Personal Finance Apprentice

Do It Yourself Saving Tips: Changing Your Own Watch’s Batteries

Do It Yourself Saving Tips: Changing Your Own Watch’s Batteries

When your wristwatch stops ticking, it’s usually because the batteries are dead. In Metro Manila, a typical watch repair shop (in or outside a mall) will charge you 100 pesos for changing the batteries. And for 300 pesos they also offer a longer-lasting battery guaranteed to last for 3 years.

But do you know where you can get a battery that lasts 3 years for less than 10% of that price?

At your nearest national bookstore, or any store selling batteries (but not car batteries:) – for just under 30 pesos. That’s right, there’s nothing special about those batteries that they place in your wrist watch. What you’re really paying for is the service. After all, you need special training and tools to open wristwatches and change batteries right?

Well, actually, no. I’ve been changing my own wristwatch batteries for years now after my father taught me how. Word of caution though: if you’re not handy with tools or value your watch very highly, it may be best to hold off on this until you’re more confident that you can.

You’ll probably want a professional for these

Changing your watch’s batteries

Some watches actually have a small metal protrusion at the back. This makes it very easy to open the back cover. Just remember to be firm but gentle. The pieces inside the watch are small and do need to be in proper alignment to work. But if you do mess up somehow, putting the parts back in their proper place will get the watch working again.

Other watches don’t have those protrusions. Instead one section has a small – very small – gap between the back cover and the main body. You can use a small but sturdy metal lever to pry these open. (I typically use a small screwdriver, knife, or letter-opener)

Others have snap-on covers and can be opened with levers also (again, be very gentle). Others are screwed on, and you will need a small screwdriver to open these. Be careful not to misplace those tiny screws; they’re practically irreplaceable.

Once the back is open, you can use tweezers to take out the old battery. Note the number on the back; it’s typically a mix of letters and numbers like SR521SW. This is the model/type number and you need to have this so you know which kind of battery to buy. Watch batteries are all pretty much the same size and shape, and this is the only way of knowing which one you need (unless it’s specified in the manual; usually it’s not).

After buying the battery, simply open the back again and use tweezers to set the battery. I actually use just my hands. However you do it, just be careful not to disturb the other parts too much.

After that, just re-place the back cover. Make sure it aligns correctly and then pop it in place (or screw it in place).

What costs 300 pesos is now just 28.50 – that’s like getting 90% off.

I’ve been doing this for nine years now. So in that time, I’ve saved over 800 pesos. Doesn’t sound like much, but if I kept it and invested it in BPI or Ayala Corp. stocks it could be worth around 1,600 by now. If I put it in a index fund, it might be worth as much as 1040 or more. So you see, each peso counts. 🙂

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photo credit: char1iej via photopin cc

photo credit: Malenkov in Exile via photopin cc

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