Firstly, I am going to assume that you have a precious watch that is very dear to you. Perhaps it is an inherited piece which has been passed down through generations and has great sentimental value.
Maybe the watch was purchased as an investment by you, or was a special present given to you to mark a particular occasion (such as a birthday or graduation).
A luxury watch is a considerably valuable item, which you will no doubt want to look after carefully so that its performance remains constant.
Many of my clients ask me, “Why is the cost of a battery replacement so varied depending on where I take my watch?” They also ask what is involved in the process of watch battery replacement.
Read on to find out all about watch battery replacement.
How Long Does a Watch Battery Last?
You can expect your watch battery to last between 18 months to five years (this does depend on the age of your watch).
An older watch will need the battery changed more frequently, because as the movement ages, there is a higher consumption of the battery (in general, we recommend replacing the movement after 10 years).
If you have a two or three hand watch, this needs less battery power than a chronograph, so the battery will last longer.
If you are not going to wear your watch for a long time, it is better to remove the battery, as an old battery can leak and damage your watch. Exposure to water or moisture can also cause a battery to leak.
Signs That Your Watch Needs a Battery Replacement and Reseal
Many luxury Swiss watch brands put an end of life battery indicator into their watches; If your watch has a second hand, this will begin to ‘jump’ in four to five second intervals. This is your watch trying to tell you that the battery life is coming to an end.
You will still have several weeks battery life left to give you time to get to a Watchmaker. If your watch stops dead, or is gaining or losing time, this may indicate another fault that is not just battery related.
Where is the Best Place for Watch Battery Replacement?
There are of course places where you can have a battery changed for as little as £5.00, but would you want to take your precious OMEGA there; Would you trust that it would be looked after correctly?
It is much safer to take your watch to a reputable jewellers or accredited Watchmaker. At Burrells, we can either send your watch to the manufacturer (OMEGA for example) or we can do the work for you in-house at our Tunbridge Wells store, where we have our own independent Watchmaker (‘in residence’ in our workshop).
David Carpenter has many years of experience as a Watchmaker and he is accredited by the Swatch Group (which owns OMEGA and Longines). He offers a high level of service; the same standard that you would receive if you sent your watch to a luxury watch brand’s service centre.
Quite a few of our customers don’t feel comfortable with their watch being sent away, so the in-house service we offer is really useful. David can complete the work quickly and the watch doesn’t have to go anywhere.
How Much Does Watch Battery Replacement Cost?
The cost of battery replacement varies depending on the brand. This difference in price reflects the amount of work that needs to be carried out. More complex watches will require more work.
Here are our current battery replacement prices (as of September 2018) for a number of brands:
Raymond Weil: £60
TAG Heuer: £80
If your watch is by another brand and you'd like to find out what a battery replacement would cost, you can contact us via phone or email and we will send you a quote.
What Happens During the Battery Replacement and Reseal Process?
- Once the watch arrives in the workshop, our accredited Watchmaker David Carpenter will check its case for any signs of damage or water ingress. He will also perform a water resistance test.
- The case back is then removed and the battery is taken out and tested. If the battery happens to be working, David will then work to find out what the real issue is.
- The watch’s movement is then tested on a Witschi Analyzer Q1 machine. This measures the consumption rate at which the movement is depleting the battery. If your movement is outside the accepted tolerance, David will recommend either a service on the movement or a brand-new movement.
- Next, David will take the movement out and put it to one side. The case and bracelet are then put into an ultrasonic cleaning machine, to remove any dirt particles and make your watch look sparkling clean.
- Once the case is dry, everything is put back together and a new high-quality silver oxide battery is fitted.
- Fresh lubricant is applied and three gaskets will be changed, along with the crown, the glass and the case back, to ensure water resistance.
- The watch has its final check, which includes a water resistance test.
Your new battery will come with a two-year warrantee.
HOW LONG DOES WATCH BATTERY REPLACEMENT TAKE?
You can expect a battery replacement to be completed within a week of taking the watch to our Tunbridge Wells store or two to three weeks if you take it to one of our other stores.
If our Watchmaker replaces the battery and the watch still didn’t work because they is another issue present, we would contact you with a quote and time estimate to carry out the additional work.
We hope this article has answered your questions about watch battery replacement. If you are fortunate enough to own a luxury Swiss watch, we recommend having your battery changed every 3 to five years even if it is still working.
This will allow the Watchmaker to check for any other minor problems which can easily be rectified at the time of a battery replacement. You’ll then avoid a small problem turning into a much costlier issue.