Changing the Battery in a Pocket Watch

If you have a battery powered or quartz pocket watch, you don’t need to wind it up like a mechanical watch. But, you will need to change the batter from time to time. 

A watch repair shop can normally change a battery for you. It’s helpful, though, to know how to change a battery yourself, in case you can’t take your watch to a repair shop.

See also: Pocket Watch Care & Maintenance

Changing the battery in a pocket watch

Step 1: Remove the back 

The first step to getting access to change the battery is to take the back off the pocket watch. 

Nearly all modern pocket watches will have a back cover that you can pop off relatively easily. Look for an indent or slit along the edge of the back cover and push up on this until the back comes off. 

You should be able to do this by hand, but for tighter covers you might need a tool or something similar to get better leverage. Be careful not to let your hand slip or you could scratch the cover. 

Step 2: Remove the plastic ring 

There will be a plastic ring to hold the mechanism in place in the watch and to hold the battery in place within the mechanism. This can just be lifted out, though you may need to use tweezers. 

Step 3: Take out the old battery 

With the plastic frame out of the way, carefully lift out the battery with a pair of tweezers. There may be a small bar or tab to hold the battery flat, so be wary of that to avoid damage. 

Pay attention so which way up the battery is so you know which way up to put the new one. 

Step 4: Put the new battery in 

Check that you’ve got the right size battery by comparing the new one to the old one. 

Carefully slide the new battery into place so it lies flat in the mechanism. If there is a small bar or tab to hold it in place, make sure the new battery is sitting neatly underneath. 

Step 5: Reassemble the watch 

Follow the previous steps in reverse to reassemble your watch. Place the plastic ring back inside the case where it was before and make sure it is sitting flat in the watch case. Then, push the cover back on. You should hear a small click when it’s in place. 

Step 6: Set the time 

After changing the battery, you’ll probably need to set your watch to the right time again. Pull up on the knob on the top of the watch and twist to adjust the time. Then push the knob in again to set it.