August 01, 2021 17 min read
The wristwatch was meant to be a quintessential tool of utility — one that’s always by your side and keeps ticking till the end of time. Unfortunately, not all watches can do that, but solar watches come pretty close.
Novel, sustainable, and utilitarian — such is the magnetic allure of the humble solar watch. It looks great, feels great, and runs off a virtually endless power source.
While these watches do possess batteries, they aren’t the kind that needs frequent replacement. That translates into minimized waste and maximized convenience. What’s not to love?
If you’ve been thinking about buying a solar watch, this guide has everything you need to know along with comprehensive reviews of the best solar powered watches out there.
Let’s dive in.
A common misconception is that solar powered watches don’t need batteries. In reality, these watches come with a single battery that can last you a lifetime.
Solar watches feature a faceplate that has a built-in mini-solar panel that’s capable of converting light energy into electricity, which turns into mechanical force. These panels can extract energy not only from sunlight but also ambient light.
Place your solar watch under a lightbulb overnight and voila. It’ll be charged to full capacity by the time your morning alarm rings.
Provided that the battery gets fully charged in this manner, you can go on using the watch for months at a time until you need to recharge it.
There’s a lot to love about a watch that’s powered solely by the sun. It’s eco-friendly, accurate in keeping time, and won’t give up on you when you need it the most.
If you weren’t already sold on the idea, here are some noteworthy benefits of owning these pieces of extraordinary craftsmanship.
What makes solar watches incredibly sustainable is the fact that they use a single battery for their entire lifetime. You won’t have to worry about disposing and replacing multiple batteries, which is great for your wallet — and the environment too.
In addition, these watches make use of the most sustainable and renewable source of energy — sunlight. With an everlasting resource like this, you won’t ever run out of power.
You don’t need a lot to keep a solar watch running. As long as your watch is in the presence of a light source, be it natural or otherwise, it will recharge automatically.
Its permanent battery also takes away the hassle of dealing with timely maintenance and battery problems.
Perhaps one of the best parts of owning a solar watch is the fact that it can last for months without charge.
Solar watches have long power reserves that store solar energy even without any exposure to sunlight. This is incredibly handy in dim or low-light situations, or even if you keep it tucked away in a drawer for a few weeks.
Now that you’re a little more familiar with the workings of a solar watch, it’s time to consider the features that set a great solar watch apart from the rest.
We’ve listed the most important factors down below to help you narrow down your search.
Solar watches can last for a long time without any light source, but exactly how long is long? To be fair, this comes down to the watch in question.
Most watches last for over six months on a full charge, which is ideally the most effective. Be sure to check the power reserve when browsing through solar watches and keep an eye out for the ones that have a long reserve period.
Having a stellar display will make all the difference in functionality and comfort. This includes everything from:
Different watches will boast different designs, so having a display that suits your needs is the most important thing to consider.
While most solar watches are water-resistant, there are varying degrees of how much water they can or can’t handle.
Ideally, you should look for water resistance levels up to 100 m that can prevent damage in most kinds of water-related situations and depths. Anything less than that might have limitations. However, if you don’t see yourself using your watch in such situations, you might even be okay with 30 m.
There was a time when all you needed a watch for was accurate timekeeping. Today, watches do a lot more than just that. They’re laden with a number of useful features that enhance their appeal, such as:
And a lot more.
Before you dive in and choose a watch that’s armed with a lot of features that you may not necessarily need, consider the purpose of your timepiece and where you’ll be using it the most.
Whether you’re off to your next adventure or need a reliable accessory that complements every outfit, a solar watch is a great addition to every wardrobe.
We’ve handpicked some of the best solar watches that will stick by you through thick and thin, along with their many features and advantages so that you can find the right match for your needs.
The Casio Classic Solar Combination Watch is a sleek, black and rugged watch that comes with dual analog and digital displays. With world time and multilingual settings that work in tandem with alarms, timers, and calendars, this watch is versatile and functional to have around.
The additional water resistance and a whopping ten-month power reserve enhance the solar-powered nature of this sturdy watch. The affordability and power-saving functions are great bonuses as well, making it one of the best men’s solar watches.
The G-Shock Men’s Solar Sport Watch is another strong contender from the Casio series of watches. This is a solar digital watch in its entirety that displays the adjustable world time, day, and date through its screen. Alarms, timers, and a stopwatch further allow you to conveniently customize the settings of this watch.
What’s more, this watch offers shock resistance as well as one of the best water resistance levels of up to 200 m. It can work well for nine months on a full charge. The durability and backlight features improve the practicality of this watch significantly.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler Watch has an olive green canvas band and a black and white dial display, making this watch comfortable, smart and modern in its appeal. It comes with an analog display but also has a day and date window within its dial.
Further, this watch utilizes solar to recharge its permanent battery. It offers water-resistance of up to 100 m, as well as luminous minute and hour hands that allow you to easily read time at night. The mineral crystal enhancements and the movable buckle are additional features that you can make use of.
Rugged yet stylish, the Timex Men’s Expedition Scout Solar-Powered Watch boasts a brown leather strap paired with a smooth and sleek gray dial that houses luminous minute and hour hands. Conveniently enough, the dial has a window that lets you keep track of the date. All of these are placed within a brass case that makes use of crystal embellishments.
With a power reserve of four months and a 50 m water resistance, this watch is another good choice for those on the hunt for solar-powered watches. It is also a relatively affordable option that is not only scratch-resistant but also visually appealing.
When it comes to solar watches that boast numerous GPS, tracking, and training features, it doesn’t get any better than the Garmin Instinct Solar Graphite Smartwatch. This stylish and sturdy watch is black all over, including the strap and the case, which is made from fiber-reinforced polymer.
The watch offers tons of features from GPS tracking and safety settings to Bluetooth connectivity and even music playback options.
To top it all off, it is solar-powered and lasts you a lifetime if you use it on the battery saver mode.
The Seiko Men’s SNE039 Stainless Steel Solar Watch performs just as great as it looks. From its stainless steel case and strap to its polished black dial, the elegant timepiece serves as a reminder that solar-powered watches can look captivating and still get the job done well.
To make things better, this watch has a long-lasting power reserve of ten months. It also comes with scratch resistance features, quartz movement, and luminous hands that make reading this watch at night quite easy.
Finding a watch that matches your style, delivers on comfort, and aces the sustainability game is a tall order. Or at least that’s what you’d think before you take a look at the extraordinary options we’ve listed down below.
Regardless of whether you’re dressed to impress or need a watch that completes your look, these watches have something for every need.
There’s no denying that the Seiko Stainless Steel Two-Tone Watch is one of the most stylish solar watches for women. With a beautiful two-tone silver and gold band that surrounds the elegant black case, this watch has an analog display with a small window to showcase the date.
Aside from being solar powered, the watch works with a quartz movement for unparalleled precision when keeping time. The chronograph display, water resistance, six-month power reserve, and bracelet-like appeal further add to the charm of this timepiece.
The BERING Women’s Silver Solar Powered Watch is graceful, sophisticated, and minimalistic. If the perfect balance of silver and blue weren’t striking enough, the sapphire crystal of the dial will surely win you over.
When it comes to functionality, this watch does not disappoint. Aside from being water up to 50 m, this watch has an excellent power reserve that ranges from 6-12 months. It is also scratch-resistant and makes use of a solar and light-powered recharging technique. All in all, this watch is a slim, durable, and fine choice to consider.
Decorous, opulent, and lovely, the Anne Klein Considered Women’s Solar Powered Watch looks and works just like a dream. It has a unique display with a gold bracelet and a jewelry extender. The gold casing border with a mineral crystal lens houses a dial that is adorned with gold markers and hands as well as crystal markers.
The dial also features a center with nacre colors, giving the watch an iridescent effect. This is elevated by the fact that the watch runs on solar power through a solar panel that is part of the dial itself. This panel provides a power reserve of four good months.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Casual Beige Women’s Watch is a fun, unpretentious, and simple watch that comes with an analog display along with a little window that displays the date.
Citizen sure knows how to make even the simplest colors stand out, which is evident when you look at the watch’s delicate rose gold detailing, clean white backdrop, and stainless steel encasing.
The solar or light-powered functioning makes the power reserve of this watch last for 8 months on a full charge. You also get an insufficient charge warning in case your watch is running out of power.
Our list of stunning solar watches would be incomplete without our very own prized additions.
Here at Zeitholz, we pay close attention to detail when handcrafting our solar watches, keeping sustainability at the core of our practices. For this reason, our solar watches are made from ethically sourced wood that adds to the grandeur of every timepiece.
Sustainable in every way, the Sonnenberg Solar Olive Wood watch is handcrafted with 100% natural wood. The rich brown-black dial and clasps add a wonderful contrast to the softness of the pale olive wood strap.
With a sturdy glass case, reliable solar panel, and easy readability, this watch offers a delightful balance of both the new and the old.
Of course, we think our watches are perfect, but the Sonneberg might not be the right fit for you if you find yourself using your watch in water very often.
The Sonnenberg is water-resistant up to 30 m, letting it easily withstand accidental splashes. However, if you need a watch that you can take swimming or in the shower, you’ll need something more water-resistant.
The Sonnenberg Solar Walnut Wood watch is beautiful and exquisite right from its versatile design to its high-quality Seiko solar movement.
The deep rich hues of walnut wood are complemented perfectly with a blue-black dial, lending the watch a delightful appeal that pairs with any outfit.
This watch also offers a two-year guarantee.
There’s nothing that we would change about the Sonnenberg Solar Walnut Wood watch since it’s perfect for most adventures. However, if you dabble in water sports and underwater activities, then this may not be the perfect match for you since it’s water-resistant only up to 30 m.
In addition, the hands do not light up in the dark which can make it difficult to read them.
No matter which watch you decide to go with, the advantages of choosing a solar watch are undeniable. From their incredible power reserves to their eco-friendly nature, these watches have made their way into many hearts.
We understand that since this reliable timepiece is going to be with you for a long time, you’ll want to choose the very best. And while there are a number of options out there, remember that ultimately it all comes down to your preferences and what you’d like out of your solar watch.
So go ahead and bask in the sun with a watch that’s by your side till the end of time.
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