This Watch Battery Is Still Ticking After 23 Years!


“Planned obsolescence” is such an integral part of manufacturing these days that it almost never comes into conversation, public or private. So why should the production of watch batteries be any different?

Yet, I have a very good friend, who is still wearing a lovely gift watch from 1992, which still uses the same battery that came with it. The watch is a Wittnauer… a stainless steel, gray metal case with a leather band. The accompanying literature claimed the battery had a 20-year life.

Now, 23 years later, the watch continues its pinpoint accuracy, including displaying the proper date. A research project with a host of well-known jewelers revealed they all marveled at the battery. “Never heard of such a thing” was the most often comment of these experts in the field.

Yes, watch batteries often stop working at inconvenient times… and yes, just as often after a surprisingly short time. You can easily replace them yourself. Check the size (that’s important) and whether you need a high-drain or low-drain type. Then march to a local jewelry or watch repair shop. Or, possibly even better, go online to eBay, where there is usually a much greater variety. Plus, there are online instructions for the very simple procedure to take out the old and put in the new.

“Planned obsolescence” — that devious structure of making sure the parts and particles of manufacture avoid 100 percent efficiency, so the unit quits earlier, forcing another new unit to be purchased. Now we know that even watch batteries can be built to last and last and last… even 23 years. Hmmm.