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Аre Solar Watches Good? [Are They Durable & Reliable?]

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: July 21, 2022

In the 1970s, solar-powered timepieces were a novel and unanticipated invention. In the 1980s, as sales increased, they became more reasonably priced. Therefore, even though they are not new technology, many individuals ponder whether investing in them is worthwhile. Are solar watches good? Are they durable and accurate?

Solar watches are very good, and if you’re looking to invest in a durable, reliable, and accurate timepiece, opt for a solar watch! Most solar-powered watches have a backup battery that still provides enough power for the watch to run for a few months without charge.

Since their humble beginnings in the 16th century, watches have advanced significantly. Because you carried the first watches in your pocket, people referred to them as pocket watches.

As watchmakers have honed their trade over time, timepieces today are significantly more accurate.

The top of the watch on the earliest solar watches had a visible solar panel.

The squared Casio G-Shock design is a classic from the early era of solar-powered timepieces.

A specially crafted photovoltaic system, similar to that found in a conventional solar panel, in solar watches converts light energy into electronic energy. We sometimes refer this technology to as “eco-drive.”

The solar cell, which is commonly located just beneath the watch dial, generates an electric current by activating “free electrons” existing in the panel when light energy strikes it.

The battery receives this electrical energy, stores it, and gradually releases it to power the watch.

Table of Contents

Are Solar Powered Watches Good?

Similar to a Quartz watch, light recharges a solar watch but otherwise has the same functions.

The most dependable clocks available, meanwhile, are without a doubt solar watches.

As soon as the dial comes into contact with either natural or artificial light, they charge, and any extra power is stored in lithium-ion batteries.

When there is no stable light source or when it is dark outside, the watch can function thanks to these batteries.

Thus, solar watches function 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Lithium-ion batteries have a ten-year lifespan before they need to be replaced.

A feature unavailable in a typical quartz watch, this provides you with up to 10 years of precise timekeeping.

What’s the Difference Between Quartz and Solar Watches?

An electric charge powers a quartz crystal to operate quartz watches.

Solar cells are the primary source of power for solar watches.

Since temperature fluctuations do not impact them, they are more accurate than quartz watches and are also more environmentally friendly.

A solar watch uses a solar cell to transform light energy into electrical energy.

A solar cell converts light energy into electronic energy (a solar cell unit is usually beneath the dial).

Similar to ordinary quartz watches, the power stored in the battery powers the watch.

However, solar watches feature a rechargeable battery, as opposed to quartz watches, which have a battery that needs to be changed when it runs out.

What Types of Watches Are There?

The two primary categories of timepieces are mechanical and quartz.

A quartz crystal in a quartz watch, powered by a battery, vibrates at a very specific frequency.

Mechanical watches use a spring-loaded mechanism to keep time.

Atomic clocks, which employ an atom’s inherent vibration to keep incredibly accurate time, are the most accurate watches available.

These are typically only found in labs or airports, albeit they are not practical for regular use.

How Do Quartz Watches Work?

Some of the most exact and accurate timepieces on the market right now are quartz watches.

Quartz timepieces use a quartz crystal driven by batteries to keep time.

To keep track of time, a crystal oscillates at an extremely accurate frequency.

Generally, a quartz watch is far more accurate than a mechanical watch, which keeps time using gears and springs.

In a quartz watch, the quartz crystal vibrates 32,768 times each second.

The time is indicated by this vibration.

A quartz watch typically has an accuracy of +/- 20 seconds every month. Therefore, a quartz watch will lose or gain roughly one second per day.

How Do Solar Watches Work?

A tiny solar panel built within the watch collects sunlight and turns it into electricity. This energy then powers the watch mechanisms that keep the watch ticking.

Solar watches can continue to function even when they are not in direct sunlight since they contain a battery backup.

But eventually, the battery will need to be recharged by being exposed to sunshine.

Solar-powered timepieces are extremely dependable and low-maintenance.

However, it is crucial to keep them clear of debris and clean, as this can decrease their effectiveness.

Are Solar Watches Reliable?

The benefits of solar watches are many.

A solar watch has fewer negative environmental effects than other watches, has an endless battery life, can charge in any light, and more.

Modern technology allows for solar panels to be concealed.

It is almost or completely impossible to see the solar panel on more recent solar watches.

A technique which we refer to as Eco-Drive technology from Citizen turns the dial into a solar panel.

The Eco-Drive technology can use any light source to create energy that is then stored in the power reserve. On a full charge, Citizen’s Eco-Drive can function with no illumination for six months.

Because a solar watch can be charged by the sun, theoretically, you will never need to replace the battery.

Related: Can a Solar Watch Battery be Replaced? [When Should It Be Replaced?]

Besides having a larger power reserve, solar watches often have longer battery lives than conventional quartz watches, which frequently need to be replaced after two to three years.

With a solar watch, you may typically expect up to 7 years of use, while many people confirm that their solar-powered watches last for over 20 years without a battery change.

Unfortunately, solar watch batteries have a limited lifespan.

Because of the fundamental characteristics of cells, corrosion and degradation are practically inevitable to occur at some point.

However, these are slightly more expensive to replace than the batteries in most other wristwatches.

You will occasionally require a battery replacement, even though the reality is not quite that pink and cuddly.

The battery—which they refer to as a capacitor—that comes with the watch, according to watchmakers like Citizen, has a life of up to 20 years. Apparently, the internal capacitors, which cannot be replaced, can endure up to 40 years.

Related: How to Charge a Solar Watch Fast? [Can a Lightbulb Charge It?]

Also, solar watches can be powered by artificial light.

Solar watches powered by artificial light are, however, 90% less effective than those powered by sunshine.

Charge your solar watch with natural light for 11–40 hours before going to bed without checking it to ensure accuracy and durability. The time to fully recharge a solar watch can vary depending on the weather and where you are in the world.

Whether a watch is quartz or solar watch has little to do with how we charge it. The precision of a solar watch is higher than that of a conventional quartz watch.

Your quartz watch’s battery will eventually run out, therefore you will need to replace it.

However, as long as you wear a solar watch frequently during the day, its battery will not be as quickly depleted.

GPS, atomic clocks, or other tools that enable the watch to keep the time accurate to the millisecond are frequently seen in solar watches. You will discover that solar watches have much higher accuracy than quartz watches.

The watches use more power than a typical quartz watch since they have a charging dock on the dial. That is not to imply that it is impossible to find a conventional quartz watch with an atomic clock or GPS integrated.

Final Thoughts

Solar watches provide a consistent light source and charge while being worn, unlike normal watches, which lose accuracy when their power is insufficient. As a result, they rarely operate at almost full capacity.

Most solar-powered watches also always have a backup battery, so even if the lithium-ion batteries are not exposed to sunlight for a long, they could still provide enough power to run for a few months.

We highly recommend solar watches since they are durable, accurate, and reliable.


Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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