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How to Repair a Wristwatch


Before going to a repair shop with a broken wristwatch, check first to see if the problem is something that you can fix. There are simple repairs that you can do on wristwatches that can save you money on the cost of labor charged by a watch technician. Some of these fixes require the use of only a few basic tools that you can find around the house.

Inspect the wristband and look for loose or broken parts.

Remove the broken part if the wristband has different sections. Use a small screwdriver, the type used for jewelry repair, and loosen the connection of the broken section. Insert the replacement part where you removed the broken section, and then tighten the connections. Usually there are small hooks that connect each section. Make sure to twist them together using fine pliers.

Change the wristband. If the wristband is solid, such as leather or solid metal, remove the entire wristband.

Remove the retractable pins that connect on each side of the watch. The wristband should pop out of the watch's case.

Attach the new band using the same pins; make sure to push the pins tightly until you hear the clicking noise indicating that the wristband is in place.

Inspect the hour, minute and second hands of your wristwatch. Sometimes the hands become loose from repeated drops or hits.

Remove the back of the wristwatch. Lift the cover by using a small flathead screwdriver used by jewelers.

Remove the movement and the crown by lifting them gently. Don't lose the small parts. Make sure that they are intact when lifted.

Snap the hands back into place once you reach the face of the watch.

Put the crown, movement and the back cover back into place.

Buff the scratches off the crystal using a very fine Scotch-Brite pad. Add a little pressure, and gently move the pad in the same direction as the scratch. This should remove or lessen the appearance of the scratch.

Find a replacement crystal for the broken one. If the exact material is hard to find, settle for any similarly shaped crystal made from a different material.

Remove the broken crystal. Take off the back cover of the wristwatch. Remove the movement casing and then remove the crown. The crown is the little knob that winds the watch. Lift the broken crystal out of the bezel.

Insert the replacement crystal and put back all the parts removed.

Replace the battery of a digital watch if it does not show the correct time. You can buy batteries for digital watches and quartz watches from department stores or watch stores. Simply lift the back cover and remove the old battery. Find the similar type of battery and then put it in place of the old one. Test the watch for operation. Adjust the time as needed.

Replace broken knobs or buttons. Knobs or buttons may experience wear and tear after prolonged use. Call the manufacturer to ask for replacement parts and order them. You can easily remove some parts by simply lifting them and unscrewing them. Then you can install the new parts by screwing them back on. You can insert and press the new buttons in place by aligning them on the corresponding receptacles. Simply press them firmly into place.

Adjust the knob to fix a broken alarm or timer. Some digital watches have alarms and timers that may exhibit problems from time to time. For example, if the alarm does not work, the knob or control button may be loose. Simply tighten it to fix the problem. You can follow similar steps if the timer does not work. Consult the owner's manual for more details.

Things You'll Need:

  • Small screwdriver or jewelry tool
  • Replacement parts (wristbands and crystal)
  • Pliers
  • Fine or soft-grit Scotch-Brite pad


If the company that manufactured the watch is still in business, contact it to buy replacement parts.

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