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New battery is becoming seriously expensive, is it worth it?

  1. Andthenitsgone

    Andthenitsgone Jul 15, 2016

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    i have a number of watches but my most everyday work favourite is my seamaster. I'm not a deep sea diver, or someone who inflicts any sort of stress on my lovely watch, I just commute to London and back. I went to get a new battery fitted by Goldsmiths as I do every 2-3 years and it's where I bought the watch many years ago. Today I am told it'll be £320 as it needs a service and the battery may have leaked again (told me this last time). They tell me this every time but I can't see how it's getting dirty or why they persist in using inferior batteries. I also keep my watch in a watch case when it's not in use along with my others and even pull out the bezel as advised so the battery doesn't deplete.
    I suppose I am asking if anyone knows why these omega watches seem to be prone to collecting dirt and have poor batteries and lastly why so expensive.
     
  2. Andthenitsgone

    Andthenitsgone Jul 15, 2016

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    Forgot to ask if any one has any recommendations of good alternatives for a sensible watch service and battery fitting
     
  3. omegasaso12

    omegasaso12 Jul 15, 2016

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    If watch button cell is fited properly in a watch and watch has no humidity inside from befor (or afther) I can not see how battery can leak??
    Ofcourse we are talking for high quality silveroxide batteries, not some china made batteries.

    Lots of time watchmakers do not handle batteies properly and they touch them with fingers. And on fingers we have moisture combined with salt which is no good for watch.
    Then batterie with "finger prints" go inside watch for 2 or 3 years and in meanwhile reaction is happening........

    Would like to see a pic of that "leak", but I assume you can not open back.


    Cant help you with alternative solution, sorry
     
  4. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Jul 15, 2016

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    Take it to someone else like a watchmaker and get the battery changed.

    They know how long you have had the watch and want to service it. If you have not serviced it for several years maybe it's good advice they are giving you
     
    blubarb likes this.
  5. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jul 15, 2016

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    Batteries leak all the time - in particular when people leave them in for too long. Just last week:

    [​IMG]

    Another one last year:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So big deal 2 examples over 7 or 8 months? Well I've only done 4 quartz watches in that time, so this is a 50% battery failure rate on my bench...

    In my experience the #1 reason for leaked batteries is the watch owner neglecting the watch (not suggesting the OP has done this by the way). Second is just crappy batteries, and Omega usually insists on using Renata (as they are Swiss) and they have a pretty bad reputation with most watchmakers for leaking, at these those that I know who flip a lot of batteries. And yes the installer can also be a problem - not usually watchmakers who know how to properly handle batteries, but the pimply faced kid at the mall kiosk who tears himself away from his phone for 3 minutes to pry open the case back and jam a new battery in with bare fingers, letting dirt into the case at the same time.

    Batteries have a seal in them that has a limited life span, and ensuring that the new battery is as new as possible (most good cells now have date codes on them) will go a long way to preventing a leaky battery in a watch. But the owner really needs to get the battery changed as soon as they see the EOL (End Of Life) warning on the watch. So on most Omegas, that's when the watch ticks once every 4 seconds, instead of once every second.

    So to the OP - the battery itself is not expensive - I use Maxell personally as I've had very good results with them, and when I buy them in strips of 5 they are a whopping $0.68 each.

    I'm not sure what the scope of work is that the shop is charging you for, but when done properly, it's not just pulling the old battery out and putting a new one in, and the job is done. It will typically involve electrical testing of the movement to ensure that the movement is up to specifications, installing a new cell, new case back seal, and pressure testing - this is the minimum work involved. So if you are going to take the advice of others and seek out another place to do this work, just make sure they are doing the equivalent job.

    Based on the costs you are stating, if the battery has actually leaked, this often causes enough damage to the movement that the only option is replacement. Note that for many movements, new circuits are no longer available, so if that is damaged the whole movement is replaced. I don't know what watch you have but a Cal. 1538 is about $350 here. Unless this is a diver and they are doing a full reseal (crown, case tube, pushers, HEV, polish) I suspect they are quoting a replacement of the movement. But you should get more detail on what is being done - just telling you "service" and quoting that price doesn't tell you much.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers, Al
     
  6. Andthenitsgone

    Andthenitsgone Jul 15, 2016

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    Thanks everyone for the quick responses on this. I have always tried to use reputable watch makers so go through the seller which is Goldsmiths, the watch goes away for almost 10 weeks, they have cleaned it every 2 or 3 years when the battery needs changing and I'd expect they would not touch with naked hand, but now I question this. I have since gone back and asked for photos of the leak and what type of battery is being used
     
  7. Andthenitsgone

    Andthenitsgone Jul 15, 2016

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    I've contacted Goldsmiths and asked them to provide photos of the battery leak and my other evidence that it needs such a significant service and clean. I noted I get lots of information even a video of my Jaguar service and that cost less than they are asking for the watch. I wait to hear their response