Ask the Watch Guy: 7 Reasons to Replace Watch Batteries

Ask the Watch Guy: 7 Reasons to Replace Watch Batteries

Accepting watch battery replacements can seem like more of a headache than a boon for business, but there are plenty of reasons why jewelers should take advantage.

Here are seven.

1. Customer demand. Never before has the demand for simple watch services been greater. It’s true that watch boutiques in city centers and high-dollar malls are flourishing; however, they do not focus on pedestrian services and do not service watches they don’t sell.

2. Highest profit margin in your store. Imagine offering factory-type service during which you clean the case and band, replace the gasket(s), and reseal as well as replace the battery and charge an average retail of $50 for this. Even if you have to replace every gasket at the astounding cost of 10 cents and each battery at an average cost of 50 cents, that’s nearly a 100x markup!

3. Easy, available and free training. Here is a free video on changing watch batteries like a professional.

4. It’s the easiest way to steal your competitors’ customers. Let’s say you are a chain or department store; virtually all these establishments have a policy that all repairs must go to a central repair facility far, far away.

Since nothing is done locally, even a battery replacement (or band adjustment) takes weeks.

As a general rule, these establishments are more than happy to refer their customers to you (and, if they’re not, please see my past article on how you can encourage them to do so) just so that they don‘t have to deal with a customer calling every two days wondering when his or her watch will be back with its new battery.

5. Service. It’s the only thing in your store that Amazon (or anyone else on the Internet) can’t sell cheaper.

6. Very minimal investment to begin. As we mentioned, you can download a free video on changing watch batteries. The minor amount of tools and equipment needed, if you don’t already have them in your store, would set you back less than $300.

7. Presumed competence. When it gets to be known around town that you change watch batteries in your store, it will be presumed that you are also the local expert on anything else having to do with a watch. So get ready, because this means that you will have a lot of new business, new customers who are educated in watches and have money to spend on buying and repairing them. Getting ready requires that you educate yourself about watches more than your customers are so that you can keep that new revenue stream coming.

As J.B. Matthews once said: “Unless a person has trained himself for his chance, the chance will only make him ridiculous.”

Your chance is staring you in the face. Take advantage of the profits that others leave on the table. Replace watch batteries, and do them like the professional that you are.

My next article will be on what is needed to set up a professional watch battery changing area. Thanks for reading!

Jess Gendron is a seventh-generation watchmaker and is the owner of Colorado Timeworks, a watch repair service center in Colorado Springs. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and his website is Timeworks.biz.

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