Since the late 1970s, quartz watches have been a cornerstone of timekeeping because they are highly accurate, have very little maintenance, and are reasonably priced. A quartz watch is battery-powered, unlike a mechanical watch, thus you replace the battery every few years as opposed to winding it constantly. The best solar watch available now is solar-powered.
Over time, solar technology has advanced substantially. You may now discover solar panels concealed in elaborate dials that even charge in artificial light, so you can locate a solar-powered watch that looks amazing and never quits, as opposed to the only other alternative being an unsightly black grid. In order to locate the greatest solar watches on the market, we searched jewelry stores, donned our aprons, and tried on several watches.
Solar watches are the best investment if you want to avoid the inconvenience of routine battery replacement. The battery may survive for up to 12 months with just one day of exposure to the sun.
They have excellent accuracy, dependability, affordability, durability, accessibility, and environmental friendliness. There are many different designs of these timepieces, ranging from athletic to elegant.
To choose the best solar watch, you should take into account a few things in addition to the style. They are listed below for your convenience.
You should feel at ease while wearing a solar wristwatch for an extended period of time. You must look at its case size and form factor for this. The case size of solar-powered watches typically ranges from 40 mm to 46 mm; you must select the appropriate size based on the size of your wrist and hand to ensure that it looks and fits the best. Compact dress watches often have a case size of 40 mm, whereas a case size of 46 mm works best for larger hands.
Going for a watch that offers water resistance is always a wonderful option, even if you are not utilizing the solar watch during adventure activities. Not all timepieces have the same level of water resistance; entry-level or basic models can tolerate water for up to 50 meters while more expensive ones may even handle up to 200 meters.
To determine how well the solar watch will fit, how long it will last, and how durable it will be, it is critical to look at the strap material. Stainless steel metal straps, fabric straps (leather, nylon, or resin), and rubber straps are a few of the materials used to make watch straps and bands. Rubber straps are ideal for outdoor use, leather straps are aesthetically pleasing for a luxury look, and steel straps are strong for a lifetime.
We suggest reading our comprehensive Buying Guide for additional details on these solar watches. We also put together a list of the Best Solar Watches, reviewing each one briefly and listing its features, advantages, and disadvantages. Continue reading to learn how to select the finest solution for your needs and sense of style.
Best Solar Watch of 2023
Casio Men’s G Solar Watch
Garmin Instinct Solar Watch
Seiko Men’s SNE102 Solar Watch
Timex Men’s Expedition Solar Watch
BERING Solar Watch
Casio Men’s Pro Trek Solar Watch
Seiko Men’s SNE325 Solar Watch
The solar watch mentioned here is made by Casio, a well-liked and comparatively ancient brand of watches. Casio is well known for producing digital timepieces with a variety of useful functions and options.
The Casio G Shock GST-S110-1ACR solar watch is the only hybrid choice on this list, hence it is listed in the first place. In other words, the back of the device has both a digital screen and an analog dial. However, as a result of this, it has a case size of 59 mm, which may be too large for some users.
The 200-meter water resistance of this Casio solar watch, which is far higher than other models, is one of its outstanding qualities. Being a hybrid solar watch, it also comes with useful functions like backlighting, a stopwatch, a timer, an alarm, a calendar, and more. Since Casio produces extremely robust watches, a 2-year warranty should be expected from such a respectable company.
You may get a large selection of smart and digital watches from Garmin, including the solar watch model mentioned in this article, which typically offers a wide range of capabilities.
As one of the most feature-rich solar watches available, Garmin’s Instinct Solar Technical solar watch is included in second place on this list. Garmin has added a display size of 45 mm, which should be fairly good for most people, to ensure that you can see everything properly on its digital display.
Since this watch is fairly tough and intended for tactical use, its 100-meter water resistance should be expected. The features of this watch include GPS tracking, smartphone app compatibility, fitness modeling, health monitoring, a barometer, altimeter, compass, and many more, making it quite useful for most users. However, despite its robust design, it only comes with a one-year warranty.
Seiko is a well-known and historic Japanese watch company that sells a wide range of high-end timepieces, including a few dress watches that also happen to be solar, like this one.
Because it can be an excellent alternative for people searching for a dress watch that is solar-powered for convenience, the Seiko Men’s SNE102 solar watch is included in third place on this list. Given that it is a dress watch, its case diameter of 39 mm is reasonable. It has an analog solar watch with a simple design for the watch’s face.
Even though it is only an analog watch, it nevertheless has certain features like date and day dials in addition to the main time hands. This Seiko solar watch boasts a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters, which is fantastic considering that dress watches are not designed for rigorous use. Choosing a Seiko solar watch has a lot of advantages, including a 3-year warranty.
Because Timex is a relatively smaller and more reasonably priced watch brand, solar watches like the one discussed here may be an option for individuals on a tight budget.
As the least expensive option on this list, the Timex Men’s Expedition Scout solar watch is the ideal choice for people on a tight budget. Its supplied case size of 40 mm is reasonable for the price tag. Thankfully, the simple analog watch style makes finding the time still pretty simple.
In addition to the time hands, this watch has a useful date dial that is extremely nice for the price. Despite being a cheap watch, it only has a 50-meter water resistance certification, which is somewhat low when compared to other watches. Additionally, the warranty offered is only rated for a year due to its price.
Bering is a relatively new watch company compared to most other watch manufacturers, and it offers a very tough dress watch with superior building materials that are not even found in more expensive watches.
When it comes to dressing watches powered by solar, Bering’s solar watch is one of the toughest options available. This is because the Bering is the only solar watch mentioned here that has a sapphire crystal window for superior scratch resistance and full steel construction. Additionally, the case size is 40 mm because it is a dress watch.
Unfortunately, the Bering solar watch’s water resistance is extremely low—just 50 meters. The minimalist style of this analog watch, which also has a second date dial on the side, will appeal to the majority of consumers. Although Bering is a relatively new company, this solar watch comes with a 3-year warranty, making it the ideal choice for long-term use.
Additionally, Casio manufactures completely digital solar watches that are perfect for hiking and other strenuous activities where you would need a variety of sensors, which is exactly what this solar watch provides, as shown below.
If you want a watch for hard use and adventure, the Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRG-270-1 solar watch is the best choice. This Casio solar watch has a case size of 54.6 mm, which is similar to the one from the preceding section and is necessary for clear visibility of the digital display.
In addition to strong construction and a respectable 100-meter water resistance certification, Casio also adds these features to guarantee that this watch remains operational at all times. You receive features like a compass, thermometer, altimeter, barometer, alarm, timer, stopwatch, and much more because this solar watch is intended for tough and outdoor use. For further peace of mind, this Casio watch comes with a 2-year warranty, much like the one mentioned above.
Seiko also provides a greater selection of high-end dress watches, all of which are powered by solar energy for long-term convenience.
If you’re looking for a high-end dress watch, the Seiko Men’s SNE325 solar watch is a fantastic alternative. Given that it is a dress watch, the case size of 41 mm is ideal for this style of watch. Speaking of its design, it is excellent for an analog watch because it is quite small and simple.
Unlike most other dress watches out there, Seiko features a 100-meter water resistance with it. This is combined with full steel construction and a steel band for high durability. Coming to the features of this dress watch, you get an additional date dial other than its time hands. And just like the previously stated Seiko solar watch up above, this one is also backed by a 3-year warranty.
A limited number of features and functions
With this solar-powered wristwatch, you won’t ever lose track of the time, whether it’s on an analog or digital watch. We have so far listed the top solar watches for you to choose from. If you are still uncertain about the product to choose, we advise you to carefully read this information. Knowing everything there is to know about these watches will always simplify the choosing process and help you make a wise purchase.
Let’s discuss the specifics of what to consider while buying a solar watch.
The case size of the watch should always be checked before making a purchase of any kind. It establishes the general form parameters (or features of the general form), allowing you to be sure that the watch you receive looks and fits exactly on your wrist.
The most popular case sizes typically fall within the 40–46 mm range. While the smaller 40 mm case size is intended for usage in petite dress watches, the larger 46 mm case size is perfect for larger hands.
As we’ve already mentioned, the solar watch’s internal battery charges regularly through exposure to either artificial or solar light. As a result, the watch is kept operational and all of its features and functions are powered.
When left in the sun, solar charging might take a few minutes to a few hours. On a clear day, direct solar light charging will give more energy than artificial light, which may take even longer to charge.
To get an estimate of how long a particular watch will take to charge, consult the user manual. Thankfully, the charge lasts between 8 and 12 months in most solar watches, which is more than adequate. However, keep in mind that wearing this watch outside further charges the battery, extending both its operating time and battery life.
How long a solar watch can function without appropriate charging will depend on its power reserve (especially while stored or used in dark places). Depending on the brand or model, they often last anywhere from a few months to a year. This is because different timepieces have varied power reserves. Before purchasing solar watches, it is important to take this aspect into account for people who use watches the most frequently so that they may be aware of when they run out of power. Check the specifications to find out what kind of power reserve your watch has.
Design and Style:
The market is filled with a variety of solar wristwatch designs. They are made specifically for men, women, or both genders to give off an opulent appearance when worn. They might be in a traditional or sporty style. The watch straps can be made of leather, nylon, stainless steel, rubber, or a combination of these materials. Some variants also have gold or diamonds.
Choose a watch style based on how you intend to wear it for the occasion. If you want to function well at formal events, for instance, use a stylish dress watch that complements your formal suit. At casual events, you must wear a casual sports watch.
You should consider the type of timepiece you want before purchasing a solar watch. This mainly refers to clocks that are solar-powered, both analog and digital. A digital watch will typically provide you with a wide selection of features and functionalities that can be useful for many people. Conversely, analog solar watches have a tendency to be thinner and more elegant, making them perfect dress watches. In some circumstances, hybrid timepieces with both hands and a digital display are also available.
The solar watch must be kept dry and protected from water damage, just like any other electrical device. A water-resistant watch can be worn in any situation, including swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and inclement weather. So, before making a purchase, it is imperative to examine the product’s water resistance rating.
Even a basic solar watch needs to be up to 50 meters water-resistant. While more expensive solar watches designed for heavy-duty use may easily sustain water resistance of up to 200 meters.
Solar watches come in a variety of designs that can be worn for a variety of purposes. You must select the best solution based on your needs, whether they are digital, analog, or both. People who work in law enforcement, the military, or who travel or engage in a variety of outdoor activities, for example, might choose a solar watch with a rubber strap, a GPS, an altimeter, and a compass, as well as a hybrid digital and analog display.
The weight of the solar watch is a major factor in how comfortable and convenient it is to wear for an extended period of time. In order to wear one of these cutting-edge timepieces for a longer period of time, you must compare the models and select the lighter alternative. According to your needs, choose a model from the reviews above.
Here are a few other characteristics to look for when purchasing a solar-powered watch. Even so, these watches include a variety of features, such as sapphire or toughened mineral crystal displays or stainless steel or titanium case options.
Other features include multi-time zone displays so that you may see the time in the chosen time zone. Additionally, you may find watches for any type of water sport and select a model with up to 200 meters of water resistance.
You must select a wristwatch with an alarm that measures the task, the number of steps, and the heart rate in addition to the time if you want a pointer or are a fitness enthusiast. Some types come equipped with tools such as an altimeter, compass, and barometer.
The solar watch you select must perform at all times, regardless of sunlight, and it should function especially on cloudy or wet days. These solar-powered watches often store their energy in a battery, which has a reserve capacity to allow them to operate through the night and even for several months. The majority of watches use lithium-ion batteries, which are dependable, low-maintenance, and allow them to run for months without being exposed to lighting.
Technology is advancing daily to improve our quality of life. Similarly to this, you must select a solar watch that guarantees an advanced (current) version in terms of the technology utilized in its construction. As a result, it will save a lot of time and effort when dealing with any issues that come up during use that could interfere with the watch’s functionality.
As was already said, digital and analog solar watches offer different numbers and kinds of features. As a result, it is always a good idea to evaluate the features that your solar watch offers before making a purchase. Analog solar watches are a good place to start because they typically merely display the time. The day and date may occasionally be displayed on the side as well.
A digital solar watch, on the other hand, might even include a lot of the features seen in smartwatches. For instance, in addition to the time, date, and day, you can also discover stopwatches, timers, fitness modes, GPS tracking, smartphone apps, health monitoring, backlit displays, and numerous environmental sensors. Instead, these digital solar timepieces are a lot more useful and adaptable.
Before purchasing a solar wristwatch, make sure the strap material is what you want because it will determine how comfortable and convenient it will be to wear. Additionally, it provides a clear notion of its longevity and perfect fit. When purchasing a solar watch, you have options like metal straps, leather straps, fabric straps (resin or nylon), rubber straps, etc.
The most durable of all of these options are metal straps (stainless steel), but genuine leather straps can be very expensive for a dress watch. Speaking of rubber straps, certain solar watches designed for outdoor and adventure use them because they can withstand a beating.
Numerous solar wristwatches are offered, with prices varying according to the models, features, brands, and warranties. Most of these watches are reasonably priced, but other models are pricey because they have added functions like GPS or an altimeter or because they are made of leather.
For most people, price is a crucial consideration when deciding between many solutions. These solar watches will typically cost between $20 and $500. We advise you to pick the model that best balances your needs and price range.
Construction and Warranty:
You should examine the solar watch’s general construction in addition to the strap’s material to determine how long it will last. Thankfully, steel, a material that is extremely sturdy and durable, is used in almost all solar watches.
When you come to the solar watch’s window glass, things start to change a bit. The majority of solar watches use mineral glass, which is readily damaged. Some solar watches, however, feature sapphire crystal, which is far more durable and scratch-resistant.
When it comes to warranties, most solar watches come with 2- or 3-year warranties, which should be sufficient for most customers.
How Do the Solar Watches Work?
The solar watches’ photovoltaic solar cells will capture light energy and transform it into the power needed to run the timepiece. Typically, this watch is partially or totally powered by artificial light or by sunshine.
The light will be absorbed by a solar panel behind the watch’s dial, which will convert it into electrical energy to run the timepiece. In addition to functioning right away, the rechargeable battery reserves the energy that was converted to enable this clock to function in low light or at night. Some solar-powered timepieces use lithium-ion batteries to keep running even when there is no light for extended periods of time.
The advantage of these solar watches is being continuously charged. Simply put, the power source can be used anywhere, regardless of the presence of a light source. Therefore, even if you enter an underground civilization, the watch won’t run out. However, we advise that you choose the model that best meets your needs.
Benefits of Solar-Powered Watches:
You should be aware of the advantages of utilizing a solar watch as a user. For individuals who wear the watch continually without changing the batteries or replacing the watch, this is the ideal choice. Here are some justifications for why a solar watch is necessary.
Solar energy is employed to power bigger structures and homes, despite significant flaws. However, this solar watch won’t have any problems charging. On a single full-day charge, the majority of the watches on the aforementioned list can easily operate for at least 30 days without any kind of light source.
Zero Waste –
The absence of battery renewal and watch disposal saves unnecessary waste while also being environmentally benign and protecting the environment from pollution and plastic waste.
Due to the high cost of all these solar-powered devices, those with smaller purses are not the best candidates. But not with solar watches, as you may discover a better alternative that fits your style and financial range because they are available in a range of pricing.
Low Maintenance –
This solar watch won’t need much maintenance because you won’t need to replace the battery or buy a new one after a few years. The battery may be charged with just a little light and without the need for any specialized care.
Light Source –
The solar-powered watches’ photovoltaic cells may generate electricity from either a natural or artificial light source. Thus, everyone might be drawn to this multifunctional watch, especially businesswomen or outdoor enthusiasts.
Long Power Reserve –
The working efficiency of the device without charging will increase with the length of the power reserve. In comparison to a mechanical or automatic watch, which has a storage capacity of less than or greater than 40 hours, a solar watch can typically store up to 6 months, which is far longer than the power reserve.
Due to its eco-friendly design, it prevents you from using or replacing disposable batteries, which not only saves you money but also the environment.
Additionally, there are some disadvantages or negative aspects to using these solar watches. These are more expensive, larger, or heavier, and some may need constant charging.
Tips to Properly Use the Solar Watch:
You can enhance the durability and longevity of your solar watch by following these maintenance tips. Take a look at them.
- To maintain the watch clean and free of dust, wipe it with a soft cloth.
- Even while the watch needs some sun exposure to charge and work, too much exposure could cause the color to fade.
- Avoid getting the leather watch strap wet since water deteriorates the leather and harms the strap.
- Never place a magnet and watch next to one another as this could negatively impact how the watch keeps time.
- Every two to three years, watches—including solar watches—should be regularly serviced.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can a solar watch function in the dark?
Yes, a solar watch can function at night. As a result, you can wear the watch when going outside at night and sleep soundly by turning off the lights. The watch’s rechargeable batteries will store the energy that was taken from the light source and use it to keep the watch running whenever needed.
What is meant by a solar watch?
A solar-powered quartz watch works similarly to a conventional quartz watch by capturing light and producing power for the watch’s proper operation. However, the primary distinction is that they won’t need to change the battery or use a conventional battery to power the watch.
Are solar watches charged only under sunlight?
Solar watches may typically be charged by both ambient light and artificial light. Thus, you can charge in any type of light, such as a conventional bulb.
What is the maximum lifespan of solar watches upon a full charge?
Before purchasing a solar watch, you should be aware of how long it operates on a single charge. For various timepieces, different power reserves are offered. On a single full charge, some watches can survive for weeks while others can last up to a year. The power reserve typically charges the watch and retains the residual energy so that it can function even in total darkness. The watch cannot be turned off while being stored, either. So, before purchasing a product, verify its specifications and reviews.
What are the best brands for solar-powered watches?
The best in the business includes a number of brands and manufacturers, including Citizen, Seiko, Casio, Cartier, Timex, and G-Shock.
Is there any problem when we overcharge a solar watch?
Most solar watches have a protection feature that helps prevent overcharging from excessive light exposure. Verify if the solar watch you own has this feature by looking at the brand and model.
Which one is better – a solar watch or an automatic watch?
It is advantageous to use watches that are automated or solar because they don’t require manual winding and keep accurate time. In terms of power reserves, solar watches outperform automatic watches. While automatic watches only hold a charge for a few days, solar watches can survive for months to years when fully charged.
Additionally, unlike a solar watch, an automatic watch requires daily wear to function properly. Instead, you can keep the watch operational by setting it on a windowsill to receive sunshine.
Do solar watches work forever?
Not at all, no. Regarding their capacity for charging, rechargeable batteries have a much longer lifespan than conventional disposable batteries, which may deteriorate over time. The solar cells must therefore be replaced every 15 to 20 years, depending on the type and manufacturer.
How long does it take for a solar watch to charge fully?
Based on the cutting-edge technology employed in the solar watch’s rechargeable battery. For instance, 3 to 5 minutes of charging is sufficient to power the watch for an entire day. If you charge it for several hours, you can use it for anywhere between a few months and a year.
What’s the difference between an atomic solar watch and a solar watch?
Between these two categories of solar watches, there is little to no difference. Without using a manual time setting, they both employ solar panels to power the watch. As opposed to a solar watch, which requires a battery and automatic time-setting, an atomic solar watch uses a radio signal to set the time, making it hassle-free and low maintenance.
How to take care of the band/strap of the solar watch?
The measures to take care of them will differ slightly depending on the material of your particular watch band or strap. Typically, the straps for these solar watches are made of stainless steel and fabric (leather, nylon, or resin).
Stainless Steel – To maintain this stainless steel watch band, wipe the collected grime from the watch with a moist cloth. Under no circumstances should vinegar be used to clean anything because it could harm the metal and the watch strap.
Fabric – This watch band needs to be handled with a little more care, especially during the hot summer months when you might get wet when exercising or playing outside. If the strap is damp or wet from sweat on the wrist, you should dry it and wipe it with a cloth to prolong its lifespan.
Therefore, to ensure that your watch lasts a long time, you must regularly inspect the strap and learn how to clean it.
A solar watch, as the name suggests, uses solar energy as its power source to display the time and provide a variety of other features and functions. As a result, these watches can go for quite a while without ever needing their batteries changed.
As a result, a few of the top solar watches have been included above along with their key details and characteristics. Even though there is thorough buying advice for solar watches above, some of you may still be perplexed.