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I am a watch noobe. I have several timepieces, but nothing exotic, but back in 2003, my wife purchased an X-33 for me for our anniversary.

Over the years I have had a few services done to the watch, all but one ending in disaster. Twice I got my watch back from an expensive service (and all I wanted was a battery change) and three times the watch became inundated with water and failed. After the first battery change I was just washing dishes and after I finished I discovered water under the crystal. Jeweler sent the watch back to Omega to be repaired at no charge to me. The next time (and both times I just asked for a battery change) I sent the watch directly to NJ (Swatch/Omega) which handled the work. After getting the watch back from the service, the watch wound up getting flooded within a month after I got the watch back. This time the band fell apart and the watch wound up on the bottom of a pool. Anyway, after I sent the watch back to Swatch, they inspected the watch and did admit it was an improperly installed gasket. But the hassle of sending it back and forth and the time it takes in just crazy and getting crap work back is just frustrating.

Anyway, 2 1/2 years ago, I dropped the watch off at the jeweler I originally purchased the watch from. The battery had died and all I wanted (and specified to the jeweler) was a new battery installed. Two months later, I called and asked where my watch was. They told me that they sent the watch out (Swatch, I assume) and that it would require a complete overhaul and that it would be $850. Now, before the battery died, the watch kept awesome time and everything functioned as new, so I don't know what could have been the issue. And even though I wore the watch everyday, the case and band remained fairly scratch free, so it didn't need polishing. After lengthy discussions dealing with all that, I finally got my watch back, almost 6 months later.

Now, 2 1/2 years later the watch is telling me I need another battery change. I thought I would get more out of the battery for my $850, but I guessed wrong. My question is, are there any qualified shops in the New England area that are capable of performing a proper battery change and pressure test and stand behind their work? I hate sending my watch out, paying a lot of money for things I don't need and then getting subpar work back.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

And yes, my next purchase will be a mechanical watch.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum, I’m from England so unfortunately can’t help you but I think it’s a great story, I think the watch is cursed and doesn’t like you. If my wife ever bought me a watch, it would definitely perform the same way, she’d make sure of it. They’re great watches though so stick with it and somebody will probably be able to help you out on here.
 

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Thanks Aidy. I love the watch and not getting rid of it anytime soon. Besides, my oldest son would be mad at me if I did! Just looking for a less expensive route to maintaining it. A $500 - $800 overhaul every three years or so is not working well within my (wife's) budget.
 

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Your story resonates with me only because I have an X33. I posted a battery change procedure once and was cautioned by an Omega Certified Watchmaker about a couple of things. Namely, Omega establishes service protocols for a reason. When your battery is changed, they also replace other "consumable" parts (pushers, orings and maybe more). They also check out the module (electronically) and pressure test it (although in your case one wonders). In short, the Watchmaker supports doing things right, for the right reason.

I, on the other hand, believe I should be able to send a watch in with directions to "change the battery". Taking your example (and not fully understanding how a pressure tested watch would fail in the manner yours did); had they just changed the battery and sent it back, you would have no recourse for the water intrusion. As it was, you were able to send it back for no cost re-servicing. Although I agree its maddening.

Omega doesn't want an owner to blame them for something going wrong with a returned watch (that only had a battery change). So they insist you pay for the full inspection, replacement of parts they think might subsequently fail if not changed (even though you may disagree), pressure test, etc. Plus, they may find another fault that legitimately should be addressed.

FWIW, unless you have decent mechanical skills, even a battery change on the X33 isn't simple. The tiny screws are loctited in and prone to being damaged upon removal if you aren't careful and have the right screwdriver. Putting it back together requires some patience and understanding of orings. Don't get me wrong, it's not complex, just precise work. After I did my first change I decided future servicing would be done by Omega because I had such a hard time with the screws.

Mine is probably coming up soon. Given cheap Ronda movements run for 7 years on a single battery, and some Seiko owners report 10 year cycles between changes, it is annoying the life of a battery in this watch is so short. Must be a lot going on in the movement we aren't aware of.
 

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LOL !! Thanks Duc. I understand the Swatch/Omega thinking, but the cost of getting this service every two-three years is maddening. Plus, I would never attempt to change the battery myself. Knowing my skill set, I know I would manage to loose/strip a screw or two or just fat finger something and kill the watch. Nope, I would rather have a pro handle it.

I was hoping a jeweler would be able to do just a battery change, in between services. I guess that is why I am looking for a manual watch now. I know service will be required on those too, but I don't think it will be as restrictive.
 

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Well, this is depressing. I have nothing of value to add to your thread. It's just that I've always wanted to add one of these to the collection but this is a serious splash of cold water.
 

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What a nightmare. I have owned my X-33 since January of 2000 and have changed the battery several times myself. The screws are NOT loctited in. They are small and made from soft titanium. So you need the proper screwdriver so you won’t damage them. I only use a Renata battery that I usually purchase on Amazon. I have sent mine into Omega for a complete service only once and received the upgraded newer movement and a new hand set. This service went very smooth and was completed in a few weeks. Yes you need to place the gasket correctly in the case prior to placing the inner case on. I used my X-33 in a pool while on vacation in February with no issues. I’m actually wearing it as I type this post. The only thing that is somewhat difficult is reassembly to make sure the alarm works correctly. It might take 2 or 3 times on placing both case plates on the watch before the alarm will sound. It uses the inner case back for the audible tone. I know this doesn’t answer all your questions but I don’t want this watch getting a bad wrap. Mine is 20 years old and during that time it has performed perfectly and still does. Good luck with your search in finding someone competent in replacing a battery.


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I have sent mine into Omega for a complete service only once and received the upgraded newer movement and a new hand set. This service went very smooth and was completed in a few weeks.
He pointed out what I was planning to mention: That Omega likely replaced your old movement with the newer one, which I believe is also now thermo-compensated.

Second, do NOT give this watch to any jeweler for a battery change, since most employ semi-competent PFYs to do that work, and after they have totally ruined your watch, your wife will be mad and Omega will charge you out the wazoo to fix it.

If you want it done right, DM Archer. He's in Toronto, which is not unreasonably far from you, especially if you're shipping it to Switzerland. Alternatively, send it to Nesbit's in Seattle, or send it to the OB in Seattle (which is managed by the scion of the Nesbit family). Any of the three will get your X33 in tip-top condition. And your wife will think it is brand new again, just like her regard for you.
 

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What a nightmare. I have owned my X-33 since January of 2000 and have changed the battery several times myself. The screws are NOT loctited in. They are small and made from soft titanium. So you need the proper screwdriver so you won’t damage them...
The screws on my G3 version were absolutely loctited in. I broke the tip of a screwdriver removing one, and can recognize thread sealant when I see it.

For anyone intending to DIY, there is also a small spring under the battery you need to be careful not to lose.
 

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The screws on my G3 version were absolutely loctited in. I broke the tip of a screwdriver removing one, and can recognize thread sealant when I see it.

For anyone intending to DIY, there is also a small spring under the battery you need to be careful not to lose.
I’m glad I have the original Gen 1 then, because my screws never had loctite on them.


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1.6 screwdriver, with a PERFECTLY filed blade, with the bigger screwdriver drum, to have more torque. Even so, it's kinda hard sometimes.

The current X33 uses loctite on these tiny steel (not Ti) sandblasted-like screws. 1st Gen I don't know.
By the way I do change all of these screws, every time, and I do add a bit of loctite again.

There's no battery change only on these X33. The tech manual is the longest I've seen for a quartz watch.
 

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1.6 screwdriver, with a PERFECTLY filed blade, with the bigger screwdriver drum, to have more torque. Even so, it's kinda hard sometimes.

The current X33 uses loctite on these tiny steel (not Ti) sandblasted-like screws. 1st Gen I don't know.
By the way I do change all of these screws, every time, and I do add a bit of loctite again.

There's no battery change only on these X33. The tech manual is the longest I've seen for a quartz watch.
Good info Deli. Can you provide the screws part number please?
 

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He pointed out what I was planning to mention: That Omega likely replaced your old movement with the newer one, which I believe is also now thermo-compensated.

Second, do NOT give this watch to any jeweler for a battery change, since most employ semi-competent PFYs to do that work, and after they have totally ruined your watch, your wife will be mad and Omega will charge you out the wazoo to fix it.

If you want it done right, DM Archer. He's in Toronto, which is not unreasonably far from you, especially if you're shipping it to Switzerland. Alternatively, send it to Nesbit's in Seattle, or send it to the OB in Seattle (which is managed by the scion of the Nesbit family). Any of the three will get your X33 in tip-top condition. And your wife will think it is brand new again, just like her regard for you.
Thanks iinsic for the advice and information. I will try and find the contact info for each and work this out. I have worn my X-33 almost everyday since 2003 and she is still in great shape. I will try to find a better battery change routine.

Oh, and during the service 2+ years ago, it looks like they did replace the electronic "heart" of the watch. But that has been the case three times in a row. I keep all the pieces and parts from each service, along with the paperwork.
 

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Well, this is depressing. I have nothing of value to add to your thread. It's just that I've always wanted to add one of these to the collection but this is a serious splash of cold water.

rfortson, I wouldn't give up on owning an X-33. They are a unique, good looking timepiece. Very rugged and robust. They take a pounding if they need to and keep good time all the while. Plus, they are very light on the wrist. I have just had some bad luck with mine. I am sure there are many owners that have had zero issues with their X-33's, other than the afore mentioned periodic battery changes.
 

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Just to follow up on this post. Sent my watch out to Nesbits and they did exactly what I asked them to do. I got my watch back within about two weeks. Awesome and quick turnaround, no BS and my watch is back and functioning perfectly.

Thank you Nesbits!!
 

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Just to follow up on this post. Sent my watch out to Nesbits and they did exactly what I asked them to do. I got my watch back within about two weeks. Awesome and quick turnaround, no BS and my watch is back and functioning perfectly.

Thank you Nesbits!!
Glad you've found a good place to have it serviced so you can keep enjoying the watch. I've had my X-33 Gen2 since mid 2005 and only had it in for Omega (full) service twice in that time. Outside of that I've been changing the battery myself. It helps to have a good set of screwdrivers but the screws are quite delicate and can be damaged quite easily so I appreciate the hesitation for others to do it themselves.

If the watch is properly maintained then water isn't a problem. Mine has seen many pools and beaches and never had an issue.
 

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My experience with water and the X-33 has not been so good. I love the watch and, although both times the watch flooded it was the fault of an incompetent repair by others, I am now reluctant to even wear it near the sink. And small, delicate parts and I don't mix well, so I too am glad I found Nesbits.
 

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Oh yes, the incompetence of "watch staff". I performed the first battery change in my son's Flik Flak and it sees water and the washing machine at times, never a problem. The second was done by the clowns at the Swatch store (it's free for life). Went on a beach holiday a few weeks later and the first sign of ocean water, it died complete with brown ooze inside. When I popped the battery cap open the washer had been mangled and replaced very poorly. Sigh...
 

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Hi all,

I have worn my ( secondhand eBay purchase ) X-33 Gen 2 almost everyday since I bought it a few years ago. It is a first-rate beater.



It has seen use in pools and the sea, and has performed faultlessly. Further it is still on the same battery.

This watch is wonderful. I hope you all enjoy yours as much as I do mine.

:-D
Neily


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FWIW - I've replaced the battery twice in ten years of ownership. Haven't had a single issue but I don't submerge the X-33 as I have other dive watches for getting wet. I do wear it hiking / working out and wipe it down with a damp cloth afterwards. It's been through plenty of rain storms. It's not a watch I'd wear in the pool / ocean. There are plenty of guides / videos on how to replace the battery.
 
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