Seiko watches are known to be durable watches, but like in all battery-operated devices, the battery will at some point run out. What are your options when this happens? You can either take your Seiko to a watch shop and get a professional to change the battery for you or you can replace the battery yourself.
Changing the battery on your Seiko watch is not a complex process and you can easily do it yourself with just a few tools. Not sure if you should attempt the replacement yourself? Read on to find out how you can easily do it in a few steps and very little time.
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A Brief History of Seiko Watches
The roots of Seiko watches date back to the 19th century. In 1881, aged just 21, Kintarō Hattori founded the business that would become Seiko in Tokyo. At first, he imported the watches he sold, but he aimed to manufacture them and in 1892, he opened a watch factory, Seikosha.
The factory made its first pocket watch in 1895. However, for the first fifteen years, the company made a loss on pocket watches. With the help of some new machinery in 1910, they could increase production and start to make a profit. Despite setbacks caused by the Second World War, the company kept growing.
Seiko watches were the official timekeepers at the Tokyo Olympics, which turned it into a brand recognized around the world. In 1969, the company released its first Quartz watch, the Seiko Astron, and its worldwide popularity soared. The company has since kept up its reputation as an innovative watchmaker.
How to Replace Your Seiko Watch Battery
It is quite straightforward to replace the battery in your Seiko watch. You will need some tools to do this, which we have listed below. It should not take you long to perform the change. However, you should work with caution to avoid any damage to the watch or its mechanism.
Tools You Will Need
- A small screwdriver or a pocket case wrench depending on the type of the case. Check out step two below to find out which tool you will need.
- Tweezers, preferably plastic
- A soft piece of fabric to place between the watch and the table
Since not everyone will have a special tool such as a wrench at home, there are some alternatives you can use. We have listed these below.
- A thin knife – If you do not have a wrench, you can use a knife with a thin blade to open the watch case. However, be extra careful so that the knife does not come to contact with other parts of the watch.
- Scissors – If the backplate of the watch is tight, you can use a pair of scissors to loosen it.
- A flat razor blade – Another tool you can use to open the watch case. You can slide it under the backing hinge and lift it.
Important note on tools: you should not use any magnetic tools such as a magnetic screwdriver. The magnet can easily disrupt the fragile component of your watch.
Once you have gathered the necessary tools, follow the step-by-step instructions to change the battery in your Seiko.
This first step does not apply to all Seiko watch models. It depends on the strap you have on your watch. If you have a strap that closes with a clasp, you need to first open the clasp completely. This is an easy process, as you can see in this video. The video will also help you to visualize the steps we have described below.
Start by placing the watch on a soft fabric with its face down. Using a soft cloth between the watch face and the table will prevent scratches on the face while you replace the battery.
Once the watch is resting on the cloth, you can see the back of the watch easily. Take a look at the case of your watch. It will have a screw-back or a snapback, which are the two options on Seiko watches.
Are there grooves on the back of your watch? If yes, then your watch has a screw-back. You will need a special wrench designed to open watches to open it. If there are no grooves, then it is a snapback. These watches can be opened with a small screwdriver.
A screw-back watch is easier to open. All you need to do is to fit the small screwdriver head inside the hole in the back of the case. Simply twist the screwdriver until the back is loose and you can remove it.
Using a wrench to open a snapback watch is a little more complicated, but our instructions will help you to use the wrench. The first thing to do is to rearrange the wrench so that it fits the three prongs on the outer side of your watch case. Tighten the prongs.
Now twist the handle of the wrench half a turn towards the left. This will ease the back of the case open. When you feel the back is loose, you can remove the wrench and finish opening the watch with your fingers.
Inside your watch, you will find a rubber gasket. This gasket ensures that your watch is water-resistant. Make note of how the gasket was placed inside the watch before you remove it. If you do not place it back exactly how it was before, your watch may not be watertight once you close the case again.
When you have removed the rubber gasket, you should be able to see the existing battery. Before you take the battery out, check which side is facing up. You need to install the replacement battery in the same way.
Now you can use a small screwdriver to remove the battery by placing it under the battery and lifting it. Once you have loosened the battery, you can remove it with your fingers. Use the screwdriver with caution so it does not come into contact with other parts of the watch as this could affect the movement of the watch.
Place the new battery in its holder with the same side facing down as the old battery. It is best to use tweezers to get the battery properly in place. When the battery is in place, carefully turn the watch over to check that the second hand is moving.
Put the rubber gasket back exactly how it was when you opened the watch. You are now ready to replace the back cover.
With a screw-back watch, you will need to screw the case back on. With a snapback watch, you press the back case of your watch down and there will be a clicking sound when it is firmly back in place.
What Do You Need to Know When Buying a Replacement Battery?
When you are buying a replacement battery for your Seiko watch, you need to know the type of battery your watch uses. If your watch came with a user manual, you should be able to find the exact details of the battery you need in there. If you do not have a manual, you will need to open the watch to find out what type of battery you need.
The prices of replacement batteries vary depending on the brand and the type of watch you have. More expensive batteries will last longer. The best quality ones can last around ten years in a low-drain watch, but you don’t have to go for them. As long as you match the specifications of the old battery, cheaper replacements are fine, too.
How Much Do Watch Professionals Charge?
If you rather have a professional change the battery, the prices vary between experts and where you live. However, most will not charge you above $25 plus the cost of the battery. The prices can be higher for water-resistant batteries or chronographic models. The best way to get an accurate price is to take your watch to a dealer for a quote.
When your Seiko watch runs out of battery, you have the option to replace it yourself. As you have seen from our step-by-step instructions, this is not at all difficult to do. There are some important things to remember when you replace the battery.
- Work with caution
- Use the right tools for the job
- Check that you have the right replacement battery
- Make sure to replace the rubber gasket exactly as it was before to keep your watch water-resistant.
If you would like to ask us anything about replacing a Seiko watch battery, you can write your questions in the comments box.