People often ask me 'How hard is it to change a battery?' and the answer is sometimes it isn't hard at all, other times it is a nightmare.
Curved cases require special dies and presses to close the case backs and some watches, like Bering and Skagen, are difficult to work with because the whole front of the watch is glass or sapphire.
Really cheap watches, you can close the case with your fingers, but anything decent quality requires a press, or the screw down case backs require a proper case wrench or bench mounted closer, and then there are the gaskets to condition or replace.
Touching the battery with your bare fingers can and and will shorten the battery life and depending on the person's bio magnetic field, can cause leaks.
You know who you are, magnetic persons !
I know this sounds a bit nuts, but some people have a lot of inductance or whatever it is, as well as acidic sweat, or they smoke, or various other issues.
Anyway, the proper way to handle a cell is with finger cots, which is what we do.
Also keep in mind, that if your watch has a realistic and serious depth rating, with a screw down crown, it is advisable to replace ALL the gaskets every two years to maintain the rating and any warranties associated therewith, IF you care about such things, OR your watch comes into contact with water on any kind of regular basis, keeping in mind also that hot water voids warranties and no one should be showering with their watch on, as I've written about elsewhere. (This advice courtesy Breitling service centre)
Certain watches also require special procedures, like Seiko Perpetual Calendars, which may need to be programmed at every battery change. A warning here:
It is EXTREMELY EASY to destroy a Seiko Perpetual Calendar while changing the battery, because the cell sits on top of a VERY thin circuit board. Even programming it with a heavy hand can puncture the circuit points.
We also use Swiss cells, which are a lot better than your average bulk purchase no name Chinese ones, just sayin'.
I actively discourage anyone from buying really cheap quartz watches, because more often than not, they get thrown away rather than replace their cells, and at the end of the year we see garbage bags full of non-recyclable watches going into the landfill. Sometimes these watch cases are made from highly questionable metal and are toxic.
So how hard is it to change a battery?
Depends. When in doubt, see your friendly neighbourhood watchmaker.