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Did you know that there are only 20 types of watches? However, all these different watches types rely on one another. In fact, the majority of watches involve combining different watch types together (such as a hybrid, mechanical, military watch).

Watches can be further divided into three main categories. The first category can be defined by the movement of the watch. The other category can be categorized depending on the display of the watch and the third group through watch functionality and style.

To power most watches, watch batteries are required. In this post we offer you the complete guide to batteries for watches, including types of watch batteries and changing a watch battery.

Types of Watch Batteries

Wristwatches have been around since the 16th Century, appearing first in Europe. However, it was until 1957 when the first battery-operated electric wristwatch was released to the public. The Hamiliton Electric 500 debuted with emphasis on their small new watch battery which was the same size as a shirt button.

Unfortunately, the battery had a short lifespan which led to high replacement intervals. The watch was unreliable compared to standard winding watches. To capitalize on their failures, quartz movement supplanted battery power at the end of the 1960’s making Hamilton Electric obsolete.

Nowadays, watch battery brands only manufacture three key chemistry watch batteries (alkaline, silver-oxide and lithium). The batteries are popularly called button cells because of their round nature.

Alkaline Watch Batteries

The batteries are among the cheaper and more reliable watch batteries in the market. Alkaline watch batteries run at a voltage of 1.5 volts. But the rate at which the voltage drops depend on how the battery is being.

The running voltage is regarded as low since watches need constant and relatively high voltage. The alkaline batteries lifespan varies depending on the battery brand. But on average they have a shelf life that lasts for three to five years,

Silver-Oxide Watch Batteries

Silver-oxide watch batteries are the most popular types of batteries. They are pocket-friendly, have a lifespan of ten or more years and have a constant voltage when in use. The battery has a running voltage of 1.55 volts which is slightly higher than alkaline batteries.

It also has a higher nominal capacity (25-55 mAh) and the cut-off voltage is ~1.2 volts.

Lithium Watch Batteries

Lithium watch batteries are either rechargeable or non-rechargeable and primarily 3V batteries. They are known as Lithium button cell because the negative electrode is made of the element.

The positive electrode is either carbon-monoxide or manganese-dioxide.
Learn the following types;


This type of lithium batteries has a nominal voltage of 3.0 V with a cut-off voltage of 2.0V. The batteries have a label starting with the letter “C” and often operate at a temperature range of -20°C and 70°C.


The battery has a nominal voltage of 2.8V with a cut-off voltage of 2.25V. Carbon-monoxide lithium batteries have labels starting with “B” and often operate at a temperature range of -30°C and 85°C.

Changing a Watch Battery

The most important part of replacing batteries for watches is that if you are not sure of what you are doing, don’t do it. It would be best if you took the watch to a repair shop for check-up and battery replacement. The batteries could be good for use but the watch might have developed other problems.

If you decide to DIY the project, then remember that the new watch battery should follow the watch manufacturer’s recommendations. However, you can replace alkaline batteries with silver-oxide watch batteries if your watch is compatible with both. For further details on the type of watch battery to use, locate the watch owner’s guide.

It will have the required battery’s size, type, model and chemistry. Once you have this information, it is time to find out the correct process of changing a watch battery.

Some manufacturers provide tutorials on the process while others insist on sending the watch back to them for battery replacement.
Some of the watches can be opened with minimal effort, others require sophisticated tools.

Ensure that you have the correct tools for opening your watch. With the tools, new battery and watch in hand, just follow the instructions below to get started:

Opening the Watch’s Back

Watches come in very many different types of cases. Slot cases are the easiest to remove since they don’t require any tools. Snap-on cases have a small overlap at some point around their perimeter and require a watch case opener to work it.

Screw-on cases have several notches spaced around the outer perimeter of the case and it would be best if you took the watch to a shop to avoid damaging the watch and its waterproof abilities.

Finding the Battery Information

Once you have opened the watch’s case, you need to identify the suitable replacement battery. Look for the battery’s part number which can either be inside the watch case, the back of the watch case, or on the battery itself. After you locate the information, you can use it to identify and purchase the correct replacement battery.

Remove and Insert

To remove the battery, you need to identify which part of the battery is facing upwards. This ensures that you place the new battery correctly during installation. Remove the old battery carefully using some tweezers if it is stuck in place.

If there are any clips holding the battery down, you can use the tweezers to lift them. You can now place the new watch battery into place ensuring that the right side is placed up.

Return the Watch’s Back

Before returning the watch’s case, confirm if the watch is working optimally and the battery is in the right position. If everything is in order, be careful when closing the watch to avoid damaging or losing the rubber seal that gives the watch waterproof capabilities.

Each watch case has a different way of placing them back; make sure you don’t force the case to fit.

Get The Best Watch Batteries at C.R. Time

The C.R. Time Company has been working directly with watch companies and watchmakers throughout North America for over 30 years. We provide quality wholesale watch batteries for the industry’s biggest brands (Renata, Energizer, Maxell and Murata).

The goal at C.R. Time is to provide their customers with a one-stop shopping experience for all their watch supplies. Contact us today to view our different watch battery types and their benefits.