Replacing batteries in watch cuffs

Hi Paula,

I have purchased 2 native american watch cuff’s.  I would have had  to  have the batteries  replaced in them every year .  Is there a kit  that I can buy to replace the batteries in thesewatch  cuff’s my self.   The jewelry stores in my area , now they do not want to replace the batteries in these watches.


Tommy Moore Cuff Watch showing the decorative wings that must be opened. Underneath the wings are tabs that secure the watch in place. They must also be opened so that the timepiece can be removed.

Hi Debra,

Just for sake of completeness in this answer, I want to point out that it is easy to replace the battery in a link or expansion band watch because the back of the watch is exposed so it is easy to access. Many people do it themselves or an ordinary jeweler can do it for you.


An expansion band watch showing how there is easy access of the back of the timepiece.


Similarly, there is easy access to the back of the timepiece in a link watch.

However, I know you are asking about cuff watches………..they are trickier because the watch face must be removed completely from the cuff bracelet so the back of the timepiece can be accessed. To do that the fans and anchor tabs must be opened and unless you do have the correct tools and know-how you could damage or break the fans or tabs.

My husband and I have both tried to replace the batteries in my watch cuffs. I have also taken them to local jewelers – all with varying degrees of success.

Now I mail all my cuffs to an experienced Native American jeweler when I need a battery replaced. (see the end of this article for contact information).

To extend the life of the battery, I always pull the watch stem out when I am not
wearing my watch cuffs. This stops the watch and the battery lasts longer.

Alternatively you could use a watch that doesn’t require a battery change such as a good old fashioned wind up watch, a kinetic watch (one that self winds in response to your normal everyday arm movements, sometimes referred to as a self-wind or mechanical watch), a solar watch (also called eco drive watch), or a Quartz watch (one that runs on a quartz crystal).

Native American jeweler that we use – contact

Diane Radeke
P. O. Box 55935
Phoenix, AZ  85078


To view our full list of articles, go here

If you are selling your jewelry, read this

Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping


Bear Claw Cuff watch by Navajo Elaine Sam

Cuff watch – is it Navajo?

Dear Paula,

I recently got a Native American watch band cuff from my uncle. He says that quite a few years back [maybe 20 years ago or so] he was in Montana or Nevada and purchased this. I was hoping you could help me I.D what type of band it is and help me figure out how to mount a watch on to it. All I know is that the design doesn’t seem to be that of a Navajo styling, but has been signed.
Thank you in advanced,
Kristie from Canada 🙂
DSCN0894 DSCN0913 DSCN0926Hi Kristie,
Your beautiful cuff watch was made by Navajo artist Allen Chee.  He is known for traditional cuffs, some with appliques such as your eagle.
Installing a watch face (timepiece) into this cuff watch should be done by a jeweler familiar with Native American jewelry. I’ve sent you the contact information for the NA jeweler we use and are very happy with.

Do you know what kind of turquoise is on my Carlos White Eagle Watch Cuff?

Hi Paula!

I have a Watch Cuff made by Carlos White Eagle and I would like to know if you could identify the type of turquoise stones that are on it. When I purchased the cuff the top feather that holds the watch in was broken. I was able to find Carlos and have him fix it for me. He remembered the piece from the late 60’s and that he had custom made it for a doctor. The inscription reads “For Dr. H.M. Wilke”. The thing is all the time I spent with him, I forgot to ask him where the stones came from. It has a bear tooth and a claw and he verified that.
Thanks for your help!!

Jess !

What a treasure. I’d be interested to hear the story of how you got the watch, how you were able to hook up with Apache artist Carlos White Eagle, and all that good stuff !!

I also like your man-at-work photo with purchase order and keyboard back ground – do you wear this watch to work ??!!

What a fabulous watch !

What mine could these turquoise stones have come from? Well, as you know, computer monitor settings vary and what might look bright blue here might look deep bluish-green there. Dark brown matrix can look black from one screen to another.

But knowing the type of stones that have appeared in Carlos White Eagle’s pieces from that era and taking an educated guess, I am thinking it could be one of the mines below. I’m going to paste some photos of items we have or have had in our store with the names of the mines the turquoise came from below each photo. Why don’t you tell me which picture looks the most like your stones and then I’ll give you my best guess. Feel free to post your reply right here as a reply to this blog and once you and I both dive in, we can see what others might think.

It is easier in person. Photos are difficult. And stones from one portion of a mine can look quite different from another section, but anyway…….here we go.


Blue Diamond

Blue Gem


Number 8 or # 8

Turquoise Mountain

Mystery Mine - You fill in the blank _____________