Another Inquiry from the Mail Bag:
I saw your advise [sic] in the article against using cheap batteries for the X-33. I know Renata is a Swiss brand, should I use them or does it really make a difference?
Well, to be honest it doesn’t really make that much of a difference. In fact, although Renata (part of the Swatch group) cells are OEM for Omega’s X-33 and all Omega quartz watches, depending on who you ask relatively speaking Renata batteries have something of a reputation for leaking.
But very generally, almost any battery of the proper size from almost any quality name brand (Renata, Maxell, Energizer, Panasonic, etc.) should be jmore than fine. Just avoid the cheapie Chinese generics and such. The $10 battery on your $3400 watch is just not the wisest place to try to skimp on just a few dollars.
It’s probably at least if not more important than the brand that the battery be fresh. Batteries have a finite shelf life and lose power with time even if not used. As the CR 2320 size required by the X-33 for its power-hungry alarm and lcd multifunction display is somewhat uncommon in other watch movements, the celly typically don’t get used as often as many other commonly stocked sizes and may have been sitting in a drawer for years. While awaiting installation they may well have lost a lot of their “juice.” Try to find a battery that has been recently manufactured (look carefully for date codes) or barring that choose one with the most distant “Use By:” date you can find.
I used a Renata cell when I changed the battery in my X-33 a while back, but in truth this was mostly just because the Renata battery was the only one I could find in the uncommon CR 2320 size that vendor sell to me at a sane (<$10) price.
And Maxell batteries are OEM for Patek quartz movements (yes, there is really such a thing) if that gives you any further indication of where quality might lie.