Best Solar Powered Watches for Battery-Free Timekeeping

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Solar powered watches find themselves at the unique intersection of sustainable design and cutting-edge technology.

Powered by the sun, a solar watch doesn’t rely on a battery to operate – making this type of watch an incredibly reliable (and heirloom quality) timekeeping piece.  Furthermore, their reliance on solar technology will give you a unique watch that many others will likely envy.

Here are a few standout watches that are well-made:

1. Best Overall: Citizen Eco-Drive Atomic Timekeeping Solar Watch

Add this Citizen watch to your collection with their Eco-Drive Atomic Timekeeping Solar Watch.

Citizen is known for their immense quality and that’s exactly what you get with this Japanese quartz movement timepiece. The strap is a titanium link bracelet that locks with a solid fold-over clasp that is reinforced with a double push-button closure.

The quality is also shown through its impressive 42 millimeter-thick titanium case that comes with an anti-reflective sapphire dial window.

As great as this watch looks, it really is all about the subtle, chronograph displays. As a matter of fact, there are three small chronograph displays on the dial and includes one featuring a unique, radio-controlled chronograph. This chronograph means that if you are in any one of the abbreviated cities (i.e. LAX is Los Angeles), this watch will automatically be synchronized to a time zone broadcasted by a radio transmitter connected to an atomic clock.

Pros

  • Reliable Japanese quartz movement
  • Features Citizen’s reliable Eco-Drive
  • Automatically adjusts to multiple time zones with precise atomic timekeeping

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive

What You Need To Know

For one of the best solar powered radio-controlled watches, look no further than this Citizen Atomic Timekeeping Watch.

2. Casio G-Shock Tough Solar Watch

A subset of the Casio watch collection, G-Shock watches are known for their durability — as the name suggests, they are shock resistant and not at all prone to damage.  This G-Shock Tough Solar option is likely one of the easiest to wear timepieces on the market with its casual appearance and sturdy stainless steel and resin composite band.  This G-Shock will hold a charge for anywhere from 5 to 23 months and has an auto LED light so you’ll be able to tell time even in the dark.  It also offers multi-band atomic timekeeping for exceptionally accurate time.

Pros

  • Strong stainless steel and resin construction
  • Atomic timekeeping
  • Months of battery life when fully charged

Cons

  • Not suitable for formal settings

What You Need To Know

This Casio G-Shock watch is a great option for those looking for a casual and durable watch. Made of stainless steel and offering atomic timekeeping along with months of battery life, this G-Shock solar watch will have you pretty charged up about going green.

3. Citizen Eco-Drive World Time Stainless Steel Atomic Watch

Citizen’s Eco-Drive line offers a beautiful and functional selection of solar watches, and this World Time atomic timekeeping watch is no exception.  This face is black surrounded by stainless steel with some contrasting orange to make a style statement.  Every other marker is numbered in white, alternating with simple dashes, and the hands are luminescent, which enables you to easily read the time, even in the dark.  The bracelet is made of stainless steel links.  The aesthetic is versatile enough to couple with both casual and upscale attire.

This Citizen Eco-Drive watch also features a strong sapphire window, Japanese quartz movement, and atomic timekeeping for exceptionally accurate world time.  It’s also water-resistant to depths of up to 200m, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking for something you can wear in the water.

Pros

  • Features trusted Citizen Eco-Drive mechanism
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Reliable atomic timekeeping

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it difficult to initially set the time

What You Need To Know

This stainless steel Citizen Eco-Drive number is a great watch for men in search of a reliable solar powered watch that will make a subtle statement while offering efficient time changes with exceptional accuracy.

4. Most Affordable: Casio Solar Sport Combination Watch

With this watch, Casio combines supreme affordability (under $40) with functional utility with our pick for the best cheap solar watch, the Casio Solar Sport Combination. Casio solar watches in general are solid and affordable, but this one stands out.

This sports watch features Casio’s patented Tough Solar power and comes with a rechargeable battery that holds a charge for up to 10 months without further exposure to light.

This Casio solar watch has a distinctly sporty feel with its all-black design and round dial shape. The reason it’s a combination watch is that it offers both an analog and digital display. The time is displayed with a three-hand analog movement and the date is displayed digitally.

Speaking of the time, the hands and markers are neo-brite luminous hands which means you’ll be able to read the time at night. You can also program five daily alarms, plus a digital stopwatch and two countdown timers.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Lengthy 10-month battery life

Cons

  • Not suitable for formal or professional settings

What You Need To Know

While this is definitely a money-saving purchase, there’s little that’s regular about this piece. If you’re on a tight budget for a solar watch, you’ll get the best bang for your buck with this Tough Solar, Casio Solar Sport Combination Watch.

5. Best Under $100: Timex Expedition Solar Watch

Another great budget pick is the Timex Expedition Solar Watch, which we found to be one of the best solar watches under 100.

This Timex timepiece features a sleek and stylish style highlighted by the natural leather strap that is black on the outside and light brown on the inside of the strap.

It offers a full charge after five hours of exposure to light and, on this full charge, it can last you another two months without any further exposure to light. The dial comes in a slick black color that is complemented by silver stick markers and yellow accents.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Versatile style

Cons

  • Band may not be high quality leather

What You Need To Know

This watch would pair well with a casual outfit (think: t-shirt and jeans combination) but it can also withstand the rigors of outdoor travel as well, thanks to its metal design and 50 meters of water resistance.