Can you imagine a world where people don’t have to keep up with time? It’s kind of weird if you think about it, isn’t it? At a young age, we were taught how to check the time on clocks. As we grow older, we realize the value of time even more. It tells us that we always have to make time for everything as the clock is always ticking and doesn’t stop. This is why wherever we go, we make sure that we wear our watches on our wrists every day.
Did you know that the earliest concept of a wristwatch or what was better known then as a “bracelet watch” was produced during the 16th century? It was mostly worn by women because men preferred to carry pocket watches. Fast forward to the 20th century, and the first solar watch was invented by a man named Roger Riehl.
It was an invention that catapulted the creation of even more futuristic yet functional solar watches. Why get such a watch when we have all been wearing conventional ones? Read on so that we can tell you more about this device and possibly even convince you to get one for yourself.
What Is a Solar Powered Watch?
A wristwatch is a staple accessory for both men and women alike. It comes in all styles, sizes, colors, and designs. Not only can it tell the time, it also serves as a fashion statement. So what sets solar watches apart from the common timepieces that we are all so used to?
As far as its appearance is concerned, a solar chronometer looks just like what you might be wearing now. Its face can have either a digital or analog clock. But unlike the common digital or analog ones that typically utilize silver oxide batteries to keep them ticking, a solar powered watch relies on light energy to function properly. So, does this mean it only works during the daytime? Not exactly.
This is because most of these watches can also make use of artificial light to gather power, so they are not solely dependent on the sun. This is what differentiates a solar watch from the other ones being sold on the market. Its uniqueness and great functionality make it a better choice over battery operated ones.
How Does a Solar Watch Work?
Just like most solar devices, solar powered chronometers are made with built-in photovoltaic solar cells, which absorb the sun’s light and convert it into electric energy that powers the watch. Does this mean that the watch will only work during the day and die at night? In order to keep power even in the dark, most solar wristwatches have rechargeable batteries for storing the converted energy.
Batteries make sure that solar watches can still be usable even during nighttime. But what if you live in an area where the sun does not always come out much in the winter even during the day? This type of watch can also get a charge from artificial light. As long as it is kept in a well-lit environment and not in complete darkness, then this device will continue working whether it is worn or not.
Another good thing about this type of time keeping device is that it can be built with lithium-ion batteries, which means that the stored energy can be kept longer and can power up the watch for weeks or even months without direct and constant exposure to bright light. Is that amazing or what?
How to Choose the Best Solar Watch
There must be at least a hundred types of solar watches out there. How can one possibly make a choice? Well, it all boils down to your personal preference and needs. But to make things a whole lot easier for you, we have listed the things that you need to look for before you purchase your first solar watch.
We all know that the most popular brands of watches are Rolex, Casio, Seiko, Citizen, G-Shock, etc. These brands have been in the watch business for so long that it is hard not to trust them. So, there is nothing wrong if you opt for a model from one of these brands as you can be sure that their products are of great quality.
A good product is one that has reasonable value for the money and is made with quality materials. Watches are not cheap at all. Therefore, we have to make sure that a particular watch is worth buying. When purchasing one, be sure to look up where the spare parts come from and if they are made from materials that have passed or even exceeded quality standards.
We all have different style preferences. Some prefer sleek and elegant watches while others want one that goes well with casual or everyday wear. Solar powered watches come in a vast variety of designs and styles. It is guaranteed that you can find one that will fit your personality perfectly.
Just like when you go dress or suit shopping, you have to choose a watch that has the right fit. You do not want it to be so tight that it hurts your wrist or too loose that it falls off of your hand. Most watches with steel bands can be adjusted by removing a piece or two off of the band, which means its size can be customized to fit you properly.
This refers to the way your chronometer gets power from the sun either entirely or partially. Since most of the watches that are being sold have lithium-ion batteries, the electric charge can be kept and stored for longer periods of time. This means that the watch does not have to be hit by sunlight all day and every day to maintain its power.
Top 5 Best Solar Watches
Having lots of choices is great, but it can be quite confusing. To save you time going through hundreds of websites or visiting several watch stores trying to find exactly what you want, we have collected a list of some of the most popular watches on the market to help you figure out what the best solar watch is for you.
5. BERING Time Men’s Slim Solar Watch 14440-077 – Solar Watch
The Bering Time watch is truly a classic and a suitable solar watch woman and man can both wear. With its simple but sleek design, you can wear it both for formal and casual wear. The product dimensions are 0.33 by 0.33 by 0.31 inches, and it weighs only 2.82 ounces. This analog watch might be slim and lightweight, but it is made from sapphire crystal glass, which makes it scratch resistant.
Its band or strap is made from IP-plated Milanese with medical-grade stainless steel, while its casing consists of blue IP-plated titanium, which can guarantee a long life of use. The strap is adjustable to make sure it is snug on your wrist. And although this timepiece is not made for diving, it should be able to survive water splashes from showering or handwashing.
- Minimalistic design
- Highly scratch resistant
- Water resistant up to 50 meters
- Adjustable band
- Charges with natural or artificial light
- No built-in backlight
4. Casio Men’s Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch
If you are looking for a watch that tells more than just the time, then Casio’s Pathfinder might just be what you need. Not only is it a solar watch, but it is also multifunctional. Some of its features are a built-in digital compass, barometer, and thermometer as well as a backlight, which is helpful during nighttime. It even has a full calendar, world time, and daily alarms.
This watch is made for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, or just simple long walks. Other than that, this timepiece can also be used when swimming or snorkeling. It weighs in at 8 ounces, and its dimensions are 4.7 by 4.3 by 3.8 inches. Its band is made with resin while the casing is made of stainless steel.
- Sustained battery charge that lasts up to 6 months
- Water resistant for up to 100 meters
- Charges immediately upon exposure to light
- Prone to dirt due to its rotating dial
3. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400
Are you a sporty type of person? This Casio G-Shock watch might be perfect for you! The product dimensions are 1 by 1 by 1 inches. This digital sport watch is suitable for those who have a very active lifestyle and love the great outdoors. Why? The reason is that this watch can be used for scuba diving! It is truly durable and can survive harsh weather or water conditions and is guaranteed for a long time of use.
A stainless steel face and a band made of thick resin complement this model’s features. This solar watch is multifunctional as well with built-in triple sensors such as a barometer, altimeter, thermometer, and digital compass. Another cool feature of this device is its MB6 atomic timekeeping and low-temperature resistance.
- Has sealed buttons and triple sensors
- Water resistant up to 200 meters
- Dustproof and shockproof
- Works even in low-temperature locations
- Too bulky
2. Tissot Men’s T0914204405100 T-Touch Expert Solar Watch
Tissot’s first-of-its-kind solar watch features a touchscreen, which is very convenient for accessing the watch’s many functions. It has a ceramic bezel that is scratch resistant, which means this one will not oxidize and is guaranteed to keep its beauty and shine even after years of use. Unlike most quartz watches that follow Japanese movement, Tissot’s solar watch on the other hand follows Swiss solar tactile movement.
The solar sensors are located on the watch’s dial, where it absorbs both natural and artificial light. The energy absorbed is stored on an accumulator and can power up the watch for months on a full charge. Aside from being a solar powered timepiece, Tissot’s watch has other useful functions as well. It can work as a compass, countdown timer, alarm clock, etc. Additionally, the watch’s dials are luminous, so there is no problem telling the time even during the night.
- Battery that can last a lifetime without the need for replacement
- Water resistant up to 330 feet
- Has two-year warranty
- Uses sustainable solar technology
- On the pricier side
1. Seiko Men’s SSC017 Prospex Analog Japanese Quartz Solar Stainless Steel Dive Watch
On top of the list of this solar watch review is Seiko’s Prospex solar powered watch. This USA-made watch consists of a durable stainless steel case and bracelet, which makes it great for both formal and casual wear. It only weighs 12.8 ounces and is comfortable for everyday wear. It also has luminous hands and hour markers, which are convenient when you are on a nighttime walk or overnight camping trip.
This watch is also water resistant up to 200 meters, making it perfect for swimming or any outdoor activities where one might get drenched in water. If you are searching for something that looks and feels elegant and at the same time is very functional, then this might be the right choice.
- Has Kinetic Auto Relay that automatically resets to the correct time
- A dial that is made with patented Seiko Hardlex material, which is completely shatter and scratch resistant
- Unique rotating bezel with three chronographic subdials
- Solar panel that is built into the dial
- Not scratch proof
- Date sometimes hard to read
Pros and Cons of Solar Watches
They say time is of the essence. Being able to keep up with time means having the right accessory to guide us through our everyday lives. Since wearing a watch has been a part of our daily routines, it is important to get one that works just as hard as we do.
A solar watch provides an ample amount of style and functionality, but there are things we need to look into before investing in this kind of timepiece. Here we discuss some of the pros and cons of solar watches to help you weigh your options before deciding to get this product for yourself.
- Environmentally safe
This is the number one advantage of this product. It is better for the environment because it only uses solar power to function. It does not require numerous disposable batteries throughout its lifetime.
- Typically absorb both natural and artificial light
This means that they are not all solely reliant on sunlight energy. The power cells within the watch can get energy even when the watch is not exposed to direct sunlight all the time.
- No-hassle charging
Unless you store your watch somewhere totally dark, your timepiece will continuously obtain its charge and keep it as long as there is light.
- Low-maintenance device
What is great about this type of watch is that it does not require any replacement batteries or special equipment to keep it working. Unlike automatic watches, which must be worn all the time because they require constant motion, solar powered watches just need to be placed where there is light so that they continue charging.
- Batteries can last longer
Batteries in conventional or fashionable watches usually last only up to 2 years or so. Batteries in solar watches can last a lot longer than ten years. Some can even last a lifetime with proper use.
- A bit more expensive than common wristwatches
Perhaps this is the only con we can come up with when it comes to solar powered watches. Yes, unlike the other types of wristwatches being sold on the market today, solar watches can be expensive. This is because the mechanism and technology being used in them is a lot more advanced compared to quartz watches. Another thing is that the solar ones are made and guaranteed to last a long, long time. So if you think about it, the purchase price is not so bad.
Going green by starting to use an eco-friendly device such as a solar watch is a good start. Just think of all the savings you can get from not having to replace your timepiece’s batteries every two to three years. Another great thing here is that you will not have to visit a watch repair shop ever since a solar timepiece requires minimal to no maintenance at all. Just make sure it gets enough light, and it should continue to work for up to a lifetime. What other type of watch has that guarantee?
Lately, with everything that is happening to our environment, we have started to be on the lookout for things that can minimize the impact that we have on our surroundings. With the initiative to begin going green, we are seeing more and more people who try to take care of Mother Earth by opting to use sustainable and renewable resources.
This way, we will be able to reach a better future for the next generation. All it takes is a few baby steps towards this goal. We are competing against time here. And what better way to help keep up with time is there than to start with something small like getting a solar powered watch?