When it comes to our portable devices, solar powered typically means there’s a big, ugly, grey-brown strip somewhere in there. In general, solar powered watches are hideous. Picture, your run-of-the-mill $30 digital watch from K-mart. There are some brands, however, that are the complete opposite of that. Watchmakers such as Citizen have pioneered stylish, high quality solar powered watch technology. These five watches show how solar power can be seamlessly integrated into a timepiece.
Seiko Men’s SNE325 Dress Solar Watch
A sleek and tactical piece, this Seiko watch is great choice for an all metal solar powered watch. The strap attaches seamlessly to the case with four bolts at each corner. This gives the watch a tactical look without being gaudy or over the top. The dial face is equally smooth with a radiating pattern and un-numbered hour markings. There’s a date window at the 3 o’clock hour as well. It’s a pretty sturdy and heavy watch as well, weighing in at 139 grams. It really does function as a good dress watch just remember it is a little more bulky than expected.
Seiko Men’s SNE331 Sport Solar Watch with Nylon Band
Another solar watch by Seiko, the Sport Solar is bold yet simplistic. The khaki nylon weaved band adds to its rugged look. The big, beige, quarter-hour numbers on the dial face are stencil-styled. The other hour markings are fairly large, simple dashes. The marking design scheme has the overall effect of making the watch look bigger than it actually is. The dial face background is a nice matte black. The stationary bezel edge is scalloped and textured. While it is not a diving watch, it is rated for water resistance to 100m (330 feet). In other words, it’s probably more durable than it looks. As with the other Seiko model, this watch’s solar panel is not visible at all. It’s a great, minimalist watch with a bit of an outdoorsy feel.
Tissot Men’s T0914204405100 T-Touch Expert Solar Watch
By far the most high end model on my list, I included it for a few reasons. For example, it’s design is very unique. It combines an analog and a digital display without coming off at tacky or gimmicky. The digital sub dial displays date as well as time, chrono, altitude, weather and alarm. The watch itself is made from top of the line materials. The band and dial are made from high grade titanium, and the dial face is protected by curved, sapphire crystal glass. Most interesting of all, the watch comes with touch screen functionality. This makes for some good party tricks. Overall, the Tissot is a large but lightweight watch, packed with features and made with high quality materials and design.
Citizen Men’s AO9000-06B Eco-Drive Watch
Easily the opposite of the Tissot piece, this watch by Citizen is retro looking and classy. The hour and second markings are divided by a ring design. The eggshell-white dial face adds to the classic look. There are two subdials, one for the date and the other for the date. Both the dial and subdial hands are a nice blue-grey. The watch is powered by Citizen’s signature Eco-Drive solar technology which with any light source. For a strap, the Citizen AO9000 comes with a croco-embossed brown leather strap, adding to the classic look. This timepiece will go well with any outfit or occasion except for, perhaps, more active events.
Seiko Men’s SNE107 Solar Powered Watch
Another model from Seiko, this all metal timepiece is simple and stylish. The watch is made from durable stainless steel with a rotating bezel and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. It’s water resistant down to a deep 660 feet. Thus, the watch functions as an effective scuba diving watch. To stay functional at this depth, the SNE107’s dial face is protected by a thick hardlex crystal glass. The hour markings are big, bright white dots and dashes, making them highly visible underwater. The jet black dial face background adds to their visibility. Even if you aren’t a scuba diver, this is a great solar powered watch, especially if you’re looking for an all metal model.