Tuesday, March 12, 2019

How to Replace A Watch Battery

Replacing watch batteries is a common problem faced by every owner of battery-powered quartz watches.  Often watches just languish for months or years for want of a new battery.  Many old watches just get discarded.  Some like these two Hello Kitty watches make it to thrift stores for resale.  My wife likes Hello Kitty stuff and bought these two with dead batteries.


The type of battery required is printed on the back of the case.  In this case, I was looking for a 377 type watch battery for both watches.  They came in a two pack from the drug store for about $7 or $8.



I am fortunate to have a case of dedicated watch tools and I also have a new caseback press.  I've had my kit for awhile.  But there are many like it available on Amazon.




For this project, the small blade proved most helpful for prying up the casebacks so that I could replace the batteries.  Some watches--particularly manly macho waterproof watches--have indents around the back because they are made to screw off using a watch case removal tool that works like a wrench.





Once the case back is off you can usually see the watch battery in the back of the mechanism.  If you look carefully with a magnifier, you may notice that crosses onto the back of the battery.  When you pry out the battery, be careful not to bend that out of shape.  It's a little flexible to enable you to get at the battery out, but it's necessary to get electricity out of the battery.



Next slip the new battery in where the old battery was.  Place the watch caseback on the back of the watch.  Be careful that any indent on the caseback lines up with the winding (setting) stem that comes from crown on the case so that you don't bend that stem.  Then you press the caseback down onto the case.  Sometimes that can be difficult to do by hand.  That's why it is useful to have a watch caseback press like the one pictured below.


There are discs for the press that match different watch sizes.  You'll want to pick the size that matches your watch and place that on the upper piston that gets pressed down on your watch.
Then, you put your watch and carefully lined up caseback on the press and gently press down.  It should snap right into place.  Be careful about putting too much weight on it or you could damage the watch crystal.  It didn't take much force at all using the press.  If it doesn't work, don't force it.  Check to see that the caseback is lined up and that the disc matches your watch size appropriately.


I was able to get both watches back running in just a few minutes.  Please note that I am just an amateur watch collector on the internet.  If you have very valuable or heirloom quality watches, you should probably take your watch to a jewelry store for a watch battery replacement.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Watch Review: Diesel Fastback Men's Watch

What would you do if a watch company offered an understated timepiece that was affordable, readable, perfectly proportioned, and tasteful.  In the case of Diesel watches, you might take their temperature and ask them if they felt okay.  Diesel watches are known for bold, over-the-top, designs that often combine huge watch cases, multi-layered dials, interesting subdials, and lots of interesting textures and materials under the crystal.  They make watches that tend to catch the eye and hold your attention.  However, they have also made a watch that is quite simply perfect for everyday wear, the Diesel Fastback (Model DZ1838).


Diesel Watch Design


The Diesel Fastback emphasized readability above everything else.  It has large hour and minute hands that are bright, white, and readable.  If you just take the quickest of glances at this watch, you know what time it is.  In a world full of watches with subdials that make you squint, the Fastback Diesel does what it is supposed to do.  There isn't even a date window.  The second hand is in a bright yellow that is also easy to read.



When you flip the watch over, you 'll find an etched caseback featuring a man with a Mohawk and the Diesel motto "Only the Brave."

Diesel Watch Construction


The Diesel Fastback offers an all stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, and a genuine leather strap.  The case is 45mm in diameter and 10mm thick.  The leather strap is 22mm wide and comes in a deep shade of blue.    It's an attractive dark color that goes well with blue jean denim.  The strap is 9.5 inches long.  The package is tight enough to provide 5 BAR (or 167 feet) of water resistance.


After a few months of wear and some light dish washing duty with this watch, I'm finding that it is one of the most comfortable watches in my collection.  The leather has been fading comfortably around the edges a bit, but the watch remains a solid performer.

Overall Review of the Diesel Fastback Watch


I really like the Diesel Fastback Watch.  While it may be out of character for a brand built on exuberant styling, this watch is excellent for every day wear.  It's a purposeful and attractive timepiece that makes a great addition to any watch box.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Watch Find: Stuhrling Originals Depthmaster Dive Watch in Black

It has been awhile since a really sharp looking watch that's within my budget has caught my eye.  But, tonight, I was surfing along on Amazon and this black and gold beauty from Stuhrling Originals caught my eye.  It's the Stuhrling Original Depthmaster.


It's a nice looking timepiece that boasts 100 meters of water resistance, a sensible 42mm diameter case that is 14 millimeters thick, and a 20mm wide bracelet.  It's powered by a Japanese quartz movement that is protected from water by a screw down crown. 

Amazon reviews for this Stuhrling are quite good with an average of 4.6 stars out of 5 for over 250 reviews.  Since this looks like an excellent deal, I've moved it to my wish list.