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Thread: Do quartz watches need a 'service' when replacing a battery?

  1. #1

    Red face Do quartz watches need a 'service' when replacing a battery?

    My wife's just been quoted (by an independent watch repair place in Windsor) £110 to replace the battery and 'clean' / pressure test her old Omega 2-tone Constellation. Is this taking the piss? I thought a battery replacement should be no more than £30 or so?

    All input appreciated! :)

  2. #2

    Do quartz watches need a 'service' when replacing a battery?

    Is it working OK?

    I might be tempted to send to another indie!

    Seals and pressure test is always good, but there is not usually any considerable labour or parts from a servicing perspective on quartz.

    Seems a little steep, AD level costs there!


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  3. #3
    Master
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    If the watch is not used for it's true purpose, ie diving, why should it need to be pressure tested. If the seals are still in place and are in good condition then it should be fine with just a new battery.

    These shop's are going to charge the earth for any works carried out so that they can recoup monies lost over the past few years due to CV-19.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    No. They are trying to rip you off. A lot of batteries only last 3 years, are they seriously suggesting that you have the watch serviced every time.

  5. #5
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    Upselling cat muck, they are just trying to milk their sale down the line.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    No. They are trying to rip you off. A lot of batteries only last 3 years, are they seriously suggesting that you have the watch serviced every time.
    ^^^^this^^^*

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hack View Post
    My wife's just been quoted (by an independent watch repair place in Windsor) £110 to replace the battery and 'clean' / pressure test her old Omega 2-tone Constellation. Is this taking the piss? I thought a battery replacement should be no more than £30 or so?

    All input appreciated! :)
    its 2k Omega.

    If you showed up with Lorus,it would be 5£

    Cant believe you are whining about it..you own expensive watch, car or whatever. Pay for it.

  8. #8
    You can get a case opener from AliExpress for maybe 5 quid, then a pound or two for the battery from Amazon (or indeed Aliexpress again). I've been doing this for 10 years or so with my wife's watches, with no problem.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinner77 View Post
    Cant believe you are whining about it..you own expensive watch, car or whatever. Pay for it.
    Saucer of milk to table five please, waitress.

    OP go independent. Battery and pressure test - £30 or thereabouts.

  10. #10
    Master Toshk's Avatar
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    Grand Seiko do recommend service on the 9Fs during battery replacement.

  11. #11
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    Playing devils advocate here - but any fool can replace a battery - takes a bit more training, judgement and skill to make ensure water-tightness (seals are in good order and correctly lubricated - replaced if necessary), any screws not stripped/threaded correctly torqued, cleaned where necessary, etc, etc. Plus no unintended/unintentional collateral damage. Then also guarantee the work…

    I would say that if none of this matters to you, do it yourself or take it to Timpsons. Otherwise (and it depends on what they mean by ‘cleaning’), I don’t think £110 is too terrible, bit pricey perhaps but presumably the work will be fully guaranteed.

    On the other hand, I personally would (and do!) do it myself, but then I am probably a fool
    Last edited by Neil.Ldn; 7th February 2022 at 18:30.

  12. #12
    Grand Master
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    My advice with quartz watches is to run them till the battery life starts to shorten significantly or until they stop. They do eventually need the movement stripping, cleaning and re-oiling but they usually go at least 10 years before this becomes necessary. With the correct test equipment the current draw of the movement can be measured and used as a guideline to service requirements, but not all repairers have this kit (I don`t, too expensive!).

    If the 'service' being offered includes pressure testing, replacement of seals and a check on the health of the movement it's going to cost a bit more than a simple battery change. However, £110 seems excessive to say the least. Omega Constellations require the bracelet to be separated to get good access to the caseback, I wouldn`t try taking the back off without doing this, so that adds to the work a little. The casebacks can be v. tight to pry off, my wife has one so I know from experience.

    There's another aspect that people overlook: if anything goes wrong the repairer has to fix it, it only takes a small slip and the circuit can end up ruined. It shouldn't happen, but no-one's perfect and the repairer then has to dig himself out of an expensive hole. On that basis it's justified to charge more for an Omega than a cheap Casio, some folks won't like that concept but these guys are in business to make money, not lose it, and the risk involved has to be taken into account. That's one reason why repairers turn jobs down on certain brands, or charge more. To some extent it's always worked that way.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by barneygumble View Post
    You can get a case opener from AliExpress for maybe 5 quid, then a pound or two for the battery from Amazon (or indeed Aliexpress again). I've been doing this for 10 years or so with my wife's watches, with no problem.
    That's fine if you've got the skill level and dexterity, together with a watch that's straightforward.

    I`ve fixed several watches over the years for folks who've tried doing battery swaps themselves, it's not the right answer for everyone.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    No. They are trying to rip you off. A lot of batteries only last 3 years, are they seriously suggesting that you have the watch serviced every time.

    Unless a battery is purchased from Timpsons and it will last up to 10 years.

  15. #15
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Why can’t all manufacturers use battery hatches like on the CWC G10, you don’t even need a screw driver. A little different to trying to get the back off a Grand Seiko.
    Last edited by Wallasey Runner; 7th February 2022 at 19:31.

  16. #16
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
    Unless a battery is purchased from Timpsons and it will last up to 10 years.
    Are they using a bog standard long life battery or actually conforming to each manufacturers specification. Getting back to the humble Fatboy CWC/Silvermans recommend a Renata 386 which has about a three year life. I’d rather go with the Renata than a long life whatever.

  17. #17
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    I was quoted around £400 for a service and battery replacement for my Breitling B1 at an AD. No way I was paying that as the watch is hardly worn and has had a easy life. I asked for bare bones battery replacement which still came to around £150. Iíve changed batteries on cheapo watches, but wasnít prepared to take a risk on my B1. Also wasnít happy taking it to one of those watch repair mall stalls. So poneyed up the £150. Wasnít thrilled but chose my poison.


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  18. #18
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linc View Post
    I was quoted around £400 for a service and battery replacement for my Breitling B1 at an AD. No way I was paying that as the watch is hardly worn and has had a easy life. I asked for bare bones battery replacement which still came to around £150. Iíve changed batteries on cheapo watches, but wasnít prepared to take a risk on my B1. Also wasnít happy taking it to one of those watch repair mall stalls. So poneyed up the £150. Wasnít thrilled but chose my poison.


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    For future reference the watch repair guy in Piccadilly Circus tube station changed the battery in my fathers B1 for about 40 quid a couple of years ago. I think itís due a change again, he plans taking it there again.

  19. #19

    Red face

    Thanks for all the input and advice, everyone. Much appreciated!

    I certainly wouldn't do it myself, but £110 for a new battery in an old Omega (now) worth about £500 max seems a bit rich. If it were a GS, Breitling or anything else of significant value I wouldn't be moaning and would have taken it to an AD for the battery change. This was a watch repair concession in a department store, so no idea what guarantee was on offer.

  20. #20
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    My advice with quartz watches is to run them till the battery life starts to shorten significantly or until they stop.
    ^^^^^^ What he said. ^^^.

    Breitling insist on a 'major service' every other year even for quartz. So I'd find a good indie, or do it myself (which I do for my Omega X-33)
    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly soĒ. HHGTTG

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
    Unless a battery is purchased from Timpsons and it will last up to 10 years.
    Unless you lose the receipt. Like a member of my household did.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    For future reference the watch repair guy in Piccadilly Circus tube station changed the battery in my fathers B1 for about 40 quid a couple of years ago. I think itís due a change again, he plans taking it there again.
    Thanks for tip. Will remember that for next time itís due a replacement


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  23. #23
    Grand Master
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    InTime charged me £75 for a battery change, seal change and pressure test a few weeks ago on a Doxa chronograph. i swallowed it as it's about the only place timpsons aside that does them locally. On the plus side they also gave the bracelet an ultrasonic clean without me asking.
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  24. #24
    I think it's important to distinguish between the different levels of "service"

    Looking back at my Breitling Avenger Chrono, Breitling offered 2 levels of "service"; a battery change at about £140 and a service at about £450, at typically the 3 and 6 year intervals.

    For £140, as part of the battery change they also replace the seals around the crown, pushers and case back, check the correct operation and pressure test. The waterproofing is covered by the guarantee.

    For £450, as well as all the above they fully strip and clean the watch including stripping, cleaning, lubricating and reassembly of the mechanical bits as the movements still use gears to move the hands round. This cost would likely increase by about £100 if they charged for a hand set (most likely). The waterproofing and rest of the service is covered by the guarantee, but the longevity of the electronics isn't guaranteed.

    The alternatives for me were the local watch battery shop for about a tenner, or DIY for about £3.

    After Breitling refusing to do the £140 battery change because in their view the £450 service was due, I opted for the £3 option.

    My view was that, as most mechanical quartz watches seem to go on forever with just battery changes, paying an average of over £100 a year to potentially reduce the drag on the motor is a false economy.

  25. #25
    Craftsman Ascalon's Avatar
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    A good guide in this is to look at the movement.
    Most quartz movements are not in house, as such, though they may be customised or monogrammed.

    For example, something like a Ronda or ETA movment might be used in a whole family of watches, from a Tissot, to a TAG, to a Breitling or whatever.

    ID the movement and see what various manufacturers recommend. If they all correlate, then go with that.
    If Tissot says 3 years for a major service, but Breitling says every other year, well take your interpretation from there.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Toshk View Post
    Grand Seiko do recommend service on the 9Fs during battery replacement.
    Not in my direct experience. Perhaps they saw something they thought needed addressing.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by The Hack View Post
    My wife's just been quoted (by an independent watch repair place in Windsor) £110 to replace the battery and 'clean' / pressure test her old Omega 2-tone Constellation. Is this taking the piss? I thought a battery replacement should be no more than £30 or so?

    All input appreciated! :)
    Although the responses are focussed on whether and when to service a Quartz, the OP doesnít say thatís been priced, making the £110 even sillier. This is just a battery and pressure test. I think Omega charge £60 for a battery for my wifeís connie, and about £330 come service time (about 10 years).

    Or get a Renata 321, a 1mm screwdriver, and drop it in yourself.

  28. #28
    Master Toshk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGJG View Post
    Not in my direct experience. Perhaps they saw something they thought needed addressing.
    Just a standard quote I remember. They said it was recommended watch was serviced every 3 years during battery change.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    Are they using a bog standard long life battery or actually conforming to each manufacturers specification. Getting back to the humble Fatboy CWC/Silvermans recommend a Renata 386 which has about a three year life. I’d rather go with the Renata than a long life whatever.
    I've bought from Timpsons on occasion and they've always sold Renata.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hack View Post
    Thanks for all the input and advice, everyone. Much appreciated!

    I certainly wouldn't do it myself, but £110 for a new battery in an old Omega (now) worth about £500 max seems a bit rich. If it were a GS, Breitling or anything else of significant value I wouldn't be moaning and would have taken it to an AD for the battery change. This was a watch repair concession in a department store, so no idea what guarantee was on offer.
    My local Omega AD charge £80 for a battery change. I'm not sure if that includes gaskets and a pressure test but I suspect it doesn't. They probably have a 'minor or interim service' option for that like Breitling...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gyp View Post
    I think it's important to distinguish between the different levels of "service"

    Looking back at my Breitling Avenger Chrono, Breitling offered 2 levels of "service"; a battery change at about £140 and a service at about £450, at typically the 3 and 6 year intervals.

    For £140, as part of the battery change they also replace the seals around the crown, pushers and case back, check the correct operation and pressure test. The waterproofing is covered by the guarantee.
    On many Breitling's you can't replace the crown gasket as it's enclosed within the crown, so if they're fitting a new crown and possibly pushers too then £140 isn't bad value.

  30. #30
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    If one doesnít replace the battery does it corrode the the watch as in a remote control ..?


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  31. #31
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitz View Post
    If one doesnít replace the battery does it corrode the the watch as in a remote control ..?


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    It can do yes.
    I would never leave a dead battery in a watch, they do leak

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