How To Replace Batteries In A Swiss Army Watch

How do I replace the battery in a Swiss Army watch?  There are various ways which the company might use to attach the case back, which must be removed in order to replace the battery, on a Swiss Army watch. This is usually dependant on model. These methods are as follows. A screw down case back where the case back itself is threaded, you will tell this type by the regularly spaced slots on the back of the case back for a wrench. Press fit case backs will have a slot for a case knife which lays along the edge of the case back and case. The last is the back which uses four or more screws to hold the case back in place. Each method will use a different tool and this article will discuss all three methods.

Tools needed to replace the battery in a Swiss Army watch:

  • Case back wrench
  • Watch makers screw drivers
  • Watch holder
  • Case knife
  • Cotton gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Plastic tweezers
  • Battery tester
  • Soft clean cloths
  • Paper cup

How to change the battery in a Swiss Army watch:

  1. Position the watch. Position the watch in case holder if you have one. If not, put it on a soft, clean cloth to protect the crystal.
  2. Remove the case back.   Use the appropriate tool to remove the case back. The screwed down will use the adjustable case wrench, take care when using this not to let it slip and scratch the watch. For a press fit, you slip the edge of the case knife in the slot and twist it in a manner similar to opening an oyster. For the  screwed in place case back you need to pick the screw driver which most perfectly fits the screw heads. Take care in all three methods not to damage any case back gasket or it will need to be replaced to retain water resistance. Place any loose screws in a paper cup to prevent their loss.
  3. Find and remove the battery.  The battery will be held in place normally by some type of retainer. You may need to use a screwdriver or the tweezers to either remove the retainer, or slip the battery from out under a retaining finger. Take care not to damage the retainer. Note how the battery is oriented in the battery box, as it will need to go back in exactly the same way. Place any loose retainers in the paper cup to keep them from being lost.
  4. Clean the battery box.  Use a soft cloth and carefully clean the battery box of dust. If there is corrosion present, take the watch in to a watchmaker for inspection and cleaning.
  5. Test the battery.  Use the battery tester and test the battery. If it is dead move on to the next step, if it is not dead take the watch into a watchmaker for inspection as it may have other reasons that it is not working.
  6. Buy battery.  Use the numbers on the battery to buy a replacement. In some instances the battery is no longer made under that number and you will be given an alternate battery to purchase.
  7. Install new battery.  Use the plastic tweezers or wear soft cotton gloves to install the new battery. Finger acids may damage or short out new batteries. Make sure to put the battery back in the same way it came out. Reinstall the retaining device to its correct position.
  8. Press the reset button if it exists. In some cases there will be a reset button on the watch movement. If it exists, press it with a toothpick or similar object.
  9. Replace the case back.  Use the correct tool and replace the case back. Make sure to install any gasket, and take great care not to let it get damaged while installing the case back.
  10. Reset the watch. Follow the proper procedure and set the watch..

That is how you replace the battery in a Swiss Army watch. Now your Swiss army watch will serve you faithfully again for a few more years. Enjoy!

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