How to Change a Watch Battery

When you buy a quartz watch – eventually you will have to replace the battery.  This typically means a trip to the jewelry store  – but can also learn how to do it yourself with a couple special tools.  For the cost of one or two battery changes at a jewelry store you can buy the tools necessary and learn how to change a watch battery.  This becomes even more valuable if you start a small (or large) collection of watches – you’ll be able to keep them all running for just the cost of a new battery.

What I’m going to recommend today is a website that teaches you all you’ll need to know about how to change a watch battery – and they also have the tools that you need right on the website.

The website is – esslinger.com

They have a lot of great videos on how to basically dissassemble/repair any kind of watch.

The one I want to focus on is How to Open a Watch Back


On this site they have step by step instructions on how to open 3 of the common type of case backs

  1. A watch back that screws off – this will have a series of notches near the edge of the case – you can use a tool called a Jaxa Wrench to remove the case back.  Once the back is removed – you’ll have access to the battery.
  2. A Snap Off back – this type of case can be opened with a case knife.  There is typically a notch along the edge of the case to place the knife under and pry off the case.  Again – once the case is open you’ll have access to the battery.
  3. A watch back with screws – the case back will have 4 or possibly more screws holding the back onto the watch.  Use a small screwdriver to remove the screws and access the battery.

Once you have the watch open – you’ll see the battery – it’s a small silver circle – with some numbers on it.  The 3 or 4 digit number is the type/size battery that you need to buy to replace it.  I typically search for the batteries on Amazon. – click to try it.

If you’re trying to find something local – I’ve had success finding them at Walmart – they are kept near the watch display in the store.

I hope this article helps some of you learn how to change a watch battery.  I learned a lot of this information by trial and error throughout the years.  I also really like the how-to articles on esslinger.com – it is an extremely useful website for anyone interested in watches – and specifically maintaining their own watches.

If you’re looking for suggestions on a nice watch to buy – this way you’ll have something new to change a battery on and try out your new tools- check out all my reviews here.

If you have any questions or comments – write to me below.



  1. Do you have any tutorials on how to do each of these methods individually? I find that without visual help, many of us end up damaging our own belongings. I never realized that there were so many different kinds of ways to change a watch battery though. Would the cost of replacing the battery always be cheaper than buying a new watch? Seems most people just replace their watch so they don’t go through the hassle.

    • Thanks for the comments – the links in the post will take you to the tutorial (with pictures) for each individual method – depending of the type of watch you have. Yes – the construction of the watch can be different for each one. Replacing the battery is definitely cheaper than buying a new watch – the batteries themselves are only a couple dollars – I think a jewelry store would charge $15-20 to change the battery. If you purchase the tools one time and learn to change them yourself – it’s basically only the battery cost for future changes (a couple dollars).

  2. I can still remember the problems my father had with a watch he purchased ( for a lot of money! ) on holiday in the 80’s. He attempted to change the battery and ended up slightly bending the cover somehow – turns out he couldn’t reattach it in the end and the watch was pretty much…hopeless! I like the sound of this site you’ve found – video tutorials are very helpful!

    • Changing a watch battery is not that difficult – if you know what to do and have the right tools. I think the website and videos are a big help for someone attempting to do this for the first time. The ability to maintain your watch is just as important as being able to find and purchase a watch that you like. I’m glad you found the tutorials helpful.

      Thanks- Jeff

  3. I always wondered how the watch batteries are changed. I have a large collection of watches and some of them don’t work anymore because I only spend the money to replace the batteries in the watches that I am wearing at the moment. Do you have any tips on how to save money on watch repair as well as battery changes?

  4. wow thank you so much, to be completely honest I am dreading the day I have to fix my watch to keep it going (fix I just mean replacing the battery). Right now it works great, but it does have a screw on battery cover so I know I’ll be needing to open it here one day in the future… Thanks for reminding me lol!

    Mtt TheDopestMatrix

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