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Ghetto G-Shock Battery Replacement | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Saturday, 20 April 2013
I've had my Casio G-Shock for about 8 years now. In that time, it's run out of batteries on me a few times. The first time, I spoke with a shop and they said they had to send it in to Casio to have the battery replaced. The cost would be around $70 and take about two weeks. I then asked if I could replace it myself and they said it was impossible. I checked on the internet and the batteries are CTL1616 rechargeable Lithium Ion watch batteries. At the time, they were impossible to buy online so the only option was to send it in to Casio. Now, you can get them on eBay and Amazon, but they cost $15/each.

On the other hand, you can get CR1616 lithium watch batteries which are the same size but non-rechargeable for about $0.60 each. When I asked a repairman whether I could use those, he said definitely not and they'd end up breaking the watch. Since I didn't want to spend the money and wait a few weeks to get my watch back, I decided that I'd open up my watch and do it myself. The worst case was that I'd have to buy a new watch which I was planning to do anyways. It went much better than I expected. The first battery replacement was about four years ago and I happily discovered that a single battery lasts a very long time, most likely due to Casio's excellent watch technology. Since then, I've been happily using cheap, non-rechargeable batteries quite successfully.

To ease some concerns regarding the electronic details, the CTL1616 batteries run at 2.3V while the CR1616 batteries run at 3V. I haven't had any problems running at the slightly higher voltage so far, and I suspect it's unlikely that any parts rated for 2.3V would not be 3V tolerant. The other concern I originally had was that the watch has a built-in solar recharger and the battery would get damaged from the charge circuit. In reality, the solar cell is so small that most likely, it only yields a few tens of microamps in sunlight. Having a charge current that low would likely be insufficient to damage the battery and if it did, it'd only be an additional $0.60 to replace it.

Of course all this is theory, but I've actually been running my G-Shock on non-rechargeable, 3V, lithium CR1616 batteries for about four years now with no problems. It keeps extremely accurate time and a single CR1616 battery lasts close to two years. So for those that have a G-Shock and are interested in saving a few dollars while voiding your warranty, here's how I replace my batteries with cheapo lithiums :)

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Battery in the trash ?
written by george, April 28, 2013
You tossed the old battery in the trash ? Even with the tiny amount of lithium in it, that would be illegal in Western Europe. I collect all my batteries and once every 6-9 months or so I bring them to the recycling collection point. Not sure how responsibly are they recycling them anyway but I do my best. Nice, useful tip anyway.
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written by Akiba, April 28, 2013
Thanks for the heads up. That's an interesting point and I looked up what the battery disposal policies are in Japan. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any recycling facilities for primary batteries, although they exist for car batteries. It looks like batteries go into the non-combustible waste bin (the one I used) but for lithium, I was also supposed to tape the terminals (which I didn't do). I'll probably continue to find a local battery recycler here, although it doesn't seem to be so popular. Here's the website I got my info from:

http://www.baj.or.jp/e/recycle/recycle03.html
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written by Miles, April 05, 2014
How long does one cr1616 last in your watch please
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Buy watch batteries
written by Ryan Baker, July 24, 2014
Hi Akiba,
Interesting blog! From these pictures and entire information, I am getting huge know about replacing batteries. But always buy watch batteries from any Top store. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
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