Replacing a Seiko Kinetic Watch BatteryPosted on October 2nd, 2010 184 comments
I’ve owned a Seiko Kinetic model 5M62 watch for about 8 years and I really liked the fact that it never needed batteries and would run for days without winding. The Kinetic watch is self-winding, and instead of using a spring to store the energy, it converts the mechanical motion into electricity and stores it instead. This gives it the convenience of a self-winding watch along with the accuracy of a quartz movement. However, a few weeks ago I noticed that it would stop running if I took it off for a few hours. Sometimes, when I was just typing on the computer and not moving my wrist around, it would stop running. Below is a picture of the watch.
I figured there was something wrong with the energy storage system, possibly a dead battery or bad capacitor. After a web search, I found out that the watch does have a battery, which is sometimes referred to as a capacitor, but it is indeed a battery. All rechargeable batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge and after 8 years, this one had simply worn out. The problem with changing it is that the Seiko Kinetic battery is not one of those standard watch batteries that you buy in a store and easily change by yourself. However, I found that it could be purchased from vendors on Ebay or other on-line websites like Swatchbattery.com for around $20.
In our disposable society, I’m sure this issue could have been an excuse to go shopping for a new watch. But once you become attached to a watch, and this one is water proof so I hardly ever take it off, it sort of becomes a part of you. I hated the thought of replacing it, especially because I felt it had many more years of service.
I started reading a few of the websites that talked about replacing the battery as a DIY project, but wasn’t sure if I was up to the task or had the necessary tools. I never had taken the watch apart and looking at the back of it, I didn’t think it would simply pop off like my previous watches that had user-replaceable batteries. I talked with the jeweler where I bought it and they told me that they would have to send it away for repair and thought it might cost $65 or more to replace the battery. The local jewelery repair shop had a similar assessment. So, being an adventurer and inveterate fixer, I decided to do it myself.
You can see from the image below that the watch had notches on the back of its case. This meant that it needed a special case opener wrench.
I decided to get a Jaxa style opener (shown below) which clamps down on three notches since it seemed like it would do the job better than the openers that only grabbed the case on two notches. These can be found on the Internet or at Harbor Freight for less than $10.
To make things easier, I decided to remove the watch band. Most of the watches I’ve owned had spring-loaded pins that were pretty easy to remove, but this model had pins pressed in that held the watch band in place. I was able to push them out with the tool shown below.
I used a paper towel to protect the watch and gently gripped it in a vice and was able to unscrew the back with the watch opener. It took a fair amount of torque to loosen the case back. In the image below you can see what it looks like inside. The battery is the brass-colored part in upper side of the image below. To get to it, you need to remove three very small screws. I had several small jeweler’s screw drivers around the house, but these screw slots are so tiny that I found it necessary to use a file on one of my screw drivers to make a very sharp tip in order for it to fit in the slots of these screws.
The center screw holds the winding weight and gear in place. These items can only go one one way as the shaft is keyed. Actually, they can go on two ways, but both ways are correct. However, you can put them in upside down, so pay attention to how they are installed as you remove them. The gear must mate up with a smaller gear so make sure that it does before installing the winding weight and screw.
When you get all the parts out, they look like the image below. There are 3 small screws, the winding weight, a gear, a red mylar insulator, a battery hold-down clamp, and the battery. To re-assemble them, just (carefully) put them back together they same way you took them apart. You’ll find a pair of sharp tweezers useful to handle the screws and other parts.
Here is the package I got from an online retailer. It came with a red mylar insulator, a hold-down bracket, and the Maxcell TC920S battery.
In addition to the tools mentioned above, I also used the magnifying headset shown below which I highly recommend. I think that the magnifying headset (with built-in LED lights) was instrumental in allowing me to work on such a small device. They can also be found on the Internet for less than $10.
If you’ve stuck with me this long, I’m going to give you a bonus. I mentioned that I had owned the watch for 8 years so now I have a confession. I always wondered what the push-button at the 2-o’clock position was used for. Sometimes it would advance the second hand 5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds and then it would sit there and stop. Then it would start running after the time had caught up with it. I had no idea why it did this because I had never read the owner’s manual and don’t even know if I still have a copy of it. So, in case you’re wondering, here is a copy of the page from the owner’s manual I found online that explains it (hint: it’s a sort of ‘gas gauge’ for the battery):
Incidentally, when the watch battery had begun to fail, it was impossible to get the reserve indicator to advance the second hand more than 5 or 10 seconds even after vigorous winding. Now with the fresh battery, it jumps forward 30 seconds whenever I push it.
Would you like to know how to correctly wind the watch and how much it takes to keep it moving for a day? If so, here is the explanation, again from the Seiko manual:
It would appear that if you walk more than 720 meters (about 1/2 mile) you’ll impart enough energy to keep it going for a two days. Here’s another interesting tidbit: If you see the watch second hand jumping 2 seconds at a time, that means the battery is low and that you have less than 24 hours of charge left on it.
So, there you have it, a way to resurrect a watch that should last for decades. If you have one of these Seiko Kinetic watches sitting in a drawer gathering dust because of a dead battery, I hope my explanation gives you the motivation to get it working again for minimal cost. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or just want to share your experience with other readers.
Does it seem like too much trouble or beyond your skill level to do this repair? If so, you may want to get in touch with John Safranek at KineticRepair.com in Denton, TX or call him at 940-239-9888. He’s a Seiko Kinetic expert and performs these battery changes starting at just $49.95.
184 responses to “Replacing a Seiko Kinetic Watch Battery”
craig hill November 26th, 2010 at 07:39
thanks for all your help.
my seiko battery is in the post as we speak
awaiting my repair.
Im sure many people dont know kinetic
thanks craig hill
Streety December 7th, 2010 at 04:05
I bought the cell some weeks ago but didnt have the confidence to attempt the job until I found this link. Success. My Seiko Kinetic is running like new
Streety December 7th, 2010 at 04:07
Sorry meant to say THANKS LEE.
Jehan Ghouse December 11th, 2010 at 08:54
I did not realize that there was a replaceable battery in the Kinetic watches. Mine is about 15 years old and stopped working about 10 years ago. I paid almost $175 to have Seiko repair it. I presume now that all they did was replace the battery!
By the way, how do I assure water resistance after opening up the back case…would I need a new gasket?
My gasket was in good shape, so I reused it. I suppose if you opened it up and found the gasket damaged or no longer pliable, then it would be beneficial to replace it.
Ron White December 24th, 2010 at 18:48
Thank You for this very valuable information. I found this gem in a second hand store. I had no knowledge about it, but knew it was a quality watch. Your information about the Power Reserve Indicator was extremely helpful.
fergus moloney January 27th, 2011 at 03:42
I have a seiko 5m63 (about 9 years old)Which I believe needs a new battery, second hand jumping at 2 second intervals etc. I have read that there is an updated battery/ capacitor available is this correct and if so will that be automatically installed when I send it for repairs, Has anyone heard of this?
My original battery was a Maxcell TC920S as was the one I got from SwatchBattery.com. I don’t think that the battery technology changed, and I suspect that in another 8 years it too will need to be replaced. Rechargeable batteries wear out too after so many charge/discharge cycles, so I don’t think there is a problem that can be fixed by a new battery design.
Lee, thank you for your info.. I was successful in replacing my capacitor for my 5m43.. Like you said, the case back was extremely difficult to remove… I didn’t have a vise, so it took some trial and error to figured out something that will do the job to secure it to help remove it. Using a small pipe wrench. I think the one I used was around 10″. As long as the jaw opening fits inside the watch band attachment opening. I put a cloth around the jaw of the pipe wrench to prevent scratching of the watch when I close the the jaw to where it was snug, working it like a clamp. Then, I use the Jaxa style opener on the watch back and turn both the pipe wrench and the opener in opposite directions and what do you, it opened up like a charm.
Just a suggestion for people who are looking for another way to secure the watch to open the case back..
I just replaced the battery/capacitor of my Seiko Kinetic, which I’ve had for 14 years. The replacement was relatively simple as described and took me 30 minutes with no special tools. I was able to remove the back with needle nose pliers, bit it would have been easier with the Jaxa opener. I also had to file down my jewelers screw drivers before they would fit into the screw heads. I was surprised at how much force was required to turn the screws.
My battery didn’t come with any charge and I’m concerned that it’s defective. Even after concentrated swinging and a full round of golf, the second hand only advances 5 seconds when I test it. Has anyone else experienced this problem; do I just need to be patient??
Richard February 17th, 2011 at 13:25
JMG – You will need literally THOUSANDS of rotations to fully charge a flat cell. One site talked of 20,000 !.
If you hold the watch in your hand you can get a rythm going where the weight can be felt swinging fully round. Still takes considerable time to fully charge !.
scott r May 20th, 2011 at 11:25
this is great, glad I came across it. Mine is going on 9 years now (more from date of manufacture I’m sure) and is now starting to die if I don’t wear it for a couple of days, I was hoping to find something like this so I can repair it on my own. I have read online that the newer batteries/capacitors are Lithium-ion and supposedly will last longer. Looks like I’ll be shopping ebay soon. Thanks!
frank mueller June 18th, 2011 at 12:56
thx for all the info-have a 1 mo old 5m62-despite shaking cant get power indicator to go past 1 oclock have ordered new capacitor as above—should I replace it ? or just keep shaking !!!
If you don’t have a problem with the watch running down when you down move it for a few hours, then I’d wait and see if it improves with time. BTW, I’m not sure if you have a problem or not. What you’re looking for is not whether it will ‘go past 1 o’clock’, but rather how many seconds it jumps ahead when you push the button. Mine now consistently jumps ahead 30 seconds since I’ve replaced the battery and that is the maximum jump you can expect when the battery is full.
reddy July 10th, 2011 at 04:32
I bought seiko kenitic watch last month.one
question,to remove centre screw which holds
winding weight and gear,screw diver rotate
clock wise or anticlock wise. kindly suggest
Hi Reddy, My recollection is that all the screws in the watch were conventional (clockwise to tighten, anti-clockwise to loosen).
reddy July 13th, 2011 at 09:51
thanks for ur response.here I want to tell
in mechanical auto watch the drum (winding weight) is fixed with anticlock wise crew.keeping that in my mind,I asked this
quetion.I amin sanfracisco,after going to I try.My tools are in india.
Hi Reddy, I think that in the case of a mechanical auto watch, the mechanism can only spin in one direction because it needs to tighten a spring. It needs to have a one-way clutch or pawl to prevent unwinding the spring and with that arrangement, you need to be careful on how the clamping screw is uses with the weight so it won’t come loose when the weight tries to spin backwards against that clutch or pawl. So that may be why the screw has left-hand threads in the mechanical auto winding watch. In the Seiko kinetic watches, the weight is free to rotate in either direction since the energy comes from moving a magnet past a coil and the current from the coil can be rectified, and so there is no advantage to the direction of the clamping screw since the weight does not ever hit a stop.
ahimsa August 27th, 2011 at 09:37
In 1996 I purchased in the US the seiko kinetic 5M42 OB 09 A4, a great watch for me. A far as I remember I had to send it to seiko France right at the beginning for changing the original rechargable battery/ capacitor, due probably to a problem with the battery ? After having been repaired (battery) by seiko france the watch functioned perfectly for almost 15 years.
Last month seing that the watch was holding the charge only for two days I gave it to repair (for changing the rechargable battery) at a jewelier. As I picked up the watch and asked for a report of what he did, he refused to giving me the report saying that “…everything is compiled in the computer’s files, and even after 10 years we know what has been done to your watch…”
The watch is now running strangely, because I have not been wearing it for two months, just testing the charger from time to time, and although I have not been recharging it on my wrist for two months, the tester shows constantly 20 sec., and never goes to 30 sec., which I understand because I do not wear it. But 2 months without being recharged and always showing 20 sec. is strange for me.
I think there is a problem, but I cannot figure out what it is, unless the juwelier inserted a normal cell instead of a rechargable battery/capacitor ?
What do you think ?
Thank you in advance for your help and advice.
The rechargeable battery, when new, can run the watch for months so I think what you’re seeing is normal. After years of charging/discharging, it simply wears out and can’t hold more than a day’s charge (or in my case, just 1/2 a day). I doubt that the jeweler used a non-rechargeable battery, even if he was guarded about what he did. I’m sure he doesn’t want anyone to know it’s possible to make the repair by yourself because he’d lose business ;-).
ahimsa August 28th, 2011 at 07:52
Thank you for your kind answer.
Ok, if the jeweler replaced the old rechargeable battery with a brand new one, why did the watch did not indicated 30 sec. the first day I picked it up, but only 20 sec. ?
Now if I am wearing it every day for a week i.e. and the tester does not show 30 sec. after a week, do you still think it is normal ?
I read on the web that there are two capacitors for this modell of watch:
- MAXELL TC 920 S
- SEIKO 3023 5MZ
Which one would you recommend if I have to change the actual capacitor ?
Thank you again for taking time to answer my questions. Too bad that I cannot send you the watch to taking care of it like a mom would do it for her child
My watch had the Maxell battery in it from the factory and when I ordered a replacement from Swatchbattery.com, that is the model of battery they sent me. I think it’s a good battery and would recommend it.
If the indicator only shows 20 seconds, then it indicates that it thinks the battery has about 1 month of charge. To get it to increase to 30 seconds, it needs to have between 4 to 6 months of charge. Each 250 swings of the watch stores about one day’s worth of energy, so to get from 1 month up to 4 months of energy, it would require a minimum of 30 x 3 x 250 = 22,500 swings. A rechargeable battery loses energy just sitting on the shelf, so that could be why it didn’t have the full 4 to 6 months of energy when you got it back from the jeweler. If you keep wearing it and moving around, then I would expect that it will eventually show a full charge if you are active enough to provide it with more than 250 swings per day, which Seiko implies is like walking 310 meters. As you can see from these calculations, there is a big difference between 20 seconds on the indicator, and 30 seconds and it would be the equivalent amount of charging you’d get from walking 28 km.
ahimsa August 30th, 2011 at 14:17
Thank you again for your response. I will follow your expert’s advices.
S. Conner September 1st, 2011 at 00:16
Thank you very much for this valuable information. I too have a Seiko Kinetic 5m62.
Your article states the Seiko part number for the 5m62 caliber is 3023.5mz.
I went to Swatchbattery.com and found the recommended Seiko part number is 3023.44z, not 3023.5mz. I crossed-checked with other websites and they all agreed.
I think you may have the incorrect battery/capacitor in your watch.
Please let me know if I’m in error. Again, thank you for the very useful article.
When I was doing my research, I seem to recall that both numbers were used as replacement battery packages for the 5m62, but now it appears that the 3023.44z is preferred for the 5m62. After doing a little research, I found that they packages are identical, except that the 3023.5mz contains an extra part, the battery hold-down bracket. I found that information here. Apparently, the 5m62 didn’t need that part because it has one that was already compatible with the Li-ion battery. Both packages contain the same battery, a Maxcell TC920S and mylar insulator. (and yes, I noticed that despite having an extra part, the 3023.5mz package sells for less on most sites)
I’ve had my Seiko kinetic for about 25 years. I’ve only been wearing it constantly for about the last 4 years. It suddently stopped keeping time, losing minutes over the course of a day. The charge meter function seemed to start acting erratically also, with it indicating to 10 seconds then 30 seconds and back to 10 seconds within a short time frame. Could these simply be due to the battery?
The battery in a Seiko Kinetic will eventually wear out whether you use it or not. It would seem to me that the replacement of the battery would likely be the root cause of the issue, especially if it is 25 years old.
Thanks, I replaced the battery on my 5M62. I separated the band at the clasp, which is a spring pin and left the band attached. I used small inflatable ball to remove the screw on back. The ball was sold on ebay as a watch case opener, but it has a cartoon picture on it so it is apparently a toy.
Armando Pinelo November 27th, 2011 at 10:16
I just bought the same watch. Your instructions, with photos, for replacing the battery are brilliant. Though I do not need a new battery yet, I will print this and keep it for future reference. Thanks, ajp
dave maccarter December 3rd, 2011 at 18:47
I just completed replacing the battery in my 5M43 Seiko Kinetic. I had read several sites about the process and was a bit intimidated. Sites like this gave me courage. Seems to have worked out good. The watch worked. As Lee suggested, get some good magnifying goggles or such. You will need them. Also, your tiniest screwdriver will probably need a bit of filing to make it thin enough to turn the screws. They are about the size of a grain of sand. Get some tweezers.
I had expected the battery to be fully charged with a 4 month charge when installed. New battery only showed 7 days to a month according the the chart. Hopefully it will charge up.
If you do this, be very careful with the screws they are so tiny and would be easy to lose. I laid out a white plastic garbage bag to make the work surface white and smooth. Then when the screws went “sprong” I could find them. Have a really clean work area.
Thanks for the page. It was helpful.
Johannes Hoffman December 5th, 2011 at 15:32
Thank You for the information! I bought a 5M22 in the spring 1996 and it had the capacitor that was good for about 3 days. When the watch was 8 years it stopped to work and I also got water in it. Since I lived and worked in a nation without seiko service and spare parts they just put in a usual battery temporary, and not telling me! After a year when it stopped again I went back to them and he who did it told me that there was just no replacement parts to be found. Back in my homeland Sweden in a shop they put in a tc920s and after that it was like normal. But now I see that it can stop little bit too easy and the second hand jumps. Thank you for info about this with 250 shakings! I will test it for some days otherwise I have to replace the battery. I really like my watch and I don’t want to buy a other one. By the way, this power reserve indicator, the button on the watch, it stopped to work about 5-6 years ago. Is there anyone who had that problem and what can I do to fix that??
I can’t tell you how relieved I am to find this article as I just opened the watch back and removed the battery looking online for the battery. I didn’t remove the center screw and weight but see the point in doing so for reistallation. Not having much luck locating the battery SL920 I need for my model I received for retirement in 1998.
I will go to the site you bought yours. Nice presentation.
Mike Smith December 21st, 2011 at 08:40
Lee, Thank you for your exceptionally informative help. My Seiko SQ100 (one of the very early Kinetics) lasted about 8 years before I had to have the original battery replaced at the cost then of about $150 equivalent here in Dublin, Ireland -a cost which upset me enormously at the time because it was nearly half the price I originally payed for it new and if I remember correctly, the original Seiko adv at the time, implied that as long as the wearer lived, the watch would never stop!!. Was I gullible or not?
Now after about another 8 – 10 years that battery, even after half a days vigorous swinging will only hold charge for a few minutes.
I thought the fact that as an elder gent (on a tight budget) I had got thinner (lost weight) and as the watch was flopping on my wrist rather than getting a good wind might have been the problem, but NO, having taken a link or two out of the bracelet to no avail, I am now going to order the replacement kit as you have outlined.
Thanks again, the watch has great sentimental value and I don’t want to scrap it (some might ask ‘at the age of 71, why do you need a watch at all?’)!!!
Well, Lee, It’s done. My Kinetic Seiko drove me psycho for a few minutes with the tiny screws popping ’round trying to get them in position but finally they are seated. As previously suggested, place at least a pillow case cover on the work area so a screw can easily be found once they do pop and keep your belly up to the table to avoid loss on the floor. The watch from first test shows at least 7 days charge. I’ll watch the tube and swing it around a bit. I’ll be glad to wear it once again.
Thank you, Lee; and SwatchBattery.com for making the parts available.
Mike Smith January 17th, 2012 at 08:05
Today I got my capacitor kit from SwatchBattery.com, cost $19.00 mailed to Ireland, fitted it in half an hour and nothing had improved after half a days shaking and waving. Thought it was the end of my Seiko SQ 100, that something else was wrong, took it apart again and discovered that a tiny lug on the metal capacitor retainer was earthing incorrectly. Reassembled properly and hey presto! -new watch, showing a weeks reserve in minutes.
So tip: Be careful how you put the retaining clamp back on -you must drop it straight down over the screw holes, if you jiggle it around to position it, it IS possible for the tiny lug on the top RHS to slip in under the insulator and give a wrong electrical connection -no charge being possible and thus dead watch.
Lee, if you are ever in Dublin, Ireland, I will buy you the several pints of Guinness I owe you, you have saved an ould fella a small fortune!
Thanks for the excellent article.
My wife took my watch to the jewler and he wanted $100 to fix it.
I read your article and did it myself. Boy are those screws tiny.
Anyway, my watch is a ticking.
Craig in Colorado February 16th, 2012 at 21:30
This was an excellent “How To” restore my Seiko 5M62A (model found inside the watch cover)”Kinetic” watch.
The watch had sat in my drawer for about 4 years because it wouldn’t hold a “charge”. I did a Google search to see if there was any info on the watch to see what the problem was and I found this website… I had NO idea that the watch had a battery/capacitor in it.
I followed the instruction exactly as described, ordered only the capacitor from Swatch.com. Note: You can get it in a kit form for another $15 and that’ll contain the insulator, etc, but I decided to go slow and hopefully preserve the original parts. That was done successfully. The capacitor came within a few days of placing the order.
Lee Devlin (poster) had everything covered his his instructions.
I’d add a couple of things:
1. I would suggest getting another “O-ring” seal for the back of the watch cover. (not sure where you’d find them though)… My original one was stretched slightly when I removed the watch back and it wouldn’t form a tight seal when I tried to put it back on.
My fix of the problem was to cut a small piece out of the O-Ring, close the ends together, holding them in place with some plumber’s putty on the rim of the watch. Then I replaced the watch back cover, very slowly and deliberately.
2.) I used a hair dryer on the back of the watch before I closed it back up. This removes any moisture from the air that may have been in the watch and it’ll keep it from condensation inside… I learned this the hard way when I replaced the battery in a Timex watch.
The watch if working perfectly. Thank you Lee Devlin for this post and the pictures!
Thanks for a great tutorial.
Thought I’d just give my experience after doing the upgrade on my 5M42 circa 1997 Arctura.
I purchased the upgrade kit and was surprised just how small those screws actually are!
Anyway when reassembled it took a few seconds of shaking to get the watch running initially. I thought it would show fully charged when first fitted. The indicator was only at 5, after several more minutes of movement it increased to 10. I was expecting a steady pregression to 20 and 30, but that was not the case!
To get the indicator to increase from 10 to 20 it took several days of fairly active use with some extra movement whilst watching TV in the evenings.
This is just so different to charging the the OE capacitor, I was begining to think there was something wrong.
To get a fully charged indication takes several weeks of active wearing.
The watch after the upgrade feels so different, the battery charge level does not go up rapidily but most importantly it doesnt come down when the watch isn’t worn for a few days. It has turned my slightly odd ball early Arctura into a very usuable time piece which doesn’t need constant use to maintain the time.
Thanks for the article.
Johannes Hoffman February 22nd, 2012 at 13:57
Finally I got my battery! My brother had to order it from Minnesota and then send it to me in Baku…
After loosing the tiny screws 3 times (!!!) I got it on its place and before the watch was closed it worked.
How to get the buttom for checking the charge to work I dont know yet so I dont know how fresh the battery is but It seems to be ok.
Thanks for all instructions!!
Brien T. Dixon March 16th, 2012 at 10:17
JUST WANTED TO SAY..THIS IS THE BEST “HOW TO” ON THE WEB, FOR RESTORING YOUR SEIKO KINETIC WATCH…THANKS
Mark millingren March 18th, 2012 at 02:28
great website yard sailin bought an 5m 42 cant get the old cell out dont want to damage the watch, the cell holddown bracket flew somewhere my questions are why wont the cell pop out of the cavity and do i really need that bracket i was thinking on soldering a fine piece of wire across the housing to properly distruibute the voltage,or does that bracket connect voltage underneath where the naked eye cant see. if i solder the wire across i know it must clear the self winding mechanism. this is my first exp with a kinetic watch ,my father was a watchmaker and he taught me all the other stuff ,thank you awaiting your reply.
You will need the bracket to hold the battery in place. It’s held in with screws and there is an insulator under it. Some battery repair kits contain a replacement bracket along with the insulator. I don’t know what would cause the battery to stick, mine popped right out after removing the bracket.
brien t. dixon March 19th, 2012 at 16:24
is there a difference between the 3023.5mz capacitor verus the 3023.44z capacitor. is one more powerful than the other? thank you
brien t. dixon March 19th, 2012 at 16:26
is there a difference between the 3023.5mz capacitor versus the 3023.44z capacitor, is one more powerful than the other, which one would you install in a ska62, or 5m62 seiko kinetic wristwatch??
brien t. dixon March 19th, 2012 at 16:27
please help…thank you
Mark millingren March 19th, 2012 at 20:49
thank you so much on your reply, really appreciate people like you willing to help someone out with a problem concerning seiko kinetic watches as i stated in the earlier email my father was a watchmaker and i learned alot from him so if you should ever need any help on wind up watches feel free to email thanks again Lee. marv
If you read back through the comments, I mentioned in a comment on 9-1-2011 that both of these replacement kits are the same, except that the 3023.5mz includes a replacement hold down bracket. Both kits have the same battery/capacitor.
i bought a Seiko 5M42 at a pawn shop for $19.00 , i knew something was wrong with the battery cause you could shake it a few times and it would run for about 15 seconds, so i went ahead and bought the watch hoping i could buy a battery , well after looking on web for a repair shop i found this site, (( THANKS )) , so then i knew it was battery, i didn’t want to mess with taking it apart so i found a Seiko repair shop in town , i have taken it by to him and while waiting for 10 mins he charged me $65 to fix , i knew all he did was replace battery , but i feel pretty good as now i have $85 in a $380 watch !! thanks for the all the help of info, by the way when i press the 2 oclock button the second hand goes to 30 seconds than after 30 seconds it starts right back up !!, going be my dress watch (( my fancey watch !! )) lol
best regards ,
Tim Kaylor April 22nd, 2012 at 05:35
Lee, I appreciate this. Took about 15 minutes and it was done. I just had a local jeweler put a new crystal on and it took 2 months. Glad to find this page because I sure did not want to wait that long again. Thanks loads!
Brett in Arkansas April 25th, 2012 at 15:09
Lee, posts such as yours make the internet a wonderful place for the how-to-ers of the world. This was a great find for sure. Thank you so much for posting the needed information. I repaired the seiko that’s been in my dresser drawer for a few years. It was the last spending splurge on myself before I got married 16 years ago, nice to see it running again.
Jose Reyes May 2nd, 2012 at 12:01
Lee, I received my battery for my seiko kenetic watch just this afternoon at about 1:00 p.m. and I am wearing as I type this response. I had my wife to take this watch to the Jewelry store that she purchased the watch and they told her that it did not have a battery, and if she wanted they would send it out to be checked for $75.00. I ordered both the tool and the battery on ebay and I got both for $26.00. After reading your site I felt extremly confident that I would be able to do this on my own, and I have accomplished it without any problems. Thank a million.
jimbo May 9th, 2012 at 00:10
have a TITANIUM auto kinetic 10 yrs old, much loved present…stopped working (i’ve had a lazy couple o weeks)picked it up, second hand started in 2 second increments…put it down, stopped in 30 mins. went to local watch-maker (he said i needed an expert (read….expensive)
read your blog……..shook for 15 minutes, now everything perfect (this model DOES NOT have charge indicator)
i reckon you have not only saved me 200 bucks, but, i now have ALL the answers for future problems….legendary, thanks.
billinorlando May 9th, 2012 at 16:06
Lee, thanks for this information. I just bought mine. It is a lot like yours. (SKA099 Seiko) Just love it. Thought that it would never need a battery was the main reason why I bought it. My mistake. But now that I found this I don’t mind as I think I will be able to fix it myself, and not wait for it to come back after repairs.
Thanks again..> Bill.
billinorlando May 12th, 2012 at 16:46
I have been wearing this watch now for 3 days for about 10 hours a day. When I press the button in the 2 o’clock position. It ticks for 30 seconds. Which tells me that it has a 4 to 6 month charge. Funny thing is. when I take it off for the night. It will stop ticking after one hour. When I wake up. I have to reset the watch. Any ideas, or do I have a dead battery? Thanks. Bill
If the battery is old, like more than 8 or 10 years, then I’d suspect it was a bad battery. I don’t know why your fuel gage is giving you false information, but it seems like the battery doesn’t have enough capacity to run the watch for more than a few hours.
Rick Maidenhead May 16th, 2012 at 12:32
Where can we buy replacement battery bracket retaining screws, (two no.) please? I’ve lost one and I’m stuck.
Rick Maidenhead uk
The only place I can suggest is a local jeweler. You can buy watch screw assortments on-line, but they sell them in quantities of 100 or more and that will probably cost $20 or more with shipping. A jeweler shouldn’t charge very much since the screws cost less than $.20 each.
Rick Maidenhead May 16th, 2012 at 22:56
Thanks Lee for your very quick response and the suggestions given. Here in Maidenhead we have the UK Seiko base. Problem is that they are in denial that the device is a battery at all, because of their past sales implication that such a watch is almost perpetual. I have used them previously and they don’t convince me that the charging generator is capable of sustaining the charge for more about than two years. Their charge last time I checked starts at about £100. $150 ish? Seems excessive to me for a battery update.
I do posess a Kinetic watch winder in which the watch is always parked when not being warn. This time it is DIY via the small battery company and my second attempt, I think the last was via this ‘channel’.
Probably this is not for displaying here because of my criticism of Seiko but nevertheless thanks again for all your excellent efforts.
Rick Maidenhead May 19th, 2012 at 02:47
Additionally . .
To be fair I am a real admirer of Japanese precision technology. I don’t think ANY technically inclined thinker can ever fail to be impressed and that includes Seiko and Epson their sister company, and many others.
THEN the marketing types step in and wreck the concept of realistically charging for maintaining the product be it with rechargeble maxel battery rechargeable cells masquerading as so called ‘capacitors’ or rip off ink costs and firmware designed to accelerate and waste ink cartridges.
By the way I found the wondering battery hold-down screw, and I have subsequently used your macros to resurrect my old but pristine looking and beautifully engineered 5m42 for the third time. I note from the Maxel TC920s tech spec that the cell is good for 500 charge / discharge cycles. The moral is that it must be kept charged! as cycling will compromise performance.
seikoman June 23rd, 2012 at 21:06
When you guys replace the capacitor/battery, do you alos replace the seal. The rubber seal that is inside the back cover. I think it’s used for water proofing.
I did not replace my seal, but if it looks worn or has any defects, it would be a good idea to replace it if you want to maintain the watch’s water-tight seal. These o-ring gaskets are available from many sources on line along with silicone grease that is used to keep them from getting damaged as the watch is re-assembled.
rickMaidenheaduk June 24th, 2012 at 10:40
Replacing the battery . . .
Cleanliness, Lee’s photos, much patience, a very steady hand and 20-20 eye sight are essential requirements during the battery replacement procedure.
That “generator” particularly, will not tolerate any moisture or dirt contamination. Seal integrity MUST be restored.
I replaced mine through a generous Timpson high street repair person. Paid him a pound – he had a selection and I used the old and warn one as the crib.
billinorlando June 24th, 2012 at 12:04
Hi Lee, I just wanted to give you an update on my watch that I bought. It turns out that it was defective. They had to send it back to the dealer to get a new one. I have been without my watch not for just over a month. Kind of a drag man. Thanks…> Bill
Rick Maidenhead uk June 25th, 2012 at 12:54
Lee . . .
The Seiko TC920s rechargeable cell holds a very small charge nominally 3.5 mAh. One of your contributors was impressed by showing his hold up to be “30″ seconds.
Unless a Kinetic owner is active and always wearing his watch, he should resist pressing the charge indication button more than is absolutely necessary. I suggest that action reeted, severely compromises the 500 recharge cycle cell capability. A fairly good and sufficient indication that the cell functions is that the second hand is moving in one second moves rather than a two second twitch. Pressing the charge indicator button has to give the cell a bit of distructive “welly” in order for the cell to indicate it is holding it’s charge.
Rick Maidenhead June 29th, 2012 at 04:43
Lee . . .
I’ve corrected an irritating typo below .. repeated.
The cell manufacturer is Maxcell of course,not Seiko.
Perhaps the previous message can be replaced.
The Maxcell TC920s rechargeable cell holds a very small charge nominally 3.5 mAh. One of your contributors was impressed by showing his hold up to be “30″ seconds.
Unless a Kinetic owner is active and always wearing his watch, he should resist pressing the charge indication button more than is absolutely necessary. I suggest that action repeated, severely compromises the 500 recharge cycle cell capability. A fairly good and sufficient indication that the cell functions is that the second hand is moving in one second moves rather than a two second twitch. Pressing the charge indicator button has to give the cell a bit of distructive “welly” in order for the cell to indicate it is holding it’s charge.
Steve K June 29th, 2012 at 13:09
Thank you very much. Excellent information. My wife bought me a Seiko 5M62in 2001. A few days ago it stopped. I almost decided to replace it, but thought I would first give Google a go. Thankfully, I came upon this article. I don’t know if I have the courage to attempt such a repair on my own, but the information is still very useful. By the way, I never knew what the push buton was for, either.
i have a seiko kinetic watch,since i move in to middle east in 2008.the watch is stop working.it is possible to work it agAin? from time to time. i try to use it.what is the best option,brint the unit to service center or try your guidelines.tnx mvl
Hi MVL, You can take your watch to a service center and they will generally charge you somewhere between 50% and 100% of the watch’s value to get it working again. If you can change the battery yourself, you can fix it for $20 or less, assuming that is the problem you are experiencing.
thanks mr lee devlin , ill follow your guidelines ,unfortunately it works.ill shake it 2000 times.thanks a lot n i save 275sr.
Just successfuly replaced the battery in my 11 year old 5M62 but now find that the face can rotate within the case with sudden movement of the watch. I only removed the 3 screws specified by Lee and cannot see any reason for this movement. Has anyone else experienced this problem.
PLEASE HELP ME
I THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR INFO BUT I REPLACED MY CAPACITOR AND NOTHING CHANGED. MY QUESTION IS-THERE ARE TINY COPPER CONTACTS WELDED ONTO THE FRONT OF THE WATCH AND YOU DID NOT SAY OR SHOW WHERE THEY GO OR DOES IT NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE
Hi Dan, There are no contacts welded on to the front of the watch. I would check to make sure that the insulator is in place so that the battery is not shorted. There are metal contacts that need to contact its positive and negative sides. If that doesn’t fix it, then it’s possible that the problem resides elsewhere, or that the new battery is also defective.
The 3 screws as far as I can recall only hold on the winding weight and the battery clamp, and were not attached to the face of my watch in any way. It’s possible that the rear of the case provides some clamping force that may hold the face in place (I am just guessing here) but I’d check to make sure that it’s properly threaded into the case and tightened securely.
SORRY THE CONTACTS ARE WELDED ON THE FRONT OF THE BATTERY. W
HERE ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO GO?
Thanks Lee,I think that is the problem.
I had replaced the back seal with a new “O” ring type(obtained from Quality Batteries UK) which is thicker than the original flat seal and was preventing the back from being screwed right down. I have now reverted to the original seal and all appears to be OK.
Hi Dan, I am not familiar with the type of battery you’re referring to. The battery I replaced was held in place with a small metal clamp and the battery had no contacts welded to it. They electrical contact with the + and – side of the battery is done with leafs springs from the clamp and on the board below it, there is no permanent connection made to the battery.
HELLO ,LEE THANKS FOR REPLYING.
IT’S STRANGE WHAT YOU ANSWERED ME BECAUSE ON THE VERY PICTURE ABOVE I CAN SEE THE SAME BATTERY AS MINE AND I CAN SEE CLEARLY THE CONTACTS WELDED ON THE BATTERY.MY WATCH ON THE OTHER HAND HAS NO CONTACT UNDERNEATH FOR THE BATTERY TO TOUCH
Hi Dan, Sorry, I misunderstood your question. The negative side of the battery has brass-colored metal stamping on it with two small contact fingers. These fingers need to make contact with mating parts inside the watch. There is a red mylar insulator to keep the clamp from making electrical contact with the negative side of the battery to avoid shorting the + and – sides of the battery. The positive side of the battery (marked with a ‘+’ sign) makes contact with some other parts inside the cavity (you insert it + side down). It is important to make sure that the + and – side do not get shorted together. There are some other websites on the Internet with more pictures of the battery/contact fingers if you need more details. Just search on ‘Seiko Kinetic battery replacement’ and you will find other images that can help. The tutorial over at pmwf.com has lots of detailed pictures.
THANKS A MILLION I WAS PUTTING IT – SIDE DOWN. PITY THE INSTRUCTIONS WORE NOT CLEARER.
Ray Cooper August 15th, 2012 at 06:59
Thanks for the help in replacing the battery in my seiko kinetic. All went well, except the dial moved and is misaligned. It doesn’t move back to it’s original position because the stem limits the swing. Any advice?
Hi Ray, I recent comment to this posting mentioned that the face was loose after re-assembly and it was a result of an O-ring gasket that didn’t allow the case back to be screwed in all the way. I am not exactly sure what you mean by the ‘dial’, but if it’s the face that is misaligned, it could be that it moved when the case back was tightened. So you may need to remove the back to re-adjust the watch’s face. If I misunderstood your issue, please follow up with more details.
Hi Ray, I experienced the same problem and managed to re-align the face by removing the back and “flicking” the watch with a rotary motion. After some trial and error I managed to align the face correctly. The face movement is not restricted by the position of the stem – it moves independently.
Ray Cooper August 15th, 2012 at 17:14
OK; I must admit my skepticism…really, ‘flicking’the watch. I did it and it worked! Thanks, for the input. Sorry for the terminology glitch….face vs. dial. It comes from a long long experience with clocks and mechanical watches. I must say, Seiko does some strange things. Guess I have to find a junk kinetic watch and dismantle it.
Thanks again for the help
[...] You can do it yourself with very little difficulty. Just a few tools nothing exotic here is a link Replacing a Seiko Kinetic Watch Battery | Lee Devlin's Website Reply With [...]
I have a 5M42-0809 Seiko Kinetic that would run as long as I had it on. But it would stop when I took it off at night. I ordered the battery from the website you recommended and ordered a tool kit to be sure I would have the necessary tools. Before beginning I went through the repair instructions several times and triple checked every step as I reassembled it. However after reassembling it I was bummed out as it wouldn’t run. Also the battery checker button seemed stiffer than it was before the repair and the second hand would not even move so I took the back off again and it looked like the small brass lever that the button compresses had gotten in front of the button pin. I managed to get the lever behind the pin and put the back on to no avail. I’ve shaken it for 15’20 minutes but still nothing… Anyone have any suggestions as to what I may have done or not done? Any help is greatly appreciated. I have another similar Seiko that has also stopped that I also ordered a battery for which is doing the exact same thing, with the second hand stopped and no affect from pressing the battery check button. I thought I would see if I might get some reflection from someone who has experienced this scenario before I tackle another one.
Thanks for your help.
Hi Ed, I’d make sure that the battery is not shorted by measuring the voltage across the + and – sides after you’ve assembled it. There is a red plastic insulator and it needs to be installed in such a way as to insure the the clamp doesn’t get shorted by touching the negative pole on the battery which faces upward when placing it in the cavity. I’ve had readers contacted me who placed the battery in upside down, and others who were not careful in placing the insulator and when they got done, the watch wouldn’t run. Don’t know if that’s what’s happening in your case, but I just wanted to mention it. The brass colored stamping on the battery is the negative pole. It has two small tabs that need to meet up with contacts in the watch to complete the circuit. The clamp that holds it in place must not make electrical contact with the negative pole.
I’ve taken the watch apart again to see if I may have done any of what you mentioned. I haven’t found anything obviously wrong. The red insulator has small holes in it so it seats correctly and I have it installed on top of the battery so that both connectors are covered on the top side. Is this correct? I’m not sure how to test the battery but I am about to try to test it with a meter to see if it will read anything. Is it possible that the battery comes totally dead from the supplier and the watch must be shaken for an extended period just to get a small charge that starts it running? Since I did have a problem with the battery test button mechanism getting on the outside of the pin from the button could I have that in a bind that breaks the connection?
I hope you might get back to me tonight as I would love to get this thing working and back together.
Rick Maidenhead uk October 18th, 2012 at 00:34
Sorry after all of that preparation that the “surgery” our friend Ed performed was not successful.
It does look as if the battery probably had been in store for too long, ie beyond the shelf life.
The best that can be done at this preliminary stage is to test that there is at least an open circuit voltge present.
The only on load test I was able to perform, was to invert the watch to determine the second hand was at least twitching after connection and prior to very
careful reassembly of the pendulum . . .
Another real hazard, is avoiding inadvertent contact with the two VERY delicate coils. Amy damage at all there will be terminal. I hope that
didn’t happen to you.
If assembly is successful I repeat that pressing the discharge test button should in my opinion be avoided especially at start up. In fact since my 5m42 watch is going well, and is supported with one of those periodic storage winders, I leave the test button alone altogether.
Electrically, you HAVE to “punish” a cell to check it’s on load capability.
Rick Maidenhead UK
Rick & Lee
After closer examination I believe I have indeed made contact with one of the VERY delicate coils… I can see a single wire that is broken free.
Can this coil be ordered & replaced or do I now have a genuine piece of junk?…
I guess I am nearly ready to attempt a battery change on my other Seiko Kinetic. But I do have a question about it before I begin.
The second hand on it just stopped and no matter how much I shake it, the second hand does not advance. The pendulum is not nearly a free spinning as the other watch.
Could something just suddenly broke and the problem is anything other than the capacitor as I have only had this watch about a year. It was new in the box but I did get it on ebay so could have been new old inventory. It is a 5M62-0D10.
If there is any hope of ordering a coil and me replacing that and you have suggestions where I might order that part I would appreciate a link.
Thanks for all of your help,
Also can you explain how I test for an opecircuitut voltage on the new battery? The new one does have a 9.4 mV charge while in the watch. However it is less than the one I removed which tests 1.168V out of the watch…
Does this mean the new battery was bad from the distributor?
I went ahead and opened the second one and the pendulum is binding. I put the back together and am going to wait until I hear back from someone as I’m not sure but I may need to use one of these things as a parts watch and the other as a skipping stone across the lake….
What in the world would suddenly put something like this in such a bind?
Rick Maidenhead uk October 18th, 2012 at 07:11
If a coil is damaged then I’d forget trying to repair the watch. Seiko will likey want much more than the watch is worth to repair.
The Pendulum must swing freely clear of the coils and the watch case. Some patience and much holding of breath is required in order to relocate it correctly. Engineering instinct tells you when it is correctly positioned.
An open-circuit voltage measurement of the Maxcell TC920S rechargeable cell, (capacitor my a**e) tells you if it is suitable for recharging and that it is still within it’s shelf life. If the voltage is about 1 volt then I’d go for it. If it is almot or actually zero, I’d reject it.
Always repair and respect the need for cleanliness and have a replacement o-ring / seal to hand.
The technically minded can access the cell data sheet if they are interested.
Rick Maidenhead UK October 20th, 2012 at 00:31
Re Ed’s cell measurement . . .
Open circuit volts good re 1.168V.
On-load volts of 9.4mv shows that it is in its shelf discharged state and now needs a sustained period of charging.
BUT . .
Fundamentally, if either coil is damaged and / or the pendulum does not swing entirely freely then the whole exercise I’m sorry to say, is a complete waste of time.
Throughout and quoting that infamous late comedian, Blaster Bates, you need a touch like a mid-wife if you decide to change a Maxell re-chargeable TC920s Titanium Carbon Lithium cell in a truly precision made Kinetic watch or whatever the device it is used in.
See maxell.com re the data sheet if you’re still interested.
Rick Maidenhead UK
Heinz H November 12th, 2012 at 11:49
Great instructions! Thx.
Strictly my thoughts, the ‘kinetic concept’ today is “dead on arrival”, now that we have good lithium-ion battery which last 12 to 20 years in a watch WITHOUT the need for recharging.
TIMEX sells watches with guaranteed life time of > 10 years. After the watch stops i.e. after ten years or more, you send it in. They replace the watch FREE of CHARGE.
So who needs “kinetic”? Your thoughts please.
(PS: In case you wonder, I do own a Seiko Kinetic Premium.)
Rick in Maidenhead November 13th, 2012 at 04:46
Yes I respect Heinz’s comments, the world of technology has moved on. Nevertheless the titanium 5m42 I have, remains in mint – nick and it is a beautifully built example of what to me is now retro Seiko.
I SUSPECT 12 to 20 years is a little ambitious for an on load Lithium based cell. The traditional shelf life for such a cell off-line was 7 years.
Also in these throw-away days there aren’t many folk around that can keep a watch going that long.
I would also comment that Timex have always made nice watches and I think their brand is very under-rated. I kick myself for selling an example recently.
An interesting dialogue – thanks.
I agree with Rick about the longevity of watches and batteries. A watch can last many generations and should be repairable if properly designed, whereas even the best battery technology is limited to 10 years or less. Even rechargeable batteries have limits on the number of charge/recharge cycles and it bothers me when a product is designed in such a way as to render it useless when its batteries wear out. Another article I’ve written on the topic of replacing batteries has to do with rechargeable razors, many of which are laying at the bottom of some drawer despite having lots of life left in them. All products should be built to last, that’s the way I feel about it. To heck with planned obsolescence, I say make it last forever, and if there is any part that wears out periodically, it should be replaceable by the end user.
Michael December 2nd, 2012 at 20:58
Do you have any ideas about the movado museum watch I went to a jeweler and they said they would have to send it out because of a special seal, so 100 bucks to send it out and 100 bucks for battery any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated
In searching on the web for Movado Battery replacement, there were other stories that corroborate what you jeweler told you (including the price of $200 for a battery replacement). It seems that the watch comes apart easily with a watch knife to pry off the back, but putting it back together to insure the water tight seal still works requires a special machine. You could probably do it yourself, but then there’s no guarantee it would remain water tight.
Rick in Maidenhead December 3rd, 2012 at 14:59
I echo Lee’s sentiment.
It’s an insult to the brilliant designers of say a watch, a printer, a camera . . . or a shaver when some marketing types arrange there to be a firmware time bomb or whatever so that a vulnerable public can be ripped off on consumables over priced repairs or premature obsolescence.
End of rant . .Rick in Maidenhead uk
I want to THANK YOU for the great instructions(and photos)on this website.I own a 5M62 Seiko Kinetic watch that would stop running minutes after it was not being worn.I was very concerned about taking the tiny screws out and reinstalling them. However, the replacement of the battery was simple with your instructions here and the watch now works as good as new.I love my watch and had stopped wearing it due to this issue.Thanks for posting this solution to my problems.
Thank you Lee.
Curious why you opted to replace capacitor with battery instead of another capacior (also available @ Swatchbattery). From what I have read it takes much less activity to charge the capacitor; verus the ion battery.
Hi Jim, The part I found that matched up with my watch caliber (a 5M62) was the only one they had available at the time at SwatchBattery. I see now they recommend the 302344z for my watch’s caliber. But I believe I read on other websites at the time I did this repair (and you’ll see it today as well) that the 302344z had been replaced by 30235MZ. The 302344z evidently is a CTL920 but a search on that part number similarly has it referred to as both a capacitor and a battery. The 30235MZ kit contained a Maxcell TC920S, which was the exact same battery that shipped from the factory in my watch.
You’ll see sometimes these cells are called capacitors, and other times batteries. Here is a website that explains a little more about them.
I’m an engineer and I know that batteries and capacitors are different. Batteries have a chemical change that goes on inside that stores the energy whereas capacitors do not. Also, capacitors don’t wear out with charge/discharge cycles like rechargeable batteries do, although they have been known to have their electrolyte dry out (or leak out) and die. Based on the nature of these wear-out conditions where it dies slowly over time, I’d say we are working with battery technology here, and not simple capacitors.
In the case of my Seiko Kinetic watch I was advised that it came with a capacitor in it; where Seiko had a quality problem leaking).
The watch repair folks found on the internet typically replace that capacitor with a battery; at least that is what they proposed in my case; they say the Li-IOn battery has a longer life and holds charge for longer periods.
The Swatchbattery site makes it a bit confusing calling the energy storage unit a ‘capacitor’ in both the 30235MZ & 302344z kits.
Thanks again for the detailed instructions.
Mission accomplished on my 5M62-0A89 using the 30235MZ kit! Watch shows a 4-6 month charge on start-up. This watch had been out of commission for some time and your site got me motivated to give it a DIY try. Your instructions were great. Also the tip by someone to use vaseline on the tip of the screwdriver to aid in holding the small screws while you get them located in their respective slots was extremely helpful.
I did manage to lose a friction pipe in the process of removing/reinstalling the band; just a watchout for folks that there is a pin and friction pipe on each side on models such as mine for connecting the band. Actually two pieces per side rather than the typical spring bar.
Thanks again Lee.
Rich Bowman January 1st, 2013 at 18:10
I really was impressed by your Seiko repair article. I am trying to decide whether to attempt the repair or send it off to Yellowstone Watch that you mentioned. Are you high on their capability? The local jeweler looked at the watch and thought that it needed a new battery and that he would send it back to Seiko for me. He thought the cost would be around $150-200! The thing isn’t worth that much to me.
I would appreciate any comments you might have.
Hi Rich, I am not familiar with Yellowstone Watch, but it could be you saw an ad that Adsense inserted in the article. The few reviews I found for them on Yelp are not very good. You might want to give it a try yourself or find a more reasonably priced local jeweler.
Sam Yao January 3rd, 2013 at 16:39
Hey Lee, thanks for your advice. I think I will finally have to replace it as well.
For those who don’t want to spend any money and time replacing the capacitor until it is for sure totally dead, try this for now:
I place my watch,face down over my Braun Oral-B tooth brush inductive charger. Make sure only half the face of the watch is seated on the circumference of the charger. It takes about 8-1o hours to fully charge your watch.
If I place the whole face of the watch over the circumference, the watch starts to heat up fast and won’t charge. I am not sure if overheating would damage the capacitor.
Charging may become more frequent but I have been doing this for over three years now. I had this watch since 1996.
Rick.J January 6th, 2013 at 04:35
Hello Lee thank you for this website ! I took the chance and successfully got my favorite watch (5M42) back running again at a fraction of the price quoted to me by a local dealer.
I had been struggling to keep the watch running, and was seriously thinking of giving up as it took ages of shaking it to get it to go again, now its purring along. Granted it took me nearly two hours to replace the capacitor because I did not have the correct tools and worked using fly-tying magnifying glass. But as I said SUCCESS thanks to you.
What I don’t understand is Sam Yao’s method does the tooth brush charger actuall work on the watch ? Or will it damage it ?
I own a 5M62 Seiko watch as well, it looks similar to yours.
My question is, you used a 30235MZ and a 5M62 actually requires a 3023.44Z according to swatchbattery.com
The 30235MZ is much easier to obtain via Amazon and eBay but the 3023.44Z is only available through their website.
Have you noticed any issues with this battery? I am not sure if Swatchbattery.com is correct in their cross reference but I figured I would check with you.
Hi Sam, I think that I read on several websites that the 30235MZ was a replacement for the 3023.44Z. I can’t recall which sites where I read that, but I had run into the same thing at the time, i.e., that the 30235MZ was more readily available, and it included the clamp and insulator which I wasn’t sure about when I found the 3023.44Z.
Jessie kloppenburg January 8th, 2013 at 11:58
Hi, I am not a male. I have a tremor in right hand so will not attempt this BUT this is the most interesting thing I have found on this computer. Your information is so much more than utube videos. Thank you for doing this. Watches are such a mystery to me but alway intrigued me. Taking apart watches, clocks as a child like most of us I suppose. But thank you so much now we know how to do it and not rely on someone to charge an arm an a leg for something we don’t need. Your work is truly appreciated.
Thanks for the information. My watch looks exactly like all of your photographs. I ordered a battery and using your pictures and instructions everything was going along fine.
I was being as careful as possible but I lost one of those miserable tiny screws that hold the retaining clip over the battery. I searched the area with a cow magnet without any luck. Any ideas where to get a new screw, or better yet two?
I know I’ll be able to do this, I just had a bit of bad luck with that screw jumping away from me.
Hi Jon, Sorry about the loss of the screw. They really are tiny. I don’t know if you can get these screws directly from Seiko, but it might be worth contacting them to see. Another possibility is to get one of those 250 piece watch screw repair kits and hope that one of the screws has the right thread size and is a good fit. They sell them on Amazon for around $8.
I just wanted to confirm from my post above that you are indeed correct regarding the cross-ref for the battery type. I thought that the 5M62 would require the 3023.44Z but after doing some research it looks like the 30235MZ will work as well. This is a much easier battery to obtain.
Thanks for your excellent write up. I’ve ordered everything and can’t wait to get it up and running again!
Do you know if it is possible to fit a set of screwdrivers that don’t need to be filed down that will fit these screws? I have the watch apart but all my screwdrivers are much too large. Do you happen to have a picture of the screwdriver that you modified?
Hi Sam, I don’t know if there is a set of screw drivers that don’t need to be filed down. I had several sets of jewelers screw drivers but even the smallest one was a bit too big but within a few minutes with a file, it fit just fine and after I did that the repair was easy. If you don’t have a file, you could probably use sandpaper on a flat surface (or even an emory board) and achieve the same result.
Sam Yao January 20th, 2013 at 16:06
The last time I took mine to the Jewelry who said has replaced the capacitor, it lasted about three months with continuous wearing. I now believe that they have never replaced it but recharged it with the Seiko charger.
Since then I have been recharging it myself with the induction tool brush charger. It works well but because the capacity is more than 10 years old, it only last for a week and I have to recharge it again. a 4 hrs recharge will give a full 30sec indication.
i have replaced the capacitor in my 5m62 recently and the rotary weight seems to not be moving as freely. there is a small cog that attaches to the bigger cog (the one underneath the rotary weight), which seems to be restricting the movement.
any one seen this before or got any ideas why it would be doing this.
If i apply a small amount of force to help the weight around it moves, but feels like it is forcing cogs round inside the watch.
I’d appreciate any help with this as it the guide above was excellent for replacing the capacitor and it all seemed to go fine whilst it was open – just the end result the weight seems clunky.
Hi Andy, The eccentric weight is connected to a few gears that amplifies it’s rotary speed about 100x and this spins a small wheel that contains magnets to induce current in one of the coils to charge the battery, so you will feel a little resistance as it attempts to charge the battery. As the battery is charged (or if the battery is not taking a charge) then it will spin more freely. However, the weight should spin if you simply shake the watch, it should not get ‘stuck’ to the point where you have to move it by hand. So make sure the gears are properly aligned.
Samuel January 21st, 2013 at 18:34
I have seiko kinetic 5M43 for 12 years. Did I tell you I love this watch!
It stopped keeping time and I contacted two local watch stores that said it has kinetic but no battery and it will cost more than 200 dollars to repair. I refused and gave it to a friend who was travelling to Africa. In Africa he replaced only the battery for less than two dollars. Three years later it need another battery. This time I bought the battery and lost one of the small srews.
My question is, how can I get three of those small screws that will hold the battery? I would like to enjoy wearing my seiko again.
Changing the battery is painful.
While it may be possible for some to replace the L-Ion cell with little or no training (and this do-it-yourself spirit should be applauded), not all auto-quartz watches will respond favorably to this intervention. Only about 20-30% of the watches I service require only a cap replacement. In addition, several diagnostic tests should be performed at the service interval, such as a consumption test of the movement, a consumption test of the circuit, an IC charging test, and a final test of the new L-Ion to charge. Furthermore, almost all of the Seiko kinetic line require replacement of the crown gasket (and the caseback gasket), and many companies fail to replace this critical gasket, resulting in water/moisture intrusion and more expensive damage to the movement, dial and/or hands. The final quality control for this repair should be a pressure test and 3.5 hours of inductive charging. In the case where an auto-quartz movement has high consumption (increased amperage required to overcome friction in the gear train) the cause is typically dried oil in the gear train (and/or rust particles if water has intruded through the crown/stem). The only way to correct this condition is an overhaul of the watch movement. The lower the consumption reading, the healthier the quartz movement, and the longer the reserve life of the L-Ion, potentially resulting in a longer service interval as well.
edward January 23rd, 2013 at 11:51
Thanks for the information. I love Seiko Kinetic watches and I have Seiko kinetic 5M42 and 4M21-0b40.
I did not know they could be repaired and I kept just buying one after another, I wished I could get some one to help me replace the battery. I have seen other websites charge over $49.99 for repair services. Anybody out there willing to help me replace battery on my 3 Kinetic mentioned above?I am afraid I may do damage to the watches.
WHERE CAN I GET A NEW WATCH BAND FOR THIS WATCH? Seiko kinetic 5M42-0809 and Seiko kinetic 5M62 0040 KINETIC
Just wanted to let you know, I finally got around to this repair. I filed down the screwdriver and it worked perfectly. It took about 10 minutes to remove and replace everything. I have it on my automatic watch winder overnight to give it a good charge. Thanks again for the great info!
Edward February 16th, 2013 at 12:04
I purchased your repair parts for my Seiko Kinetic (it has been put away for years)and followed the instructions on your site. Everything went great with this repair !
I repaired mechanical pocket watches for about 40 years until the arthritis in my hands made me quit. I am sure that my having watchmakers tools made all the difference in the world. The repair took me less than 30 minutes to complete. My watch started right up and is running strong!
Thank you very much !
Thanks for the great instructions. I have a 5M42-0B09 and I wasn’t able to remove the center screw. I was able to remove the two screws for the battery cover which allowed me to remove the battery by taking it out at an angle and wedging the new one back in.
George March 4th, 2013 at 12:57
Mr. Devlin, I have a 5m43-OA29 Sport 50 Seiko Kinetic watch – a proud owner since my wife gave it to me as an anniversary gift in 1997. I really love this watch and it’s never given me an ounce of trouble. My wife has the ladies version and she’s had to repair it once – it couldn’t hold a charge. It’s going on 16 years and mine is still keeping very accurate time. I’ve noticed that it takes 3 full days of not wearing it before I notice any change in power storage – usually 20 seconds.
My question is the age of the capacitor. Would I expect it to quit abruptly, or do they just fade away? Is lithium-ion the way to go?
I know that I could fix it, but in the interest of time and guarantees of workmanship, I’d rather have a watch maker or jeweler do it. Since they would have it apart, I’d like for them to replace the seals, inspect it, and test it.
Hi George, The original Seiko Kinetics did come with a capacitor, but it evidently has been replaced by a Li-ion battery in newer models. In theory, the capacitor should have worked forever, but capacitors do fail sometimes leaking their electrolyte on to adjacent circuitry and causing even more damage. My model of Seiko came from the factory with the Li-ion battery and so when I got the kit to fix it, the battery was the same model, and I even got an extra clamp. The clamp to hold in the capacitors were slightly different than the one that they use for the battery. If yours is still working, then I wouldn’t replace it, but if it does fail, you’ll probably have to use the Li-ion battery to replace it. The upside is that when it’s new, the Li-ion will run for months without needing to be ‘re-wound’. The downside is that every few years, you’ll need to replace it because battery chemistry doesn’t work forever. But I guess they found that the capacitors can fail over time too.
Thanks for the detailed instructions …no problem changing this but I sure would like to change the case back o ring…not sure if a local jewler would carry it or if it is indeed an o ring?
One question ..I always knew how the charge indicator opreated at the 2 o’clock positon should I get a reading as soon as I replaced with new Seiko Maxall battery or will it take a day or 2 since I currently don’t show a reading of any second when I depress the button? I just installed the battery today? Watch seems to be running fine now I did have 2 second advancement before I replaced the battery indicating low charge.
dennis lockwood March 15th, 2013 at 07:13
a general comment to all who would like to give their kinetic watch an unbelievably good winding .
when the dreaded 2 second tick happens and you have been told to shake it 20,000 times?
DO WHAT I DID———next time it rains and you use your vehicle to go on 1 hour run to work etc, strap or tape your kinetic watch to a wiper blade arm and let it swing in a perfect arc for acouple of hours, job done.
also for watch enthusiasts who cant bear to leave their watch off their wrists while they compare another model, just place your kinetic on the stick shift for your journey ,—again job done cheers dennis.
I replaced my seiko kinetic capacitor and my watch has been working real good for about two months…the charging dial has never been over ten seconds..I did not wear it for two days just to see how much it would drop it did drop to five seconds..I have been shaking it for almost an hour and seems it will not move at all still five seconds..any sugestions?..thanks
William March 28th, 2013 at 04:20
Thanks for the detail info. I had a Kinetic whcih had stopped working 12 years ago and it’s great to know it can be resurected thanks to you. I love that watch.
Well happened across this site and it looked tempting – I love my Kinetic and really wanted to keep it. Ordered the battery from BatteryBob and with these great instructions I have my Sports 100 working like new. Many, Many thanks for sharing your expertise Lee!
Frank May 5th, 2013 at 09:09
I have a Seiko kinetic 5M62 just like yours-I have ordered the capacitor and would change it myself thanks to your help.
I wanted to know if you have change the cristal glass and if you can tell me where to get one, or if anybody has done so, can you help me?
Hi Frank, If you contact Seiko Customer Support USA in NJ, they can sell you replacement parts or give advice on where you can get parts.
Bob Petras June 2nd, 2013 at 21:16
Wonderful helpful site. I recently replaced the capacitor in my Seiko Kinetic 5M43. All went well other than I lost one of the very tiny screws inside that hold down the bracket. Even with one screw, it felt solid.
The capacitor-ordered from eBay from a place called Time Supply House – is another story. Following installation, it registered a 20 second charge on the watch. This has now dropped to 10 seconds and now 5 seconds. The seller claims that the capacitor was tested prior to sending which I don’t believe. The watch is worn 16 hours a day – 7 days a week.
He refuses to do anything about it so eBay is not the place to buy these parts. Do you have any recommendations for a new capacitor?
I also contacted Seiko about another small screw however they were not interested telling me that the watch had to shipped to New Jersey. So I have no leads in getting that very small screw. I live in a remote part of northern BC in Canada – so jewellers and watchwakers don’t exist.
Any help would be wonderful. Thanks, Lee.
There are a few places on the Internet that offer these batteries. One is Battery Bob and the other is Swatchbattery.com. I got mine from SwatchBattery.com, but Bob’s website has a lot of info on this battery so I assume he’s a good supplier too.
As for lost screws, I get that question a lot and I usually direct people to the factory service center in New Jersey. There are kits of tiny screws you can get on Amazon for fixing watches and eye glasses, and you might try one of those, even though you’ll end up with a lot of screws (literally hundreds). Hopefully, it will include some screws with the right thread and length.
Mikey June 16th, 2013 at 11:56
Excellent write up. I just did the procedure on one of my kinetics using your guide. Cap cost <$20 via eBay and my 13 year old kinetic is purring along again. I don't know if I misread this, but I had only 3 screws to remove total; the center weight screw, then the two that hold the cap in place.
I'm ready to tackle my other kinetics now, thanks!
I have a 5m43 seiko..replaced capacitor twice. Each time watch will jump two seconds at a time and then will stop.everything is put together ok. Shaken the watch a long time..but same result…need help….thanks frank
When this happens there are two most likely causes and an improbably third cause:
1. You short circuited the battery during installation and the battery voltage is so low now that no amount of shaking will charge it up to the threshold voltage required to get the circuit out of the 2-step mode. If you have done this twice, perhaps this is not the cause, but if your technique is shorting out the battery, then this is a likely cause. Expensive mistakes.
2. The consumption of the movement is so high (dried oil/grease in the gear train) that it rapidly drains the battery as the circuit keeps trying to increase power to overcome the additional frictional resistance of the gear train. “I’m givin’ her all she’s got Captain!”. In this case you will need service.
3. Your power reserve button is stuck in the on position. This can cause some odd circuit issues, as the call for a power reserve check is constantly ‘on,’ but this is not as likely a cause for what you describe.
Thanks so much for your help…will try with a new capacitor..frank
Bob Petras June 18th, 2013 at 09:20
Thanks for your message on June 17th posted above. I recently replaced my Kinetic battery on April 4, 2013. I have a Seiko 5M43 – OB69 – Serial Number 600908.
At first the power reserve showed 20 seconds for a month. Then it dropped to ten seconds, five seconds and now I am on the two second jump cycle. I have read about short circuiting a battery however if I had power for a month, that seems unlikely.
I suspect that the battery may have been defective but I can’t prove it. It was purchased off eBay – Time Supply House – and the seller refuses to have anything to do with it.
I would assume you can test these batteries with a voltage meter which I have. I may have issue 2 – power consumption – but I am uncertain. I did loose one of the two very tiny screws that anchor the battery holding bracket – however it seemed very secure with the one screw holding it.
I live in northern BC in Canada, far from any watchmaker. You learn self survival living in the north. I ordered a new Seiko SNE 032 Solar watch that should arrive this week however I would like to fix the kinetic. I love this watch. It replaced an Omega that kept loosing time.
Do you have any suggestions?
Much apprteciate your comments.
Without a special volt meter that is set up to measure micro amps of consumption, and which has a variable gate setting to match the circuit, and the correct training to set up the movement for the consumption test, and the correct test procedure sequence, you can’t measure consumption accurately. So it is all guess work without the proper training and tools. If the replacement, factory fresh and properly installed battery does not clear up the problem, then it would have to be sent somewhere for service. I recommend you call the place you might send it first and ask them a few questions to see if they are credible. My favorite question to ask them is “What is the highest acceptable level of consumption for the XXXX movement (insert the first four digits of your 8-digit model number from the caseback)?” If they don’t know this answer, then they are only doing what you are doing, and that is replacing your LI Rechargeable Battery and uttering a prayer, and they have no clue about the rest of the movement, or how to properly diagnose it, or how to accurately trouble shoot it. Or ask them, “What is the ‘gate’ for the 5M movement?” You will likely get crickets and/or dogs barking in the background with either of these two questions. Time to keep looking for a credible watchmaker . . .
Bob Petras June 18th, 2013 at 12:12
John, thanks for your reply. Info that is always helpful.
Do you get Canadians sending their Seiko Kinetic watches in for repair? I was thinking of sending it to you. My only concern, when sending back – you will need to mark the USPS Customs form as a GIFT or NCV – No Commercial Value – watch repair – otherwise I would finish up paying again.
The watch was purchased in February 2004 and twice it went back to New Jersey to Seiko as it didn’t work. Until the original battery failed, it worked great.
My SNE 032 Solar just arrived in the mail a half hour ago however would like to get the other Kinetic working.
Sorry, but I have to follow the appropriate laws governing business transactions where tangible goods are shipped across international borders, and that includes accurately filling out all of the required forms (custom’s declarations). It is truly unfortunate that a person has to pay duty on their own item coming back in country from legitimate service.
Joe Suriani June 20th, 2013 at 11:18
I purchased a replacement capacitor on Ebay from Time Supply House in March for my Seiko Knetic 5m43. This is the second replacement of this watch the first time was about 8yrs ago. When I put the capacitor in I noticed when I hit the power reserve button there was no power indication whatsoever the watch ran keeping good time and I wear it constantly even to bed…This past week when I press the power reserve I got an indication of 5 seconds and that was th reading I received for about a week now today I noticed the 2 second movement indicating the battery is not charging. I messaged Time Suppply House the same as Bob Petras since I don’t think this is a coincidence that both of us are having very similar problems. Seems like old stock since new I would think it should have provided some indication of a charge am I wrong?
There is nothing wrong with the LI cells you are getting from Star Time. Your watch movement requires an intervention in addition to the energy storage unit replacement. You can’t fix all the kinetics with a simple battery replacement. The movement may also require cleaning and re-oiling of the gear train, and/or replacement of the charging coil, and/or other issues which are both beyond a lay person’a ability to remedy and this website’s ability to communicate in DIY post.
stuart August 16th, 2013 at 00:28
Hi ya, woke up this morning and my Seiko has completly stopped working, I have tried putting movement into it but nothing happens at all, not even move for the 5 second indicator. I have had it from new for 12 years now, and never placed the battery so I am hoping that it is just this. What do you think?
At 12 years your gear oil, and more than likely your canon pinion grease, has dried up. This is the oil and grease whose purpose is to reduce and stabilze rotational friction in your gear train of wheels. You may be able to see the residue of this dried grease if you have a very good light and magnification. Look slightly side ways at the dial, and specifically at the base of the hands mounting between the minute and hour hands, respectively. If you can see a greenish residue in this tiny area, then your canon pinion grease has dried up. This increases rotational friction to the point where the gears encounter too much resistance to run efficiently. Simply replacing the LI cell will not work in this instance, as the circuit will call on more amp draw to overcome the friction, resulting in a dramatically shortened life for the new LI/cap rechargeable battery, and causing an imbalance of charging accumulation vs. demand. We repair this type of problem with intermediate service – complete tear down and relubrication of the movement with installation and proper conditioning of the new LI cell.
stuart August 16th, 2013 at 23:28
Hi ya, how much do you charge for this?
stuart August 16th, 2013 at 23:29
How much do you charge
Hello can anyone help me. I have 3 seiko kinetic watches.I tried replacing the capacitors and meanwhile damaged the coils. I have now a bundle of watches which are too expensive to repair in the shops. Does anyone know wher I can try having them fixed for much less. I don’t mind even an amateor or someone who likes doing it for a hobby. I cant really lose.
Sorry that happened to you. You can buy a coil kit and hope that it has the correct resistance and continuity. About 75% of the ‘professionals’ who claim to repair these watches will routinely nick the coils and either compromise the continuity and/or the resistance of the charging coil. As they do not check (or know how to check or have the equipment to check) the charging circuitry they usually have NO IDEA they have reduced or eliminated the ability of the watch to charge. Coils are $18.50 to $21.00 now. There are two coils in most kinetics, three in some other models. A cap kit is $14.50 to $18.00. Gaskets are $3.50 for stem and $2.50 for caseback. Those are FACTORY gaskets, and not generic. There are no generic coils. The parts costs for these watches have increased dramatically over the last decade. Thank the weakening dollar to the Yen for that. Your parts total is already around $40. Your questions is actually asking “How much would a person with very good micro mechanical skills charge to spend $40.00 plus of their own money (on parts) to repair the watch properly?” The kinetic watch is worth repairing. But it requires proper skills and training to do so, and proper equipment to perform diagnostic and quality control testing. Yes, a few DIY guys can get lucky and pull it off on a shoestring, but those same guys have neglected to do over two dozen other ‘checks’ and ‘verifcations’ to insure the movement is functioning properly. In addition, when you damage a watch with a ‘high end’ movement – and the kinetic is ‘high end’ when you look at WHAT IT COSTS compared to a Swiss quartz movement (250% more than a comparably featured Swiss quartz movement, like in a TAG) – then you have to be prepared to either ‘step away’ from your mistake (and learn from it) or send it to someone truly capable of doing it right. “How much would you pay to have it done wrong?” is the question I was encouraged to ask a customer by the older watchmaker that helped to train me when I got started in this 1,400 year old trade.
Chris Barrett September 14th, 2013 at 03:16
Hi Lee, here in Spain took my Seiko (button at two o’clock type) into promising watch repair guy who replaced the battery at reasonable cost (I was going to do it myself but got lazy) All seemed fine, plenty of charge but now notice that the day and date no longer change correctly at the right time of around midnight. I can reset with winder but it still is out of sequence when left to run. I don’t see any one else on here with this problem – any ideas please.
The problem you describe can be caused by two or more things having occurred:
The first, but not necessarily more probable cause given your description of events, is that the hands of the watch were removed and reinstalled incorrectly by the watchmaker.
When we install the hands on the watch, it is done by manually turning the crown until the date jumps. We then install the hour hand by the aid of our eye only, precisely at 12, utilizing acrylic-tipped tweezers and usually a specialized hand press that will limit depthing/plunge via correct adjustment. The minute hand is then installed with the hour hand advanced to 9 or 3, as the human eye can tell 90 degrees very adeptly, with the hour hand dead on an 12. Last is the sweep second, and this is the most difficult one of the three hands. It has to be installed on a hash mark, and then verified. We also look for flatness of the hands, and proper division between the dial, hands and glass (when the movement is cased). We run the hands manually around the dial to observe the interactions at various points on the dial. We verify the date change to occur plus or minus two minutes after or before midnight (allowance for deviation).
The above describes just one of the procedures that is done at my shop on watches that receive intermediate or higher level service to the kinetic movement. This dialing procedure – as it is called in the trade – is done on every analogue watch, by hand, with the exquisite human eye as a guide, combined with a very touch, to avoid damaging the very sensitive dial finish.
Another, and more likely cause . . . and this involves some good detective work on your part, and close observation of the dial with a loupe (or device to magnify your view to 3-5X), is now described.
Many shops will remove your movement with the dial and hands intact, to clean the case and bracelet. So your movement/dial/hands unit (intact) is now sitting somewhere on the watchmaker’s bench. If, during this removal process, or, during careless handling of the movement/dial/hands unit, the watchmaker (or more than likely the low-skilled, high-stressed person who is tasked with this dirty job of handling filthy watch cases), bumps/touches/knocks/whatever the hands, so that the hour hand receives a slight downward deflection, the tip of the hour hand will now come in contact with the left edge of the word ‘S’ on the dial’s “SEIKO” logo, as it transits the dial during a run (clockwise). This small logo is raised off the surface of the dial, as it is literally a group of metallic letters that are affixed to the surface of the dial.
When the tip of the hour hand contacts the left edge of the word “S”, the movement will continue to increase power to overcome the obstruction, as this is how the IC is programmed in the kinetic movement. Next, one of two or more things can happen. In your situation, if you do not notice any deformation of the hour hand or “SEIKO” logo, the hour hand then ‘slipped’ on its friction-fit hub, until the tip skipped up and over the “S”, resulting it the hour hand no longer sinking with midnight for the date jump. I have observed watches coming in for service, which had been worked on at a competitor’s shop (one with a very prominent internet presence), and this exact problem had occurred.
Think about this happening in your “minds’s eye”, and take a guess which condition would result: 1. Date jump early or 2. date jump late? That thinking in your brain right now is ‘watchmaker’ thinking – and it is the same mechanical thinking our human brains have been doing for the past 10,000 or more years. Keep up with this diagnostic thinking and you will be a first-rate mechanic. But also realize that in watchmaking, the slightest little, seemingly innocuous task, done improperly or without proper sequence or lacking proper technique and/or safety precautions, WILL cause problems somewhere else in the watch. Watches and tiny micro mechanical things are absolutely unforgiving – and when one works on them he or she is working at or near the limit of human ability.
Al Thompson September 17th, 2013 at 18:43
Just found this site and read 3/4 of the earlier posts. Superb tutorial. Thanks. From another tutorial got brave enough to take the back off the Sieko I got for $35 (eBay). t was running perfectly but didn’t show full charge so I decided to upgrade to the Li-ion battery. I got it apart OK only to find it already had a Li-ion battery installed. Crappola!
My problem is that at 82 years old my eyes aren’t what they used to be, even with a jewelers’ headband bi-occular magnifier. So I put everything in a small box to await removal of cataracts. The right eye was done last week and I’m up for giving it a go again ASAP. I’d like to mention that other sites emphasize that plastic (non-metallic) tweezers should be used to avoid accidentally shorting and ruining the battery during installation.
I find that the screws, being no larger than a pinhead, are difficult to get started while simultaneously holding the holes of both the metal bracket and the fiddly mylar insulator in position. I’m thinking of using office “stickey finger” collator’s wax for this purpose. I bought a magnetizer for my .6 mm jeweler’s screwdriver to keep the screws slotted for insertion.
Another point. The original Seiko kinetics didn’t have a battery because they were knock-offs of the Swiss Eternamatic chronometer (I bought one new back in 1960), copied right down to the 5-ball race bearing for the revolving weight. Eterna invented the kinetic movement I believe.
Thanks for a great article that has helped so many people.
Richard September 17th, 2013 at 22:53
I cannot thank you enough for this. I have this EXACT same watch which my mother gave me as a gift for her years worked at a printer company. I work as an RN, and my cheap $10 watch had died (in only under a year) and I felt the urge to see about this watch. I knew that it hadn’t been holding it’s charge for a quite a few years now but felt the impulse to fix it! I google search and I find this wonderful guide. Thank you so much, I look foward to fixing it myself, infact, I just ordered the capacitor/battery I just need to purchase all of the tools.
Thank you very much for your guide. The comments are also very interesting.
I bought your same watchmaker kit so I think it will be easy to replace the battery of my Seiko, I only have to find the correct battery model (I own a 5m42-0b09, so I think it is the 30235MZ). I just have an easy (maybe a bit “dummy” ) question. When I twist my wirst I can clearly hear a soft metallic noise (like some grains of sand in a little glass…). I am quite sure it is because of the “pendulum-kinetic-system” but I will be happy to have your confirmation (never had a kinetic before, this one was owned by my father who recently passed away).
Thanks again for your article, I will “use” it very soon!
Ciao Luca, Yes, the noise you hear coming from your Seiko Kinetic is normal. It is a pendulum spinning with gears rotating on a bearing. Good luck with your repair!
Thanks. Here I am. I did everything as shown and described here, no problem, but… the watch is not working. The previous battery, although almost dead, was able to run keeping the watch on my wrist. Do I have to shake it more (I did it for a while with no results)?
I checked every little part and everything seems to be where it should… A defective replacement? (that’s strange, it’s seiko original, could I test it someway?)
Thanks again and sorry for bothering!
I discovered the problem… one of the old micro-screw has been glued! After my removing the glue went out and now one of the parts is a bit loose. That’s crazy…
You will need to send it to someone to repair. There are many things that could cause the failure to run (keep running), and/or failure to charge, other than the capacitor or LI cell being bad.
You discovered one (1) problem. Whomever worked on the watch prior to you damaged the baseplate backing for the screw. If they were careless to damage the baseplate backing, and then resort to glueing it back in . . . who knows what else they did or did not do properly.
Thank you very much John! Yes, I fear so as well. Crazy watchmaker are all around us.
The watch is “working” “properly” (four quotes are necessary in this case), it keeps the time, it runs, the battery charges normally. But the srew on the right side of the tiny battery holder is loose, so the little steel plate doesn’t stay stucked on the base (and the “pendulum” doesn’t rotate 100%). As far as I can see this is the “only” problem. I am not sure on what to do now. I could search another 5m42-0b09 case for spare parts and change the whole part (not so easy to do), put a larger screw in the hole or glue it down again (but I don’t like the last two solutions at all)….. As far as you know, could I use another model with the same model (like this one tinyurl.com/mlpy9lh)?
Thank you all.
Here I am again. Sadly I chose to sliiiightly glue the screw. I dislike this kind of aggressive/not professional solution.. I will replace the whole movement in the future.
I have a question, maybe someone of you has an answer or an idea about it: How many seconds does a kinetic movement lose (on avarage) each day/week/month?
The small screws that hold the battery retainer can be found on ebay. They come out of England.
You can use one of the other screws (like the one that holds the circuit board down) and put it on the battery retainer. This allows the swing weight to rotate 360 degrees. I am also waiting on some small screws. My capacitor change out didnt work. Waiting on a new supply of capacitors. I must of shorted out the new battery. My watch movement is 5m43. I even went down to the rotor and checked out the teeth on it. Looked fine.
Why buy the screws out of ‘England’ when you can get them right here in the good ole USA?
The Seiko screws are not the typical parallel cheese-head-slot construction you may assume they are, as the parallel slot becomes wider or flares out at either end of the slot, on purpose, making it VERY difficult to tighten this screw to the correct torque without either having a corresponding, correct modified profile on your screw driver head, and extremely good dexterity and torque control. The result of a novice attempting to tighten such a screw to the correct torque in a Seiko Kinetic movement is either:
a. The screw driver slips and the excessive downward force employed causes the screw driver tip to go places it should not, and damage other parts of the watch (i.e. coils, plastic plates, circuit paths, etc.)
b. The screw goes flying into the nether regions of the watch movement or the bench or the floor. Good luck finding it.
c. The screw is properly torqued, but the excessive downforce causes the brass backing plug into which the screw tightens to be pushed loose. Now you can’t tighten it, NO WAY. And you can’t glue it tight enough, nor should you use glue, and screws in a quartz watch are ‘electrical connections.’ The watch has to come apart and the screw backing reset properly, or the base of the movement requires replacement.
d. The individual does not tighten the screw sufficiently out of fear of one or more of the above (a-c), and it comes loose over time, causing a break in the electrical connection that the screw serves to provide.
e. Success – you somehow got it in tight enough without damage and the watchmaking gods have smiled on you.
George January 30th, 2014 at 09:34
After reading this tutorial, I successfully replaced the capacitor of a 5M62, after 6.5 years has only maximum 7-10 days charge.
The kit for this model is normally 3023 44Z, but I ordered the 3023 5MZ just in case. It has in addition the brown insulator and metal piece, the Li-ion rechargeable is the same in both kits: TC920S, Maxell!
Voltage was 1.54V, and it shows a 30s (full charge) after install. Took around 30 min.
The old Li-ion (removed from 5M62) was successfully fitted inside an 5M22, 15 years old, using the new insulator and new metal piece.
Thanks from Romania, Lee!
Thanks for the great information Lee. I had my Seiko about 8 years and I love it. Recently I noticed the battery was not fully charging. After finding this post and seeing how easy it is to replace I decided to tackle this task on my own. Working with the tiny screws with my aging eyes was a challenge but with the help of a magnifying glass and a bit of patience I got it done. Could not have done it without this tutorial. Thanks!
Thanks for the great info Lee. My watch is about 10 years old and had already had an expensive repair at the Seiko repair shop. Didnt want to junk the watch but wasnt too keen on Seiko repair prices. Ordered the relevant parts and using my 63 year old arthritic fingers I managed to do the repair in about 20 mins. I am a retired electronics engineer so I guess I do have a little experience. I dumped the plastic tweezers that came with the repair kit and used a blob of Blu-Tak on the end of a cocktail stick to place the screws. Hope this tip is useful to the more senior owners who dont want to get ripped off by silly repair prices !! Thanks again Lee for sharing..appreciate it.
Visteo May 17th, 2014 at 20:17
Thx for the post!!! My kinetic has been sitting for years waiting for me to make the repair of replacing the battery.
Wait….didn’t Seiko claim this watch eliminated the need to replace batteries??? FIRST AND LAST SEIKO THAT I WILL BUY!!!!
Reddy May 18th, 2014 at 23:15
sir I have purchased seiko kinetic watch no5M62 in 2011yr.It seems the battery is not getting charge.Can I use ordinary battery no sr920sw.
instead of recharge battery no Tc 920s. please
David June 11th, 2014 at 07:44
I have had my Sieko for about 18 years and I just replaced the capacitor using these directions and a borrowed Jaxa tool. I hope to get another 18 years out of it!
Dave G August 1st, 2014 at 15:04
There’s a page on ehow dotcom that explains how to change the capacitor on a Seiko 5M62 (my model) and it says to remove the case cover by turning it *clockwise*. Is that an error? It doesn’t make sense that you would turn it clockwise to remove it, and turning it the wrong way with any force would surely damage it.
I replaced the battery with the 30235MZ kit in my Seiko 5m62 in December 2012 thanks to your website guide. My last msg was 12/29/12.
Now a little over two years later the watch won’t charge past the 5 second level, indicating I believe that the power source (battery) is failing.
Is 2 years typical for replacement cell failure? I wear the watch all the time.
Mark S. April 1st, 2015 at 16:41
Excellent help. My wife found my Seiko Kinetic watch in a tough box in the attic about 30 minutes before typing this. I had been looking for it for years. I brought the watch with me on a combat tour in Iraq back in 2005 and because it was shiny one of my sergeants told me to not wear it, whatever, anyway…I now have it and since it has been sitting in a tough box footlocker for 10 years without moving it was dead.
I decided to look up online to see what I could do and I was lucky to find this page. After reading the whole article and about 99% of the replies, during which I was winding the watch non-stop, the watch is back to life. Amazing. I hope I do not have to buy a batter for it. I am most definitely not paying $175 to get it repaired like someone else did. If that is the case it will go right back into storage.
Thanks for the help.
I replaced the battery and get nothing. Took it apart again and put it back together and still nothing. Do you know if the battery comes carged up? I have been trying to wind it up now for about 10 minutes and I’m not getting any movement whatsoever.
good review. I have read your post. thank’s for sharing Replacing a Seiko Kinetic Watch Battery. i have used also new Seiko watch but not a battery problem.
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Graham November 4th, 2015 at 17:39
Make sure you use “plastic” tweezers to handle the capacitor. NOT your hands or metal tweezers. Reason is any moisture on the capacitor will damage the discharge rate and metal tweezers can short the capacitor out. Neither are good and will mean (1) At worst the battery will not charge or (2)It will discharge faster than it should or anything in between. Trust me I know. I repair watches. I am not your normal watch repairer and pride myself in the quality of my work. G.
I have had my Sieko for about 18 years and I just replaced the capacitor using these directions and a borrowed Jaxa tool. I hope to get another 18 years out of it!
ToddFromRichardsonTx November 29th, 2015 at 09:28
Mine went out after 14 years. Went to Harbor freight tools yesterday and got all tools needed. Spent 2 hrs. Almost gave up because the parts were microscopic fir my old man eyes, lol. But persistence or my stubborness paid off. Good as new again. Best watch ever! Thank you sooo much!
I couldn’t have done it without the magnifying glass solder kit with LED lights, and the jewelry watch tools, both at harbor freight.
This page is a good mine. Thank you mucho much again!
John Hall December 31st, 2015 at 11:00
Thank you for the most excellent instructions.
My watch is functioning again!
I just bought a New Old Stock 5M42-0A30 on last february 2016.
I brought it to Seiko Service Center directly since it could not hold a charge at all. Swinging the watch only gets several 2 second jumps and dead again.
The mechanics at SCC told me that the watch will get initial charge for about an hour in their induction charger. He did not open or change the ESU at all.
After an hour the watch works and show 20 second power reserve.
I continue wearing the watch until about 20 days ago I put the watch in the drawer.
This morning the watch still showing 10 seconds power reserve.
Is it possible that Seiko already uses new ESU for their 5M42 caliber ?
The S/N is 761016
Thank you very much for your attention.
Rewobs April 3rd, 2016 at 04:24
Great advice! After I changed the battery (15 years of use) my Seiko 5J22 watch did not work the first time, so I took it apart again, being careful with the red plastic bit, and also that the pendulum was moving correctly and it worked! (After a good shake)
Like someone else, i filed my screwdriver to make it fine enough, and I bought one of those jaixa openers for about 6 euors from amazon. I also ordered the special battery together with a replacement gasket on ebay.
Have confidence in yourself, but be careful of those tiny screws!
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