clients who believe their battery doesn’t work anymore, when in reality the issue is an inexperienced watch technician inadvertently cut the electrical wires.

Missing or damaged gaskets occur pretty often as well. Rubber gaskets break down over time and can easily break or stretch out rendering them useless for water resistance. We often see watches with missing gaskets or badly damaged gaskets that won’t provide any protection. We have the parts in stock and will replace a missing or damaged gasket as part of your battery change, doing our best to keep your watch water resistant.

Another common issue we see is a battery that’s been replaced, but the watch still doesn’t work. In many instances, this is as simple as dirty contacts or watch hands touching, both of which we can easily fix.

And despite what you might think, we’ve seen plenty of watches batteries replaced by “professionals” that are actually the wrong size, or have the wrong terminals on the wrong side. Again, a simple fix!

Average watch battery replacement costs.

Below is a more precise list of prices based on some of the more popular watch brands. As you may assume, the more expensive your watch, the more intricate and delicate the movement is, thus, the more knowledge and precision needed to change the battery.

Average Watch Battery Prices:

  • ~ Regular Watch: $15
  • ~ Screw on caseback, battery strap, digital or chronograph watches: $20-$36
  • ~ Raymond Weil, Movado, Baume & Mercier, Michael Kors or watches that retail for $500+: $20 – $36
  • ~ Michele or David Yurman: $25
  • ~ Concord: $25 – $36
  • ~ Ebel $65
  • ~ Rolex, Cartier, Piaget, Chopard, Corum, Breitling: $45 – $65
  • ~ Tag Huer without pressure test*: $45
  • ~ Tag Huer (or similar) with pressure test*: $65
  • ~ Riviera (including pressure test* and Batt) $65

*A pressure test makes sure the watch is sealed and can withstand water pressure when under water, most commonly done when diving with your watch. There is no guarantee it will pass pressure test, if fails must bring it back to designer.

Minor Watch Repair

In addition to replacing watch batteries, we offer some minor repair services which are as follows:

  • ~ “Dry out” a watch that has gotten wet – $35
  • ~ Band and case cleaning – $25
  • ~ Link removal – $10 – $20

Another common issue we deal with regarding watch repair is fixing or repairing the face of a watch. We frequently see number markers and other accents fall off the face of the watch and get jammed into the hands of the watch, often preventing them from moving. This is easy for us to identify and fix, as opposed to sending it out for a long and costly repair process.

When Braunschweiger Jewelers cannot repair a watch, we are able to send certain designer watches out to repair for the customer. These watch companies have a minimum charge, and will not call with an estimate for the customer to repair if it does not exceed the minimum price. If watch repair will cost more to repair than the minimum balance, the customer will be notified with an estimate. To illustrate, the minimum prices for some brands are as follows:

  • ~ Michele – $225
  • ~ Swiss Army – $145
  • ~ Raymond Weil – $295 – $350

If a customer is given an estimate to repair and they do not want to complete the repair there is a $45 charge for shipping and handling.

Closing thoughts on watch battery replacement.

When it comes to getting a battery replaced, choose a reputable jeweler you trust. You don’t want to find out the hard way that a watch battery replacement ruined your favorite watch.

To learn more about watch batteries, feel free to visit either of our New Jersey jewelry store locations in Morristown or New Providence to learn more about how we can help get your watch running like new again.

If you’d like to talk to someone at either of our jewelry stores you can contact us online anytime by emailing us directly at, or simply fill out our contact form and we’ll answer your questions quickly.

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