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Does Your Watch Need a New Battery? When to Seek Professional Watch Repair

While you may wear your timepiece as a fashion accessory, you still count on your watch to keep accurate time. Your watch battery should last two to five years, depending on your watch type, usage, etc. If your ticker isn’t working as smoothly as it once was, your watch battery may be in need of a change.

Does Your Watch Need a New Battery

Dead or dying watch batteries can leak fluid and cause further damage to your watch. It’s important to change it as soon as you notice any of the following issues:

  • Slow Moving Hands—Most people glance at their watch quickly, so you may not notice this at first. But if you examine the hands and they’re not keeping time like they used to, it may be time to replace your watch battery.
  • Second Hand Skips—If your watch’s second hand starts looking erratic, it’s probably time to get it checked out. Some watch brands are made to conserve energy when the battery is getting low. This can cause the second hand to shift to larger intervals like 5 seconds, rather than one second at a time. A skipping second hand may be your watch signaling distress.
  • Not Keeping Time—If you notice your watch is falling behind, this may be a sign that your watch battery is dying, and it’s time to get a new one.
  • Sticky Dials—When you go to adjust your timepiece, if you find the dials or gears “sticky,” it is time to get it checked out. This may indicate that the battery is compromised and needs to be replaced.
  • Foggy Watch Face—If you see condensation on the inside of your watch face, most likely the waterproof seals have been compromised. Moisture inside the watch can lead to corrosion and battery damage.

Replacing watch batteries yourself may be appealing, especially if you have multiple watches in your collection. With the accessibility of watch repair kits and free educational videos online, many people opt for taking watch repair into their own hands. Here are some reasons to consider DIY watch repair:

  1. Cost—Basic watch repair kits can be purchased online or at in-store retailers for $10-$20. A watch battery only costs a few dollars, but you will need to know what size of battery to purchase.
  2. Convenience—While many jewelers offer watch repair, you may not want to wait several days for them to complete a simple battery swap for you. A DIY watch battery replacement option is appealing for those who are in a time crunch or just don’t want to bother with traveling to or shipping your timepiece to a watch repair expert.
  3. Educational Opportunity—If your timepiece isn’t a collector’s item or valuable, you may be excited at the opportunity to open up your watch and learn all about the inner workings. As long as you’re not worried about risking your watch’s integrity, replacing your own watch battery could be a fun way to learn new hands-on skills.

While it is possible to perform some simple watch repairs yourself, opting for the DIY route can open your watch up to a host of potential problems. Without expert knowledge, you could cause internal damage, introduce moisture, or void your warranty. Trusting a professional watch repair expert (even for simple maintenance like a battery change) has many benefits:

  1. Expertise—A watch repair expert has performed even simple repairs like replacing a watch battery hundreds of times or more. They are specifically educated to not only complete the replacement, but to evaluate all watch functions. It’s possible your dying watch battery is only part of the reason your timepiece isn’t operating at its best.
  2. Tools—Watch repair tools are specialized and can be costly, particularly those ensuring waterproof seals. If you perform the maintenance yourself without specialized tools, you may not be restoring it to its original functionality.
  3. Warranty—Depending on your watch, you may be unknowingly voiding the warranty by performing DIY watch repairs. Check with your watch manufacturer about the best course of action.
  4. Complete Maintenance—Even with a simple battery replacement, watch repair experts will perform a complete check of your watch’s other functions. They may be able to spot parts that are wearing out or other potential issues. Once they close it up and return it to you, you can be sure it’s back to peak working condition.

If your watch doesn’t hold any sentimental or monetary value besides helping you keep track of time, DIY repair could be a cool, economical learning experience if you have the patience for it. However, if you have spent significant money on your timepiece or it holds a lot of personal value, it’s best to trust even the simplest watch repairs to a professional. That means enlisting the help of a watch repair shop for Hublot, Patek, Tag Heuer, or Rolex battery replacements, to name a few. By taking your watch to a trusted expert, you can ensure that it will keep on ticking for many years to come.