How to Replace Watch Batteries

by James Clark ; Updated September 28, 2017

Open watch cover showing location of battery with positive terminal on top

Save money by replacing a watch battery yourself rather than paying a jeweler to do this relatively simple task. Most fine watches have either a screw-on backing of stainless steel, or the back plate is held in place with four small, Phillips-head screws. The back cap often simply snaps off less expensive watches with the flip of a small, flat-blade screwdriver. Removing the back watch cover allows you to access the tiny battery inside. Replacements are available at large pharmacies, electronics stores and jewelers.

Items you will need

  • Jeweler's screwdrivers
  • Replacement watch battery
Step 1

Place the watch upside-down on a folded towel to protect the crystal from scratches.

Step 2

Remove the back cover either by unscrewing, removing the screws or prying it off with a small, flat-blade screwdriver or pocket knife, depending on the construction of the watch. A pry-off cover will have a small indentation along the edge where a screwdriver blade can be inserted to pop off the backing.

Step 3

Lift off the gasket seal and set aside.

Step 4

Look for the watch battery, which is metallic and roughly the size and shape of an aspirin.

Step 5

Check the polarity of the battery to determine if the positive (+) side is facing upward or down.

Step 6

Remove the battery either by gently popping it out of the mounting clip or use a jeweler's screwdriver to remove any screws securing the battery.

Step 7

Place the screw and battery cover in a small container, such as a plastic bowl, so the parts cannot roll off the table and become hard to find.

Step 8

Examine the battery to locate the three- or four-digit identification number.

Step 9

Take the battery number and the old battery with you to purchase a replacement.

Step 10

Insert the new battery in the same position as the old one and replace the battery cover.

Step 11

Gently turn over the watch to verify the movement.

Step 12

Replace the watch gasket and secure the back cover.

Step 13

Reset the time.

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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.