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Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by Reuven, Feb 25, 2014.
The watch came with a 377 battery. Can I replace it with a 376 battery?
The physical size is the same. One conversion chart shows the 376 as a 626 W, and the 377 as a 626 SW. That means a 6mm diameter and 2.6mm thick. But I suspect one is meant for a high drain application, and the other for a low drain application. If the low drain cell is used in a high drain application, it will likely have a shorter life expectancy than the high drain cell would give.
According to a site that I use, the 377 is a LOW drain silver oxide battery and the 376 a HIGH drain silver oxide battery.
About butten cells, I may have a few lines to share with folks and hopefully, useful:
Numbering system -
Apart from the IEC numbers, almost each factory has its own numbers, so they are confusing for consumers. But one can easily find the cross-reference chart from the internet. We can see the numbers combine with "S" or "L". They stand for Silver and Alkaline respectively. In one time, there were hybrids, with very little silver content in them but claimed as silvers to meet certain premium watch procurement requirements at lower price. I don't know what's today now, but we can only trust the designations from major brands and not those from China, nor the counterfeits they export. Without saying, the alkalines are cheap, low in quality and capacity.
There are more than one can remember. Unlike lithium coin cells, these button cell numbers do not refer to sizes, that's one thing added to confusion. I cannot understand why watch movement makers need all these sizes in their designing stages. Button cells all have a nominal voltage of 1.5 volts (except hearing aid and mercury cells in the old days). So, as long as they can go into the battery cavity, you can use them. If you don't have the right size off hand, say the cells are thinner, you can still use them without harm if you have a shim to insert or to raise the contact stripe from under. Note: If you do this, it is at your own risk and never do it on your pricely watches.
Battery Current -
High drain cells were designed for LED or LCD watches that were prevalent in the early days. The stepping motors in analogue watches, in general, require very little constant current, so either type will do. Again, for your pricely watches, you better pick the right ones.
stick to using a 377 (SR626SW), it is one of the most common batteries in use today along with the 364 (SR621SW).
some companies like Eveready make a combined 377/376 battery which can be used for low and high drain watches, personally I stick to using Seiko or Maxcell because I find they are the most reliable and far less leakage problems.
basically if the watch came with a 377 and is specified for it, stick to using the same battery, don't substitute.
Leakage and other faults happen to all brands and from batch to batch. For established brands, there is a period after manufacture to monitor before sending to the market. Usually the grommets and metal cans, their plating are to blame when leakage happens and silver migration may lead to something else. For a watch manufacturer to choose batteries, there are a number of factors: price, quality and its consistency, convenience and brand-preferrence...etc. Nowadays most quality electronic watches use Japanese movements which are usually shipped out with batteries, so we can see them everywhere. As a matter of facts, these batteries are more reliable and consistant.
Well of the thousands of batteries I have fitted to watches over the years Seiko and Maxcell have proved to be the most reliable, sure they can leak too but generally after they have been left in a watch for too long, some brands I won't have anything to do with, like Varta, it seemed every time I opened a watch with a varta battery inside it had leaked, and that was not just my observation as others in the trade has the same problems with that brand.
Watches for many long years, the majority are either assembled from Japneses movements complete with batteries or are they the low-enders with a volume. So the OEM Market is not in favour of many brands and the Replacement market for better watches is very limited. Many brands known to us one time either being taken-over, phased-out or closed plant. Some to remain in the market, just buy batteries in part or in whole, with their name stamped on the cans. We don't expect they can hold on to any quality.