How to Change a Lithium Battery in Your Watch

If you own a sport style watch or a watch with a digital display, it probably runs on a lithium battery. Luckily, changing this battery is a process that can be done at home with the right tools. Here is a handy guide to help you change your lithium watch battery, step by step.

Before you get started, you will need a few tools including a parts tray, non-magnetic tweezers, plastic tweezers, and finger cots. It is important to have these tools on hand to avoid damaging your watch during the process.

The first step is to open the watch case back. This may require removing the watch band. You can find help with these steps by clicking on the links available. Once you have the back removed, make sure to wear plastic finger cots to avoid transferring dirt, oils, and grease to the watch movement.

You may encounter a wide rubber or plastic gasket across the movement, which you should remove to access the battery. The battery will be held in place with a latch strap that is partially under the battery. There may be a sticker on the battery and strap with instructions for opening it.

Be cautious when working with the watch movement to avoid damaging or moving any of the precision parts. Be particularly careful of springs that stick out. You may not be able to see the battery number until you remove the latch strap. Use caution when removing the old battery so you do not lose it.

Find where the strap locks into place and use non-magnetic tweezers to grip the metal latch piece in the opening. Push the metal latch down with your tweezers before pulling them out towards you to release the metal latch. Take your plastic tweezers and grip the battery to remove it. You may need your non-magnetic tweezers to slip the battery out of its slot before you can remove it completely.

Examine the battery to find the replacement number, which is usually a four-digit number preceded by two letters, generally CR. Using the number from the old battery, find your replacement battery. Pick up the new battery with the plastic tweezers, making sure that the side of the battery with the engraved number is facing upwards.

Lift up the latch strap and slide the new battery under it and into the battery slot, ensuring that the plus side with the number is facing up. You may need to use your fingers to push the battery into place finally.

Take your non-magnetic tweezers again and grip the tab of the latch strap that locks into place in the movement. Hold the movement steady and in place with your free hand, reverse what you did to remove the latch — push it down and then back toward the battery until it slips into place.

Finally, you need to restart the movement with the new battery. Take your non-magnetic tweezers and put one pointed tip in the hole marker as a negative charge. Place the other tip of your tweezers in the AC port in the movement. Once both tips of the tweezers are in contact with the movement ports, your watch should be running again.

When you are done, replace the wide rubber or plastic gasket over the movement to keep it cushioned away from the metal back. Discard or recycle the old battery and replace the watch case back. For more information on how to close your watch back, check out these videos.

With these simple steps, you can change the lithium battery in your watch easily and avoid costly repairs. To learn more about do-it-yourself watch repair, visit’s learning center.