Watch Batteries: What to Know

The style and appearance of the watch are some essential things to be considered while making a purchase, but what lies underneath is just as important. For example — watch batteries. The movement of the watch is the mechanism that powers the watch and regulates time. Perhaps the most common knowledge gap that people have is about the difference between a quartz watch and a mechanical watch. These terms, mechanical and quartz, refer to the movement of the watch.


What is a Quartz watch movement? 

There are several watch movements, and a quartz movement is one of them. A quartz movement is dependent on a battery for energy. Seiko released the world’s first mass-produced quartz watch in 1969 with the Astron. Quartz movements are more accurate than mechanical ones, and they’re also cheaper and faster to produce. As a result, this technological advancement almost put an end to the Swiss watch industry in the 1970s and 1980s. Most leading luxury Swiss watch companies today include quartz models in their lineup. Some examples of this are TAG Heuer Aquaracer, and Colt.  In fact, Breitling boasts that its SuperQuartz movement is ten times more precise than a standard quartz caliber.

closer view of Seiko quartz white dial watch

A quartz watch’s energy comes from a movement which controls or adjusts time through the use of a crystal created using the mineral quartz. These watches still have gears to rotate the hour, minute, and second hands unless it is a digital watch, along with any other complications, but gears in a quartz watch are turned by an electric stepping motor that is powered by a battery.

5 types of batteries used in watches

The mineral quartz has the quality of being piezoelectric. This indicates that when any sort of mechanical stress is put upon the material’s structure, it generates an electrical impulse. And the material produces vibrations when it’s charged with electricity.

The main concept behind a quartz watch movement is very simple. A small circuit and microchip make use of a battery to charge a tuning-fork-shaped quartz crystal, which causes it to vibrate or oscillate. The microchip is adjusted to measure this vibration in order to generate an electrical signal that pulses exactly once every second. This electrical pulse directs the stepping motor to turn the hands for one second.

1: Renata Watch Batteries

Renata batteries are supplied by a Swiss company that is owned by the Swatch Group.

Renata Watch Batteries

The swatch group is also the producer of Omega, Longines, and Breguet watches. This brand is a little more expensive than others. It’s frequently used in quartz watches because the batteries are reliable and last longer. They have over 40 different types that are made of silver oxide without any mercury. Previously, watch batteries contained a little mercury, but most companies don’t use it anymore as it is toxic to the environment. Batteries by Renta provide about 1.55 volts and have a very low self-discharge rate; they are also leak-proof.

2: Varta Watch Batteries

Varta produces 33 different types of batteries for watches and timepieces. Some of their watch batteries are just like the silver oxide ones that other companies make, but Varta also makes alkaline manganese and Li-ion batteries. Varta also provides some uncommon watches, such as one type of watch from Omega that uses a rare 2-volt lithium battery.

3: Sony Watch Batteries

Sony is the largest silver oxide button cell battery maker in the world.

Sony Watch Batteries

It makes 40 different silver oxide watch batteries that fit a wide variety of watches.  About half of the batteries are for high-drain timepieces. These batteries might differ in how much capacity they hold, but most of them provide 1.5 volts of energy. You can use two types of batteries in high-end quartz watch movements. Still, the buyer should match the high-drain or low-drain battery with the right kind of watch. The Sony watch battery is leak-proof and has a stable voltage. According to some popular consumer website, Sony watch batteries provide a long shelf life.

4: Maxell Watch Batteries

Maxwell watch Batteries have made a name for themselves for batteries used in small electronics, including those for watches. Made of silver oxide, these small batteries do not have any presence of mercury in them. These Maxwell watch batteries can provide 1.5 volts.

In terms of cost, this brand is a little on the expensive side. The batteries of this company come in different types and sizes, divided between a battery needed for low-drain watches and those for high-drain watches.

5: Energizer Watch Batteries

Energizer Watch Batteries

This company might be most recognizable to those searching for a battery. Energizer makes a wide range of batteries that include both silver oxide and lithium batteries. They are some of the most affordable batteries in the market. These products supply 1.5 volts and are leak-proof.

One interesting thing about Energizer is that they are the first ones to alter its packaging to make it more difficult to open. They brought this change because these batteries are easy for children to swallow. By making the battery containers difficult to open, the company is trying to make its packaging safer and child resistant.

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