Monday, September 17, 2012

ETA 955.112 (as fitted to TAG Heuer Link Quartz)

Battery Change on TAG Heuer Link Quartz - ETA 955.112 movement

I find that as watchnerds we tend to neglect quartz movements, even though they power the vast majority of watches out there, and there aren't really all that much information on them either. Previously I quickly posted about the ETA G01.211 as fitted to a CK watch and the response has been better than expected, confirming that people out there do want to know about quartz movements. So, here is a post on another popular and widely used ETA quartz movement, as fitted to a TAG Heuer Link watch.

The watch in question, and brand new battery ready to go
This watch is about 10 years old now, and this will only be its 2nd battery change. That's a pretty good run averaging 5 years on one battery. Although I must admit I'm not sure when the watch stopped! This particular model is powered by the ETA 955.112 quartz movement, which features an end-of-life indication. What this means is that when the battery runs low, the seconds hand will jump every 4 seconds rather than every second, thus telling you it's in need of some fresh juice.

All the tools I need to conduct the battery change...
I prefer to remove the bracelet on one side to have better access to open the case back. I've removed it from the lugs as it is a spring bar. You could also do it from the clasp, but in this case it was a friction pin and I couldn't be stuffed hammering it out...
ETA 955.112 is a very common quartz movement found in gents' watches. It is also one of the most reliable quartz movements you can get on the market today. The movement is easily replaceable, and a quick glance through the interwebs will net you one of these movements for about 25 bucks. So don't worry if your watch dies on you. Just drop a new movement in and you have a brand new watch again! (provided you've looked after the aesthetics side of things, ie, no scratches and dings and what not)

"Friction ball" used to open the case back. This way I won't leave nasty scratches/gouges on the case back in case I slip. BUT, the downside is that it doesn't have enough 'torque' to really fully tighten the case back
The ETA 955.112 is relatively svelte, so it looks small in the case, needing a fairly thick plastic casing ring
Another thing to keep in mind is that to be honest, not many watch companies will "sign" a quartz movement at this price point, especially since you don't see it anyway. So don't be alarmed if you just see a generic ETA movement inside. This is perfectly normal. There are also some smaller companies out there that fit a see-through case back to show a generic mechanical movement anyway, so it's nothing to be alarmed about. An unsigned movement does not a fake watch make. You'll probably find the opposite will ring true for some, as fake watches will try to convince you of their "authenticity" by "branding" the movement and everything else around it...

Movement is ETA stamped, but nothing else
Now, officially the correct battery for this movement is 371, but I have fitted a 395 battery, which has the same diametre, but it is a bit taller. For the movement the 395 will work and it won't damage the movement, unlike many people seem to think. 395 is also a much more commonly used battery compared to 371. Of course if the watch is very thin and there is not much spare "space" best to go with the 371. Other than that you won't find any issues.

395 battery fitted
Obviously the watch is not tested for water resistance since I don't have the tool, and the "grip ball" I used to loosen/tighten the case back doesn't really offer enough "torques" to properly tighten the case back. By right, I  should also change the glass seal and the back rubber seal to guarantee the watch will resist water again to 200m, but I know it's not going anywhere near water, so this doesn't bother me.

Other than that the watch should be good for another 4-5 years before needing the next battery change.

Tech Specs of ETA 955.112 Movement: (=955.114)

Movement Dimensions: 11 1/2 Ligne = 25.60mm
Movement Height: 2.50mm
Number of Jewels: 7
Minute Hand Fitting: 0.70mm
Hour Hand Fitting: 1.20mm
Second Hand Fitting: 0.20mm
Battery: 371/395

This movement is available with centre seconds (3H), or without (2H).
The position of the date can be at 3:00 or 6:00.
The date ring can be changed on this movement.

Different heights may be available.

Approx. US$25



all.about. watch said...

this is a very important point, thanks for clarification on "unsigned eta movement" for brand watches

all.about. watch said...

great clarification about unsigned eta movements of branded watches, thanks.