Professional Jeweler Archive: Add Value to Battery Replacements

June 2000

Timepieces/Education & Repair

Add Value to Battery Replacements

Move beyond basic procedures to a higher level of standard service to gain repeat business

As a summary to our recent columns covering basic battery replacement procedures, the chart takes you from start to finish. Please note the various steps between the time your customer requests a battery change and when he or she accepts the repaired watch.

For a retailer who would prefer to offer more than quick, inexpensive replacements, it’s critical to train your staff to identify and/or solve additional basic repair needs.

These often are called “value-added” procedures. They differentiate your store from those that provide only the most basic replacement service. As the previous columns note, customers appreciate added services and remember who performed them when it comes time for other services and future purchases.

Basic “Added-Value” Services

  1. If the case back gasket is brittle, stiff or cracks when removed, refer it to a watchmaker for replacement.
  2. If the gasket is in good shape, wipe it clean and apply a silicon sealant. A speed lubricator from your watch material supplier will work.
  3. If there’s an O-ring gasket around the stem, remove the stem and crown (see Professional Jeweler, July 1999, p. 64) and apply silicon sealant. If the O-ring is flat, stiff or cracked, suggest it be replaced and refer it to your watchmaker. If there’s no gasket on the stem, it’s probably located in the crown. Wipe a film of sealant around the outside of the case tube. The silicon eventually will work its way into the crown.
  4. Set the time and the calendar on the watch. Be sure the calendar changes at midnight, not noon. If the hands won’t move past a certain point or if the calendar won’t change to the next date, refer the watch to your watchmaker.
  5. Examine the crystal for cracks or chips. Check the case for tarnish or discoloration. Note whether the crown is worn or discolored. Examine the strap or the bracelet for discoloration or wear. Are any spring bars bent or cracked?

In each of these cases, you have the opportunity to help your customer and possibly sell added repair services or replacement products such as a strap, bracelet, crown or crystal.

Finally, remember to wipe the timepiece clean in full view of your customer before personally placing it on his or her wrist, if appropriate, or before placing it carefully into the repair envelope. This shows your client how much you value the watch and the customer’s decision to come to your store for watch service needs.

– by David A. Christianson
President of American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute; Certified Master Watchmaker

David Christianson is fourth-generation owner of Christianson Jewelry, Kendallville, IN. In addition to serving as president of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute, 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 to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102;

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications