Battery Replacement: done correctly – part 2

Preparation is the key to doing a good job.

As this guide is for people who have a little experience, you should have opened a few watches before so I shouldn’t need to explain.

This section is all about dirt.

You should clean all dirt from around the back of the watch before opening it. I was taught to clean after I’d changed the battery but by then the damage is already done. In many of the watches that return because they aren’t working right I’d find “specks of dirt” all through the watch which came from the cleaning process, so now I clean all the dirt I can from the watch before the sealing of the watch is compromised.

  1. Open the watch strap or bracelet so it is flat
  2. Break away all chunks of dirt with the tweezers
  3. Clean the watch back with a Brush. I use a stiff bristled paint brush whose bristles I’ve trimmed to about 1cm
  4. When it looks clean, blow with the blower (never your mouth) all microscopic dust away
  5. If it is a screw back, I unscrew the back 1/8 of a turn and repeat steps 3 and 4
  6. Move your watch to the clean area

now you may change the battery

Battery Replacement.

This should all be done without touching the movement with your fingers. Tools have been designed to do the job and are there to be used

Note: Do not use cheap Alkaline batteries

  • Open the watch being careful that any dirt that may remain does not enter the watch.
  • Clean off any remaining dirt with peg wood and then use rodico or Bluetac to collect any specks of dust.
  • Look for water damage
  • Remove packing ring if it covers or partially covers battery. Some modern watches require the removal of the stem to do this.
  • Remove or loosen any clamps holding battery in place.
  • Remove the battery. Sometimes by sliding a lever to one side (see picture). Always use extreme caution around the coil as any slip can destroy the coil. Even a finger touching it can break it.
  • Check battery contact is clean and the battery is not leaking. If it is dirty, discoloured, wet or covered in acid then the contact needs cleaning.
  • Test Battery.
    If it is low, you are going to change it. You should never assume the old battery is the correct one as there are people who don’t care which battery they put in. Movement Guide should help if you are unsure.
    If it is full, then there is a problem and it is time to start trouble shooting
    If it is on, or close to, borderline low then there may be a problem.
  • Fit new battery. This is the only point in changing a battery I would ever touch the watch movement as your finger has the great control. Your fingerprints must be wiped away with Rodico. You must be careful not to bend any side contacts (especially Miyota 6M12 family) and it should be easy. If it is difficult you are doing something wrong.
  • Reassemble battery clamps, packing ring etc. that were removed for access to the battery.
  • Check watch is working. If not go to the trouble shooting guide
  • Set the time.

You should have a watch that is now working. If not go to the trouble shooting guide