Taking your watch to the store to get the battery changed might not be an expensive trip but they usually charge you five to ten times more than what the battery itself costs for a five minute job. Next time your watch dies, try changing the battery yourself, you’ll save money and learn a new trick while you’re busy, it really is a quick and simple job.

NB – If your watch is still under warranty then please check with your supplier whether they allow you to do your own work on it. Some manufacturers will not honour the warranty if the watch has been opened by others.

What You Will Need To Change Your Watch Battery

  • A Knife or Small Flat Screwdriver
  • Replacement Battery (Get this using the old one as a sample)
  • A Magazine or Newspaper

Changing the Watch Battery

Start off by placing your watch face down on a magazine or newspaper, the paper will prevent the screen from getting scratched while you work on it.


The images here are shown with the newspaper removed as the print distracts from the detail of the image.

Watches typically have one of three types of covers, covers secured with screws, a screw on cover or a snap on cover. Snap on covers are by far the most popular covers on modern watches, followed by screw on covers.

You can tell the difference by looking at the back cover of the watch. Covers secured with screws will obviously have a number of screws around the perimeter. Screw on covers usually have a pattern of notches (usually 6-8) equally spaced around the outer perimeter of the cover which allows a tool to grab the cover and turn it. Snap on covers have a small overlap or lip somewhere around the perimeter under which a tool is used to lift the cover off.

This tutorial will focus on snap on covers since these are the most common. To remove a cover with screws, use a small screw driver to remove all of the screws and the cover should come free. To remove a screw off cover, a long nosed pliers can usually be used, put the two tips of the pliers into opposite notches and press the watch down and turn the cover off. With the correct technique, it is also quite easy to remove these covers.

First you need to locate the lip on the back cover. Now use a very small flat screwdriver or a knife and wedge the tip or blade underneath the cover and push down to snap it up.


You will now see a plastic spacer/protection cover which is used to absorb shock and prevent the mechanism from moving around within the case. This cover fits snugly over the mechanism and can be pulled off using the tip of a knife, screwdriver or tweezers. Pick the cover up near the edges and be careful not to break and portion of the mechanism when you lift it up.


The battery should now be clearly visible. It will be held in with two metal clips overlapping its edges. One of these clips is part of the mechanism cover and is fixed and the other will be able to move away from the battery in order for it to pop out. Again, with the tip of a knife or tweezers, pull the clip away from the battery so that it pops free and then pull it out of the mechanism. The arrow in the picture below shows the moving catch.


Take the battery with you to your nearest hardware store or pharmacist to get a replacement. Alternatively write the number on the top of the battery down and they should be able to identify it from that, for example 337 etc.

Once you have a replacement battery, pull the battery clip back again and insert the battery into the mechanism. The watch should now be ticking again. If it is not ticking then the battery is either installed incorrectly (possibly upside down) or the mechanism is broken.

Now replace the plastic insert, check that the slot in the insert aligns with the adjustment screw.

Finally you need to replace the back cover. The cover just needs to be seated correctly and then snapped into place. With some watches, this can simply be done by pressing it in with your thumbs while others will require more force. If you can’t push it together with your fingers then lie the watch face down on newspaper, place the flat part of a rubberised spanner arm over the back cover and press down slowly with your body weight until you hear it pop into place. Double check that the cover is in the correct position before applying pressure onto it otherwise it might get bent.

Reset the time and your watch is ready to wear again.

Was this guide helpful? Do you have any tips and tricks which we haven’t included? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll include them.

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