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There are always ways we can do better for our planet.

We can turn off the lights, turn off the water, keep a composting garden, use wind energy, and use solar energy – just to name a few things.

And solar energy use doesn’t just apply to things like backup generators and standard electricity.

There are small devices we use every day, never even thinking about the energy they can save. One of those devices is the solar watch.

Solar watches, like many of the world’s finest “standard” watches, have many benefits and features you’ll appreciate. And quite often, they aren’t any more expensive than the usual watch you might buy online from Amazon.

Plus, a lot of big-name, fine watchmakers focus exclusively on solar watches, such as Citizen, or at least provide a lot of beautiful, high-quality, and even luxury options in the solar energy watches department of their brand.

But before we dive into those solar watch reviews, let’s first answer some of the questions you might have about these devices, to help make sure they’re the best choice for you.

Quick-Find Table of the Best Solar Watches

ImageProduct
  • Exceptionally durable and designed for the true outdoorsman
  • Athletically fashionable
  • Tons of unique features and functions
  • Exceptionally durable and designed for the true outdoorsman
  • Athletically fashionable
  • Tons of unique features and functions
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  • Simple and very attractive
  • Incredibly reliable and long-lasting
  • Never needs a battery
  • Simple and very attractive
  • Incredibly reliable and long-lasting
  • Never needs a battery
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  • Uber attractive
  • Very functional
  • Budget-friendly but high-quality
  • Uber attractive
  • Very functional
  • Budget-friendly but high-quality
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  • Incredibly multi-function and versatile
  • Truly designed for the outdoorsman
  • Larger face than many, so perfect for larger wrists or less than perfect eyesight
  • Incredibly multi-function and versatile
  • Truly designed for the outdoorsman
  • Larger face than many, so perfect for larger wrists or less than perfect eyesight
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Technology ecologic interface

What is a Solar Watch and How Do They Work?

A solar powered watch is simply what it sound like: a sun powered watch. They contain small photovoltaic cells – that is, solar panels – on the face of the watch somewhere.

These panels absorb sunlight and use the internal workings of the cell to convert the solar energy into useable electrical energy that then powers the watch.

It may surprise you, but these watches have actually been in mass production since the 1970s. Of course, since that time 50 years ago, they’ve greatly improved, the tech has become less expensive and more available.

And that means now that solar power watches are much more affordable and accessible to all.

Solar powered watches come in many colors, styles, and price ranges, with everything from a cheap sports watch you can buy online from a cheap retailer to very high-end watches from top brands in the timekeeping industry.

Reviews of the Best Solar Watches

Let’s take a look at some solar watch reviews so that you can find the right option for your needs.

Be sure to compare them side by side to determine the best fit for your lifestyle. The categories we chose reflect the specific nature of the watch, but you may actually determine that one from a separate category is even more useful for your situation.

How We Chose the Best Watches

To find the what we’d like to recommend to you, we used a number of qualities to determine the best solar watches. Those things included:

  • High-quality make and manufacture
  • Excellent reputation of companies
  • Excellent reputation for customer service and care
  • High quality materials
  • Highly rated by real-life users and professional reviewers alike
  • Measured accuracy
  • Attractiveness and appeal
  • Multifunctionality and usefulness
Casio Mens GW9400Rangeman G-Shock Solar Atomic Watch

For a durable, athletic option, the Casio G-Shock Rangeman is a fantastic choice. In fact, these G-shock watches are the best atomic solar watch for men around.

It’s modestly priced, incredibly accurate, highly-functional, and always reliable.

It’s a great choice for anyone outdoorsy or active. And it even comes in two color schemes: gray with yellow and black or black with red and gray.

It’s an easy to read display and requires no maintenance except the once a decade battery change and a full charge every six months or so.

  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • Water-resistant: 200M
  • Made of: Gray or black resin, stainless steel
  • Color: Gray with yellow and black accents or black with red and gray accents

What We Loved

On the aesthetic side, we love the looks. It’s a sporty atomic timekeeping piece that can dress up or dress down a bit, depending on the color scheme you choose, with a bold vibrant look.

We also love how easy the screen is to read. The LCD is clear and bright in low or bright lights.

We also love how durable the watch is. It’s called G-Shock for a reason. It’s incredibly shock-resistant and can handle just about any terrain.

It’s got a load of great features as well that come in handy for practically anyone who spends time outside of the office, including:

  • Anti-scratch protective crystal mineral dial
  • Digital compass
  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Auto LED
  • Thermometer
  • Barometer
  • Altimeter
  • 5 daily alarms
  • Mb6 timekeeping
  • 1/10 second stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • Day/date/month

It’s great for basic diving – down to 660 feet or 200 meters – and hiking, biking, mountain climbing, aviation, running, and more.

Finally, and ultimately, the watch is tough. Just straight up designed as a “never will break” watch that’s trusted by military personnel, law enforcement, surfers, outdoors enthusiasts, and many others. It’s been tested and found true.

What We Didn’t Love

There’s only one thing we’re not keen on for the watch. It’s the LED light, which is automatic. In some cases, that would be great, but it only has two durations, which can be a little annoying at times.

Our Verdict

The G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman is just hands down the best casual or sports solar atomic watch for men living an active life.

It handles bumps, bruises, minimal diving, drops, impacts, and practically anything else you can throw at it. Plus, it’s reasonably priced, has a ton of features and functions, and it’s attractive.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Citizen Eco-Drive Two-Tone Stainless Steel Watch

Coming from one of the absolute most reliable brands in the biz is the Citizen Eco-Drive Two-Tone Stainless-Steel Watch for women. The watch is absolutely gorgeous, yet incredibly practical, reliable, and not over-the-top.

Instead, it’s a simple two-tone (silver & gold) watch with elegant lines and great functionality. The watch translates easily from the boardroom to the tennis court, or even the pool.

  • Battery: None needed
  • Water resistant: 100M
  • Made of: Stainless-steel band, mineral dial, quartz
  • Color: Silver with gold accents

What We Loved

First off, we love the simple elegance of the watch. It’s beautiful but not showy. The two-color tones give it this special touch without going overboard. It’s got a beautiful 27 millimeter stainless steel case that’s durable as well as beautiful, which simply can’t be beaten.

We love that this watch comes from a highly trusted brand, but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. In fact, it’s one of the most reasonably priced solar watches for women that we found.

We love that the watch is very durable and can move from activity to activity without dressing down the look to a resin watch.

You can swim, go snorkeling, play water sports, or basically anything but scuba diving and rock climb with this watch on.

Finally, and definitely not the least of it, we love the watch features that just take this up in value.

  • Day/date indicator
  • Luminous hands on a white dial
  • Easy to use clasp
  • Never needs a battery replacement

What We Didn’t Love

We couldn’t find anything wrong this watch, and the majority of the reviews we saw included single, one-off incidents that were a case by case situation.

The only thing we found that felt at all consistent in the complaints department was that some folks have a hard time seeing the “to set” function at the bottom of the dial.

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, durable, beautiful solar-powered watch, then you’ve found it here, with the Citizen Two-Tone Eco-Drive for women.

It’s comfortable, easy to use, and elegantly simple. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, well-trusted watch that doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles, this is your best bet.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Citizen Watches Men_s BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver

Citizen watches are a brand known for making some of the best solar powered waterproof watches around. Their dive watches are especially celebrated for good reason.

The Promaster Professional Diver tells us why.

This gorgeous solar waterproof watch is good down to 666 feet or 20 Bar or 200 meters. It’s sturdy, reliable, extremely attractive, and very durable.

And since it comes from a brand you know won’t fail, the modest price is definitely worth it to know your watch will keep going.

  • Battery: None needed
  • Water resistant: 200M
  • Made of: Stainless steel, polyurethane
  • Color: Silvertone and navy blue

What We Loved

The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster is a gorgeous watch. The coloring is highly attractive and makes it all the more valuable, simply on the looks alone. But the round watch also features a unidirectional bezel and deep blue navy dial and luminous hands and hour markers. The case is 48 millimeter stainless steel with a mineral dial window for clarity and durability.

We love that the band is extra heavy-duty while still being attractive and extremely waterproof.

The band is also reported to be extremely comfortable for long-term use, which is amazing.

What We Didn’t Love

There are a couple of minor things that we don’t absolutely love about this watch, though they don’t detract too terribly.

First, the months automatically have 31 days, so you do have to adjust sometimes.

Secondly, it has a small date window, so it can be a little difficult for some folks to read.

Third, the crystal isn’t quite as scratch resistant as we’d like. It’s not the top of the line, either, though, so we can’t complain too much. It’s a budget-friendly option.

Our Verdict

If you want a budget-friendly, incredibly attractive men’s dive watch, then the Promaster from Citizen is your go-to.

This watch is durable, reliable, and extremely comfortable, all with only having a few minor issues – like a calendar that needs some adjustment sometimes and a dial that’s not always scratch resistant. But if you’re going for budget-friendly, attractive and comfortable, you’ve got it here.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

BEST SOLAR POWERED WATCHES WITH COMPASS

#4. Casio Pathfinder

Casio Mens Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch

If you’re looking for tough solar, comfortable, budget-friendly solar sport watches, then look no further than the Casio Pathfinder.

These solar wrist watches are versatile and distinct, while being very functional for any outdoors enthusiast – especially hikers and explorers who need some direction from a compass.

It’s a well-built watch that can take just about anything you throw at it, no matter what your activity.

  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • Water resistant: 330 feet
  • Made of: Stainless steel, resin
  • Color: Black

What We Loved

This popular solar watch is made from incredibly durable material from a manufacturer that focuses on solar watches that won’t break, period.

The stainless-steel case is 51 millimeters, making it a larger watch for folks who just need a big, easy to read screen that’s visible wherever you are on the trail.

The watch has a scratch resistant dial, a thick, durable band, and can take practically any impact.

We love the functions and features on this one, too:

  • Power saving function
  • Battery power indicator on the display
  • Able to withstand temperatures at long exposure down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Large bezel ring
  • Direction register ring
  • Dual LCD and EL backlight
  • Digital compass
  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Thermometer
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • Alarms
  • Calendar
  • World time

The Casio Pathfinder is all around one of the best outdoors sport watches around for anyone looking to go eco-friendly with a light source powered watch.

The battery life lasts a long time and comes fully charged – with a charge that easily lasts for up to six months.

What We Didn’t Love

There are a couple of minor things we’re not in love with on this one.

First, the rotating dial is kind of susceptible to collecting dirt. So, if you get into the mud, it’s going to be a pain to clean.

Secondly, the compass requires exact calibration. If you’re in a hurry, that can be a pain.

Finally, though not terribly problematic except in the cold, the buttons are a bit tough to work with while wearing gloves.

Our Verdict

Overall, this is a phenomenal timepiece that works just about any way you could need in the out of doors. It’s durable, it’s tough. It’s incredibly versatile with compass, thermometer, barometer, altimeter, et cetera, and useful for just about any outdoors activity, even in the cold.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Runners Up in the Best Solar Watches

There are a few other watches worth mentioning in a variety of categories. They’re all great and well-worth investigating, if you need something a little different than what we’ve recommended above.

Seiko Womens SUP176 Swarovski Crystal-Accented Stainless Steel Solar Watch

This incredibly reliable brand offers a fantastic Seiko solar watch that’s incredibly attractive, very functional, and uber comfortable.

Seiko solar watch reviews pretty much anywhere will recommend this thin solar watch as the most attractive and beneficial solar watch for women.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

BEST SOLAR GPS WATCHES

#6. Citizen Promaster Navihawk

Citizen Mens Eco-Drive Promaster Navihawk Satelitte GPS Watch with Day Date, CC9030-51E

This one is definitely your top-of-the-line solar watch from Citizen. The Navihawk includes GPS, water resistance to 200 meters, and a pilot’s rotating slide rule bezel, to name a few of the attractors.

It is definitely more pricey than many of the others on the list, but well-worth the investment.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Solar Watch FAQs

We realize there are a lot of questions that come up when researching solar watches, so we did our best to hunt down the answers to the most popular concerns.

Do Solar Watches Stop Working In the Dark?

So, one question a lot of folks have is whether or not solar watches stop working in the dark. I.e., do they need to literally be in light all the time to work.

The simple answer: No.

Solar watches have either battery backups or a system that is able to store the energy from the light that is collected during normal use. That means that yes, the work after dark.

Are Solar-Powered Watches Reliable?

Of course, one of the big questions have about solar anything is whether or not its reliable. And a watch – something that so many of us count on for day to day details – is a big deal if it doesn’t work.

Thankfully, solar powered watches are extremely reliable. In fact, they’re actually more reliable than watches that have standard batteries and wind down quickly.

Especially if you choose a solar atomic watch, which relies on the Atomic clock in the nearest region to set itself automatically at time changes, leap years, et cetera.

Solar watches charge whenever they are exposed to light – both natural and manmade – which means you don’t have to change out a battery in the hopes that the watch won’t wind down. Instead, the regular exposure keeps the watch charged and set properly.

How Long Do Solar Watches Take to Charge?

One of the best things about a solar watch is the amount of time that the charge lasts for. Admittedly, a full charge will take a full 20 hours.

But that direct sunlight charge will last for six months or longer. Or, if sunlight isn’t your friend, a 60-hour charge in manmade lighting will do the same six months or so.

If you don’t have time to do a full charge, you can stick your watch in direct sunlight for three to ten minutes for a full day’s charge.

Or, if you don’t have direct sunlight thanks to cloudy skies, you can place the watch in incandescent light for 3 hours or so for a full day’s charge.

Man with suit and watch on hand

Do Solar Watches Have Backup Batteries?

For solar watches to keep a charge – i.e. not turn off in the darkness – it must have some kind of “storage” system for the energy it collects from the light. In many cases, this is a backup battery.

However, there are many companies that don’t use batteries at all, but an alternative system. These watches keep their charge equally as well as those using a watch battery backup.

How Long Do Solar Watch Batteries Last?

Not only do solar batteries keep a 6-month charge at a time, but they’re really long lasting as well.

Most last a minimum of 10 years, still able to retain an 80% power capacity for this length of time. Many have even been recorded as lasting 20 years at that capacity or higher.

The capacity of the watch battery for that kind of life, however, is strongly determined by the brand and manufacturing quality.

This is why we recommend only reputable brands with a long-standing performance rating in the field.

Chronograph close-up

Are Solar Watches Fashionable?

Finally, a lot of people wonder if solar watches are attractive – are they fashionable? In the early days, the photovoltaic cells were large and cumbersome and the watches were only fashionable because it was “cool” to have a solar watch. The looks, however, weren’t so appealing.

Now, the solar cells on watch faces are seamlessly blended into the aesthetics, and unless you know what you’re looking for, you probably wouldn’t even notice the difference between a solar and standard watch.

The fact that high-end timekeeper brands – like Citizen and Seiko – make them only adds to the conclusion that, yes, solar watches are attractive and fashionable.

There are cheapos, of course, that look like junk because they are. But if you go with a well-trusted brand, you’ll find your solar powered watches are not only long-lasting, but they’re good looking.

Benefits of Using a Solar Watch

There are loads of benefits to owning and using solar analog watches and digital watches.

  • Anyone can use them. They work just like other watches, basically, as far as day-to-day wear goes.
  • They charge for long periods of time and don’t need maintenance often.
  • They help to reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Many brands don’t use batteries, and those that do don’t require a battery except every ten years or so.
  • Solar watches are extremely accurate timekeepers, thanks to the near-constant recharge effect of the sun.
  • Solar powered watches for men and women are reliable, anywhere in the world.
  • They hold a 6+ month energy reserve from a full charge.
  • They’re more sophisticated and interesting than your average quartz watch.
  • They come with the same features that non-solar watches use.

Drawbacks of Using a Solar Watch

Of course, all things – even great things – have some disadvantages as well. The upsides with a solar watch outweigh the disadvantages for most, but it’s still good to be aware of them.

  • Though they’ve done much better with blending the appearance of solar watches, some people still find the solar cells unattractive in some brands.
  • They do require a minimum amount of light to stay charged, so no tucking them away into the back of a drawer or cupboard.
  • They’re a bit pricier than standard digital display or analog display watches in some cases, though in many high-end brands, there’s little to no difference.
businesswoman looking at wristwatch

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