Lock down exposes watch battery inequality


With only supermarkets and pharmacies open in the toughest months of lock down, jewellers were off-limits when a watch battery failed.

It exposed an issue that everybody understands when it comes to consumer electronics but is rarely considered when it comes to watches: some batteries are miles better than others. We all know that a cruddy Chinese battery in a children’s Christmas toy will die before boxing day and could damage the toy, but it does not occur to check that the best type of battery is used in a watch.

Herinder Minhas is from Renatex Ltd, the UK’s primary distributor of Swiss-made Renata batteries for the past 26 years, and he has seen the advances that have been made in battery technology over recent years.


“Many in our industry will be aware that Swiss quality and relentless reliability have been making watches with Renata batteries tick since the 70’s. But I think fewer will know some of the details that sit behind this, says Mr Minhas.

“As part of the quality assurance process, all Renata watch batteries are tested over a very long period, up to 9 years after being produced. In particular, the batteries are tested for capacity (how much energy remains) and arguably more importantly, leakage resistance (whether any electrolyte leaks which could damage a watch). From these long-term tests, we can see that after being stored for 6 years after production, the batteries typically have 80%-90% of their original capacity and do not show any signs of leaking electrolyte. Given the expiry date is 3 years after the batteries are manufactured, 6 years post production means 3 years after the expiry date. This remarkable performance is made possible by the on-going investments Renata make in the pursuit of ever greater excellence,” he adds.

The science matters, and so do strict standards. “For those of your readers who are technically inclined, they may be aware of the global standard IEC60086-3 which outlines the norms under which watch batteries are tested. Renata in fact chooses significantly stricter standards to test our batteries. What this means for every day usage is that our high drain batteries typically self-discharge only 4%-5% per year, and the low drain batteries just 2%-3% per year,” Mr Minhas explains.

Of course, watch batteries are utterly trivial in the face of the tragedies that Covid-19 has wreaked on the world, but every little step back towards normality should be marked.

“We’re all hoping there is no need for any further lock downs over the winter. However, in case there are, it’s reassuring for the industry to know that you can reliably use Renata batteries time and again,” Mr Minhas ends.

Renatex serves the independent retailer with Renata batteries through its long-established distribution network, including leading material houses and wholesalers, who offer great support and terms for all sizes of orders. Watch brands and larger retail groups are served by both the distribution network and directly. For further information, contact Renatex, the UK’s Primary Distributor of Renata Batteries: www.renatex.com / 0121 233 9999 / info@renatex.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here