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Alright, you guys know how to do it less expensively, so I'm appealing to you all for help.

I have a watch whose battery is dead. I have forgotten where I bought it, but it wasn't Target, and they are telling me they cannot replace the battery for me, although they'll sell me a new battery if I just tell them what kind. They say that they don't want the liability if they scratch the watch trying to get it open.

But they were happy to loan me a tool for opening it. Fine. I'll do the thing myself. Well now I have a very scratched up watch with the old battery still in it. I couldn't get the back off to save my life.

This is a nice Seiko watch, but now it is worthless unless I can somehow get it open (doubt it). I quit wearing it when I quit working, but occasionally I think it would be nice to have a watch when I want to be on time with friends. Otherwise, it doesn't matter much.

So what are my options? Should I just buy cheap disposable watches? Trouble is, you don't know how old the battery is when you buy it.

I'm not fond of having things touch me, so I don't want to wear something around my neck and really don't want to wear a watch on my wrist, but that's the least offensive. Maybe I should just carry a clock around with me when I'm going to need to know what time it is. ;-)

Any ideas?

- tmeri
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Any ideas?

Indemnify the store against scratching the watch. Wait - are you taking this to Target for battery replacement? Why not a real watch shop?
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I'm not fond of having things touch me, so I don't want to wear something around my neck and really don't want to wear a watch on my wrist, but that's the least offensive. Maybe I should just carry a clock around with me when I'm going to need to know what time it is.

Do you carry a cell phone? I stopped wearing a watch when my last $10 watch from Target died on me and now I just give a quick look to my cell phone whenever I want to know what time it is.

dt
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Most any jeweler can replace the battery.

Cheers!
jtr
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You could throw away your Seiko and buy a cheap solar watch....
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Most jewelers will replace a watch batter while you wait as will the jewelry counters at some of the larger stores like JC Penney. And around here, we have these little watch kiosks in the mall that wll replace the battery for you while you wait.

But I think you have lots of options to get this done instead of the store you are talking to.
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If you're going to replace your watch, consider the old-fashioned wind-the-stem watches, and the tres cool perpetual motion watches, which get wound as your hand moves around.

=) Jen

(has a wind-the-stem watch for the rare occasions I need one, got at a garage sale for a buck, but also carries a cell phone that shows the time)
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tmeri,

Any ideas?

Not really, but I will tell you my own personal rant on this subject.

I had a Timex for several years, and then the band broke, and I couldn't find a replacement band. So I decided to spring for a new Timex. After all, they cost $20 or so.

So I bought one at Wal-Mart. I don't like shopping at Wal-Mart, but it was the only place I could think of that would sell a reasonably priced watch. I bought the Timex for $20.

Three months later, the battery died. I took the watch back to Wal-Mart, saying I'd like the battery replaced, figuring they'd charge a little fee. Well, as you experienced at Target, they would not replace the battery at all. They told me that for *this* particular type of watch, they could not guarantee that the watch would not be damaged if it was opened, and hence they had a policy not to replace the battery.

I was, of course, enraged, and my reaction probably shortened my lifespan by several years. After mentally stomping up and down, swearing, and generally venting, I vowed never to enter a Wal-Mart again. I also vowed never to buy a Timex again (despite the fact that my experience with Timex had been pretty pleasant up until then). Then I took myself to 1) the jewelry department of Kohl's and 2) an independent jewelry store. They also would not replace the battery, but directed me to a nearby watch repair shop. The watch repair shop did replace the battery and charged me $10. So - $10 to replace a battery in a $20 watch, which I had just bought three months ago.

When the Timex finally died again, I tossed it and spent $70 on a Casio Baby-G. Such is the extent of my rage with Timex/Wal-Mart, that I would rather pay tons of money for a pricey Casio than pay a single cent to Timex, thereby cutting off my nose to spite my face. So far, the battery on my Casio has not died. I like Casio watches as well, so what the heck.

One more thing, which may help you:

When I was a young thing, I used to replace the batteries in my dad's watches. He had a set of very teeny-tiny screwdrivers, and I always was able to easily replace any battery in his watch by opening the back panel with said screwdrivers. I don't know why you are having trouble opening your watch with the tool they gave you. Does the watch have screws to hold the back panel in place? If so it should be no problem.... maybe get someone with good manual dexterity and sharp eyesight to help out. I would have done this myself with my Timex, but I no longer have the teeny-tiny screwdrivers and I was unable to find them in a store.

Rocannon
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When the Timex finally died again, I tossed it and spent $70 on a Casio Baby-G. Such is the extent of my rage with Timex/Wal-Mart, that I would rather pay tons of money for a pricey Casio than pay a single cent to Timex, thereby cutting off my nose to spite my face. So far, the battery on my Casio has not died. I like Casio watches as well, so what the heck.


I bought the Casio Baby-G watch for my wife. She was very happy with this watch and I've able to change the watch several times. It has kept working for quite a few years now.

The current problem is the band for this watch. Casio dealers don't supply bands and it means that I'll have to find another like this watch, in order to just have a new band.

This looks like the same problem as this first complain on this thread.

Blackduff (who bought a Sieko Kinetic watch-no batteries)
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Wow, there seem to be lots of uncooperative jewelry stores around. I've always gone to Fred Meyer Store, to the jewelry department, and they've always replaced my batter for me, and just charged me the price of the battery.

Most of my watches do not have the teeny tiny little screws. you have to pry the back off somehow.
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>>Any ideas?<<

tmeri,
If you are trying to "pop" the back off the watch, try instead to unscrew it. I also have a nice Seiko, and while the back has a some notches that make it look like the back pops off, actually what I have to do is use something small to apply enough pressure at one of those points and get it started turning to unscrew it.
HTH Karon
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Blackduff,

This looks like the same problem as this first complain on this thread.

I'm confused... the OP said "I have a watch whose battery is dead" - the problem was that the battery couldn't be replaced, not that the band was broken...?

I am concerned that the band on my Baby-G will die since it is made of molded plastic and fits very tightly to the watch itself. I have had it for a year, and so far so good. The band is held in place by teeny-tiny screws, and once the band goes I have some doubts about being able to replace the band alone, because as you say it's hard to find bands. I had the same problem with my Timex though, regarding band replacement. In that case, the bands that were for sale were nearly as expensive as a new watch... and always the wrong size! In the good old days, I would replace my Timex watch band multiple times, keeping the same watch for years. I think they figured out they could make more money by selling throwaway watches.

(Speaking of Casio bands, I see some at this site - http://www.casiosalesandservice.com)

I have a friend who owns a Seiko Kinetic, but he complained that it kept time very poorly (perhaps he didn't wear it often enough). Do you find they keep time ok? Anyway, in his case, eventually the hands fell off it, though I do think it lasted a good long time!

Personally I like my Baby-G because I can take it swimming. Waterproof Seiko Kinetics are available but seem even more insanely priced than the Casios. One feature that I use a lot on my Baby-G is the stopwatch, and I sometimes use the alarm clock as well....

Rocannon
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chooey98,

there seem to be lots of uncooperative jewelry stores around.

You can say that again!

Most of my watches do not have the teeny tiny little screws. you have to pry the back off somehow.

This was the impression I got at Wal-Mart: If the back was pry-off-able, they would replace the battery, but if the back needed to be unscrewed, they would not replace it. I was incredibly peeved, because they were selling watches which needed to be unscrewed to replace the batteries, and then would not service them. I've never had this problem before... for years I'd get watch batteries replaced for little or no fee at the store where I bought the watch. This experience was a first for me! Replacing a watch battery should not involve trips to multiple stores.... grmble...

Rocannon
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tmeri,

I happened to run across this page which gives some very good details on battery replacement for Seikos:

http://www.geocities.com/watch_crazy/battery/battery.htm

I hope it helps!

Rocannon
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I no longer have the teeny-tiny screwdrivers and I was unable to find them in a store.

Go to the drugstore and pick up one of those repair kits for eyeglasses.
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Rocannon
I am concerned that the band on my Baby-G will die since it is made of molded plastic and fits very tightly to the watch itself

It's kind of funny, my wife's watch has a band made with canvas material. It's pretty sturdy but over the years it's weared. I bought this watch somewhere around the year 1999 or abouts. It's strong but the wear has been taken it's toll. It's time to replace. The Baby-G was bought in a boutique in Salzburg, Austria. Maybe it's different in the US version.

I am very happy with the Sieko Kinetics. There's a newer version but mine works fine. I had to have this fixed once for some small problem but there's no battery to replace. I'm very, very happy.

Blackduff
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Thank you for all the suggestions! Here's a little feedback.

I can't indemnify the store against damage to the watch. The people at the jewelry counter really wanted to help me, but even when I showed them that I had already put multiple scratches on the watch from trying myself and assured them that I didn't care if they scratched it too, they said they couldn't do it for me, that they would be fired for doing that. I understand not being empowered. People in large corporations rarely are.

The eyeglass screwdriver tip was a great idea, and I happen to have one of those. It was indeed smaller than the tools the people at the store had, but it was still too large to get into the groove. Heck, I can't get my knife blade into the groove. It is tiny.

The watch back may well screw off, but the profile is so low that there is no way I'm going to be able to exert any kind of rotating force on it. No way. If it screws off, it clearly requires a special tool that I haven't seen. The website that someone posted with the "howto" was interesting, but that watch is HUGE and they did have special tools. My watch is much smaller.

I suppose I could call around and find some place that would change the battery for me, but it doesn't look promising. I think most of them are saying you have to take it back to the place you bought it. I bought it at some mall kiosk. I honestly don't remember where, and they could be out of business, anyway. I guess the problem I have with it is that policies are clearly changing after, what, 20-30 years of battery-powered watches. I used to be able to take my battery-powered watch ANYWHERE and get the battery replaced. Now it seems that I have to go on a big mystery hunt when I want the battery changed. I don't wear a watch that often. I'd spend almost as much time getting the battery replaced as wearing the watch. That sounds like way too much maintenance for something I'm not using that much. Frankly, it's just not worth it. I don't need a watch that badly.

I could go back to the stem-winding watch and I am considering that. But you know what? I've been telling people for years that I considered the battery-powered watch to be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century because you could finally have accurate time for years at a time without calibrating.

An interesting story along those lines....when I was working, the company used to let employees who had 25 years with the company select a gift from a catalog. Almost all of the men got the Rolex watch. But then I would never see them wear it. So I asked a couple of them why they didn't wear their Rolex watches to work. "Well, it just doesn't keep good time like my Casio..."

I like the cell phone idea, although I have a hard time reading the display on the phone. But perhaps I can make that work. It just isn't as fast as looking at a watch on my wrist. First I have to dig it out of my pocketbook, then I have to figure out how to turn it on.... ;-)

Somewhere I have an older smaller watch that I quit wearing because it was so small and had gold marks on a white background, and I started having trouble telling what time it was. But I believe I've changed the battery in that one, myself, so maybe I'll go back to that one. At least if I have a watch, I can always get someone else to look at it and tell me what time it is. ;-)

So I think here are alternatives that appeal to me:

1. Go back to the old watch.
2. Try to buy a watch whose battery I can easily get to and replace myself.
3. Buy a stem-winding watch.
4. Get used to using the cell phone as a clock.
5. Just do what others do--ask strangers what time it is.

I sort of lean towards the stem-winding watch for this purpose--if enough people get fed up with the difficulty of having the batteries replaced, watch makers will find they can't sell battery-powered watches, and they'll fix the problem. Making a watch case that can be taken apart easily is a low-tech problem; I don't know why watch makers are doing something this stupid.

Sounds like the current watch is a non-starter for a solution. Now how do I get rid of it? Yard sale? Goodwill? Trash can? Let's have some suggestions on that one!

Thanks, you guys. I appreciate all of your feedback.

- tmeri
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Now how do I get rid of it? Yard sale? Goodwill? Trash can? Let's have some suggestions on that one!


Ebay to someone who lives in a city with decent watch places?

-Kim, can take her watch to a dozen places within walking distance
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I had the same thing happen after a couple of months. Fortunately, I had bought it at Value City so I took the watch and my receipt, and they replaced the battery - no problem.

Don't buy a cheap watch where the second hand is running. Only buy one that has had the stem pulled out to stop the watch. I get along great with cheap watches - save my good ones for occasional wear. I got rid of my $4,000 Bertolucci when it was going to cost me over $100 to change the battery and balance it. Never bought a watch at Target, and I have a feeling I never will. You can usually talk someone into helping you at K-Mart - not my favorite discount store, but I've had good luck with watches. They may demur a little but will usually come around if you're nice.

Sumap10
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tmeri,

1. Go back to the old watch.
2. Try to buy a watch whose battery I can easily get to and replace myself.
3. Buy a stem-winding watch.
4. Get used to using the cell phone as a clock.
5. Just do what others do--ask strangers what time it is.


How about #6: You'll get there when you get there and will enjoy life along the way.

dt
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How about #6: You'll get there when you get there and will enjoy life along the way.

dt



Great suggestion, and that's what works very well for me most of the time. But when I have a plane to catch or a friend to meet, that doesn't work. If I'm late for an event with a friend, it inconveniences another person. I don't want to do that and am willing to wear a watch on such occasions to prevent it.

- tmeri
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I haven't worn a watch in about 10 years.

I have found that there are so many clocks all over the place (even on my person) that I don't need to wear a watch. First off, my cellphone is almost always on my waist and has a clock. My computer on my desk has a clock. My office phone has a clock. My microwave and oven in my kitchen have clocks. My car has a clock. My radio has a clock.

I am also reasonably good at estimating the time.
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I have to change watch batteries at work (non-chain drug store) all the time. We only charge for the battery: usually $3.20. If the watch still doesn't work with a new battery, we put the old one back in and it's no charge. You might want to call around to non-chain drug stores and ask, although this might be something only our store does.

Then again, changing watch batteries is usually quite easy. What kind of back does it have on it? Are there six little indents along the edges? If there are, that's the hardest kind because you have to use a special wrench, adjust and line it up just right, and twist till your wrist hurts or you cut yourself.

If it's a flat back without the indents, look closely all around the edges for a little notch and slide a thin pocket knife blade under that. The bottom should pop right up, or you'll cut yourself.

Man, you'd think I'd get a raise for all the times I've cut myself just to sell a three dollar battery. ;)
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I haven't worn a watch in about 10 years.

mark433


Tell me about it. I retired last year and that was the end of the watch. I haven't worn one since and I seem to have survived OK.

ImAGolfer
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Tell me about it. I retired last year and that was the end of the watch. I haven't worn one since and I seem to have survived OK.

ImAGolfer


+++
+++

I perceive you are a kindred spirit, ImAGolfer. My watch retired to my dresser drawer last Sep when I retired. I only live 6 minutes from my courses, so making a tee time on time is not a problem.

sunray
in NW Fla
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I perceive you are a kindred spirit, ImAGolfer. My watch retired to my dresser drawer last Sep when I retired. I only live 6 minutes from my courses, so making a tee time on time is not a problem.

sunray
in NW Fla


Ahhh ... sounds very similar to my situation ... I'm 3 miles from my home course. Play every Tuesday, Thursday and some Fridays. I'm on the list to be a volunteer marshall (which allows free golf plus cart). I'm pretty close to the top of the list. Ain't life grand?

ImAGolfer
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Ain't life grand?


+++
+++


In deed it is!

sunray
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