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How much should replacing a watch battery cost?

How much should you pay to get your watch battery changed? A couple of quid? Under a tenner? How about £25? Where’s best and cheapest to replace watch batteries?

I haven’t worn a watch for quite some time, but I do have a small collection of ‘dead’ watches in my bedside drawer. I’ve spent the past few years limiting my time-telling to checking the clock on my smartphone.

However, I thought I’d start sporting my Casio watch again. My grandma gave it to me a good decade ago, but rather than going out-of-date, it seems to have grown into some kind of retro fashion item.

So, all I needed to do was get a new battery installed. Simple; I’ll just pop to my nearest cobblers/locksmith – you know the ones where they repair shoes, cut keys, replace watch batteries and the like.

I can’t remember the last time I did this, so I just asked the man over the counter whether he could replace the battery and he said ‘yes, of course’. He ushered me to hand over my watch…

How much should replacing a watch battery cost?

The cost of replacing your watch battery will depend on the watch. If it’s a waterproof Omega, you may have to pay as much as £65 to send it off to be done professionally. They can replace the seal and guarantee its continued water resistance.

For a normal watch, it can depend on where you go. A jeweler may charge you around £10. A market watch repairer could charge just £3.

In fact, Bill Burnell told me on Twitter that it costs him ‘the price of the battery with free fitting as a courtesy’. For reference, most watch batteries cost one or two pounds.

So, how much did the man over the counter ask me to pay? £24.95.

I was a little taken aback, but felt I had almost promised to hand over my watch – I couldn’t turn him down.

He got busy with his specialist tools, popped in a new battery, and handed it back in under 10 minutes, adding: ‘I’m sorry I don’t know how to set it. That’s £24.95 please’.

I paid and said ‘don’t worry, I can do that’.

Paying more than the price of your watch

I don’t know why I went through with it. I had my chance to say ‘no, don’t worry, I’ll go somewhere cheaper’.

It’s not really like me to be embarrassed but, on this occasion, I wasn’t really sure how much it should have cost. I’m even more bitter now that I’ve spotted you can buy the same watch from Argos for £19.99…

In a way, I’m broadly happy to pay £25 if it helps keep these independent shops afloat in this time of shops going bust.

Should I complain? I don’t think so. It was my fault for handing over my watch. I just shouldn’t be embarrassed to say ‘no’.


The important thing is to ask the correct questions and not assume anything when you take your watch in for a battery.

1) Are the batteries a quality silver oxide
2) Are the seals checked and replaced if misshaped /damaged
3) Is the crown/stem seal checked and lubricated
4) Is there a pressure test service available if required
5) Are the case and bracelet cleaned to remove any trapped dirt?

If the answer to all of these questions is yes, how long will it take and what is the charge.
Anything less than fifteen minutes they are only removing the back putting in the battery and refitting the back again.

Paul Apple says:
22 November 2020

You’re expecting an awful lot for a change of battery. I trust you expect to pay for that too.

With the exception of number 5, not really. Whether you choose to get your battery replaced properly or not, any decent watchmaker will give you the option to carry out numbers 1 through 4. If they can’t they are likely quite incompetent. Other than the kind of people that are quite happy to pay for things that they can’t afford to properly maintain most people are happy to pay for the resealing process on a decent watch. Not Robert though. He’s really quite capable of doing all those things himself.

Had a call from a gentleman a couple of days ago asking if I had any of the tiny screws that hold down a battery strap for a watch, apparently he had tried to change the battery on a couple of watches and lost the screws when they pinged off.

As there are a large number of screws used I asked him to bring the watches in and I would either have the correct ones in stock or I would be able to order them in once I was able to see which calibres they were.

Well he came in today with one watch telling me he used one of the other screws from it to fix the other watch, when I removed the case back he had lost the strap securing screw and had used one of the screws from the coil to fix the other. I found the correct screws in my spares and proceeded to fit them but discovered a disaster, he had damaged the coil when his screwdriver slipped and when I fitted the battery the movement was dead as a Dodo.

The bad news is the movement fitted is now obsolete, but the good news is replacement coils are still available so he has had a expensive lesson and his wife will have her watch back on her wrist in the next few days.

Well another new customer who decided to take his watch to the local St Albans heel bar and now regrets it.

A gentleman phoned on Monday asking if I would be able to sort his quartz analogue/digital watch which had misted up. He brought it to me today apparently he had a new battery fitted a few weeks ago at a nationwide high street heel bar, last week he jumped into the swimming pool with his daughter forgetting he was wearing his watch which is approximately ten years old and of sentimental value.

Well the inevitable happened it filled with water even though it was originally water resistant to 100meters, as I removed the case back the reason for the entry of water was obvious the original seal was half missing and instead of telling the client the previous people just took the money and said nothing.

Fortunately as the client brought it to me fairly quickly there wasn’t too much water damage and the slight rusting which had started to appear was quickly dealt with.

I dried the movement and fitted a new battery, fortunately it started working although the digital part wasn’t functioning properly, I thoroughly cleaned and dried the case/bracelet lubricated the push buttons and crown/stem seals, refitted the movement plus new case back seal then the case back.

The digital part may start working properly once the circuit board has dried properly but that maybe wishful thinking.

today I paid £21.95 for a new battery and fitting for my Skagen watch at Timpsons heel bar in West Quay, Southampton. Was this a fair price?

£10 to £15 is reasonable and £20 is starting to get towards the high side.

I don’t think the price is what I’d be worried about. I’d be worried about the quality of the repair from a store that doesn’t specialise in watch repairs. As an example we charge £14.99 for a battery and seal test on the majority of Skagen watches (which I think is very reasonable considering the quality of the work) but we’re a specialist. I don’t think £21.95 is too expensive but there are certainly better options with regard to quality.

I wouldn’t condemn Timpson’s work out of hand or say their quality is deficient, but the more unusual the watch type the more likely it is that they won’t have all the necessary experience and techniques. They should know their limitations and decline work they have less confidence in.

For most people there are not many specialist watch repairers around. Some jewellers might have one on the premises but most jewellers could not really be described as specialists these days and are mainly concerned with selling a wide range of goods that includes clocks and watches. They will take in watches for repair locally or send them off to a manufacturer.

So, many people have little choice but to use Timpson’s or similar places. Timpson’s probably regard themselves as watch repair specialists as they don’t diversify very much – mainly just cobbling and key-cutting [which obviously demand a different degree of precision and finesse] – and the company has a certain reputation to maintain. The quality of work will largely depend on the extent and quality of the training and the experience of the individual member of staff doing the work. The same is true of other shops and there have been examples in this Conversation where people have paid a lot of money for a watch repair handled by a jeweller’s shop or the manufacturer’s workshop which has not been satisfactory and had to be remedied by a professional watchmender.

I agree with TheWotcher and John, if a pressure test is included in the £21.95 then it is good value but if as is usually the case it is just a back off change the battery and refit the case back without lubricating any of the seals then I would suggest £7 to £10 would be reasonable.

Without knowing the full details of what was actually done it is difficult to give a like for like costing and would be unfair to comment on the people concerned just using assumptions as to what was or wasn’t done.

Quite right John, I absolutely agree. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, I don’t have a beef with Timpsons specifically (in fact I believe them to be a good company overall), I’ve just seen that many jobs carried out improperly by cobblers that it grinds my gears a bit especially when they market ‘lifetime’ batteries. I’ve spoken to no end of customers to whom I’ve had to explain that a lifetime battery doesn’t really exist, and that no, our batteries aren’t of a lesser quality just because they last a standard two to three years. You do have to question the intelligence of somebody who believes that Timpsons can supply a lifetime of power in a silver oxide cell and nobody else can though. Imagine thinking that a British cobblers has potentially solved any potential impending worldwide energy crisis 😉

I have no personal experience, so do Timpson’s claim that their batteries last a lifetime – or merely undertake to replace them free of charge when they expire?

If the latter, that is factored into their higher price for that level of service on a discounted cash flow basis whereby the company assumes many owners will have lost the certificate, or will not remember that the last battery fitted was under the ‘lifetime’ scheme, so they will not have to honour the guarantee in the majority of cases. .

Also, is it only the cost of the battery that is covered by Timpson’s ‘lifetime’ guarantee, or does it include the work involved in opening the watch, replacing the cell, and sealing and reclosing the watch? Since different watches involve varying levels of work I can’t believe one simple guarantee fits all circumstances.

To the best of my knowledge the deal includes battery replacements for the lifetime of the watch upon production of the original receipt. I’m not sure if this includes resealing and pressure testing but I doubt it.

Your second paragraph pretty much sums it up. In my experience many customers don’t seem to fully understand it which I imagine is more a fault of Timpsons staff or advertising clarity.

The bigger issue from my point of view is that in the event that the work is carried out poorly then when the watch is returned for its next battery, if the watch is deemed to be faulty and requires a service, then this is not covered under the battery guarantee. Poor battery fitting can easily cause this problem and the customer is usually completely unaware of it and has no recourse. I think the whole thing is a bit gimmicky and no self respecting watch repairer would offer a similar service.

The services offered by Timpson is described here: https://www.timpson.co.uk/services/watch-repairs

“We were the first company to introduce a life-time guarantee on watch batteries. That means you pay once & we replace your battery free of charge as long as you own the watch.” There is no claim that a battery will last indefinitely, which is obviously impossible.

Offering free battery replacements for life is not limited to watch batteries and you can buy a car battery with a lifetime guarantee from Halfords.

I completely agree with TheWatcher, the issues that can be caused if the battery is badly installed are numerous and may not be immediately obvious and will not be covered by any lifetime battery guarantees.

Only last week I had a lady bring her watch in for a new battery, when I removed the case back I could see the battery holding strap had been fitted upside down and only secured by one holding screw (could cause a short circuit), fortunately once I had fitted a new battery correctly including fitting the strap the correct way around securing the strap at both ends the watch worked fine.

If the watch hadn’t worked the customer would have had a repair bill for someone else’s mistakes which isn’t fair to the customer.

Thanks for that, Wavechange.

Timpson’s service description looks impressive, but some doubts remain about the capability of the staff in the local branches; they seem to have around six to eight staff each who are on a roster to cover the opening hours and it is pot luck who is on duty when you turn up with your watch.

Having read the Timpson’s literature I would have more confidence in using them than other high street chain jewellery shops. However, I would expect a specialist and dedicated watchmender to be more dependable than Timpson’s if dealing with a more complicated or more sophisticated watch. I have a couple of Rotary watches that need new batteries and would benefit from a proper service so I took the advice given on Timpson’s website and looked up the British Horological Institute’s list of accredited watch repairers in my area. There are very few listed for Norfolk and only one for Norwich who I was already aware of because he advertises widely. Most towns in the county have one or more independent jewellers who do carry out battery replacements and repairs but there does not appear to be a comprehensive service guide to these firms.

As Robert James says above, the customer has absolutely no idea how good or bad a job has been done on their watch, and no means of checking either. Perhaps the specialist trade could help itself and find a way of bringing its superior – and sometimes cheaper – service to the public’s attention.

In order to become a member of the British Horological Institute, a repairer will have to pay a fee and satisfy the Institute that the company/individual is competent to be a member. From the BHI website: “The people you find on our professional register have satisfied the BHI’s stringent requirements for accredited membership, so you can be confident about their skills and experience.

All these members have agreed to abide by the BHI’s Code of Practice (see below). While our members have agreed to abide by the BHI’s Code of Practice, the BHI is unable to intervene in disputes that may occur between repairers and clients, and recommend that wherever possible such issues are resolved amicably and avoid legal recourse if at all possible.”

This gives me, as a consumer, little confidence in BHI membership and we are not even told if BHI will remove members if there are complaints. If I had an expensive watch I would probably rely on a recommendation from the manufacturer.

I realise that it’s nearly three years since I last replaced the battery in my inexpensive watch: https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/get-watch-battery-replaced-cost-price/#comment-1426737 I have checked for leakage a couple of times, as advised by Robert. I don’t wear the watch very often and it never gets wet. I wonder if I can get another silver oxide battery for 99p including postage.

My unbranded everyday watch is one of the most reliable I have ever had and a battery exchange is quick and cheap at a van in the main shopping street!

An on-line search has suggested some more professional places that I might try for work on my better watches.

I am wary of places in the shopping mall with glitzy shop fronts and staff in white coats. I prefer the more traditional image.

Yes, horses for courses as they say. I lost confidence in a high street jeweller when they threw away the seal for the back case of my watch and told me it was no longer waterproof. My present watch still has its seal in place after after a couple of visits to a local trader and my own efforts.

Wavechange won’t be the first or last person to have a case back seal past its prime thrown away by a high street jeweller, any company who does a quality job will always keep new gaskets in stock ( I keep 150 different sizes) and will replace any seals which are past their best.

I have had watches in with seals missing, broken or damaged by the person who did the previous battery change and the customer wasn’t even aware of the problem.

“Perhaps the specialist trade could help itself and find a way of bringing its superior – and sometimes cheaper – service to the public’s attention.” I’m trying my best but I can tell you, that costs a lot of money, John 🙂

I can say with some confidence that Timpsons are a better bet for watch repairs on-site than your average multiple jeweller. I say multiple because some independents do have a skilled watch repairer on-site whereas it’s rare in a multiple. However, when large jewellers have a workshop of their own the results are usually better. Having said that I have seen some of them carry out some awful work or turn down repairs that should be carried out easily.

The BHI is a great institution but just because a company has been deemed credible and pays its subscription to them it doesn’t mean all the company’s staff are competent. As Robert says, the fee isn’t worth it to the majority of watchmakers and there are many very competent repairers that aren’t willing to pay the fee.

“I am wary of places in the shopping mall with glitzy shop fronts and staff in white coats.” Ah, The Watch Lab. That’ll cost you 🙂

Unfortunately, when trying to find somebody that knows their job your best bet is trial and error. This can be costly though so try and find recommendations where possible.

Sean says:
1 October 2019

A Timpsons Lifetime battery is guaranteed for the lifetime of the watch, they will replace the battery free of charge in any branch when you present your lifetime battery card, the card has details of your watches case number And make as identification. Just don’t lose your card or you will lose your guarantee Also, if a Timpsons employee damages your watch they will replace it or send it to their central workshop if it can be repaired.

Eduardo says:
11 June 2020

Timsons life battery, as explained to me, for the charge, they will replace the battery as many times as requested

I had my battery changed at Timpsons yesterday. It was £10 for a years guarantee, or £15. For a lifetime guarantee. I opted for the latter for piece of mind. When picked it up it was £15.95!! Don’t know if this was a fair price or not, as jewellers near us have closed down.

No it was not a fair price you can buy the tools to remove the back and open up mobile phones etc for as little as £6. Batteries are as little as £3 for 20. All on Amazon. £12.95 saved and 19 more Battery changes free. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoGSitkVwjM

Depending on the watch model and the complexity to change the battery £15.00 is acceptable, I charge either £5.00 or £10.00 for battery replacement using swiss silver oxide so something like a Sekonda, Seiko or Rotary would generally be £5.00 as they are relatively straightforward to do and Omega, TAG, Longines I charge £10.00 as they tend to have straps and covers to deal with, also I clean the case and bracelets in the ultrasonic.

You have to remember that you need to keep the receipt/card from Timsons to enable you to claim the lifetime battery change when needed.

25 October 2020

I can verify that if Timpsons employee damages your watch they will send it away for repairs as they did when they cracked my wife watch glass.

Paul Apple says:
22 November 2020

Maybe it’s your location. I live in West Yorkshire and it costs between £5 and £8 for a Renata or Rayovac replacement from a watch repairer. If you go to a nice shiny jeweller you can expect to pay double that, which I highly resent for doing exactly the same work.

Not even the exact same work. The vast majority of jewellers have poorly trained staff do it. At least with a watch repairer you have more chance of having it done properly although for £5 to £8 it’s highly unlikely it’s getting done the way it should be.

Paul K says:
6 March 2021

I paid for a Timpson’s lifetime replacement on an old Seiko watch and have had the battery replaced two or three times. I think it’s very reasonable for the £15 I paid ten years ago. I change the battery myself on my Swatch and an old Tissot watch. It is very easy.

As has been said numerous times on this thread, the only reason you think it’s easy is because you’re probably doing it wrong. Just because you think you’ve done it right it doesn’t mean you have. If it packs in you won’t understand why. The £15 you spent at Timpsons is a much better idea than doing it yourself because even as a cobblers and not a specialist they will still be better at it than you are. That’s not saying a lot however. I have plenty of experience of the work of cobblers. A cobblers cost one of my customers £1,500.

Not all good watch repairers are members of BHI as the cost of membership with the few benefits you have of being a member isn’t financially worthwhile; you tend to find specialists who have the equipment for making replacement parts for obsolete movements are more likely to be members.

When trying to find someone who can do a battery change and give sound advice I would suggest using good old GOOGLE to find people in your area and look closely at the reviews/comments left by previous customers as this will be a good indicator as to what sort of service you are likely to receive.

I got a watch back remover for £3.50 and a battery for £2.75 inc delivery online – now when I need a new battery it costs me under £3 and five minutes to do it myself.

Having a paintbrush doesn’t make you an artist. Seeing as you can get a proper watchmaker to replace a battery for you properly for around a fiver it seems a bit of false economy. You’ll have saved yourself a whopping £2.74 (or about a £1 a year) for the convenience of having it done badly.

What is wrong with learning to do jobs for yourself? I have replaced my watch battery twice, without any problem. It’s not an expensive watch, so there is no danger of causing expensive damage.

I am not wanting to put watchmakers or anyone else out of business but think it is valuable to learn new skills.

Who said there was something wrong with learning to do jobs yourself? I do an awful lot of my own brickwork, plastering, joinery, electrical work, plumbing, computer building, use custom operating systems etc etc. I’m pretty capable but I’m not a pro at any of these and wouldn’t for one moment assume that my work was 100% without having it checked by a pro. Nor am I equating the quality of my brickwork etc with that of a pro. As a very experienced watchmaker once said to me, thinking you know what you’re doing is not the same as knowing you know what you’re doing.

No, but you did imply that replacing a watch battery yourself might be false economy, but it all depends on the example. I’m not suggesting that anyone without experience should dismantle an expensive watch but there is little to be lost by having a go with a child’s watch. There is little to be lost in trying to repair household goods that would otherwise be thrown out. Ever since I was a child I have found great satisfaction in tackling jobs myself.

Tom Ryan says:
23 February 2019

Hello everyone, my wife has a Swarovski watch and the battery needs replacing. Can I take to any jeweler or does it have to be a Swarovski shop. Its a Daytime Rose Gold Plated model number 5213671. Thanks Tom

My suggestion would be to find a watch repairer with a good reputation and ensure it is resealed. Some Swarovski watches can have quite tight case backs and are likely to be scratched by an inexperienced watch repairer (this does depend on the model though). It’s worth noting that Swarovski won’t supply parts to none Swarovski stockists so if somebody does make a serious hash of it it will likely have to go to Swarovski at great expense. The irony is that Swarovski stockists are the most likely to make a mess of it (as retailers and not watchmakers), unless they send it back to Swarovski themselves. I hope this helps.

I agree with TheWotcher, it is best to find a local watch repairer with a good reputation rather than go to a stockist/large retail outlet.
The number of watches I have come across my bench with bad scratches and gouges due to inexperienced staff trying to remove the back, invariably the stockists are not properly set up for battery changes and prefer to return to the brands service centre which tends to take a long time and is quite expensive.

i have a fossil q gen 3 smart watch i was quoted £50-60 to change the rechargeable battery is this a fair price

Hello Tony, I must admit I’m not very familiar with the FOSSIL smart watch but I do believe it does not use a normal rechargeable battery as used in the SEIKO Kinetic/CITIZEN Eco Drive ranges.

To supply and fit a new capacitor/rechargeable battery for the above will normally be in the region of £25 – £35

I have looked at what is involved in changing a FOSSIL battery and it is a very fiddly and delicate operation so I think £45 – £55 to supply and fit a new battery is probably a reasonable charge.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

The rechargeable battery used in the Gen 3 does not have an equivalent in the normal silver oxide or lithium round batteries, it is basically a thin oblong block similar to what you would find in some mobile phones with fly leads to connect it to the circuit board, I don’t know what the cost for these batteries are so the £35 to £55 to supply and fit is probably nearer to the correct price.

Wow – I thought that I was being ripped off paying AUD 21.95 for a battery change in my wife’s watch at my local shoe repair/cobblars stall in my local shopping centre (Near Sydney NSW).
Looking at the exchange rates this would have cost me the equivalent of AUD 46 !!
(AUD 21.95 is only around GBP 12)

If you paid that to have your watch repaired at a cobblers instead of a watch repairers you probably were ripped off.

Just had my Rotary watch battery renewed for £9.99 at H Samuels with no guarantee for being waterproof, if that was required it would be more expensive.

That is the usual spiel from them as they don’t keep any spare gaskets in stock so if one needs replacing due to damage they will replace the back without the seal and return it to you without telling you that it needs a new seal.

Providing who ever fitted the new battery refitted the original gasket providing it isn’t damaged it should be fine for normal wear, if you want to go swimming while wearing your watch you will need to get it double checked plus a pressure test to be certain all is well.

If you ever notice any clouding inside the glass irrespective of how slight it is, get your watch to a professional ASAP otherwise you will have a very expensive repair due to rust.

Thats nothing I put my Gshock compass watch into H.S Samuel for a battery change valuation I got a email telling me my watch was now working, when i got to the shop I got hit with a £75 bill ,but i was lucky the woman that had taken it from me spoke up that it should have been a valuation ,in the end I paid the £15 valuation cost and got my G shock back ,the nattery only lasted a year my first battery lasted 5 years so it must have been a cheep shoddy battery that got fitted

Peter Robert says:
3 January 2021

If you check the original battery code number first check price on the web.If you invest in a quality screwdriver set and a rubber clamp for secure grip.plus a watch back plate tool .have a steady hand and a good eye you can replace most everyday low price watch batteries.But if it is expensive ,leave it to the company who made it and send it security post.

19 January 2021

I have a cheap Casio used only on fishing trips. The battery is dead, so will simply replace the watch for about £8 Thanks Ebay !!

Richard says:
17 February 2021

My local Jeweller charges £3 and I buy the battery myself so I suppose that would be £5 if you don’t buy the battery even so my jeweller tells me he can get virtually any battery for a quid trade price. He reckons that any one charging more than £10 for a five minute job is ripping you off.

Well I can almost certainly guarantee that the ‘quality’ of work the jeweller you’re using to fit your batteries is worth £3, and even that may be overpriced. He’s relying entirely on telling you what a rip off everyone else is to appeal to his customers’ reluctance to part with their money and thinks his is a fair price because he has not a clue how to do it properly. And he’s probably correct and likely causes more damage than he realises. If you’re happy with that then more power to you but it’s false economy. Any decent watchmaker would no doubt watch with bewilderment at him fitting a battery into a watch. I’m pretty certain that a watch repairer on the market would do a better job and it’s rare you’ll hear me say that.

Had a gentleman bring his Cartier quartz watch in, the issue was it had a new battery fitted but the watch kept stopping.
When I removed the case back I noticed the battery was not secure and on closer inspection I could see the positive contact had been twisted and wasn’t making proper contact with the battery.
I asked the client who had fitted the new battery and he said he had done it himself as he didn’t trust the Jewellery shops.
Anyway I fitted a new contact plus battery and all is fine and the client will be returning for his next battery change.

I was quoted £16.95 this morning at Timpsons for a replacement battery. I declined. I can buy a new watch for that. I have seen the same battery online, free delivery, for £1.55. Do not know how they can justify the price.

This timeline of comments appears to have gone nuts, but I’ll assume the date of your comment is correct and reply accordingly. It has been pointed out on this thread numerous times the fallacy of your logic. It should be quite clear to anyone with even the remotest grasp of how businesses work that the cost of the battery is negligible in comparison to the rest of the costs of running that business. I have well over six figure costs to recoup every year before we even become profitable. So while people flood the BBC News site complaining that there aren’t enough lorry drivers because they should be paid more whilst simultaneously complaining about the price they pay for things in the shops the lorry drivers deliver to, business owners like myself sit here, head in hands wondering why this is so complicated for some people to understand.

If a watch cost less than £17 and you can buy a battery for £1.55 and fit it yourself then it makes perfect sense to me. If you have an expensive watch it would make no sense.

As a couple of watch repairers have pointed out, they do the job properly but, like all professionals, have to charge a rate that makes it profitable. They point out how many non-professional repairers and amateurs have done the job incorrectly. Fine for a cheap watch but otherwise I’d have it done properly.

Anyroads does not say whether he is replacing the battery in a cheap watch, or just that he can buy a cheap watch for the price that Timpsons would charge.

Thanks for the report @alfa – I’ll look into getting this thread back in order, if possible to do so.

All the more important to sort out your watch batteries as well.

John Ward says:
8 July 2021

Just had batteries replaced in two ladies watches, a Longines and a Raymond Weil, and they EACH cost £35…….at a local jeweller! My own fault, I didn’t ask. However, I won’t be going there ever again!

John – Those are high-quality watches requiring very careful handling once the back is removed and precision adjustment to restore their reliable timekeeping and working characteristics. I think the prices you were charged were fair in the circumstances and it goes with the brand.

Of course, you could have taken the watches to a street corner key-cutting and cobbling kiosk and got them done for half that price, but I assume the lady owner of such excellent watches deserves better than that.

So, about a third of the price the manufacturer would charge you then? If there’s one thing I’ve learned about people in my decades of watchmaking it’s that they are quite happy to purchase an expensive watch to impress other people but are not prepared to pay to maintain them correctly. There’s a reason why it was £35 (a bargain if done correctly). The fact that you don’t know why that is is not the fault of the jeweller.

I have noticed a sudden increase in the number of clients that are asking about the resealing of their watches when coming in for new batteries even though most of the time they don’t really understand what is meant by the term, I’m pleased about this as it gives me the opportunity to explain the differences between the options/procedures when fitting a new battery in a water resistant/waterproof watch.

It might be worth putting a link to a YouTube video on your website. Here is one by Mark Lovick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCBxuxFARZ0 TheWotcher recommended Mark’s videos a few years ago and they are fascinating.

Barbara Armfield says:
15 August 2021

dont know why Timps charged me £23 on Friday either!

Many Timpson shops are franchises and the franchisee may set their own prices for services provided within the shop to reflect the local overheads, competition and demand.

Craig says:
9 June 2017

Yes I was quoted £20 to replace a battery in a casio watch in the Oracle, Reading. Complete ripoff – you can buy the batteries AND a complete set of tools for less than £6 on amazon.

As a watch repairer with many, many years experience, that is the attitude of somebody who will:

– Scratch a coil
– Lose a battery clamp
– Not AC it
– Fit the wrong battery
– Strip a screw head
– Not be able to get the back off/on
– Lose the alarm spring
– Lose/squash/cut the back gasket
– Snap the neg contact
– Drop dirt in the watch clogging the movement
– Lose the module surround
– Lift the movement contacts above the pushers
– Break the dial feet
– Knock the hands off
– Snap a rigid strap
– Not be able to set the watch up correctly

… the list goes on.

The idea that all you need are the tools is pretty ignorant. While £20 sounds a bit steep to fit a battery in some Casio watches, a large number of them are very complicated, particularly WaveCeptor or dual display models. It’s more work by a distance than fitting a battery in a Breitling and resealing it. The world is full of people who think things are a rip off. Normally it’s because they don’t understand the process.

I charge between £5 and £8 to fit a Silver Oxide battery to most any basic Quartz watch. I then test the watch and re-assemble properly. I do not conduct a hydrostatic pressure test but apply a touch of Sil Grease to the rear plate O ring or replace as required. Extra work is of course at extra cost. Yes, I am an amateur watch repairer of most types of watch except F300 and Accutron and one or two others for which I cannot obtain replacement parts. This is a hobby for me and what anyone else does I do no know.

Yes, Spot on Nigel. I am Not a watchmaker just an amateur Jobber Fixer. I had training from an old Vacheron Constantin Geneva trained watchmaker many years ago alas, now gone. Only one comment to make, that is stay away from boot repairers/key cutters if you want your watch properly serviced. Just commenting on the the damaged Quartz watches that have been brought to me for re-instatement.

Something has gone wrong with the chronology of this thread. How can comments from 2017-2020 be replies to a comment posted two days ago?

Ironic really on a conversation about timekeeping devices. This thread must have had its battery changed on the market 😉

Yes, and I got it wrong as well. I should have written “2017-2018” instead of “2017-2020”. The big hand doesn’t know what the little hand is doing.

Perhaps the confusion arises from the third hand being called the second hand.

Yes, even in a brand new watch.

🙂 It’s good to see this Convo reincarnated. I wonder if there have been any recent developments.

@jon-stricklin-coutinho @gmartin
These comments have lost their parent.

Thank you Alfa.

Yes, they have been orphaned, but it has let us enjoy a spell of “winding up the watch of our wit – by and by it will strike” [William Shakespeare The Tempest].