Why does the watch have to be sent in for battery replacement? Is there a reason this can't be done locally by a qualified jeweler?
The short answer to your question is that you can have a battery changed by any qualified local jeweler. Our movements are made by some of the most reputable movement-makers in Switzerland and Japan, and most watchmakers will recognize them and be able to change the battery quite easily. There are 3 possible issues to bear in mind:
Warranty: Momentum includes a 2-year warranty extension with most Full-Service packages, but we cannot warranty the work of your local watchmaker. If you have a local watchmaker you trust and you decide to get your battery changed locally, then this will definitely save you the cost and delay of shipping your watch back and forth. Usually, a good local watchmaker will guarantee the quality of his work, so for example, if the watch leaks right after he replaces your battery, then he will cover the cost of repairing or replacing the watch. We do regularly see issues, where a customer has the battery changed locally and the wrong battery is put in, or an important o-ring seal is damaged or left out entirely when the watch is re-assembled, after the battery is changed. This kind of thing can lead to the watch flooding… and an expensive repair!
Ensuring waterproof performance: Many good local jewelers & watchmakers — even if well qualified — do not have a modern waterproof-testing machine. This is because these machines, with a suitable compressor, typically cost upwards of $7,000.00 each. Without one of these machines, a watchmaker cannot test the watch to ensure it is water-tight after re-assembly. Of course, if the o-ring seals are lubricated (or replaced) and carefully seated, and the back is screwed on with care and the right tool, the chance of the watch leaking is small, but some customers want to be really sure that their watch is water-tight after any service.
- Original Parts: A simple battery change using a standard battery can be done anywhere, but sometimes, when a watchmaker opens a watch to change the battery, he finds another issue. For example, an o-ring may be flattened or worn out; or the o-ring gasket around the crystal may be starting to deteriorate/fail; or there may be a chip/crack in the crystal. These kinds of issues can be easily rectified, if the watchmaker has the necessary original parts… but your local watchmaker is unlikely to have these parts. Also, many customers want an original replacement band installed, or a new bezel insert, to freshen up their watch. Again, this is easily done in one of our own Service Centers, but may pose a challenge for a local watchmaker, who does not have the necessary original parts.
If your watch is no longer under warranty and you are confident in a local jeweler’s skills, it is no problem save the time and hassle and have a new battery installed locally, we just always recommend finding a watchmaker that uses a modern water pressure tester.