- Silicone construction with Dura Soft band
- 100-meter water resistance
- Digital compass with a barometer, altimeter, and thermometer
Casio Pro Trek has been updated from the previous generation to include state-of-the-art components and materials. It largely features silicone with a dura-soft band for superior wrist comfort.
The Pro Trek was designed to appeal for outdoor enthusiasts who prioritize a watch with durability as well as style and key outdoor features. It includes an accurate digital compass as well as a barometer, altimeter, and thermometer. Casio also designed it with an atmospheric pressure change alarm to warn you of fast-moving, inclement weather. The Pro Trek is also rated to be waterproof up to 100-meters.
The analog hands can move to the side for times when you need to read the digital display. It also a neon illuminator with double LED lights.
Women runners and triathletes often need a watch to help track their progress. Yet many don’t want to make a major investment in an expensive health or bio-watch. People in this segment can appreciate the functionality and friendly price point of the Casio STL-S300H-1ACF Solar Runner watch.
It is infused with Casio’s standard build quality. This watch has a suite of features that includes a 1/100 stopwatch, as well as a countdown timer, and the memory capacity to hold up to 120 records.
The seals have been waterproof rated to 100-meters. For a runner, this alleviates the worry of getting it wet in the rain. It also means that a triathlete can use it for the swim leg of training and competition.
The Casio STL-S300H-1ACF Solar Runner watch can be set to standard or military timekeeping. It also has 5 alarms and one “Snooze” feature.
The Seiko Prospex Analog dive watch was designed to charge even in low light conditions. Attention was paid in the design to infuse this watch with quality. It includes a solid stainless steel band with a fold-over clasp and doubles push-button to keep it safely secured to the wrist.
It has a black dial face that has luminous hands and markers that make it easy to read in low-light conditions. The Prospex also has 3 chronograph dials with an abrasion-resistant Hardlex dial window.
This watch has been rated to be water-resistant up to 200-meters. It was designed to be easy to read when you are in the water or other low light conditions. Seiko even backs it with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
How We Picked
Just like the technology that drives them, solar watches are always evolving. Looking for signs of recent updates or minor design changes are often a good indicator that the manufacturer had the opportunity to infuse the watch with the best materials for this generation of watches. Still, there are some tried-and-true solar watches that were designed right the first time and don’t need a lot of sophisticated updates to prove their value.
Of course, watches are a broad category appealing to different interests. There are also men’s, women’s and even a few unisex solar watches that have very similar features. With many of these, the design cues are the only definitive difference.
Some watches are geared toward certain interests and niches. These tend to have special features like a built-in compass, an altimeter, a barometer, or a timer/stopwatch. Just bear in mind that the more special features a watch has, the higher the price tag is likely to be.
Take the time to sit down and think about the features you are most likely to prioritize. This will help you spot the things you are most likely to use.
If you swim, snorkel, or free dive, you certainly will want to look for a rated dive watch. This essentially means that the seals and fasteners have been tested to withstand the atmospheric pressure of the stated depth.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you might want to look for a watch that has features like a compass, barometer, altimeter, or thermometer.
Durability is also a factor with many solar watches. Most people want a watch that can take endure a little bit of wear and tear. Some level of waterproofing is also nice. The last thing you want is to have a surprising summer downpour take your watch out.
It’s also worth noting that solar watches are not just for men. In fact, there are many manufacturers who offer high-quality women’s solar watches. These units are specifically designed to look stylish and comfortable on the wrist, yet have some of the functions that women want in a solar watch.
Citizen Men’s Promaster Professional Diver Watch BN0151-09L
- Unidirectional bezel and blue dial
- Eco-Drive technology
- 48 mm stainless steel case
- Japanese quartz analog display face
- The band is Molded polyurethane
- Buckle closure for up to a 9-inch wrist
- Water-resistant to 200-meters 20Bar or up to 666 feet
The Citizen Promaster Professional Diver Watch has its proprietary Eco-drive technology. This gives it the ability to absorb light even from weak sources like interior artificial lights, or sunlight on an overcast day.
The high-quality rechargeable batteries inside have been rated to hold their charge for up to six months in darkness.
This watch was also designed to appeal to divers and other watersport enthusiasts. Citizen designed the seals to be able to withstand water pressure of 200-meters, 666 feet, or up to 20 bar atmospheres.
It has a blue luminous dial and anti-reflected crystals. This makes it easy too read in low light conditions as you might find during a deep dive or the glare issues that frequently happen when snorkeling.
What We Liked
Eco-Drive has the sensitivity to take charge even in relatively low light conditions. It has the waterproof characteristics that divers and snorkeling enthusiasts need. The blue luminous display and the anti-reflected crystals make it easy to read in different conditions.
This is a stylish watch from one of the trusted brand names in the wristwatch market. The fact that it’s also backed by a 5-year warranty speaks to the overall quality and the popularity of Eco-Drive technology.
Seiko Men’s Prospex Analog Solar Dive Watch
- Black dial with luminous hands and markers
- Three chronograph sub-dials
- Solid stainless steel bracelet
- Fold-over clasp with double push-button safety
- Water-resistant to 200-meters
Seiko is a well-established watch brand with a broad international presence. Their Prospex Analog dive watch was designed to charge even in low light conditions down as low as 3.5 with 10,000 lux.
It has a solid stainless steel bracelet with a fold-over clasp and doubles push-button safety. This is especially helpful for holding it on your wrist for dives as deep as 200-meters.
The black dial face has luminous hands and markers that make it easy to read in low-light conditions. It also includes 3 chronograph dials and a Hardlex dial window.
What We Liked
The Seiko Prospex Analog Dive Watch was designed to handle deep dives and pretty much anything that rigorous water sports can throw at it. The face with its luminous hands and markers ensures that you can read the time and other information even at low light depths.
Seiko is a well-established Japanese watchmaker with a reputation for quality and attention to detail. You see this in the design and materials of their Men’s Prospex Analog Dive Watch.
They back it with a 2-year warranty, which is a little less than you might expect for this price point. Many competitors in this niche will offer up to a 5-year warranty. Still, this watch has the quality components where you need it.
Casio Men’s G Shock G9300GB
- Black face with digital display
- Directional and thermal sensors
- Moon phase graph
- Shock and mud resistant
- Waterproof to 200-meters
- Black resin band
Casio designed the G-Shock to appeal to people who need a watch that looks good on their wrist at the office. Yet it can also stand up to rigorous outdoor activities on the weekends.
It has a black face with a digital display that includes special features like directional and thermal sensors. It also has a moon phase graph for anglers and hunters. If you wanted to fish at night these graphs could be used to determine moon rise in conjunction with the sunset.
The G-Shock was designed to be waterproof up to 200-meters. It’s also shock and mud resistant with a black resin band.
What We Liked
If you are an outdoorsman who needs a durable watch, then there’s a lot to like with the Casio G-Shock. The mud resistance, waterproofing, shock resistance, as well as special features like the compass and thermal sensors all speak to its outdoor functionality.
The two-year warranty is just about right for a solar watch in this price range and makes a testament to the overall quality.
Depending on your personal taste, the G-Shock might come off as looking at little basic or perhaps utilitarian. Still, it has the style you need to look good on your wrist sitting in a Monday morning office meeting, while still being durable enough to survive a weekend in the woods.
Casio Men’s PRO TREK
- Silicone construction and soft silicone band
- Smart Access electric crown
- 5 daily alarm settings
- Accurate digital compass
- Barometer and thermometer
- Atmospheric pressure change alarm
- 100-meter water resistance
Casio essentially updated its Pro Trek with state-of-the-art components and materials. This includes a significant amount of silicone as well as a dura-soft band for maximum comfort on the wrist.
It was geared for outdoor enthusiasts who want a watch that is durable as well as stylish. The face has analog hands, which can move aside when you want to read the special digital display features. There is also a neon illuminator with double LED lights.
The Pro Trek comes with a suite of special features. It has an accurate digital compass that is perfectly calibrated right out of the box. There is also a barometer and thermometer with an atmospheric pressure change alarm. It also has an altimeter that is accurate to within 5-feet. It was even designed to be waterproof to within 100-meters.
What We Liked
The special features are a nice touch for anyone who needs help orienteering in the wilderness. The altimeter, accurate compass, and barometer paired with a thermometer is also a very nice touch. The atmospheric temperature change alarm is also very nice for let you know when a storm is about to strike.
All things being considered, this is a great watch for high country backpackers, who know just how devastating and fast storms can be.
This is a great watch for high country hiking enthusiasts, yet it’s also equally at home at sea level, or when you want a good-looking watch to wear to the office. The comfortable band and special features are somewhat rare in this price range. You usually have to spend more to get all these features in a solar watch.
The fact that it is updated from a previous version also means that this generation of the Pro Trek is using the best technology for the price. It’s also backed by Casio’s standard two-year warranty.
- Silicone construction with Dura Soft band
- Special features for an outdoorsman
- 5 daily alarms and a pressure change alarm
Citizen Women’s Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Watch EW1250-54A
- Stainless steel construction
- Elegant design
- Japanese quartz movement
- Analog face
- Calendar dial
- Overcharge prevention system
Of course, solar watches are also a popular women’s fashion item, which we see in the Citizen Eco-Drive EW1250-54A. It features an elegant stainless steel design that is meant to feel comfortable on the wrist.
This watch has an analog face with a Japanese quartz movement. It also has a calendar dial that you can set to turn over at midnight. The face also faintly glows in the dark, making it easier to read at night or on the bed stand.
This watch includes Citizen’s proprietary Eco-Drive, which was designed to capture even the lowest levels of natural or artificial light to power the battery. Citizen goes so far as to claim the rechargeable batteries will last for up to six months in the dark on just a single full charge.
It also has an innovative overcharge prevention system which is a somewhat new feature in solar watches. Technically it is possible to overcharge a solar watch’s batteries.
What We Liked
This watch doesn’t have a lot of bulky features. It was designed to look elegant without being simple. The Eco-Drive solar charging system and stainless steel also mean that it has the quality where you want it.
This is the kind of solar watch that looks good on your wrist without costing a lot of money. Beyond the calendar dial and the state-of-the-art Eco-Drive, there aren’t a lot of special features. The fact that it’s backed by a 5-year warranty certainly speaks to the underlying quality of materials and design.
Casio Women’s STL-S300H-1ACF Solar Runner Digital Display
- Designed for runners
- 1/100 stopwatch
- 120 record memory capacity
- 2 countdown timers
- LED face with afterglow
- 5 daily alarms
- 1 alarm snooze feature
- 49 mm case
These days running is more popular than ever. Every day millions of women throughout the United States go out for a run, and Casio knows that many of them just want a simple watch to keep track of their time.
Enter the STL-S300H-1ACF Solar Runner with a digital display. This women’s solar watch has Casio’s basic build quality, paired with features that a runner might want to see. This includes things like a 1/100 stopwatch, a countdown timer, and a memory capacity capable of holding up to 120 records.
It can be set to standard time or if you prefer military timekeeping. It also includes 5 alarms, one of which has a “Snooze” feature.
What We Liked
This watch has just enough bells and whistles to meet the need of your average runner who just wants to keep track of her progress. The 100-meter waterproofing is also nice for women who train for a triathlon.
The Casio STL-S300H-1ACF Solar Runner might be a little on the simple side. Yet it doesn’t have so many sophisticated, and often unused features to jack up the price. This makes it a great budget pick for a woman on the go, or one who may be wears a different, more fashionable watch to the office.
Seiko Women’s Two-Tone Solar Watch
- Two-tone stylish face
- Hardlex dial window
- Blue dial with day and date window
- Analog display
- Japanese quartz movement
- 25mm stainless steel case
- Stainless steel bracelet
- Push-button clasp closure
- Water-resistant to 30-meters
Seiko women’s watches have enjoyed popularity over the years for their ability to look stylish on the wrist while also having the quality to stand the test of time. The SUT110 women’s solar watch uses stainless steel construction with the bracelet and 25 mm case with push-button clasp closure.
It has a dual-tone stylish face with a Hardlex dial window for superior abrasion resistance. The analog display was designed with a Japanese quartz movement and includes a day and date window.
It’s is technically rated to be water-resistant up to 30-meters. However, this is meant more for preventing damage from splashes and momentary immersion. The seals aren’t strong enough to handle prolonged immersion or even swimming.
What We Liked
The stainless steel used for the bracelet and 25 mm case contrast nicely with the dual-tone dial. The abrasion resistance of the Hardlex window also helps keep it looking sleek and attractive on the wrist in the long term.
The Seiko SUT110 women’s solar watch doesn’t have a lot of fancy bells and whistles. Still, it was built to be attractive when worn and has the quality components to stand the test of time. The three-year warranty speaks to Seiko’s faith in their design and construction.
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono Atomic Watch
- Silver-tone dive watch
- 42 mm titanium case
- Analog display
- Japanese quartz movement
- Black tachymeter top ring
- Non-reflective sapphire glass
- Titanium link band
- Fold-over clasp
- Hidden double push-button closure
- Automatic timekeeping for superior accuracy
- One-second chronograph
- Perpetual calendar
- Water-resistant up to 200 meters
The Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual solar watch has a lot of features for an analog watch. It’s made largely from titanium and stainless steel for superior quality. The proprietary Eco-Drive can charge even in low and artificial light conditions. Yet on a full charge, this watch can continue to operate for up to six months in darkness!
It has a 42 mm titanium case with a black tachymeter top ring. It includes a one-second chronograph as well as a perpetual calendar. The analog face features a Japanese quartz movement. It also has non-reflective sapphire glass.
The band is made from titanium links. It has a fold-over clasp with hidden double push-button closure, for sleek visual appeal.
This watch is also designed to be waterproof up to 200 meters. The seals on the case are certainly strong enough to handle things like swimming and snorkeling. The blue sapphire glass is non-reflective, which makes it easy to read when you are in the water.
Though Citizen themselves notes that they do not have the integrity to handle deep scuba diving.
What We Liked
Citizen made a point to design this watch with the durability and quality you want to see in a solar watch worthy of the investment. They even back it with their superior 5-year warranty.
Like other watches in their line, the Eco-Drive has the ability to gather solar charge in even the lowest of light conditions or via artificial outdoor light. The state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries can then hold that charge for up to six months in the total darkness of a dresser drawer.
This is a great a high-value, high-quality solar watch backed by a 5-year warranty. It has a lot of features for technically being an analog watch. The waterproof seals are stronger than most of the competition. Just don’t plan on using it as a true deep “Dive Watch.”
Timex Men’s Expedition Ranger Solar Watch
- Blue dial with contrasting orange accents
- 43 mm brass case
- Analog face with luminous hands
- Durable mineral lens
- 20 mm leather strap
- Water-resistant to 50 meters
- Date window
Timex is a long-established watch manufacturer who has started to expand its presence into the solar wristwatch niche. They are probably best known for developing quality analog watches, which you see here in their Expedition Ranger.
It has a 43 mm brass case. The face has a blue dial with luminous orange accents that are easy to read. The hands are also luminous for times when you might need to read the watch in low light. It also has a durable mineral lens to minimize abrasions.
The leather strap is 20 mm wide and has a simple, yet stylish buckle closure. It can accommodate up to an 8-inch diameter wrist.
The solar cell and rechargeable battery are designed for long life. Timex states that the Expedition Ranger can last up to two months on a single full charge.
The seals and fasteners are also rated to be waterproof up to 50-meters. This essentially means that it will endure the occasional afternoon swim, a fishing trip, or a rainy day. Just don’t expect it to be a viable “Dive Watch.”
What We Liked
The ability to last up to two months on a single full charge is a nice touch and something that is only outmatched by a few other competitors. Like most Timex watches it also looks stylish on the wrist. The leather strap is also more comfortable than a stainless steel bracelet.
Timex is a watchmaker name you can trust. They started out in the industry making state of the art mechanical watches. They are a little late getting into the solar watch niche, but they make a quality statement with the Expedition Ranger.
Just bear in mind that the waterproofing is meant more for basic recreational swimming or a splash in the pool. It won’t die on your wrist in a rainstorm, but the seals also can’t deal with the excess water pressure of diving or even snorkeling.
Modern-day wristwatches have evolved from the simple timepieces that our grandfathers used into stylish statements that make you look and sometimes even feel good. The problem with these units is that they usually rely on batteries to power the mechanical or digital parts.
When these batteries start to run low, they gradually lose the ability to keep accurate time. With some of these “Old Fashioned” watches the decrease in accuracy is miniscule, and often hard to notice over the course of a few days.
Even when you do catch the problem in time, the only solution is to buy more, often-costly, replacement batteries. As time goes on, they will eventually lose charge and need to be replaced. Leaving you in a constant costly cycle.
Fortunately, modern technology and materials have continued to evolve in ways that make it easier than ever to solve the watch battery problem. One of the most popular and effective is solar-powered wristwatch.
These units have rechargeable long-life batteries in them, that are directly connected to a small solar cell built into the watch. As you go about your day it collects solar energy which is then diverted to the batteries to power the mechanical aspects of the watch. Recent advancements in battery and solar cell technology allow these watches to run for extended periods of time, even when natural sunlight isn’t available.
There are a few things you want to look for when considering a solar-powered wristwatch, that go beyond simply how it looks or fits with your personal style.
Technology and Age of Design
Solar cell and battery technology continue to evolve, often at a rapid pace. The newer you’re the design of the wristwatch and its components the more likely it is to employ the latest tech advancements. This doesn’t necessarily apply to how long it’s been on the shelf, rather when was the last time the manufacturer refreshed or updated the design specs for the particular watch.
Sometimes this information isn’t available. Still, you can bet that any time a manufacturer is putting extra energy into marketing messages about their “New” technology, that it is likely near the forefront of what is possible today.
Materials and Durability
There are some materials that are obviously stronger than others. Stainless steel tends to be very popular with many solar watches. Some are even paired with super-strong, lightweight titanium. These watches tend to stand the test of time, enduring daily wear and tear.
Yet you shouldn’t discount silicone watches. Modern technology and manufacturing techniques have made silicone stronger than ever before. Many people also find that silicone watch bands are more comfortable than stainless steel, link, or titanium bracelets.
So, don’t let silicone or resin put you off of considering a specific watch. These materials are far more comfortable on the wrist today than they were even a decade ago.
Closures and Clasps
There are several different ways to secure a watch band or bracelet. Each can impact how the watch feels on your wrist, and some are a matter of personal preference.
A deployment clasp essentially unfolds into three sections or thirds. This degree of expansion is usually sufficient for most people to fit their hand through the band. You then collapse it down to secure it over your wrist. Many of these closures include some type of small hook-type latch.
A push-button deployment is similar to a more traditional deployment clasp, except it has buttons on each side of the clasp. You then pinch them to release and expand the band. The nice thing about this type of clasp is that it generally won’t accidentally open on its own. Still, some people complain that it can pinch your skin if you aren’t careful.
A deployment clasp with a safety basically folds over the closure section for added security. This type of clasp is more popular with a metal band or bracelet watches.
A hidden butterfly clasp looks like a seamless band at a casual glance. Except that it has a special type of push-button release mechanism that keeps it securely on your wrist.
A tang buckle is a little bit like a miniature belt. It has an adjustable closure with a single pin that is designed to fit into one of several holes in the band.
A jewelry clasp is essentially a simple latch that can be snapped or closed around a solid metal bar. You can easily release it by lifting the clasp and then disconnecting it from the bar.
Water Resistance or Waterproofing
Just like you, your wristwatch can be caught in the rain, or that accidental push into the swimming pool at a family gathering. In times like this, you don’t want to go into an immediate panic about the state of your watch.
For some, a water-resistant watch or one that is described as being “Splash Proof” might suffice. Though it would be nice to have a watch that is rated to be waterproof to a 1-meter depth, just for the times when you might accidentally drop it into water or it gets excessively wet.
Some high-quality waterproof watches are capable of being submerged to up to 100-meters. If you like to go swimming, snorkeling or surfing with your watch, you might want to prioritize one of them.
Anglers and sport fishermen might also want to prioritize a watch that is truly waterproof to at least 1-meter, rather than just on that is water-resistant. Beyond accidentally dropping it into the water, a watch that isn’t waterproof can still be damaged by frequently sticking your hand into the water to retrieve a fish or submerging it into a baitwell.
Special Functions and Features
Smartwatches are also taking the marketplace by storm these days. They do appeal to a certain segment of people who want to take sophisticated functions with them on their wrist instead of via their smartphone. There are also health watches and fitness bands that monitor basic biological functions. These devices deserve their own category and delineated special features.
That’s not to say that solar power watches don’t have special features. Some of the more popular options that you might want to look for include things like stopwatch functionality, multiple time-zone displays, or an LCD display face.
Outdoor enthusiasts might also be interested in things like a built-in barometer with altimeter, basic compass, or a thermometer.
Style and Design
The overall look, style, and design are often an appealing factor that draws people to solar-powered watches. Take the time to think about your personal style, as well as some of your favorite wardrobe items, and factor that into your choices. While it might sound simple, keeping your own personal taste in mind will go a long way toward preventing the dreaded “Buyer’s Remorse.”
Warranty and Protection Plan
If you are going to invest in a solar watch, you want it to be able to stand the test of time. With most watches, you will notice a manufacturing problem within a day or two of taking it out of the box. What a warranty, satisfaction guarantee or protection plan really tells you, is that the manufacturer believes in the long-term material quality and design of their product.
At the same time, there are some online retailers who sell their own affordable 3 or 4-year protection plans. This can be great insurance for times when you might find a watch you love, but it has a weak warranty.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does A Solar Watch Need Sunlight?
A: Technically any significant source of light can affect the solar cell. This includes indoor lighting like the fluorescent lights you often find in most office spaces. However, the charge will be slow and natural sunlight still remains the best option for charging the internal solar watch batteries.
Q: Does the Season Effect How Well The Solar Cell Charges?
A: Natural sunlight is always the best option for recharging a solar watch. The stronger the source of light the more charge the solar cell imparts to the rechargeable batteries. This means that the weak sun of winter produces less charge than the strong sun of the summertime.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that in cold conditions, people are more likely to wear long-sleeve shirts, and coats. When the solar cell is covered by clothing it can’t generate charge and could cause the internal batteries to run low.
Over the course of a single day, a coat sleeve or a sweater won’t impact the charge of a quality solar cell with a rechargeable battery. In fact, some of the newest solar watches can go months on a single full charge. Just be mindful of it during the wintertime, and you likely won’t notice a problem.
Q: Will My Solar Watch Stop Working In The Dark?
A: The overall life of the rechargeable batteries is long enough that they can endure a full night on your dark nightstand. In fact, it would take several days if not weeks for the average rechargeable watch battery to run too low to keep accurate time. Some high-quality solar watches can even keep accurate time for months after a full charge.
Q: Are Atomic and Motion Charge Watches More Accurate?
A: When it comes to timekeeping mechanical and digital components can have an impact. Over a long period of time, atomic and motion charge watches are technically more accurate. However, this is still generally within a few seconds over the course of several months if not a year.
Q: What Is Overcharge Prevention?
A: Just like any other batteries, the rechargeable batteries in a solar watch can be overcharged. When this happens excess heat and other factors can start to degrade the battery’s long-term charging capacity.
In all honesty, this type of feature is really only going to come into play if you have a job where you are outside all day working in the sun with your wrist exposed. A long summer day at the beach could also potentially lead to overcharging the batteries, but if it only happens every once in a while it won’t cause major damage.
Since it’s a relatively new advancement, an overcharging prevention system is really telling you that the design is recent or updated from a previous model. This ultimately means it’s more likely to employ the highest possible technology and materials for this generation of solar watches.
Modern-day solar watches are a synergy of function and technology blended with stylish design. Every few years battery and solar cell technology managed to evolve a step. In time these innovations find their way into consumer electronics. Keeping an eye out for updated or new designs is a great way to make sure you are close to the state-of-the-art for this generation of watches.
When shopping for a solar watch, take the time to consider the features that you will use the most. Waterproofing or water resistance is always a nice touch to keep your watch from being damaged by rain or accidental splashes. Just keep in mind that you will need a true dive watch that’s rated for a great depth is you want to do more than simply snorkel or swim while wearing it.
Material selection can be a factor, especially if you want a watch that will match your personal style. Stainless steel, titanium, leather, resin, and silicone are some of the more popular options to consider. Factor them with your wardrobe and where you intend to wear it.
Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API