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Battery Types for Watches

by watchaces watchaces on April 29, 2024

Discover the Diverse World of Battery Types for Watches.

The purpose of this discussion is to familiarize you with the many kinds of watch batteries so that you can better understand their function and be ready to do routine maintenance on your timepiece. For those of us who are passionate about accurate timekeeping, knowing how to choose the right batteries is crucial. Our findings are based on in-depth analyses of renowned horological institutions' and experts' research.

Silver Oxide Batteries of Watches

Watches from well-respected brands that value accuracy and durability often use silver oxide batteries. Quantum watches from luxury brands like Rolex, Omega, and Tag Heuer often use batteries made of silver oxide. Their faith in the reliability and durability of silver oxide batteries is evident in the fact that these prestigious brands use them. Here are some examples of batteries that are commonly used: SR626SW, SR621SW, SR920SW, and SR927SW.

Lithium Batteries of Watches

The exceptional energy storage capabilities and dependability of lithium batteries have propelled them to the forefront of the watch industry. Watches from well-known brands like Casio, Seiko, and Citizen often feature lithium batteries, especially in their more robust and feature-packed models. Lithium batteries are an indication of these brands' commitment to technological innovation and excellence. Some examples of these include the CR2025 and CR2016 lithium batteries and the CR2032, which are both used extensively in digital watches due to their extended power and stability.

Alkaline Batteries of Watches

In contrast to their more prevalent use in high-end luxury watches, alkaline batteries are more commonly found in more affordable and casual timepieces. When it comes to their entry-level quartz watches, brands like Timex, Casio, and Fossil frequently choose alkaline batteries. This allows them to keep the time accurately while keeping costs low. Anyone looking for an affordable, trustworthy timepiece can benefit from alkaline batteries. One example is the widespread use of alkaline batteries in analog watches; models such as LR44, LR41, LR1130, and LR626 provide consistent power for general use.

Zinc Air Batteries of Watches

Some niche watches, especially those made for extreme sports and other outdoor activities, have a special battery that runs on zinc air. Zinc air batteries are used by outdoor and sports watch brands such as Suunto, Garmin, and Tissot to guarantee accurate timekeeping in harsh conditions. Zinc air batteries are a great example of how these companies are listening to the demands of people who lead active lives and love the outdoors. Fitness and activity trackers often use zinc air batteries, such as the ZA675, ZA312, and ZA13, which offer long-lasting power for extended outdoor adventures.

Watch Battery Naming Syntax

Watch batteries are designated using a standardized naming convention. While all major watch brands utilize them, certain companies, most notably Renata, employ an alternative naming system. Further elaboration on this is provided below.


The naming syntax comprises a sequence of numerals and letters that specify the battery cell's type and dimensions.


It has been previously established that "S" represents "Silver Oxide" batteries, while "C" denotes "Lithium" batteries.


"R" is a common suffix following the code for the battery type; this symbol denotes the "Round" shape of the battery cell.


Two subsequent numbers are obtained, denoting the "Height" and "Diameter" of the cell, respectively. The precise value of the Height is consistently provided, albeit without a decimal place. For example, the height of 3 is 3 millimeters, while 33 millimeters is 3.3 millimeters.


As a universal number code, the Diameter value provided is not always the exact diameter in millimeters. The diameter denoted by the code 5 in the chart below is 5.8 mm. Although there is a minor margin of error regarding the permissible dimensions, no batteries are produced beyond this range. An instance of a battery with a diameter of 6.2mm is not commercially available; however, one measuring 5.9mm is.


The electrolyte utilized may be denoted by the following letters following the size code:


P: sodium hydroxide electrolyte

S: potassium hydroxide electrolyte

No letter: organic electrolyte


A letter W may also appear at the end of the code to indicate that the battery meets all the specifications of the international IEC 60086-3 standard for watch batteries.

Last but not least, a watch's functionality and durability are greatly affected by the type of battery used. Each type of battery has its own set of benefits that are well-suited to certain watch designs and uses; for example, alkaline batteries are more affordable, zinc air is more durable, silver oxide is more precise, and lithium is more reliable. You can make an educated decision to keep your watch running well for many years to come by learning about the different battery options and how they are used by various watch brands.



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