/ Daylight robbery

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Heike - on 14 Nov 2017

Today I went to get batteries on a couple of watches to be exchanged, they are our "nice, or attire suitable" watches, not Altimeters etc., but not really that expensive - why waist money you could spend on climbing gear ;-). I gulped. It cost 79 pounds for the two of them... unbelievable. I can buy a new watch for that.....Outrageous. Has anyone got any tips where you can get batteries exchanged cheaply, I bought a really nice watch for my son for 5 pounds from Lidl and the battery has now died as well, is there anywhere where you can do that at reasonable cost, I wouldn't want to throw the watch away just because of that. Sometimes this consumerism culture is just mind-blowing....but that's another thread.
Post edited at 15:29
Doug on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

last time I paid to have a watch battery changed it cost something like a couple of Euro at a small shop near Gare St Lazare. Other times I've just done it myself, not sure where I bought the batteries but again not expensive.
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Doug:

But how do you open the back without tools?
Pedro50 on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Did they have to reseal the watches re waterproofing?

If I send my Tag to Switzerland for a new battery it costs about £40. My local guy does it for a tenner but we both agree it is not guaranteed waterproof.
jkarran - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

High street jeweler or cobbler will usually do it for a few quid. The kit to do it yourself (case opener) cost buttons and youtube will show you how. Shop around, unless there's something unusual about your watches you've been ripped off.
jk
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

They didn't send it anywhere as I picked them up after an hour, but maybe it's the waterproofing bit? I never asked beforehand, so I have only got myself to blame.....but yes, I will have to find the "local guy" for the future as I don't need waterproofing for my work watch....
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to jkarran:
Looks like it, the watches are bog standard, I think I have been a fool....I should have asked for a price before, it just never crossed my mind....
Post edited at 15:35
Mr Lopez - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Do a google/video search for 'opening (brand, model) watch', and assuming it isn't some unknown weird watch chaces are there will be tutorials online. Watch the tutorial and decide if it's worth a try or not.

ETA: Or 'change battery (brand, model) watch'
Post edited at 15:37
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Yeah, next time...I already have paid now as I never asked before. I just assumed it would be a tenner or so
Ferret on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

To rub salt into the wounds.... should have asked your old ex jeweller friend.....

For clarity - not that a few years at Ratners really qualifies one as a 'jeweller' (although definitely Ex) but I do know a thing or two about batteries.....
jkarran - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Sorry, I hate it when stuff like that happens. Try not to dwell on it.
jk
nniff - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:
> But how do you open the back without tools?

It's easy. If it's an 'unscrew' type you go to Maplins and you buy a watch-back remover for £6 (a three-legged adjustable spanner with varying sizes of bits). If it's a pop-off type they will also have the little pointy 'cuticle' tidier that does that job. Maybe some jewellers screwdrivers too - all of it is only a few pounds.

Choose the right 'bits' for your new spanner and adjust it to fit the watch back. Hold the watch firmly in a tea towel (stops pointy bits digging into your hand) and uncrew it. Take the back off carefully and note where the rubber seal sits if there is one. Take a note of which way the battery sits (posiive up or down) and remove it. There may be a small screw holding it in place but frequently not. Obtain a new battery - Maplins (although their batteries are crap IMHO) or from a decent independent jeweller (better). Should be less than £5.

Put the new battery in. Make sure that the seal is in place. Take a cotton earbud and put a tiny wipe of vaseline around the thread on the back (not on the thread in the case). Refit the back and then tighten it with your spanner. I go as tight as I can, with the limiting factor being my ability to hold it tight in the tea towel. At this point, if the tool slips, the tea towel stops you unscrewing a slice of your hand.

Take a note of the battery size and keep it with your spanner, so next time you can buy the battery before you take the back off.

I decided to do it myself when I got fed up paying a fortune for a watch to be pressure tested, then had to take the back off myself in a very smart jewellers because they weren't strong enough to do it themselves, and then I asked a friendly jeweller about any hidden pitfalls (which is where the vaseline thing comes from).

I'm happy doing very expensive watches and cheap ones. My casio altimeter one is a PITA - too fiddly, and on that basis I'm actually happier doing it myself than giving it the Saturday boy.

Battery life tends to be longer than new watch warranty, so that's not an issue. if it is, buy the same battery type off the internet. My wife sees no value in climbing kit but does like shiny things, so I do her watches as well as mine.

If your eyesight isn't that brilliant a magnifying glass makes things easier - I have some tweezers with a lens attached.
Post edited at 16:25
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Ferret:

grrr, I wish I had known....never mind, you live and learn
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to nniff:

thank you , I shall do that in future and get it for my boys watch which I don't want to chuck just because it was 5 pounds from Lidl
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to jkarran:

no, I won't - as my hubby always says "it's only money"....still galling, I could have given the money to the home less guy who I usually pass and give a quid to!!
JLS on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to nniff:
Some digital watches requires you to stick a paperclip in a hole to "short" the battery and do an "all clear". Apparently not doing this, for reasons I don't really understand, may effect the life of the new battery....
Post edited at 16:36
MFB - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

You could go back to the shop and ask how comes the price was so high, mistake, unbelievably good battery etc etc or ring if you prefer, worth a punt could be genuine error.
gethin_allen on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:
The cost with guaranteeing waterproofing is that they are supposed to test it in a little pressure vessel to the pressure at whatever depth specified, and if they get it wrong they bugger the watch, which if an expensive one could cost them a bit to replace.

I hardly bother wearing a watch these days and would usually change batteries myself but, if I wanted someone else to do it for me I'd go to a stall in the local market, every market has a cheapo jewellers that would change a battery for £10 or less.
Doug on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

> But how do you open the back without tools?

Just checked my 'good watch' - its a Swatch & can be opened with screwdriver, or probably a small coin.
tmawer - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Perhaps this is off topic, but I wonder why people still have watches, unless it's as an adornment, as the time seems visible almost everywhere, what with phones, computers, car clocks etc?
The New NickB - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to tmawer:

Because your wrist is still the most convenient place to check the time.
The New NickB - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:
If they aren’t expensive watches you should be able to get the battery changed at your local market for a few quid each.

They can do expensive watches as well, but when you pay the premium, you get a pressure test and guarantees.
Post edited at 18:23
tmawer - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to The New NickB:

Quite a costly convenience.
The New NickB - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to tmawer:

> Quite a costly convenience.

Doesn’t have to be.
Wanderer100 - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Timpsons do watch battery replacements for about £5. I get a new battery and a new leather strap for my Suunto every 2 years and it never costs more than £20 and that's with them doing the fitting.
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to tmawer:
> Perhaps this is off topic, but I wonder why people still have watches, unless it's as an adornment, as the time seems visible almost everywhere, what with phones, computers, car clocks etc?

Well, e.g. I am lecturing at Uni and I have to make sure I run on time all the way through class ( I have to check that I am not behind or over every few minutes), so a watch is vital. It would be really rude or counterproductive/disruptive to hold up a phone and say "hang on a minute" whilst I swipe to see what time you are at. But you can have sneaky glances at your watch with anyone noticing. That's why IMHO
Post edited at 18:57
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Wanderer100:

It never cost me more than a fiver for my suunto, it was the "posh watches" and that's why I never anticipated anything else...I have learned my lesson now..;-)
tmawer - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

I also run to a strict time schedule (nhs) but rooms have a clock situated so it can be glanced at, hopefully without this being noticed.... Even better than trying to sneak a peak at a watch perhaps?
Heike - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to tmawer:

well at uni some do, some don't and there are some which are there but don't work...;-) so I try to rely on my own watch!
Toby_W on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

To make you feel better, to get my nice watch serviced is a significant multiple of the cost of having both yours done.

Cheers

Toby

tmawer - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Fair do's
Pbob on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

There's a guy on Leeds market who does it for £2.50.
garycrocker - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

Ditto but mine seems to keep out water still. If I took my Tag diving then I might fork out for the proper service.
Big Ger - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

> It cost 79 pounds for the two of them... unbelievable.

Did the shop have big windows?
nniff - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

I currently do the batteries on three TAG Heuer watches and an Omega. Two of the Heuer ones have significant water-resistance, but the mechanism is simple - a seal and a thread. Personally, I couldn't justify the cost of someone performing this simple task and then testing it, when I could be sure enough that I had done it properly myself.

Just don't talk to me about the cost of getting a good automatic watch serviced. That's something I know I can't do.
Stuart en Écosse - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Doug:

> last time I paid to have a watch battery changed it cost something like a couple of Euro at a small shop near Gare St Lazare.

But you live in a country where outlandish prices for things like batteries would result in the shop being burnt down whereas in the UK we happily pay up and admire the seller's entrepreneurial chutzpah for fleecing us.

Toby_W on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

I can't decide if this is very funny and rude or not... I laughed quite a lot anyway.

Cheers

Toby

tom_in_edinburgh - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

You can get cheap watchmaker tools on Amazon for about a fiver. The quality is rubbish but its more than enough to get the back off and swap the battery.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Sounds like you were ripped off.
Last time I paid for a waterproof watch to be done it cost £8 but I later found a local store that would have done it for less
cander - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Timpsons tend to be ok and can manage most watches. Indeed Mrs C has a very nice (and expensive) Cartier which is meant to go back to Cartier to get a battery replacement - it costs something similar to your £79, however being a somewhat frugal chap I took it down to Timpsons in Carlisle and they replaced the battery for £10, left no marks on the case, I and more importantly Mrs C was happy.
timjones - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

> Today I went to get batteries on a couple of watches to be exchanged, they are our "nice, or attire suitable" watches, not Altimeters etc., but not really that expensive - why waist money you could spend on climbing gear ;-). I gulped. It cost 79 pounds for the two of them... unbelievable. I can buy a new watch for that.....Outrageous. Has anyone got any tips where you can get batteries exchanged cheaply, I bought a really nice watch for my son for 5 pounds from Lidl and the battery has now died as well, is there anywhere where you can do that at reasonable cost, I wouldn't want to throw the watch away just because of that. Sometimes this consumerism culture is just mind-blowing....but that's another thread.

DIY is the key.

The batteries usually cost pennies, as do the basic tools required to do the job.
Martin W on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to tmawer:

> Perhaps this is off topic, but I wonder why people still have watches, unless it's as an adornment, as the time seems visible almost everywhere, what with phones, computers, car clocks etc?

This comment was about as predictable as someone popping up on a thread about TV to tell everyone that they don't have a telly.

Why does what other people choose to wear on their wrist make any odds to anyone else?
Dax H - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to nniff:

> Just don't talk to me about the cost of getting a good automatic watch serviced. That's something I know I can't do.

About £500 last time I got mine done, not bad for 10 years use though.

tmawer - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin W:

> Why does what other people choose to wear on their wrist make any odds to anyone else?

It doesn't.

Thanks for your input.
Big Ger - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

> I can't decide if this is very funny and rude or not... I laughed quite a lot anyway.

It was my father's classic response to any purchase I made.

(You know the second part I take it?)

Toby_W on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

No, I just have a smutty mind and probably missed the point entirely. Please inform me!!

Toby
Lusk - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

I only got it the following day, it's clean
Toby_W on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Ohh dear, I'm a wrongun.

Toby
Big Ger - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Toby_W:

> No, I just have a smutty mind and probably missed the point entirely. Please inform me!!

Me: "I paid £75 for two watch batteries yesterday dad."
Dad: "Did the shop you got them from have big windows?"
Me: "No, why?"
Dad: "Well they saw you coming from a mile off."

rocksol - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to tmawer:

You need to get out more! Down a cave?
tmawer - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to rocksol:

You're right, down a cave is somewhere a watch is probably really useful and not much chance of getting the time some other way.
Jim C - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:

> Me: "I paid £75 for two watch batteries yesterday dad."

> Dad: "Did the shop you got them from have big windows?"

> Me: "No, why?"

> Dad: "Well they saw you coming from a mile off."

I was half expecting you to say to put their windows in for revenge.
Heike - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to Big Ger:
Very funny, if it wasn't you who paid the cash....
Old German saying: "At least you don't have to worry about the pisstaking if you have been the fool!"
Post edited at 18:35
Big Ger - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Ah well, live and learn.

profitofdoom on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin W:

> This comment was about as predictable as someone popping up on a thread about TV to tell everyone that they don't have a telly.

> Why does what other people choose to wear on their wrist make any odds to anyone else?

But tmawar was only wondering why people do it, i.e. politely asking

Anyway tmawar I still have a watch because I often need to know the time and don't want to drag my phone out of my pocket and also I am often not in view of any other clock
tmawer - on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to profitofdoom:

Again... Fair do's.
Moley on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:


No idea how that price can be justified, other than you've been seriously ripped off.

Many street markets have a stall that does (fit them in 10 minutes) replacement batteries for a few £s, or any high street jeweller. Personally I take the back off the watch, order a few replacement batteries off fleabay (batteries have a model code stamped on them) and good to go for years.
Sure you won't be caught again, try it yourself.
alasdair19 on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

My local jewler in Hillsborough Sheffield just did my sunnttoi for £3.50 charges more for brands he recognised think a tag heuer was 25 or something so sounds like your getting done.
FactorXXX - on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

Can I be the first to say, that you would have been better off either going somewhere like Timpsons or buying a battery and doing it yourself.
Wee Davie - on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to Heike:

I got the watch opening tools for £3 off eBay and bought a pair of batteries for £1.29 recently. Bit of a fiddle but better value than the ridiculous jewellers shop prices...
felt - on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to Martin W:

> This comment was about as predictable as someone popping up on a thread about TV to tell everyone that they don't have a telly.

Just to clarify, I have neither a watch nor a phone.



Big Ger - on 19 Nov 2017
In reply to felt:

I once asked a lesbian mate if I could have a watch.
felt - on 17:41 Mon
In reply to Big Ger:

You're such a Tissot.
Big Ger - on 22:08 Mon
In reply to felt:

and you're a Blancpain

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