Solar watches are my personal favorite “type” of watch.
My first solar powered watch was a Citizen Eco-Drive that I bought in 2010 and I still wear it regularly. I have never done any maintenance to that watch and it works flawlessly.
The watch does have a battery, but the battery is charged by light. So it’s not like a normal watch battery that you need to replace regularly.
While sunlight does charge the watch more quickly, indoor light charges the watch as well.
No maintenance. Charge in sunlight or indoor light. Charging is free! Years of trouble free service. This is what you get with a solar powered watch.
|AT A GLANCE: MY TOP 5 PICKS FOR THE BEST SOLAR POWERED WATCHES FROM THE BEST SOLAR WATCH BRANDS|
The Best Solar Watch Brands To Purchase
The market for solar-powered watches is growing exponentially with a variety of brands. Below are some of the prominent names that you should not miss:
We are all familiar with this brand, right?
Casio is the first manufacturer to produce solar watches. Its brand name stands for quality, and the solar series is not an exception. Casio solar timepieces work excellently and charge themselves with even the faintest light source around.
Seiko introduced its first solar watch in 1977. Shortly after, its GPS solar watch that could adjust the time based on your time zone came into being.
Seiko thrives to ensure you are satisfied with every purchase from the brand. Its products are all high-quality and durable.
Few can compare to Citizen watches in terms of reliability. Thanks to the light-powered technology named Eco-Drive, you never have to replace the battery of any watch of the brand.
However, you may find Citizen watches slightly more expensive than their competitors. Based on my personal experience, it’s worth it.
Best Solar-Powered Watches – Quick Comparison
10 Best Solar Watches For 2020
#1 G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 – Best Choice Overall
Topping our list today is a product by Casio. Belonging to the G-Shock series, this candidate offers outstanding performance and long-lasting service.
G-Shock watches are famed for their tough construction, and this Rangeman is no exception. Made of stainless steel with shock resistant technology, the watch is certain to withstand grueling conditions.
No need to take off your timepiece before joining outdoor sports now!
The water-resistance of the unit is also impressive. In particular, it can operate underwater up to 200m (660ft), making it suitable for recreational scuba diving.
We cannot fail to mention the Triple Sensor, which measures altitude, barometric pressure, temp, and compass direction.
Pretty cool, right?
It does not stop there; the watch is capable of displaying sunrise and sunset data, measuring elapsed time, recording time, etc.
With all thes features, however, is the watch difficult to use?
Not at all! There are cylindrical buttons around the face, which take you directly to the sensor screen once they are pressed. You will know which mode you are entering without looking at the watch thanks to the audible tone.
Compared to other G-Shock models, this Rangemen is nearly twice the price. However, it is totally worth your investment.
- Heavy-duty and durable construction
- Rugged look
- Advanced features
- High water resistance level
- Fairly large design
- Not inexpensive
#2 Citizen Watches Men’s BM8180-03E – Best Value For Price
Next on the list is a Citizen solar watch, Model BM8180-03E.
This Citizen watch comes in a stylish and youthful design, making it suitable for your active lifestyle.
The model is constructed from stainless steel, featuring a stitched canvas band that is available in two color options. There is a buckle closure for you to adjust the length.
This design is lightweight and feels great on your wrist. Actually, you hardly notice any pressure while wearing the watch.
The watch face consists of a three-hand analog display and a date window. Japanese-quartz movement is applied for ultimate accuracy. And of course, the watch charges itself in natural or artificial light with Eco-Drive technology.
This Citizen watch, however, cannot beat the above G-Shock Rangeman in terms of water resistance. It is only water-resistant to 100m, or 300ft, which is enough for snorkeling or swimming, but not diving.
The manufacturer guarantees this model with a five-year limited warranty, so you can buy with confidence. However, because of the good quality, it is unlikely that the watch will be need repair.
This unit is not without drawbacks, however, and most of the complaints are related to luminosity. Based on our experiences, we found that it was acceptable, but certainly not outstanding.
- Eco-Drive technology
- Lightweight and stylish design
- Five years limited warranty
- Poor luminosity
#3 Seiko Men’s SSC017 – Highest Quality Solar Watch
The Seiko Men’s SSC017 is a stunning watch.
The whole thing is made of stainless steel, even the bracelet! Therefore, the watch is ready to withstand a rough environment.
It should definitely be on the wish list of those who enjoy sports and outdoor adventures.
Would the watch be good for a swimming or diving enthusiast?
It sure would! Thanks to being water-resistant to 200m (660 ft), the watch is suitable for professional marine activity and serious water sports.
The watch face has a round black face with three chronograph subdials. It has luminous hands and markers, allowing users to see the time effortlessly even in the dark.
It has a stainless steel case and a Hardlex dial window. The bracelet is adjustable via a classic fold-over clasp.
The only con we find is the tiny date window, which makes reading the date difficult.
- Rugged construction
- Stainless steel bracelet
- Luminous hands easy to see
- Small date window
#4 Citizen Watches Men’s BN0151-09L – Well-built Solar Watch
As Citizen is such a trustworthy name in the watch manufacturing industry, it is no surprise that we have another Citizen solar powered on the list. What are the differences between the two models?
First off, this model, the BN0151-09L, looks stylish in dark blue. The round watch features a blue dial with date window and luminous hands.
However, the date window is rather small, so reading the date might be challenging.
The molded polyurethane band is also blue with buckle closure, which allows length corrections.
This solar watch comes equipped with the Japanese quartz movement and of course, the Eco-Drive technology. There is no need to worry about the watch running out of battery as it will charge itself whenever there are light sources around.
What about waterproofing? This is an excellent solar dive watch.
This excellent timekeeper is water-resistant up to 200 Meters, which is suitable for swimming, showering, and snorkeling.
Citizen offers a five-year limited warranty for all of its products, and this model is no exception.
So the two solar-powered timepieces are technically similar. The main differences lie in the design, the face and the band.
This watch is also available in black.
- ̉High water resistance
- Elegant design
- Five-year limited warranty
- Small date window
#5 Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster BJ8050-08E – Professional Diver’s Watch
Another Citizen candidate! Will this model convince you that Citizen makes fabulous solar watches? Let’s see.
The BJ8050-08E is a silver-tone watch that is like a bank vault for your wrist. It is robust, large, and nearly indestructible.
The case is made of stainless steel to stand up to scratches. The sapphire dial window is anti-reflective, making it hassle-free to read the time under the sunlight.
The band is reinforced urethane rubber with a buckle closure
While it is elegant enough to go with suit and tie, it is also strong enough to withstand your active lifestyle.
What sets this watch apart from the crowd is water resistance. It is a professional diver’s watch, and water resistant to 300m (1000 feet).
The watch keeps time, is accurate to ± 15 seconds per month, and has an elapsed time bezel. The hands and hour markers are luminous and easy to read. The crown screws down to keep out dirt. The date window is small and difficult to read.
The watch is quite large, both in size and weight. This watch stands out.
- Keeps accurate time
- Hefty, Robust Design that is also elegant design
- Water resistant to 300m
- Easy to see hour markers and hands
- Large and heavy
- Date hard to read
- Large and Heavy
#6 Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRW-3510Y-8CR – Best Solar Watch For Hiking
The Casio Pro Trek PRW-3510Y-8CR is a solar powered watch that is great for hiking, biking, climbing, and other outdoor adventures.
This model makes use of atomic timekeeping so it remains accurate. The time display is digital, large, and easy to read.
The watch has many capabilities besides telling time. It includes 4 daily alarms and 1 snooze alarm. Also, there is an 1/ 10-second full featured stopwatch, a countdown timer, full auto-calendar, and world time zones. The watch has Version 3 of the Triple Sensor, which can more accurately report altitude, barometric pressure, and compass direction. There is an alarm when there is a sudden change in pressure. This is useful because pressure changes can indicate upcoming weather events.
The sporty watch features a bold round 55 mm diameter case along with a silicone band and large rotary bezel. The time is easy to read due to the Super Illuminator Full auto LED Backlight with Afterglow.
The watche is water resistant to 200 m and temperature resistant to -10C,
- Atomic timekeeping
- Version 3 of the Triple Sensor
- Super Illuminator Backlight
- Many features may challenging to set up
#7 Casio Men’s Pathfinder PAG240-1CR – Multi-function Solar Watch
The Casio PAG240-1CR is a multifunction watch which retains its stored charge for months.
Aside from typical features such as alarm, countdown timer, battery power indicator, power-saving function, this watch has a built-in altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and even a digital compass! It has an auto-calendar and has world time – 31 time zones (48 cities). With all these features, it is a bit challenging to set up.
Forget all the bulky devices! Wear this watch and all the data is at your fingertips. Outdoor sports enthusiasts should definitely buy this Casio model.
The watch face is equipped with and LED backlight with afterglow for visibility in the dark.
This watch has an abundance of features.
The watch is resistant to temperatures as low as 14 Fahrenheit degrees. Feel free to use it in extreme conditions without worrying about lagging or damage.
The water-resistance level is average, about 100m (330 Ft). The watch is good for bathing and swimming, but not scuba diving.
The 51mm stainless steel case is linked with a resin band featuring a buckle closure.
We think the clasp side is a bit short. You might want to get a different band.
- Incredible number of features
- Resistance to low temp
- LED backlight
- Short clasp side
- Challenging to set up
#8 Tissot T-Touch Expert T0914204405100 – Best Solar Watch Brand
Tissot is a brand with a great reputation. They make some of the best solar powered watches on the market.
Take this T-Touch Expert for example.
It features a titanium case and a black silicone strap. As stated above, titanium makes the watch lightweight and durable against damage.
There is a black carbon dial with luminescent hands and index hours markers. Reading the time from the watch is easy as pie!
You can make length adjustment effortlessly with a fold-over clasp and a push-button release.
This sports watch has a variety of built-in features, including thermometer, altitude indicator, barometer, and compass. It serves a lot of activities, from running, hiking to swimming.
- Well-known brand
- Titanium case
- Scratch-resistant watch dial
- A bit large
#9 G-Shock GW2310-1 – Best Atomic Solar Watch
The list starts with a G-Shock, and ends with a G-Shock, too! These are durable, rugged watches.
As the title might already suggest, this watch comes equipped with atomic technology. It receives signals from the NIST time servers in Colorado to adjust the time.
Unlike other watches on the list, this model is a digital watch with a black resin band. There are no hands that turn. The case measures 46.4mm, and features a mineral dial window. The time is shown with black numerals on a light background.
The watch face is equipped with an LED backlight for good visibility in the darkness. The light is not overly bright, but adequate to read the watch. You sometimes need to use the LED during the daytime also.
There are tons of built-in functions in the watch, namely power indicator, power saving mode, pre-programmed calendar, timer, stopwatch, etc. City code displays are also available!
- Atomic timekeeping
- Various built-in features
- LED backlight
- Watch face is dark, and sometimes requires backlight to see it in daylight
#10 Citizen Men’s CC9025-85E – Best Solar Powered GPS Watch
If you are a businessman who often travels around the world, do not miss out on this Citizen watch. It is the best solar powered timepiece with GPS tracking.
The advanced GPS technology allows the watch to automatically synchronize the time with your current time zone based on the times zones of 27 cities
The timepiece features a Super Titanium case and bracelet.
Super Titanium is 40% lighter than stainless steel and 5 times harder to resist impacts and scratches. It feels extremely lightweight on the wrist, which is a big bonus considering other thick GPS enabled watches.
The case measures 47mm with a sapphire crystal face.
There are a plethora thoughtful features, namely chronograph subdials, perpetual calendar, alarm, light level indicator, and dual time.
The watch is water resistant to a depth of 660 Ft.
Unfortunately, do not expect the night vision of this timepiece to be excellent. The hands and hour markers are luminous. The other dials are hard to see.
- Super Titanium construction
- GPS tracking tech
- Sapphire crystal watch face
- Bad night vision
Other great watches you should know about:
- Citizen AR3015-53E Review
- Citizen AU1040-8E Review
- Citizen CB0020-50E Review
- Citizen AT4008-51E Review
- Citizen BL5400-52A Review
What To Consider When Buying The Best Solar Watch?
Along with solar power, solar watches come with a bunch of advanced features to give you the best experience ever.
For example, there is a quartz movement for improved accuracy. Some brands even equip their products with power-saving features to extend the runtime of the battery.
If you find manual time setting tedious, consider the atomic timekeeping feature, which allows the watch to adjust the time automatically.
Solar-powered watches come in a variety of designs for you to choose, from sleek and elegant to formal attire. Let’s buy the one that fits your taste.
There is more about the design. Of course, you want the watch to look good on your wrist, but it should be user-friendly as well. Pay attention to practical aspects, for example, the watch face.
Your desired watch should fit your wrist nicely for ultimate comfort. Aside from the timepiece itself, the band will determine the fit. Make sure you like the style and material of the band.
Steel bracelets allow length adjustment, while leather or fabric strap needs a buckle or clasp.
This is a useful feature that you should look for in a watch, especially if you expose your watch to water regularly.
Some solar watches are merely splash resistant, which means the devices are resistant to a small amount of water only, such as a light drizzle or careful hand washing.
Meanwhile, others are built to function well underwater without sustaining any damage. There are different levels of water resistance; before jumping to buy a watch, make sure to check out the product details.
Material plays a significant role in determining the overall durability of the watch.
Stainless steel or resin are widely popular materials due to the outstanding toughness. Steel is slightly heavier, but it offers a sophisticated look for the watch.
Solar powered watches are available at many price points. All of the watches and brands above are excellent, and some are quite inexpensive.
However, if you can afford a bit extra, do not hesitate to go for high-end watches, particularly for additional water resistance or a feature that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a solar-powered watch?
As its name might already suggest, a solar-powered watch is a watch powered by sunlight or artificial sources of light. Therefore, the watch is almost constantly charged unless placed in a dark place like a drawer or box. Wearing a solar watch will save you the expense and hassle of charging a watch or buying new batteries.
How do solar watches work at night?
Of course, the watch cannot charge itself in complete darkness. However, it still works properly thanks to the rechargeable battery cell inside.
Depending on different brands, the storage capacity can hold enough power for the device to function for at least 30 days on a full charge. Citizen Eco-Drive watches can run for 6 months on a full charge, even in complete darkness.
What are the differences between a solar watch and an atomic solar watch?
You can tell that the difference lies in the “atomic”. While a solar-powered watch requires a manual setting, its atomic counterpart adjusts the time using radio signals from the atomic clock in America. Cool, right?
How does the solar-powered watch charge itself?
There are solar panels around the watch face, which will absorb the light to power the timepiece. For more information about charging the item, refer to the manual guide.
Can I charge the watch under fluorescent light?
The answer is definitely yes!
Your watch will get power from any light source, and fluorescent and incandescent light are no exceptions. However, it takes longer to charge the watch with artificial light than with sunlight.
What should I do for better accuracy?
Do not worry! Solar watches are pretty accurate, and time lagging rarely occurs. Accuracy is even added with atomic watches, due to its working principles stated above.
How should I care for my watch band?
Maintaining your watch band is essential, but it depends on the specific type of watch band you own.
For instance, you are advised to clean the stainless steel bands regularly using a damp cloth. Say no to vinegar, as it will may damage the metal parts of the unit.
The Bottom Line
We have just walked you through a list of best solar watches on the market. Hopefully, you can choose a product that suits your taste and demand.