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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.

How Do These Watches Work?

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.

Benefits of Using a Solar Watch

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.

Sustainable

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.

Easy to Maintain

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.

Long-lasting

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.

Finding the Best Solar Watches: Things to Consider

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.

Power Reserve

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.

Display

Having a stellar display will make all the difference in functionality and comfort. This includes everything from:

  • Dial and sub-dials
  • Presence of date/day windows
  • Luminous markers and hands
  • Sturdy case material
  • A good bezel
  • Polished crystal

Different watches will boast different designs, so having a display that suits your needs is the most important thing to consider.

Water Resistance

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.

Additional Features

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:

  • Digital displays
  • Adjustable straps
  • A smart interface
  • Alarms and sensors
  • Time zone options
  • A good warranty period

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.

Top Men's Solar Watches Reviewed

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.

Casio AQS810W Classic Solar Combination Watch

Casio's AQS810W Classic Solar watch is rugged, all-black, and has dual analog and digital displays.

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.

Features

  • Material: Resin
  • Display: Analog and digital
  • Power reserve: 10 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 100 m
  • Other features: Multilingual, world time, alarms, timers

Why You’ll Love It

  • The dial features both analog and digital displays which let you conveniently set your display settings while also keeping track of the charge.
  • There are six language settings, 31 time zones, city codes, five alarms, timers, calendars, a stopwatch, and time display formats that you can easily customize based on your requirements.
  • The LED glow light and luminous hands and markers make this watch simple to use even when it is dark.
  • Its power reserve lasts for ten months on full charge along with a 100 m water resistance, allowing you to use it for a long time without even needing to change batteries.
  • It is one of the most cost-effective and affordable options on the market.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • The watch display is quite prone to scratches.
  • Adjusting the analog and digital displays at the same time can be tricky.

G-Shock Men's Solar Sport Watch

The G-Shock Men's Solar Sport Watch features a digital display with day and date screens.

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.

Features

  • Material: Resin
  • Display: Digital
  • Power reserve: 9 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 200 m
  • Other features: Shock resistance, world time, backlight, stopwatch, timers

Why You’ll Love It

  • With an impressive water resistance of up to 200 m — the highest amongst all the others on this list, you can use your watch hassle-free in water without any damage.
  • It has an entirely digital display that comes with customizable settings such as world times for 31 time zones, timers, a stopwatch, alarms, atomic timekeeping, and a lot more.
  • This watch offers shock resistance that effectively deals with otherwise damaging mechanical shock. If you find yourself engaged in frequent outdoor activities, this is a big plus.
  • A single full charge lasts nine months.
  • It is highly accurate without you needing to tweak or adjust the signals at any point in time.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • When it comes to the watch’s backlight feature, consistent lighting is the most noticeable issue.
  • The smaller sub-dials can be difficult to read.

Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler Watch

The Citizen Eco-Drive men's watch has a black and white analog display paired with a green strap.

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.

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 6 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 100 m
  • Other features: Mineral crystal, Japanese quartz movement, day/date indicator

Why You’ll Love It

  • The 100 m water resistance level will keep your watch safe from most situations involving water, preventing any permanent damage to its inner workings.
  • It has a comfortable yet stylish aesthetic enhanced by the olive green strap and the black and white dial display, making it a great accessory for casual occasions.
  • You can easily adjust the buckle of the watch, making it suitable for most wrist measurements.
  • The hands and markers of the dial are luminous, which means that they can light up in the dark for better readability.
  • There is a small window on the dial that lets you set the date and day as well, in addition to the time. This lets you keep track of everything in a single place.
  • It comes with a five-year warranty period which is pretty impressive. You can make any kind of repairs and replacements in a hassle-free way within this time if the need arises.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • The case is prone to scratches.
  • The day and date window are hard to read in the dark since it isn’t luminous.

Timex Men's Expedition Scout Solar-Powered Watch

The Timex Men's Expedition Scout watch has a sleek display with luminous glow-in-the-dark hands.

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.

Features

  • Material: Brass
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 4 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 50 m
  • Other features: Leather strap, scratch resistance, gray dial, QuickDate feature

Why You’ll Love It

  • The watch comes with a scratch-resistant case making it pretty durable.
  • With a clean display and luminous hands, you get a watch with great clarity and enhanced readability.
  • There is a date window within the dial that lets you keep track of everything together.
  • Its sleek and stylish design makes it a great accessory for both formal and casual occasions.
  • It is affordable, making it a good choice that lets you experience its vast features at a cost-effective rate.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • It only offers water resistance up to 50 m, which might be inconvenient when it comes to dealing with depths.
  • The power reserve only lasts for four months, which is significantly less in comparison with other solar watches.
  • There can be a few issues with the proper lining up of hands on the dial.
  • It only comes with a one-year warranty period, which again, isn’t much in comparison to other contenders on this list.

Garmin Instinct Solar Graphite Smartwatch

Garmin's solar smartwatch is loaded with features like GPS and Bluetooth connectivity.

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.

Features

  • Material: Fiber-reinforced polymer
  • Display: Transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
  • Power reserve: 54 days (smartwatch), unlimited on battery saver watch mode
  • Water resistance: Up to 100 m
  • Other features: GPS, alarms, timers, health monitoring, sensors, smart features, safety features

Why You’ll Love It

  • The watch offers a range of power reserve options that vary depending on how you use the watch. For instance, using solar power in the simple watch mode can last you for an unlimited time. Using it as a smartwatch can last you for 54 days and 38 hours with GPS on.
  • The display of this watch is smart and in MIP form. This means that you get several options such as GPS and Bluetooth connectivity, health monitoring (such as heart rate), alarms, timers, compass, weather conditions, tracking and safety features, and more. You can easily customize these features to your preference, making this a highly versatile watch.
  • With a water resistance of 100 m, you won’t have to worry about water damage.
  • It offers additional shock resistance that can prevent damage from mechanical shocks, allowing you to use it in tough conditions as well.
  • It has a memory of nearly 16 MB, for storage of music, maps, and more.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • Given its features, this isn’t a pocket-friendly option.
  • You might need to charge it pretty often if you want to access all the features.

Seiko Men's SNE039 Stainless Steel Solar Watch

The Seiko Men’s SNE039 watch boasts a stainless steel strap and polished black dial.

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.

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 10 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 30 m
  • Other features: Day/date display, scratch resistance, quartz movement

Why You’ll Love It

  • It has a massive power reserve that goes on for ten months on a full charge through solar or ambient light.
  • Along with an analog clock display, the watch dial also has a window that displays the day and date.
  • The case comes with a scratch-resistant surface to prevent damage.
  • The hands and markers light up in the dark, making it easier for you to read the time.
  • Both the case and band are made from stainless steel, for a slim and sleek profile.
  • You can easily adjust the length of the band by using pins.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • Unfortunately, the watch is water-resistant up to only 30 m.
  • Adjusting the day and date is a bit tricky.

Top Women's Solar Watches Reviewed

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.

Seiko Women's Stainless Steel Two-Tone Watch

Elegant and stylish, Seiko's two-tone watch is the perfect match for the modern day woman.

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.

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 6 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 100 m
  • Other features: Quartz movement, two-tone, chronograph

Why You’ll Love It

  • It has a water resistance level that goes up to 100 m, allowing you to use this watch even while swimming. Come rain, come storm, your watch will stay protected from all sorts of water damage.
  • The analog display is fairly easy to read. It also has a small window within the dial that can help you keep track of both the date and time.
  • Thanks to its sleek bracelet-like band, the watch emanates an elegant and luxurious appeal, making it great to wear on all sorts of occasions.
  • It can last for up to six months on a full charge.
  • It has a three-year warranty period and a 30-day return period. This makes it simple for you to make any kinds of repairs and replacements that you want in case any issue arises. You can also ask for a refund within a month of purchasing.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • It is difficult to access and read this watch in the dark as the hands are not luminous.
  • There are no adjustable options for the bracelet or band.

BERING Women's Silver Solar Powered Watch

In striking hues of silver and blue, the BERING Women's solar watch is perfect for any occasion.

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.

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 6-12 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 50 m
  • Other features: Scratch resistance, sapphire crystal, quartz movement

Why You’ll Love It

  • This watch is scratch-resistant, which keeps it safe from daily wear and tear.
  • It holds an impressive power reserve of 6 to 12 months.
  • The elegant and smooth design of this watch makes it highly suitable for all kinds of occasions, whether it is smart, casual, or fancy.
  • It comes with an indicator that lets you know whenever your watch is due for a recharge.
  • It comes with a three-year warranty period for the watch and two years for the jewelry bits. You can, therefore, easily repair and replace the necessary parts if required at any point.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • Its water resistance is a bit low, with a resistance of only up to 50 m. This can sometimes make it inconvenient while dealing with water.
  • It only has a 14-day return period, compared to the standard 30 days.

Anne Klein Considered Women's Solar Powered Watch

From its golden strap to its ornate inner dial, the Anne Klein Considered watch is truly exquisite.

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.

Features

  • Material: Metal
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 4 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 30 m
  • Other features: Crystal lens, adjustable bracelet, jewelry clasp

Why You’ll Love It

  • Visually, this watch is a wonderful choice as it comes with a nacre center, a crystal lens, a gold case and bracelet, and crystal markers.
  • The bracelet is adjustable and also has a jewelry clasp so that you can enjoy a custom fit, tailored for your wrist.
  • The solar power is harnessed through a built-in panel on the dial itself, making this a unique design.
  • Despite its gorgeous design, this watch is pretty affordable.
  • It comes with a limited lifetime warranty that extends to any issues that may arise at any point in terms of the material and design of the watch.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • You can only use this on a single full charge for up to four months despite the light-powered capacity.
  • The water resistance is also only up to 30 m, which is not enough to prevent damage in deeper waters.

Citizen Eco-Drive Casual Beige Women’s Watch

The Citizen Eco-Drive women's watch is sleek and minimal featuring a beige strap.

 

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.

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 8 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 30 m
  • Other features: Date indicator, insufficient charge warning

Why You’ll Love It

  • Running out of charge is the last thing you need to be worried about seeing as this watch has a power reserve of 8 months on a full charge.
  • It even has an insufficient charge warning that lets you know when you need to charge the watch so that it does not abruptly stop working.
  • You can easily adjust the date by rotating the dial in a counterclockwise direction.
  • It comes with an admirable five-year warranty period that can be extended by a year.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

  • It is water-resistant only till 30 m.
  • It is difficult to read in the dark since the hands and markers are not luminous.

Zeitholz: Experience Nature’s Touch

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.

Sonnenberg Solar Olive Wood

The Sonnenberg Solar Olive Wood watch is one of the best solar watches for nature lovers.

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.

Features

  • Material: Mineral glass, wooden band
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 6 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 30 m
  • Other features: Solar movements, butterfly clasp

Why You’ll Love It

  • With a rustic wooden appeal, this watch is completely environmentally friendly as its wood is ethically sourced and sustainable.
  • The butterfly clasp and tool allow you to make adjustments to the size so that it can easily fit your wrist.
  • Its power reserve can go up to 6 months, limiting how often you need to recharge it.
  • It comes with a gift box that can make it a special gift for a loved one.
  • The two-year warranty period allows you to make repairs and replacements of parts whenever needed.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

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.

Sonnenberg Solar Walnut Wood

The Sonnenberg Solar Walnut Wood watch is made from 100% natural and sustainable wood.

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.

Features

  • Material: Mineral glass, walnut wood band
  • Display: Analog
  • Power reserve: 6 months
  • Water resistance: Up to 30 m
  • Other features: Solar movements, butterfly clasp

Why You’ll Love It

  • It can last up to 6 months on a full charge, making it a convenient and efficient watch to use.
  • Since the watch uses both sustainable wood and solar power, it’s extremely eco-friendly.
  • A tool to adjust the strap of the watch comes along with the watch itself.
  • The watch comes in an attractive gift box, making it ideal for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special gifts.
  • We offer a two-year warranty, allowing you to easily seek repairs of certain parts if needed.

Why It Won't Be Right for You

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.

Choosing a Solar Watch: It’s About Time

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.

Sam Santa
Sam Santa



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