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Watch batteries

In these uncertain times, how are you dealing with changing watch batteries for customers? I have heard everything from doing them as usual, while the customer waits, outside the store, of course, to taking the watch in, in a sealed plastic bag, waiting 5 days for the virus to die, then, changing the battery. What is everyone’s thoughts on this?

Hey Cwulffs

That is a very good question. I have already posted here how we take in repairs from customers but watches are a bigger problem as they can not all be put in bleach or other disinfectant. My suggestion to my customers who are retail jewelers for now is to have their customer put watch into ziplock bag and will be contacted when ready.

Perhaps heat and or UV maybe the answer. Wonder what Rolex take in protocol is ???


Altho’ there are no absolutely clear scientific answers on the virus, all I have read indicates it is unlikely you will catch it from surfaces and much more likely you will contract it from aerosol transmission. If you used gloves while working on the watch and didn’t touch your face before washing hands, I think you would be fine. Also, since 30% alcohol is supposed to be effective in killing the virus, you could certainly just use a spray of 91% on the watch…because it evaporates so rapidly, a spray is unlikely to damage even a non-waterproof watch. I would have my client clean the watch before bringing it in, put it in a plastic bag, use gloves and spray it twice with pure alcohol. Don’t touch your face while working on the watch and wash your hands after disposing of the gloves. If you do all that, I don’t think you have much chance of getting the virus from the watch. And the customer gets a disinfected watch back!

This is a bit off-topic, and maybe as a jeweler not a solution you like, but your customer could go to Walmart and buy a cheap watch for about the price of a battery. It might tide them over till this whole virus mess is over.

Thanks for the replies.

O.K.; my apologies, as it has been a while (virus, travel, real estate issue). We’ve been trying to figure out batteries for a few decades. As regards the virus, my advice would be to have some alcohol wipes available. Handle the watch with a wipe, and clean the surfaces, to kill the virus. While they wait, or left, as business allows (murphy’s law rules here); the watch you thought was easy will require a jack hammer to open, and the most expensive case press to re-assemble. Price them high enough to cover more than the average time; remember, you’re not selling a battery, you’re selling “keeping time”. As we seem to be exiting the greatest risk from the disease, some normalcy may return. Just some common sense practices which we all should have been doing all along should suffice. I actually think the greater risk now is deciding which “vaccine” we will survive. Oh, and if you want to start a “jewelers’ confab”, just say “battery”. “have I told you about Grandpa’s Timex” (yep, really).

Good advice, and remember Wal-Mart, with a jewelry counter, is an essential business…we are not.