A great watch is the secret ingredient for many people who want to transform their look and feel like a boss. Watches are at once a fashion statement, a genuinely useful piece of equipment and reflective of your status. Often, they will last decades before finally giving up the ghost – sometimes even going on to become family heirlooms.
But while many classic watch makes are still doing the rounds, the best and smartest watches are those that have demonstrated the ability to move with the times and to develop and grow. Solar watches are watches that are powered by the sun, and this then allows them to keep on ticking with no need to replace the battery (an expensive inconvenience) or to wind them regularly.
The best thing about solar watches though, is that they make another statement. Remember, watches and fashion in general are about expressing yourself: communicating something about who you are and what’s important to you.
Solar watches do this well because they are an example of using renewable energy in an everyday utility. These use solar photovoltaic technology in order to absorb sunlight and convert it into useable energy. That energy can then be converted into movement to keep the watch ticking for years. This is an alternative to kinetically powered watches, which are powered by the movements of your arm and body. By wearing a watch that is powered by sunlight, you are saying that you believe in the importance of looking after the planet. You are demonstrating that you are interested in technology and the latest developments and innovations. And you are voting for both progress and green energy with your wallet – investing in a better future for your planet.
Solar watches can be every bit as beautifully made, as premium and as iconic as regular watches. They also come in a wide range of different styles and brands as we will see later in our solar watches reviews.
But at the same time, they will stand out with a unique feature that represents something very important and forward thinking for the planet.
Top 5 Solar Watches reviews
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best solar watches. These solar watches reviews will help you to find the best options for your personal style.
Casio G-Shock G-Steel Watch
Topping many lists right now, the G-Steel watch from Casio features solar powered movement and an attractive array of complications to provide lots of information at a glance and to create a complex and interesting watch face. Other than that, you’ll also get LED lighting, which highlights the details and make for something that seemingly glows in futuristic hues. The watch has a sturdy design and premium, metallic bezels that look much more expensive than the watch in fact is.
Once charged by the sun, your Casio will last a very impressive 19 months – meaning it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever run out of juice. You can choose a number of different colors and several different bands too to customize your look and make your timepiece even more expressive.
Citizen Eco Drive Nighthawk BJ7000-52E Pilot Watch
We’ve seen quite a few practical and outdoorsy watches on this list so far. That makes sense for solar watches afterall- these are watches designed to be taken outside!
But what if you want to be eco-conscious and practical without wearing something that looks like it was designed to survive a nuclear holocaust?
In that case, you will love the NightHawk. Apart from the awesome name, this is a pilot watch, meaning you get that premium, aviation style. The stainless steel case is sharp and functions like GMT will help those that travel or fly often. The lume is long lasting and bright and has a great icy-blue color.
This is a watch that looks stunning and that performs well too. It will last as well thanks to its water resistance and sturdy build-quality.
Seiko SSC017 Prospex Solar Powered Chronograph Dive Watch
This stainless steel solar powered dive watch comes with an attractive and detailed design that makes it suitable for casual users and divers alike. That said, the choice of blue accents on the bezel may be an acquired taste for some and does somewhat make this inappropriate for highly formal occasions. For those that will be taking the plunge though, the IOS 6425 certification means that you can head deep down (200m) without any damage occurring to your watch.
Other positives include a very nice and thin overall case thickness which adds to the overall elegance. The chronograph feature is also very welcome and this also gives the watch more of a sporty feel with the guarded push buttons. This has one of the best lumes in the business and that makes it perfect for viewing in low-light – a sensible feature for someone who will be deep diving of course!
Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E Field Watch
This is a practical and functional watch that has a great look for the right person.
There is no such thing as pleasing everyone, and often the very best products are the ones that recognize this. The ones that recognize this and then design themselves around that limitation.
The Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E isn’t going to be worn to business meetings and would look out-of-place on Bond’s wrist. But it knows who it is for. This is a practical ‘field’ watch which is ideal for the practical, out-doors type that wants something that works well and is happy with a no-frills approach. That makes sense for a solar watch after all if that’s who you are, then this may be the best solar watch for you.
The main feature that makes this watch stand out is the canvas strap, which is colored khaki green and looks like something you might have worn in WW2. The bezel is thin and plain and the face is black with no added complications.
Of course, you could change the strap but somehow the basic design and green canvas band seem like the perfect, natural fit.
Casio Pathfinder PAG240-1CR Multi-Function Sport Watch
If the last watch was for the person who was a practical, outdoors type, then this watch is for your hiking, biking, gym buddy lacrosse player!
This is a sports watch that has a digital display and more bells and whistles than you’ll know what to do with. It looks like it should come with a massive instruction manual owing to the many buttons and options.
But if it looks complicated on the outside, then that’s only a sign of what’s really ticking under the hood. This is perhaps the best solar watch for anyone interested in monitoring their stats and the environment thanks to the built in compass, barometer, altimeter, thermometer and more. It gives you the sunrise and the sunset, countdown timers, timezones, power-saving mode and more. All this means that you can go for a long trek in the wilderness and have all the data and readouts you could need on your wrist.
And it won’t die either. The solar power means that you’ll be able to keep trekking, while the watch is also highly durable, water resistant up to 100m and even temperature resistant down to -10C.
As you might expect for a band with this many features, the Pathfinder looks like a tank on the wrist.
Looking After Your Solar Watch
A watch is at once a useful item to wear, a remarkable feat of engineering and practically a piece of art. The best watches are made with incredible skill and look beautiful and this is what makes them such an important statement for many men and women.
But this can also create a bit of a problem. On the one hand you see, you’ll have an amazing new solar watch that you’ll want to wear all the time and show off at every opportunity. On the other though, you’ll also have an item that is incredible valuable and actually quite delicate and for that reason you might worry about wearing it out. Make your journeys easier and check our best solar backpack for an awesome hiking experience.
The question then becomes, do you wear your watch all the time and risk something happening to it, or do you save it only for special occasions and thereby not get to see it very much? This is especially true for a solar watch, which requires regular trips to top up the juice and which in many cases will be designed for heading outside. If you are interested check our review on the best solar power bank you need.
To Wear or Not to Wear?
The answer is definitely ‘to wear’. While you might worry about losing or damaging your watch, a watch is definitely designed to be worn every day and if you don’t then you won’t be getting the full benefit from owning one.
Furthermore, if you are careful and you know how to treat your watch then there’s no reason that anything should happen to them. Watches are actually somewhat sturdier than they look and are designed to be able to face the rigors of daily life.
That said, you should pick the right kind of solar watch for the event. That’s why we saw so many trekking and sports watches on this list – they are ideal for more active lifestyles. Buy a watch designed to survive the rigors of your day.
How to Avoid Damaging Your Watch
To avoid damaging your watch though there are definitely times when it needs to come off. For instance, if you are going to go rock climbing then you should probably slip your watch off and put it somewhere safe first to avoid it getting scratched. The same would go for any contact sports that could cause the strap to get broken.
It’s also important just to be mindful of your watch as it’s possible that the glass face can scratch relatively easily otherwise. Make sure you avoid scraping the face on anything and keep it facing up most of the time. This is also a good reason to wear your watch on your non-dominant hand.
Note as well that your watch isn’t safe just because it’s not on your wrist: if you leave it at home then you need to make sure it isn’t somewhere where it will get knocked off the side onto a hard floor! If you are interested in the best solar lights check our top 3 choices on our guide.
How to Avoid Losings a Watch
To avoid losing your watch meanwhile you need to keep a close eye on it. Be careful when in crowded spaces as very talented pickpockets can actually remove your watch from your wrist without alerting you to their presence.
Choosing the right strap to begin with is also very important for this reason – pick something with a sturdy clasp that won’t be easily undone. Likewise, you want your strap to be tough enough that it won’t break and thus cause your watch to fall off without you noticing.
Follow these tips and there’s no reason your watch should come to any harm – which means there’s no reason you can’t wear it as often as you like!
And with that, you are ready to head out and choose your solar watch! This is a great investment that will make timekeeping all the more easy, reliable and good-looking. Enjoy!