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5 Easy DIY Watch Repair Tricks

Written by Anna Currell
February 27, 2023

Watch repair may seem like a complicated task, but with a little knowledge and the right tools, it can be easy (and even fun!) to fix your own timepiece. Learning basic DIY watch repair tricks can save you money and give you a sense of satisfaction when you're able to fix a problem on your own. In this article, we'll explore five easy DIY watch repair tricks that you can try at home.

Trick #1: Replacing a Battery

A dead battery is a common issue with watches, but with the right tools you can tackle it yourself. To replace a battery, you'll need a new battery, a small screwdriver, and a pair of tweezers. Here's how to do it:

  1. Remove the back of the watch using the screwdriver to untwist the small screws that hold it in place. Be sure to keep track of the screws so they don’t get lost. 
  2. Carefully remove the old battery using the tweezers. Be sure to note the orientation of the battery inside the watch, as you'll need to insert the new one in the same way.
  3. Insert the new battery in the same orientation as the old one.
  4. Replace the back of the watch and tighten the screws.

When selecting a new battery, be sure to choose the right type for your watch. Consult your owner’s manual or do a quick online search to find out what type of battery your watch requires. If you’re nervous to remove your watch battery yourself, you can always take it to a trusted jeweler who can provide a battery changing service for you.  

Trick #2: Replacing Your Watch Band

If your watch band is damaged, broken, loose, or just not your style anymore, you don’t have to do away with the entire watch. Instead, find a new band that fits your watch model and replace the old one. Gather the tools you will need, including a small screwdriver and your new watch band, and follow these steps:

  1. Carefully push out the spring bar or unscrew the pins holding the band in place to remove it. Be sure not to lose the pins or screws in the process!
  2. Attach the new band by reversing the process; screw the pins in to hold the new band in place. 
  3. Try on the watch to be sure it fits well.


Trick #3: Cleaning a Dirty Watch

A dirty watch face can diminish the luxury feel of your watch and make it difficult to read the time. To clean a dirty watch face, you'll need a small brush, an antibacterial wipe, and a soft microfiber cloth. Here's how to do it:

  1. Use the antibacterial wipe to gently remove any dirt or debris from the watch face. This can also get rid of germs that your watch might collect throughout the day. 
  2. If your watch is particularly dirty, you may want to use a very soft bristled brush to use in areas where there are small crevices, like around the crown and in the grooves of any engravings
  3. Then use the microfiber cloth to gently wipe the watch face again. 
  4. We recommend avoiding water when wearing or cleaning your watch as liquid can get inside and damage the mechanics. If your watch does come into contact with water, be sure to use a cloth to dry it immediately.

Trick #4: Fixing a Stuck Crown

Your watch’s small dial on the side that adjusts the time is called a crown. When your watch crown is stuck, it can stall the movement of your watch mechanisms. A crown can get stuck for a variety of reasons, such as a build-up of dirt or a lack of lubrication. To fix a stuck crown, you'll need a small brush, a soft cloth, a precision-tip oiler, and a lubricant. Here's how to do it:

  1. Use the brush to gently remove any dirt or debris from around the crown.
  2. Find a lubricant specifically meant for watches, and conduct some research about what your watch brand recommends; they might even sell some. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the crown and surrounding area with a precision-tip oiler according to the directions on your lubricant bottle.
  3. Gently work the crown back and forth to distribute the lubricant.
  4. Use the soft cloth to wipe away any excess lubricant.
  5. Test the crown to make sure it moves smoothly and easily.


Be extra careful with this process; a crown can be very small and delicate, so it’s easy to snap off. If that does happen, don’t panic — you can always see a jeweler to replace the stem and crown

Trick #5: Adding Oil Lubrication to Your Watch

If your watch isn’t working correctly or the hands are getting stuck, the inside mechanisms of your watch might need just a little lubrication. To get it (or keep it) running smoothly, grab a screwdriver, a soft cloth, a small brush, a precision-tip oiler, a magnifying glass, and a bottle of watch oil, and follow these steps:

  1. Using a screwdriver, remove the back of the watch to expose the movement inside. Be careful with this part as you don’t want to lose any of the small pieces inside.
  2. Use a soft cloth to gently clean the movement, removing any dirt or debris. You can use a very small and gentle brush to get into tight spaces.
  3. Look at the movement through a magnifying glass and locate the points where oil is needed. These are typically areas where metal parts rub against each other, such as pivot points and gear trains.
  4. Use a precision-tip oiler to pick up a small drop of oil and place it precisely on the oil points. Be careful not to over-oil as this can cause damage to the movement.
  5. After applying the oil, let the watch sit for a few hours to allow the oil to settle and circulate properly.
  6. After the oil has settled, reassemble the watch and replace the back.
  7. Wind the watch and set the time. Observe the movement to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Remember that some watch repairs like fixing a stuck crown and adding lubrication to the watch’s movement should be done with caution. If you are not comfortable fiddling by yourself, it’s always safer to consult a professional jeweler who has lots of experience and special tools for the job. Our expert team at Quick Jewelry Repairs would be delighted to help you with all your watch repair needs — we provide watch crystal replacement, watch band link removal, and even a comprehensive watch overhaul service to keep your watch looking and working its best.

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