9 Common Watch Problems and Quick Watch Repair Guide

You have a problem with your watch. You are a diligent person. You’re pretty sure you can repair it yourself… but have you wondered “how do I repair my watch?”

Watch problems and malfunctions may be more common than you think. Here are some common problems and a guide on watch repair.

Before you begin, it is important to understand that repairs performed by someone other than a watch repair specialist can affect the value of your watch. The resale value of a luxury watch is highest when you have a service record and these services are best performed by the manufacturer. But if that’s not a problem, roll up your sleeves and try learning how to fix a watch!

Watch Repair Guide

How to open a watch case?

It all starts with opening your watch. With a few exceptions, there are four types of watch cases you will encounter when learning how to repair a watch.

1. Snap-Back Case

To open the flip canister, use a tweezers or similar thin flat blade to open the can at the raised edge by twisting the blade.

2. Screw-Back Case

You will want a screw removal tool for this type. Like a pliers, the tool slides into slots around the edge of the case. Twist counterclockwise to open, ending with your finger when the tool has loosened the cap.

3. Case with Screws

These cases typically have four Phillips screws that can be removed with a small screwdriver.

4. Swatch Style Case

These gates can be screwed open with a coin. You don’t actually remove the cover from the sealed case, but you do get access to the battery.

Snap Back Case
1. Snap Back Case
Screw Back Case Open
2. Screw Back Case Open
Case With Screws
3. Case With Screws
Swatch Style Case Open
4. Swatch Style Case Open

My watch has stopped Ticking?

Wondering how to repair a clock that no longer spins? Or has your automatic watch stopped working? Hint, it could be the battery. It may seem like a simple watch repair, but it’s something you can skip. Check the battery.

Many watch batteries have a lifespan of about two years. This number can go up to three years or more with quartz watches designed to run longer. But chances are if your watch stops working, you need to replace the battery.

With the case removed, you can see what’s holding the battery in place. With spring clamp or loose installation, you can easily access. Many batteries are held in place by screws, and the cover will require a small screwdriver.

It is best to use non-conductive watch tools to avoid damaging your meter by electric shock. The same goes for the tweezers that you want to use to remove the battery. Plastic is better to avoid shocks. Before removing the battery, check the position of the writing on the back. You want to identify the replacement battery in a similar way.

Information about your old battery will tell you which battery you need to replace. Even the most common watch battery will eventually fail. You can buy a new one at a jewelry store, electronics store, drug store, or online. Use the same plastic tools to put the new battery in place and your watch should be working again.

Otherwise, you may have inserted the battery backwards or the connection is damaged. In the latter case, you may need to take it to a watch repair shop. If it is a very expensive watch, you can also call the professionals.

The Second Hand is Skipping?

Has your automatic watch movement stopped working? Or does it jump? This is a sign that your battery is nearing the end of its life. This is also a warning to fix the problem ASAP. A damaged battery can leak acid into your watch and damage it. If the seconds hand is locked in reciprocating motion in one place, there may be a problem with the movement beyond simple home repairs.

My Watch is Running Slow (or Fast)?

Don’t do anything. It is not necessarily a clock issue. It is normal for the watch to increase or decrease a little time each day. While the changes are small and gradual, over time you may feel like you’re having a big problem. But unless you waste more than a few seconds a day, there’s probably no problem.

The Buttons Won’t Bounce?

If your watch buttons don’t pop out after being pressed, the most likely culprit is dust. Even if your watch case is sealed, dirt can build up over time and get trapped in the springs that push the buttons out. Professionals use ultrasonic cleaners to safely remove dirt. But you can use plastic tweezers and a small piece of absorbent material to remove dirt. If you cannot easily access the hose containing the spring, take it to a professional. Do not touch the springs with your fingers as you could put oil in and make the problem worse.

Recharging problem in smartwatch?

Just like your cell phone and tablet, if your watch won’t charge for a long time, you should consider what is draining the battery. Remove apps you don’t need. Turn off features you don’t use and reduce screen brightness.

Voice command problem in smartwatch?

If your smartwatch is having trouble recognizing voice commands, it could be background noise. Make sure your voice isn’t competing with other sounds. Some trial and error with tone and pacing will also be needed to make your voice commands instantly recognizable.

I’ve got a sticky Apple

The Apple Watch crown is known to stick and stop registering every click. Turn off the meter and pour warm water into the vortex zone for about 15 seconds.

Bluetooth won’t connect?

As easy as it sounds, turn Bluetooth off and then back on to reconnect.

But caution is probably the best advice when trying to repair your own watch. A penny saved on home maintenance can cause damage that costs a few dollars.

Interested in Buying watches?

What do you think?
1 Comment
August 9, 2023

I bought a watch last year, and today, it stopped working, so I’m interested in fixing it. I think I need a new watch to match my new suit too, so while I find someone to help me repair it, I’ll visit a few jewelry shops. Thanks for explaining that a watch’s battery life only lasts around one or two years.

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