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How to Change Watch Batteries Without Proper Tools

By Diana Nolen

Many watch batteries can be replaced without the use of any special jeweler’s tools. Batteries that are in non-waterproof watches are easily changed. Waterproof watches require special tools when a battery needs to be replaced. To insure the preservation of the waterproof seal, the back needs to be replaced to the original torque.

Insert the edge of a blunt knife along the rim of the watch back. Flip the knife upward. This should cause the back to pop off. Some watches have a rubber ring on the internal rim. If you are careful when removing the back, the ring can be reused. If the ring is damaged, it needs to be replaced.

Locate the size and voltage of the battery; these numbers will most likely be found on the top of the battery. Always make sure that you have the correct replacement battery. Remember if the positive or negative is facing up (+ or -).

Remove the battery. If it is held in by a clip, gently place a small flat-head screwdriver under the clip, lift it up and then out. If it is held in by screws, unscrew them (remember the location of the screws) and remove the battery.

Insert the new battery in the same way the old battery was removed. If needed, use plastic tweezers to insert the battery. Press the battery into place using a plastic object, such as a plastic pen. Do not use metal objects for a new battery.

Replace the backing by popping the cover back into its original place. Make sure the back is in the same direction it was when you removed it. If there is a rubber ring, replace that too.


Things You Will Need

  • Blunt knife
  • Small flat-head screwdriver
  • Watch battery
  • Plastic tweezers


  • Most watch batteries use the 377 (also labeled 626sw) size battery.
  • Most watches should have the battery placed with the positive (+) side up.


  • Do not attempt these steps when a waterproof watch is used. Special tools are required for waterproof watches.

About the Author


Diana Nolen has been a published writer since 2006, with collaborated work published in a "Media Planet" newspaper insert, Tiffin University's "Dragon's Droppings" newspaper, and the "Clearfork Chronicles" newsletter. Nolen is a graduate of Tiffin University with an Associate of Arts in General Arts, and is completing a Bachelor of Professional Studies, also at Tiffin University.