How to change your quartz watch battery in 10 easy steps - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to change your quartz watch battery in 10 easy steps

That's basic, isn't it? Well, you got to start somewhere, and anyways it's one of the few things I can do on a watch, so...
Total time: as much as you feel comfortable with. What's the rush?
  • Determine that your quartz watch needs a battery change. First and foremost: Citizen Eco-drive watches do NOT require battery changes, they just need some sunlight on their dial. Now for all other non-solar, non-kinetic quartz watches: either the seconds hand has stopped moving, or it's moving in two seconds steps, indicating that the battery is almost dead.
    Determine what battery your watch requires. This is usually found in the User Manual. Ain't got it anymore? Right... find the quartz movement and check the Battery Guide found here in the SCWF, or ask. People are always willing to help. Order said battery and wait for it to arrive. Battery brands? Any of the big names is fine: Seiko themselves of course, but also Renata, Varta, Maxell, Panasonic, Sony, Energizer come to mind. Don't use no-name batteries, as these are likely to leak and ruin your watch. Also don't stock up on batteries, buy a fresh one every time one of your quartz watches needs it. Expect to pay at least $2 on a quality battery in its individual blister, plus shipping.
    The battery arrived this morning and now you are ready. So get a clean table corner and assemble on it the following bits and pieces:
  • The watch itself. The victim here is a nice Seiko 7T32 chrono.
    The battery. Don't take it out of its blister package before it's required.
    Some sort of clean soft cloth.
    A tool to open the bracelet (a paper clip will suffice).
    A case opener tool. Shown here is a Jaxa style case opener, which I find relatively safe and practical to use.
  • Open the bracelet. Just push in the spring bar end at the clasp.

  • So far so good. Put the spring bar somewhere where it won't roll off the table or something. Now you can open the case back. Since this is a screw back, we are going to use the Jaxa style tool:
  • The tool slipped, and now your case back has a nice scratch, but nobody is hurt, right? :-[ OK, let's proceed...
    By the way, try not to touch anything inside the watch with your bare fingers, and avoid touching the copper coils with tools or anything, they are fragile. Lay down the case back next to your now open watch. In some case backs there are further instructions for changing the battery.
  • Sorry for the fuzzy photo. Here's another fuzzy one:

  • We'll worry about this "short this and that" indication later. Let's take a look at the watch, see if we can locate the battery:
  • Energizer... bunny... does it remind you of something? Correct, that's the (dead) battery. How to remove it? This time we have to gently pry it out from under the metal clip that's holding it. Do not use tweezers at this stage! I used a small screwdriver:
  • Be careful not to bend the metal spring when taking out the battery. Try to find a way to make the battery slide out, without excessive force. Here it is almost out, and be careful next, because these batteries have a tendency to jump and roll out into a corner of the room, next thing the dog will swallow it, etc. Or worse.

  • And here is the little bugger next to the undecipherable message written on the case back. A message left from ancient times, for sure. Only for the initiated... We'll get to it.
  • We can finally take the new battery out of its blister package. But not with our naked fingers! And also not with metal tweezers. Use plastic or bamboo tweezers or wear a rubber glove, or make do with another non-metallic object.
  • And we slide it in exactly as we took out the old one: gently. But I am not using a metal screwdriver this time, just a matchstick (well, it is a non-metallic object, no?). Almost there:
  • There? No, almost is not good enough here. See the little tab at the right edge of the battery?
  • Well that tab has to be aligned with the top of the battery, just as was the case with the old battery (see pics above). So a little extra push with our [s]matchstick[/s] non-metallic object:
  • Neat! Now it's in, and it won't fall out accidentally.
  • Do you see the AC that I see? Zoom in to help:
  • Thanks to my yoga training in Nepal, I can confidently say that AC means "All Clear". And "+ of the battery" is anywhere on that shiny surface of the battery. So we are going to use metallic tweezers (yeah, finally!) to short (i.e. connect electrically) the contact inside that AC cutout to the battery. Thus:
  • Just repeat it two or three times to be sure (no, it won't hurt the watch circuitry), and then turn over the watch to check: the seconds hand should be running normally. So now you can close the back cover and tighten it with the Jaxa tool. There is no need to over tighten though, so just use an adequate amount of force! Yes, sadly the skip marks on the back of the watch will stay there forever...
  • The final result: one happy wrist!

I hope this will come in handy for someone, someday. In the meantime I'll keep improving it with more pictures and whatever feedback I get.

Important note: please dispose of used watch batteries in an [color=green]ecologically responsible way. My suggestion is to keep them in a small plastic pack and drop the accumulated batteries at any shopping mall photo camera shop once every six months or so.

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