Time never stops and we move along with it. But, if your watch suddenly stops working due to a dead battery you’ll lose track of time. A solution to this problem is the solar-powered watch. These watches have a small solar panel that absorbs light to power the watch, eliminating the need for batteries.
Having an endless power supply makes these watches very practical as well as functional. For this list of recommended watches, we’ve compared major brands that are well-known for solar technology (such as Seiko’s solar watches and Citizen’s Eco-Drive).
We’ve included several different watch styles on our list: from elegant dress watches to more rugged pilot, dive and tactical timepieces.
Best Solar-Powered Watches
Seiko Black Ion-Finish Solar Calendar Dress Watch
Abundant in power reserve and sleek in design, the Seiko Black Ion-Finish Solar Calendar Dress Watch is a superb timepiece.
This solar-powered Japanese quartz watch has over 10 months of power reserve.
The black ion-plating on its stainless steel case and bracelet makes for a durable exterior that at the same time, adds to its aesthetic. As paired with its black patterned sunray dial with silver-tone hands and markers, the result is rather elegant. Furthermore, it’s reinforced with scratch-resistance, as covering the dial is a Hardlex crystal dial window.
You can also count on this watch for the date with its date display at the 3 o’clock position. And water activities like swimming and snorkeling can be enjoyed with this watch, as it’s water resistant to 100 meters.
Bering Time Solar Collection Watch
Their tagline, “Inspired by Arctic Beauty”, indeed, holds true in this watch as in every watch of theirs, for they are designed with an aesthetic that resembles that of the Arctic in a minimalist; elegant design.
As impressive as this watch’s stunning and durable design of a black ion-plated stainless steel case enclosing together with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal dial window, a black dial with white accents, that comes along with Milanese mesh bracelet is its generous power reserve. On a single full charge, this solar-powered quartz watch can last for 6-12 months.
Another convenient feature of this watch is its date display at the 3 o’clock position. With its 50-meter water resistance, you can engage in short periods of recreational swimming with this watch.
Casio G-Shock G-Steel Watch
The Casio G-Shock G-Steel Watch is an excellent combination of nifty technological advancements, durability, and sleek design.
This Japanese quartz watch is powered by Casio’s Tough Solar technology. An interesting fact about this technology of theirs is that it allows their solar-powered watches to run for approximately two years in a single full charge. And this technology is so powerful, that from even the weakest light source, power can be drawn from.
It’s also pretty cool that the hands-on its analog-digital dial can be moved away from the digital displays to be able to read its digital contents with its hand shift feature.
It has a unique layer guard structure that is present in the design of the G-Steel series. This ups the durability of the watches in the said series with an extra reinforcement of shock resistance.
In the layer guard structure, two layers are made with the use of different materials for the bezel. In the models with stainless steel in the upper part of its bezel, a shock-absorbing resin is placed beneath it. As for the models where resin is the upper part, fine resin serves as the mounting.
The ingenious layer guard structure not only strengthened the G-Steel but also made possible, a variety of designs for the series. This particular model we have here has a bezel made of stainless steel and black resin fixed on its stainless steel case.
A scratch-resistant mineral crystal dial window covers its black analog-digital dial with silver-tone hands and markers. The dial comes with a double LED light. And a black resin is the material for the strap.
As with every G-Shock, in this watch is a plethora of handy features like five daily alarms; hourly time signal; full auto-calendar; 1/100-second stopwatch; countdown timer; and world time.
It can also perform well underwater with its 200-meter water resistance.
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk Dual Time Watch
As Citizen’s series of professional grade sports watches, Promaster is equipped with functionality and rugged construction for taking on adventures in the air; land; and sea.
And here, we have a watch from the series, something for pilots in a sleek design with fine details on its black dial together with stainless steel and scratch-resistant mineral crystal, the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk Dual Time Watch.
Looking into its solar-powered feature, this Japanese quartz watch has 6 months of power reserve.
It has the essential features for a pilot, such as pilot’s slide rule inner chapter ring that’s operated by the crown at the 8 o’clock position and dual time display. And for checking the date is its date display at the 3 o’clock position. These features and design landed this watch on our list of best pilots watches.
It’s designed to cater to pilots, but it also has 200-meter water resistance good for the sea.
Seiko Solar Stainless Steel Chronograph Diver’s Watch
We also have something here for divers, the handsome Seiko Solar Stainless Steel Chronograph Diver’s Watch that makes an excellent timepiece for underwater adventures and at the same time, also makes a nice accessory to match with casual attire or even with a suit.
As a solar-powered diver’s watch, this watch won’t disappoint with its 6-month power reserve and excellent features for diving.
This quintessential diver’s watch is equipped with 200-meter water resistance along with other necessary features to back it up. Its screw-down crown and screw-down case back reinforces its water resistance. And for accurately keeping track of time underwater, it has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminous pip at the 60-minute mark and large luminous hands and markers.
It runs with a Japanese quartz movement and provides other handy features, such as a chronograph and date display between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions.
Making this watch durable is a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal for the dial window, stainless steel for the case and bracelet, and a black ion-plated top ring for the bezel.
Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch
Keeping it simple with a sophisticated style is the sporty Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch.
It has a minimalist aesthetic with its clean dial that has a sunray design in dark blue, which stunningly changes into different shades with the reflection of light, matched with a stainless steel case and bracelet. Making up its dial window is a sapphire crystal that prevents glares and scratches.
The convenience to this Japanese quartz watch is with its 5-month power reserve solar-powered feature, it provides precise timekeeping along with an added chronograph; tachymeter; and date display.
Its water resistance to 100 meters makes it suitable for water activities, such as swimming and snorkeling.
Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Watch
The Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Watch is a robust timepiece packed with great features for the outdoors.
As it’s made of resin and scratch-resistant mineral crystal, reinforced with shock resistance, this watch is definitely durable.
Along with this watch’s Tough Solar technology are equally exceptional features handy for your outdoor escapades.
It has the Triple Sensor feature that includes an altimeter/barometer, compass, and thermometer that can guide you in your adventure. Hand in hand with its 200-meter water resistance is its tide and moon graph/data for checking the conditions for water activities. It displays information both in numerical and trend graph data along with unique arrow icons for indicating barometric pressure patterns.
Aside from those outdoorsy features, this watch also comes with five daily alarms; hourly time signal; full auto-calendar till 2099; 1/100-second stopwatch; countdown timer; and world time.
This digital Japanese quartz watch tells time with Multi-Band 6 atomic timekeeping, so it’s extremely accurate. And to see everything clearly, even in the dark, it comes with full auto EL backlight with Afterglow.
Casio Rangeman G-Shock Solar Atomic Watch
This Tough Solar watch has an altimeter/barometer, compass, thermometer, and sunrise and sunset time to suit a hiker’s needs. And it’s designed with resin and scratch-resistant mineral crystal along with the reinforcement of G-Shock’s trademark shock resistance to withstand extreme conditions. It’s water resistant to 200 meters good for engaging in water activities like swimming and snorkeling to add to that.
Plus, it has other terrific features in such as five daily alarms with one snooze alarm, hourly time signal, full auto-calendar till 2099, 1/100-second stopwatch; countdown timer, and world time.
It’s made with a full auto LED Super Illuminator backlight with Afterglow for readability in the dark.
Seiko Prospex Padi Solar Watch
We have another watch under the diving category from the brand synonymous to diver’s watches, Seiko, the Prospex Padi Solar Watch. This time with a pop of blue together with stainless steel in a sleek design.
This 10-month power reserve solar-powered Japanese quartz watch has all the features a diver needs. From the 200-meter water resistance; unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminous pip at the 60-minute mark; large and luminous hands and hour markers; down to the tight seal of the screw-down crown and screw-down case back for extra water resistance, it’s got it all.
In addition, a date display is located at its 3 o’clock position, which is magnified by the Hardlex crystal.
Casio Pro Trek Solar-Powered Watch
The Casio Pro Trek Solar-Powered Watch is one of the Triple Sensor Version 3 ProTrek models with the night safari concept in its design and functions for optimal use in outdoor activities at night. This Tough Solar-powered Japanese quartz watch is all about the outdoor night scene.
It has a simple design for the purpose of readability out in the night. Nevertheless, its minimalist style makes a chic appeal for the watch. It also comes with a Neon Illuminator LED backlight for illuminating the dial in order to see the time and function modes in the dark. Plus, its hands and markers are luminescent.
Serving as a guide for your outdoor adventures is its Triple Sensor feature including an altimeter/barometer, compass, and thermometer. For an unimpeded view of the altitude; barometric pressure; and temperature measurement, it has a manual/auto hand shift feature.
It’s also quite durable with its low-temperature resistance and water resistance to 100 meters. To back up its water resistance with a tight seal ensuring no water comes inside it are its screw-down crown and screw-down case back.
This ruggedly handsome watch is composed of a gray ion-plated stainless steel bezel, resin case, scratch-resistant mineral crystal dial window, and Dura-Soft silicone strap.
Moreover, you can also count on this watch for other features, such as five daily alarms; hourly time signal; full auto calendar till 2099; 1/100-second stopwatch; countdown timer; and world time
Seiko Prospex World Time Solar Chronograph Watch
The Seiko Prospex World Time Solar Chronograph Watch is a stunning timepiece perfect for travelers.
This is a 6-month power reserve solar-powered Japanese quartz watch that’ll keep you on time and in style anywhere in this world.
Its blue sunray dial that has silver-tone accents is enframed by a glossy blue and silver-tone bezel along with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal dial window and silver-tone stainless steel case that’s attached to a blue silicone strap. Altogether, they complement each other perfectly and make a sleek design.
On its unidirectional rotating bezel are a GMT scale and world time cities. This watch can provide a second-time-zone.
Additional useful features of this watch include a date display at the 4 o’clock position, chronograph, and alarm.
It has 100-meter water resistance that’s reinforced by its screw-down crown and screw-down case back.
Citizen Watches Mens AT4008-51E Perpetual Chrono A-T Watch
This light-powered watch features three subdials, date window, and a power reserve indicator. Eco-Drive is designed to convert natural and artificial light into energy. It doesn’t require battery replacement or winding to maintain constant operation. Even when the light is dim, this watch will keep on charging, making it practical and easy to use. The Citizen AT4008-51E has a low energy warning and power-save mode. When fully charged, it can run for up to seven years even in the dark.
Stylish and elegant, this watch has a stainless steel case with an anti-reflective sapphire dial window. The bracelet is made of stainless steel and has a fold-over clasp with hidden double push-button closure. The Citizen AT4008-51E is water resistant up to 200 meters (660 feet), suitable for professional marine activity and water sports, but not for scuba diving.
Citizen’s Radio-Controlled Atomic Clock Synchronization Technology will connect to an atomic clock via radio waves for timekeeping that is accurate to one second every 100,000 years. This ensures that the watch is up-to-date with the latest time signal, automatically correcting the time and date so you don’t have to.
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Casio Men’s G-Shock GWM5610-1 Solar Black Resin Sport Watch
This solar-powered watch from Casio has a wide array of features – atomic timekeeping, world time (29 time zones, 48 cities), full auto-calendar, shock resistance, EL backlight, 1/100-second stopwatch, battery indicator, and power-saving function. When fully charged, it can run up 10 months without further exposure to light.
The Casio G-Shock GWM5610-1 has an octagonal case and a black resin band. It is water resistant up to 200 meters (660 feet), suitable for water sports and marine activity, but not scuba diving. As the name suggests, this watch has a shock-resistant construction that protects against impact and vibration.
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How Solar-Powered Watches Work
A solar-powered watch makes use of photovoltaic solar cells to accumulate light energy and convert it into power. The watches of this kind are powered by light either entirely or partially.
Beneath the dial of a solar-powered watch is a solar panel absorbing natural and artificial light to turn it into electrical energy that will power the watch. The converted energy is stored in a rechargeable cell, thus, the watch can be powered even when in the dark.
Moreover, there are some solar-powered watches that are made with lithium-ion cells through which the watch can be powered for months without exposure to light.
Advantages Solar-Powered Watches
Plenty of aspects on what makes a solar-powered watch so great can be enumerated. And they are as listed:
Renewable energy source – Light energy can be sourced anywhere, whether outdoor or indoor. So your watch can be charged anywhere even while worn on your wrist.
Easy charging – It can easily be charged. You don’t need to do anything, as just by being exposed to any source of light, it will already be charged.
Low maintenance – It doesn’t require much effort for maintenance. With a solar-powered watch, there’s no need to be concerned about having to change battery every after few years, which could be bothersome and could also cost you.
Also, unlike a manual wind watch that needs to be wound regularly for it to properly keep time, all a solar-powered watch needs is some light. It doesn’t require any special maintenance either.
Eco-friendly – As it lessens the need to change batteries, the use of disposable batteries is reduced saving you money while being eco-friendly.
Long power reserve – A solar-powered watch can store up to 6 months of power reserve and above. It’s longer than the power reserve an automatic and mechanical watch is capable of storing, which is more or less 40 hours and above.
The Biggest Solar-Powered Watch Brands
Among the few watch brands that provide solar-powered watches, Citizen and Seiko are two of the most prominent.
As a matter of fact, Citizen is the pioneer in the solar-powered watch domain, having invented the first analog quartz watch in 1976 with their Eco-Drive technology. Competing with their Eco-Drive series is the Seiko Solar.
Both the Eco-Drive and Seiko Solar series provide superb solar-powered watches. Some similarities can be even found in their watches. Nevertheless, each of these two watch brands brings some of their own distinctive features to the table.
Another watch brand that has made a name for itself for its solar-powered watches is Casio. They have some excellent solar-powered watches in their G-Shock, Pro Trek, and Pathfinder series.
Our Top Picks
After having selected some of the best in the market and compared them to each other, we have rounded it up with top three solar-powered watches. They are the Seiko Solar Stainless Steel Chronograph Diver’s Watch, Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch, and Casio G-Shock G-Steel Watch. Each has its own strengths that let them stand out.
For the Seiko Solar Stainless Steel Chronograph Diver’s Watch, what makes it an awesome solar-powered watch is its versatility apart from its ample 6-month power reserve. It’s useful not only for divers but also to any regular watch user. And it has a sleek design that can complement any outfit.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch made it in our top three because along with its sufficient 5-month power reserve is an understated design, which makes it rather sophisticated and some handy features, which make it very functional. It’s elegant but also sporty. This would look good with casual wear and even dressy attire.
And last but not least, we have chosen the Casio G-Shock G-Steel Watch as one of our top three because of its impressive Tough Solar technology. This technology allows it to store up to two years of power reserve in a single full charge, as well as source power from any light source, whether natural; artificial; or even the weakest light source. Also, it comes with a stylish design and a lot of nifty features.
We came up with these top picks by assessing the watches generally. But each and everyone has their own preference, so it’s really up to the buyer what’s best for him. Nevertheless, we hope this article enlightened you about solar-powered watches.