Using the AWI Battery Book

May 1999

Timepieces:Education & Repair

Using the AWI Battery Book

Storage and numbering method prepares you for a wide range of repair situations

By David Christianson,
Certified Master Watchmaker
President, American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute

Last month we discussed the 15 distinctly different number systems typically used to file and prepare watch batteries for quick and correct replacement (Professional Jeweler, April 1999, pp. 70-71). I've grouped them into four major systems – from Japan, from the U.S., from different manufacturers and from the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute. Each has pluses and minuses. But the AWI method, which as a retailer I used well before my new title as AWI president, is the only method to cross-reference all battery options.

The AWI system, which requires only the AWI Battery Book and drawer labels, allows you to use batteries from any manufacturer. They can be mixed into a single drawer yet can be retrieved quickly when you need to replace a battery for a customer. Here are several "real life" examples that show how to use the system.

  1. A customer enters the store in need of a Maxell #SR621SW battery. But your store carries primarily Duracell brand cells. You should find the Maxell number on the AWI chart, note that its drawer number is S14, and retrieve the correct Duracell battery from that drawer.
  2. You're in search of Eveready battery number 377. You look in the AWI drawer and come up empty. Refer to your guide and see that a battery from AWI drawer S27 will offer near-equal performance for an analog quartz watch.
  3. A customer gives you a quartz alarm chronograph for battery replacement – but the battery is missing. With a millimeter gauge, you measure the diameter and depth of the battery well. Result: 6.8mm diameter and 2.6mm depth. Search for these measurements in the cross-reference section of the AWI booklet. You'll find with a high-drain alarm watch, the choice is in AWI drawer S27.
  4. You find drawer S14 is empty. A search on the substitute chart shows drawer S29 will do the job. But you stock only Eveready, and the chart shows drawer S29 contains cells by other manufacturers, so it's empty also. You decide you'll quickly reorder to fill the first drawer and then order to fill the substitute drawer. Next time your primary sources are gone, you'll have back-up cells ready to use.

The AWI Battery Book and preprinted drawer labels can be ordered from the AWI at (513) 367-9800, Several major battery suppliers also sell or offer the book.

David A. Christianson is a fourth-generation owner of Christianson Jewelry, Kendallville, IN. In addition to serving as president of the AWI, he is a certified master watchmaker and a fellow of the British Horological Society. He discusses watch repair for the sales staff in this column each month. Send questions, suggestions and comments toProfessional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102,

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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