Replacing Watch Batteries

A 173 Short

There is peace in the simplest of things. - me

If you're anything like me, you sometimes find the greatest joy in doing some of the simplest things. Maybe it's sitting on the porch on a rainy day,  or putting Turtle Wax on some restored old tools.  Well, this time it was about the simple joy of changing the batteries in some of my watches.  Let's get into it. 

A Drawer Full

It all started because I have a drawer full of watches, all of which were graveyard dead.  Like most of the world I spent about a year and a half working from home, so I had little use for a wristwatch.  And I've been back at the office for about a year now and just feel like it's time to wear a watch again.  

Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.

Mind! I don't mean to say that, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a doornail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a doornail. ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

The Toolkit

A couple of my watches are fairly expensive and have proprietary casebacks that need special tools to open the watch just to change the battery.  So I called a local jeweler and, now get this - about $50 to change one watch battery!  $50!  Now, I'm not always cheap, but $50 is ridiculous!   So - I did what any sensible man would do - I bought a watch repair kit for about $20!

And it turned out to be a nice kit! Here's what it came with:
  • Watch Case Holder
  • Watch Band Holder
  • Adjustable Case Opener
  • Small Hammer
  • Link Pin Remover
  • Tweezers
  • Spring Bar Tool
  • Watch Back Pry Opener
Worth every penny!  And, while I won't get real technical here, for everyone's reference, including mine, here's a quick watch anatomy:

Getting to Work

After gathering ten of our favorite watches (I know - ridiculous!), I used the case opener to pop the casebacks off the watches, a necessary step to figure out what batteries each needed.  Turns out we needed five different sizes!  

In the tick-tocking, round-the-clock whirlwind of life, where moments fleet past us like sand through an hourglass, we often find ourselves captivated by the wondrous creations that mark our passage through time – watches and clocks.

These steadfast keepers of time, with their rhythmic beating hearts, have inspired poetic musings, witty quips, and profound reflections from the greatest minds in history.- Jewelry Cult


And to embody the stereotype of a watchmaker, which may not actually be a stereotype - watch parts are obviously tiny, I had an opportunity to use my magnifier!  I love that thing, it even sits on the bookcase in the dining room!

The older I get, the more use this little tool gets.  I think I picked it up about a dozen years ago when I was building my Moebius Invisible Man monster model:

Of which I was rather proud!

And I also used it when, while bemoaning the removal of our Hemlock tree back in '18, I waxed poetic about the tiny seeds of these great trees a la' Henry David Thoreau's Faith in a Seed.

Wow, I've really strayed off the path here, so let's get back to it.  While I'm at it let me just mention that some of the casebacks came off with a little bit of resistance.  As a matter of fact,one of the watches, my Fossil, required use of the caseback remover wrench, which is an interesting tool.  It has a number of different bits that you thread into the base of the wrench. 

Using the adjustment knobs, I lined up the bits to fit into the grooves or notches in the caseback.  From there I was able to unscrew the caseback and get to the movement.  It really is a very interesting tool and it's already paid for itself in the very first use!

Once all the casebacks were open and I could identify what batteries they needed, it was just a matter of ordering them.  I ordered them off Amazon rather than driving all over town trying to find all these sizes of watch batteries.  

It only took a few days for all the batteries to arrive, then it was just a matter of installing them and putting the casebacks back on.  It was a matter of just a few minutes and all my favorite watches were back in working condition!

Looking Forward

While I still have a drawer full of watches, my favorite watches are  sitting on my dresser.  I think the next thing will be to get a case for storing watches. I saw a couple on Amazon, and they looked nice and would look classy on the dresser.  

After that, maybe I'll start working on some of the other watches.  There's a couple inexpensive watches that have a very nice design, I'll probably start with them!

And, there we have it, the story of one of those peacefully simple little things that occupy the mind and are good for the soul as well as the wallet!  Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next time!
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