Best Solar Watches Reviews

Updated November 22, 2020

The best solar watches are not just the epitome of efficiency and durability in a modern and dynamic world. They are also green accessories that help us take care of our planet while also enjoying a wide array of impressive features.

As you will see from our solar watches reviews, the offer is rich proving that anyone can join the green technology train. We will also discuss some of the main features of solar powered timepieces and why so many people consider making the switch from traditionally powered mechanisms to solar.

So, if you’re curious, don’t hesitate to check out our reviews – you won’t be disappointed!

Best Men's Solar Watches

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1
Best Overall
Seiko – Prospex Solar Dive Men's Watch
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2 Bering – Minimalistic Slim Solar Men's Watch
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3 Citizen – Men’s BM8180-03E Solar Watch
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4 Casio – Pro Trek Solar Men's Watch
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1. Seiko – Prospex Solar Dive Men's Watch

Highlights
Best Overall

This watch is delivered in a beautiful blue box (perfect for gifts) and the unboxing experience is quite pleasant. Once you take it in your hand, you can tell it is a high-quality timepiece, with a beautiful stainless steel bracelet with diver extension and a solid stainless steel case and a Hardlex crystal lens.  

The fact that it runs on solar power and its great water-resistance, make the Prospex watch perfect for adventurers who enjoy summer water sports or specialists who need to work on or near water. 

In addition, the black dial features a uni-directions diving bezel and luminous hands and markers, for better visibility in low-light conditions. Besides the three-hands movement (V175 quartz), the dial also features three chronograph subdials and one date window. For setting these complications, there are two screwdown pushers (in the 2 and 4 o’clock positions) and one screwdown crown (at 3 o’clock). 

Overall, the Prospex is a masculine-looking watch, with several impressive features. As such, it works well in most professional environments where it will attract words of praise and admiration.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel, Hardlex Crystal Lens
Size:
44mm
Weight:
10.58oz

Pros

  • Beautiful aspect with manly vibes
  • Powered by light and a 6 months power reserve
  • Solid build and good diving features
  • Four complications for chronograph and date
  • Accurate and reliable movement

Cons

  • A bit on the heavy side
  • The crown and pushers can dig in the back of your hand
  • It is tall for people who wear sleeved shirts

Why We Chose This

The Prospex is a Seiko solar power watch with lots of great features for adventurers and regular people. It’s also a diving watch with brightly lumed hands and markers, which improves visibility in low-lit environments. Lastly, it is perfect for various physically demanding activities and professions.

2. Bering – Minimalistic Slim Solar Men's Watch

Highlights

Focused on bringing the long-lasting beauty of the icy Arctic landscapes in the spotlight, this timepiece is more than just a gorgeous piece! The watch is designed in Denmark, which explains the effort to maintain a minimalist visual appearance with high-quality materials and features. 

The IP-plated medical-grade (316L) stainless steel mesh bracelet and case, and the highly scratch-resistant and flat sapphire crystal lens combine nicely with the all-black visuals of the dial. The face is only disturbed by the white hour markers, black and white hands, and window date (3 o’clock position).

In the spirit of true minimalism, the main power source of its Japanese Quartz movement is light (provided by the sun or artificial sources). 

In conclusion, this is a slim-looking timepiece that looks great on both men and women. It’s also only equipped with basic time features and its water resistance is minimal (50m or 164 feet). As such, it is a perfect fit for office environments but it also does a great job for people who prefer outdoor activities as well.

Specifications

Material:
Sapphire Crystal Lens, Stainless Steel
Size:
40mm
Weight:
2.82oz

Pros

  • Slim design and low-profile
  • Reliable Japanese quartz movement
  • Scratch-resistant crystal lens and beautiful stainless steel bracelet
  • All-black minimalist visual appearance
  • Designed in Denmark using high-quality materials

Cons

  • Low water resistance
  • Only has basic time features
  • The minute hand is a bit difficult to see

Why We Chose This

A beautiful solar-powered watch, featuring a slim minimalist design and built with high-end materials. This Bering model reminds users of the simplicity of life in the North and keeps them focused on the task at hand (keeping time). There are no distractions, the bracelet is comfortable, and the design goes with anything.

3. Citizen – Men’s BM8180-03E Solar Watch

Highlights

With a slim and discrete design, this Citizen watch can be integrated into both casual and office scenarios. The stainless steel case and mineral crystal lens give a note of class and style, while the nylon strap talks about durability even in tough conditions. 

The black analog dial features a date window (in the 3 o’clock position) and a three-hand movement with a red sweeping second-hand. The face has Arabic numeral for hour markers and an outer ring for minutes. The entire mechanism is powered by a Japanese quartz movement that charges from natural or indoor light due to Eco-Drive technology (Citizen’s proprietary). This means you won’t ever have to replace the battery on this watch! 

Lastly, the watch is resistant to water (up to 330ft depth), has a textured crown for easy gripping, and luminosity for better view under low-light conditions.

Specifications

Material:
Mineral Crystal Lens, Stainless Steel, Nylon Strap
Size:
37.2mm
Weight:
7.2oz

Pros

  • Slim & elegant design
  • Japanese quartz movement powered by Eco-Drive technology
  • Durable strap
  • Easy to read face
  • Luminosity for low-light conditions

Cons

  • The strap is stiff and looks low-quality
  • Doesn’t have 24h time

Why We Chose This

If you’re looking for a great paramedic watch that’s not too bulky or too flashy, this Citizen timepiece may be the right choice. It has a slim profile but the face is still easy to read and it has good scratch and water resistance. In addition, it runs on natural and artificial light, which means you don’t have to worry about batteries!

4. Casio – Pro Trek Solar Men's Watch

Highlights

As the name suggests, this timepiece is created for backpackers, hikers, and people who usually have an active outdoor lifestyle (whether it’s for work or for fun). 

Equipped with Tough Solar Power technology, the Pro Trek PRW2500T is a solar-powered, digital sports watch. This means that you can use sunlight to recharge the battery, which will hold about 5 months on a full charge with all the features available and without any further charging. In Power Saving mode the watch is supposed to last for about 23 months. 

Other features that make this watch stand out are Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping, Tide Graph, Moon Data, digital compass, altimeter (with the possibility to save data), barometer, thermometer, and more. In addition, its water-resistance and EL backlight with afterglow, make it a fantastic tool for divers and people who are usually around water.

As a timekeeper, the Pro Trek is equipped with a stopwatch, countdown timer, five alarms, full auto-calendar programmed until 2099, 12/24h formats, and more. 

In terms of design, this is a rather bulky watch with lots of buttons and plenty of information displayed at almost any time. Still, due to the titanium bracelet, it is not as heavy as you’d expect. It’s also complex, due to the multitude of features it has to offer, so it takes a bit of reading the instructions and playing with the settings to learn what it does.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel, Mineral Crystal Lens, Titanium Band
Size:
51mm
Weight:
4oz

Pros

  • Durable design with lots of cool features
  • Bi-directional stainless steel compass bezel
  • Atomic Timekeeping for increased reliability
  • Solar-powered with a good power reserve
  • Good water resistance

Cons

  • The interface is a bit complex
  • The design is bulky and large
  • You must take it off for accurate temperature reading

Why We Chose This

If you ignore its bulky design and confusing aspect (at first), this is one of the best solar powered watches on the market. It has great water-resistance and durability due to the stainless steel – titanium build and comes with Casio’s famous EL backlight. It also has a ton of amazing features for outdoor adventurers, hunters, fishermen, and other outdoor-related jobs. Overall, it is practical, durable, and keeps extremely accurate time!

Best Women's Solar Watches

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1 Seiko – Solar Diamond-Accented Women's Watch
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2 Casio – Ana-Digi Solar Gloss Women's Watch
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3 Bering – Women’s Slim Solar Watch
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1. Seiko – Solar Diamond-Accented Women's Watch

Highlights

Elegant, reliable, and solar-powered, this timepiece can be the perfect solution for busy ladies. The visual impact is very pleasing due to the two-toned (silver & gold) stainless steel bracelet and case. In addition, the bezel features a golden tone and is set with diamonds.

The analog dial has a Mother Of Pearl background with a three-hand Japanese quartz movement and a date window in the three o’clock position. The hands and hour markers are golden, which affords the watch a sense of luxury.

The face of the watch and the mechanism inside are protected by a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal lens which improves visibility. However, it’s important to note that this is not a watch with good water resistance. While it can withstand the occasional splashing, it may not recover if you take it swimming.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel, Hardlex Crystal Lens
Size:
27mm

Pros

  • Elegant & durable design
  • It can be accessorized with classy & casual outfits
  • Reliable & accurate quartz movement
  • The bezel is adorned with melee diamonds with several facets (not chips)
  • It doesn’t need a battery

Cons

  • The diamonds are quite small
  • Visibility can be difficult in certain light conditions

Why We Chose This

This is a cute little timepiece that attracts lots of compliments for people around. The fact that it is solar-powered can be seen as an extra bonus to an already classic and elegant design. We love the little crystals on the bezel (they shine nicely in sunlight) but we also appreciate the Mother of Pearl bezel and the golden-toned three-hands movement. Overall, this is a nice piece of jewelry on your wrist!

2. Casio – Ana-Digi Solar Gloss Women's Watch

Highlights

If you’re looking for a watch that has the same durability features as the G-shock series but comes with fewer specialized features and a more affordable price, this Sports analog-digital design may do the trick. 

The watch is large enough to provide users with information in an easy-to-read manner and comes with a self-charging solar power system that keeps it going for long periods of time. In addition, its design is all about comfort and practicability. 

The resin strap is easy to clean and adjust (also waterproof), the plastic case is strong, and the side buttons are protected against water and dust. In addition, the crystal lens is scratch-resistant and doesn’t reflect the light, which makes it easy to read the watch in direct sunlight. 

Set-up has a learning curve due to the multitude of features (dual countdown timers, stopwatch, World Time for 31 timezones and 48 cities, daylight savings, and 5 Alarms). You’ll also remark the rather clean face (two-hands movement, digital area, and battery status indicator) and the luminous indicators and hands.   

Overall, this is a great watch for keeping track of your fitness activity, hiking, swimming, and other sports. It is durable and looks nice on your wrist without being too bulky.

Specifications

Material:
Resin Band, Crystal Lens

Pros

  • Durable build and a design oriented towards comfort
  • Large face with a solar panel dial
  • A combination of digital and analog
  • Plenty of useful features
  • Visible in low-light conditions

Cons

  • The sportive design is not a great fit for casual outfits
  • There is a learning curve to using all the features
  • The case and band can be a bit stiff

Why We Chose This

Its durable design and tough materials make this a great timepiece for the young and restless. In addition, the colors (the case, bezel, and band are available in several nuances) are bold and work nicely on an active person. Lastly, the watch is extremely affordable if we consider its durability, solar power ability, and overall value.

3. Bering – Women’s Slim Solar Watch

Highlights

The slim profile and exquisite stainless steel design make this a beautiful timepiece for ladies. Like all Bering watches, it features a minimalist interface, with a clean dial (golden-toned three-hands movement and date window) and high-end materials. 

This model fits both the highly-driven career woman who needs an accessory for formal outfits and the entrepreneur ladies who can enjoy a bit more freedom when it comes to their attire. Also, it comes in the traditional Bering packaging, so it makes for a very nice gift. 

The analog dial is simple but the golden accents and hour markers give it a touch of luxury. Also, the mesh bracelet and case are made from silver IP-plated medical grade (316L) stainless steel, which is a beautiful and durable material. 

Lastly, this is a light powered watch, since it can be charged when exposed to any source of light. As such, it looks good on your wrist in the office and it is extremely reliable since it won’t run out of battery anytime soon.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel Strap | Scratch-Resistant Sapphire Crystal
Size:
26mm
Weight:
1.16oz

Pros

  • Minimalist design with elegant features
  • High-quality & durable materials
  • Powered by exposure to a light source
  • Date window
  • It can be easily accessorized with various outfits

Cons

  • The dial can be difficult to read in various light settings
  • The closing system of the strap takes a bit to get used to

Why We Chose This

We love the elegant design featuring a minimalist visual aspect but also highlighting the high-quality of the materials. Since it is a light powered watch, you don’t really have to get it out in the sun, which makes it perfect for people who are mostly indoors. Lastly, it can be accessorized with both silver and gold jewelry, which is why it’s a must-have!

Solar Watch Buying Guide

Power Reserve

The power reserve of a solar watch represents its energy storage capacity. As you will see from the products we reviewed, some have a power reserve of up to 6 months to a year on a single charge.

This means that the built-in battery can store enough energy to keep the watch going for the estimated time period. In addition, some watches come with a second battery, in case the first one fails after several charging cycles.

Lastly, a good solar watch doesn’t need any battery replacements on its entire lifetime. According to recent tests, batteries continue to retain up to 80% of their power reserve even after 20 years!

Purpose of the Watch

The offer is extremely diverse when it comes to solar powered watches since almost any big watch brand has at least a few models. As such, you can get sports models, elegant designs, watches built around specific features, and so on.

In short, regardless of your needs, there is a solar powered watch for you out there!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How To Charge a Solar Watch Fast?
A:

Keep the watch in direct sunlight (with the solar panel side up, if there is such a feature) for about three minutes. This will charge the battery for about 24h, so you can go on with your day until there’s more time for charging.

If you don’t have sunlight, it also helps to expose the watch to artificial light for about 3.5h. It will have a similar result as with sunlight but it’s more accessible to our modern lifestyle.

Q: How Do Solar Watches Work?
A:

All solar watches come with a built-in solar cell to absorb sunlight and artificial light and turn it into electrical energy. The cell can be located on the dial or behind it, depending on the watch and its features.

As you can see from the reviews above, many solar watches can go for about 6 to 12 months on a single charge. For this to happen, the watch is fitted with a powerful battery that stores the energy produced by the solar cell. This way, the movement and other features will be powered and the user can go about his or her day without worrying about charging.

Q: How to Charge a Solar Watch Without the Sun?
A:

Solar powered watches can also be charged by exposure to artificial light (a lamp, a flashlight, or a regular lightbulb). But the charging process will be slower since artificial light doesn’t have the same intensity as sunlight.

So, to charge your watch without the Sun, place it on a table during the night (the side with the solar cells up) and leave the lights in that room open. It can also help if you place it directly under a powerful lamp, but make sure the heat it generates won’t affect the other elements of the watch (like the strap or the case).

Q: How Long Do Solar Watches Last?
A:

Most producers say their watch can last for about 10 years, but with modern solar power technology, the watch never stops running. So, unless it suffers some sort of accident, there is no reason for your timepiece to stop.

Even more, contemporary models come with a built-in backup battery, in case the primary one fails after a number of charging cycles. However, the batteries used in solar powered watches can easily last a decade and more.

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