Solar watches are a long-lasting and eco-friendly alternative to normal mechanical watches. These watches have excellent engineering, they utilize solar cells to generate power. When the light hits the cell, energy gets collected and absorbed. This energy is then converted into electricity. Typically, the cells on solar-powered watches are placed behind semi-transparent dials or sometimes even on top of the dial. After the light is converted into electrical energy, it is passed to a rechargeable battery, this means no replacements for the battery. Watch wearers love such watches. In this article, you will get an amazing insight into the best solar watches in the market and why are solar powered watches good or bad.
How Solar Powered Watches Work?
Solar power watches have small solar panels inside them. These panels absorb either sunlight or artificial light and then convert this light into energy. The average life of a solar-powered battery is close to 10 years, it’s way better than a traditional battery in terms of lifespan and sustainability. Unlike, most mechanical watches, you don’t even need to get solar-powered watches servicing every few years. After this, let’s explore the list of the best solar watches in the market.
13 Best Solar Watches in Market
If you are thinking of adding some great solar watches to your collection then we have your back. This list of the best solar watches has covered all the new and old variety of such watches you can consider buying-
1. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph is a luxurious solar watch and the public was able to get its first real look at TAG Heuer’s inaugural solar-powered Aquaracer at the famed Watches & Wonders event in April of 2022. This watch has a built-in solargraph or solar module which only needs close to two minutes under full sunlight to generate energy for a full day’s performance. This watch is made for the outdoors and thus has a rugged design, luminous markers, and a DLC-coated steel case. It has a case size of 40mm and movement of Caliber TH50-00. Its price is around USD$2,950.
2. G-SHOCK GMW-B5000MB-1
G-SHOCK GMW-B5000MB-1 is a Casio solar powered watch with a retro design. It is water-resistant and has a variety of fine finishes across its band, sides, black bezel, and surfaces. Its whole body is coated in black-ion plating whereas its bezel surface is polished in a hairline finish. the bezel surface properly exposes the piece’s stainless steel foundations. This Casio solar powered watch is an all-rounder with features like ultra-sturdiness, shock-resistance, superluminous, and smartphone compatibility. It has a case size of 43.2mm. It has a movement of Japanese quartz and its price is close to USD$607.
3. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver
Citizen is one of Japan’s early players in the sector of men’s solar watches. It debuted its light-power Eco-Drive range in 1996. This range continues even today. It features a number of robust models and the Eco-Drive Promaster Diver is among them. This watch has a large case of stainless steel, an eligible analog-style dial, and a polyurethane strap. This is one of the best solar watches available on the market today. It has a case size of 48 mm and has a Japanese quartz movement. Its price is close to USD$210.
Also Read: Solar Power to Triple During Next Five Years
4. Casio AQS810W Classic Watch
Casio AQS810W Classic Watch is yet another casio solar powered watch and it is priced to move. It costs about USD $30 and has a 47 mm case size. Its features include water resistance up to 100 meters, a brilliant LED light, simultaneous time zone readings, a stopwatch, five alarms, and date functionality.
5. Junghans max bill MEGA Solar
Junghans max bill MEGA Solar is a minimalistic watch. It is one of the best solar watches on the market. It has a titanium construction and it’s quite durable as well as lightweight. It is extremely comfortable to use. It has a dressy and slim design which is also quite advanced. It comes with app compatibility, seamless time zone adjustment, and a perpetual calendar. It has a case size of 38mm and it costs around US$1,050.
6. Garmin fÄ“nix 6 – Pro Solar Edition
Garmin is a brand that creates the world’s best smartwatches and fitness trackers. Its Garmin fÄ“nix 6 – Pro Solar Edition watch also comes in a solar-powered variant. It has endless functions at your disposal. It includes a fitness tracker, access to satellite tracking networks, all kinds of maps, etc. This variant is available in three different case sizes 42mm, 47mm, and 51mm. Its price is around AUD$1,499.
Also Read: Best Solar Powered Calculators
7. T-Touch Connect Solar
T-Touch Connect Solar is a Swiss-made solar watch that has beautiful integration of digital functionality and an analog-like dial. This uniqueness grabs it a firm place in this list of best solar watches in the market. This watch is an adventure-ready classic. It is available in a variety of finishes and styles. It has traditional features along with advanced features like fitness tracking and smartphone notifications. Under its surface, the watch has the latest generation of photovoltaic solar cells. These cells have high performance and are low maintenance. This watch comes in a case size of 47mm. It will cost you anywhere around USD$1,050.
8. Seiko 5X Astron Series
Seiko Astron was launched in 2012 and is the world’s first GPS solar watch. The Seiko 5X Astron watch is a new watch in this series. Its fundamental allure is of course its GPS connectivity. It has three independent motors, and in just as little as three seconds, this piece changes from one-time zone to another. It comes in a case size of 42.9mm. It sells for around AUD$2,950 and up.
9. Citizen Chandler
This watch from Citizen is impressively affordable and a compact classic. It is forged from stainless steel and is inspired by military field watches. Its features include water resistance to 100 meters, a screw-down crown, a day-date complication, and lume markers. It comes with a 37mm case size. Its cost is close to USD$104.
10. Seiko SNE529
Seiko SNE529 solar watch has outdoor aesthetics with outright sophistication. It has scratch-resistant crystal sapphire and it’s also water-resistant up to 100m. It’s an affordable watch that comes in various materials and colors. It has a case size of 40mm and a Japanese quartz movement. Its cost is around AUD$323.
11. Seiko Prospex SNJ025
The Seiko Prospex SNJ025 watch is larger than life, highly functional, and built to last. The Seiko classic watch was worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1980 movie Predator. The modern version of this watch runs on solar power and comes with a signature hybrid dial. This watch is water resistant up to 200m and comes with a case size of 47.8 mm. You will have to pay USD $525 to buy this watch.
12. Seiko Prospex Padi Solar Watch
Because of its affordability, the Seiko Prospex Padi solar watch is among the best solar watches in the market. It is silver toned and has red hands displayed against a blue dial. Its features include luminous hands and marker, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a screw-down case of stainless steel, and a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal. Additionally, it has a water resistance of up to 200 m and a 10-month power reserve. It has a Japanese quartz movement and it comes with a 43mm case size. It will cost you anywhere around US$365.
13. Seiko SNE516P1
This a visually stunning men’s solar watch. It has an avant-grande framework and classic features. At full charge, it provides nearly 10 months of performance and it is also water resistant to 100m. Its features include sapphire crystal protection, a date display, LumiBrite treatment, and a quick-start function. The watch has a 42.5mm case size and Calibre V157 movement. It costs around AUD$599.
What to Consider Before Buying Solar Watch?
Just like buying any other product, before buying solar watches also there are certain points that you need to consider. Solar watches come in different price points, styles, and specs, you can’t just randomly buy any solar watch. Consider the following points before buying a solar-powered watch-
1. Movement- Solar watches are compatible with both digital movements and mechanical movements. A digital solar watch comes with robust construction and a host of functional features whereas a mechanical-looking solar watch has classical design language. There are also hybrid watches that have an analog display with subtle digital elements.
2. Light Type- While buying a solar watch, it is important to check what type of light is used to power it. For example, if sunlight charges your watch faster than artificial light, keep an eye on how much sunlight your watch is getting.
3. Light Intensity- Like the light type, light intensity is also an important feature of a watch. You should know what intensity of light will increase the work efficiency of your watch. You should know if a sunny day will improve the charging of your watch compared to cloudy and dull weather.
4. Case Size- Solar watches like their traditional counterparts come in various case sizes. Go for a 40mm or less frame size if you want something compact and slim. However, for the people who love bigger watches, you better go for 42mm and up. Moreover, extra functions usually tend to yield larger case sizes.
5. Price- Solar watches come in a wide variety of price ranges. You can get a Casio solar-powered watch for as low as USD$30 whereas a new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph can retail for close to 3k.
How Long Do Best Solar Watches Last?
One of the major questions people have before buying solar panels is whether they are durable. With the development of technology even the way, solar watches are developing to be more durable. The most important feature of solar watches is the way they charge. They are almost always charging and they just need to use the power reserve when there is no light source. Depending on how you use these watches, they can even last beyond 10 years. After this, let’s explore how long do Casio solar watches last.
How Long Do Casio Solar Watches Last?
After learning about the lifespan of solar watches, let’s further learn how long do Casio solar watches last. Casio creates one of the best solar watches. Usually, a Casio solar watch lasts for 10 years. If you use the watch with proper care, the watch may last about 15-20 years. After this, let’s observe- are solar powered watches good or bad?
Are Solar Powered Watches Good or Bad?
Now that you know how long do Casio solar watches last, let’s learn about the pros and cons that make solar-powered watches good or bad. To understand-are solar powered watches good or bad, you need to understand these pros and cons of solar watches-
- Charging- Many popular brands like Casio and Seiko offer solar watches that are powered by sunlight. The in-built power system of these watches is best charged with direct sunlight but they can also be charged with any source of artificial light as well. You just need to keep the watch on your rest and it will be almost always charging. Just spend considerable time in a well-lit area and then you are good to go with a fully charged solar watch.
- Environment-Friendly- Solar watches are probably the best sustainable alternative to traditional watches. These watches reduce the number of non-biodegradable batteries left to pollute the Earth. They help you go green without going low on class or efficiency. There are many appealing and fashion-forward brands of solar watches you can go for.
- Pocket Friendly- The solar watches are low maintenance and last for about a decade. You just need to spend the money while buying the solar watch and after that, there are no recurring fees for its maintenance and care. Additionally, the solar watches are customer friendly and come with replaced batteries. If used properly, these watches can last a lifetime. Buying a solar watch saves your wallet and the planet. It’s a win-win situation.
- Zero Maintenance- Solar watches may need a little maintenance but compared to manual watches that is minimal. You just need to make sure that the watch gets appropriate sunlight so that it doesn’t run out of battery.
- High Power Reserves- Only a three-hour recharge, solar watches like Seiko solar chronograph can last for about six months on battery life. Solar watches from brands like Casio and Seiko come with a power-saving mode, making them last even longer.
- Constant Light Needed- The biggest disadvantage of many solar watches is that they require a minimum amount of light to stay charged and be accurate. To tackle this, just make a habit of wearing your watch, so that your watch charges efficiently over the course of the day.
- Expensive- Not all but some solar watches are quite expensive. Solar panels last for a decade or two, you can’t expect them to be cheap. To purchase a solar watch, you will need to spend at least a couple hundred dollars to as high as a few thousand dollars. Though prices are relative and you can find some solar watches on a budget.
- Visible PV Cells- Some solar watches have visible PV cells on their exterior surface. Many people don’t prefer such watches. It doesn’t appear formal.