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Best Of 2018

Top 3 Solar Watches For 2018 – Buyers Guide

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m addicted to well-crafted watches. It’s my guilty pleasure, and I’ve probably poured one too many paychecks to expand my collection. After all as Ian Fleming once said, “a gentleman’s timepiece says as much about him as a Savile Row suit.”

In 2018 we’re more technologically inclined and environmentally conscious than ever before. And despite my self-proclaimed affinity for a classic Rolex, I’ve been eagerly waiting for the day when watch designers to push the boundaries and cater to our modern lives. The re-invention of solar watches is the perfect example.

Don’t worry, we’re not talking about those awkward and ugly solar strips plastered across your favorite accessory. The technology, first used in the 1960’s, now hides the solar cells beneath the dial so that the watch looks like any other.

The next doubt that many of us harbor over solar watches is over reliability. At the beginning I couldn’t fathom how the watch could work after sustained periods in the dark or on a dull day. The truth is that a good solar watch will have a battery reserve of an incredible 6 months (as opposed to an average of 50-hours for automatic watches) and charging it requires minimal light exposure.

So if like many of us this year, you’re interested in investing in renewable products or simply enjoy cool advancements in technology, check out my guide to the best solar watches available now:


 

Seiko Men's SSC017 Prospex Analog Japanese Quartz Solar Stainless Steel Dive Watch

$340.95
6 new from $319.43
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:02 pm

This cool watch from Japanese watch purveyors Seiko is designed with marine sports in mind. But even if you’re not an ardent water-skier or diver, don’t be deterred!

As with their normal mechanical watches, Seiko match outstanding quality with beautiful design and functionality. Looking at it on my wrist, I would never guess that the SSC017 is solar powered, which I like. The strap is made out of flawless stainless steel with a strong clasp and a double push button for extra safety. And the classy black dial and luminous markers allow you to read it in light and dark.

The main selling point of this watch is the water resistance. It displays accurately even 200m deep. It will withstand being dropped and scratched while walking, running and swimming. So if you’re big into outdoor sports, I would highly recommend it.

The (only) negative? This watch is rather big and heavy.  Perfect watch for the person who likes to feel the weight of his bling-blings.  But not if you’re looking flyweight material.

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Seiko Men's SSC017 Prospex Analog Japanese Quartz Solar Stainless Steel Dive Watch

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Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:02 pm

 

Seiko Men's SSC019 Solar Diver Chronograph Watch

$339.95
4 new from $326.95
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:02 pm

The Seiko SSC019 is another great option if you’re looking for a sturdy, water resistant watch with a more colorful display. It powers up from any of light, not just the sun, so it will always work even on a cloudy day.

This stunning watch has a chronograph sweep hand that ticks five times per second. This makes it perfect if you need an accurate watch that will work even in the depths of the ocean. As with the previous Seiko watch reviewed above, this model is encased in a stainless steel case with blue and red aluminium bezel and hardlex crystal.

The only thing I found difficult was how the date was displayed. Even with reasonable eyesight I must say I struggled to read the small digits, especially in dim lighting. However this is subjective and it could be that you’ll have no issue.

At around $300 the value for money of this watch can’t be beaten. By choosing Seiko you know that you’re going with a trusted brand. And if anything goes wrong, I know from first hand experience that their customer service is excellent.

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Seiko Men's SSC019 Solar Diver Chronograph Watch

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Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:02 pm

 

G-Shock Unisex Atomic Solar GWA1100 Orange Watch

$424.94
4 new from $424.94
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:03 pm

This shock resistant, powerful neon orange watch from Casio is a showstopper.

Equipped with an analog display, this watch has luminous markers with a full LED backlight (afterglow). As you might have guessed from looking at it, it’s Triple G protected and water proof, making this the only choice if you love extreme sports or have a very physical job. It also includes a 1/100 second stopwatch so you won’t have to pull out your phone to time yourself!

There is also a battery power indicator and power saving function, which comes in handy if you rely on your watch. Of course with solar watches you already have the benefit of a 6-month reserve, but anyway!

What I love about the Casio is that the strap is extremely comfortable, which means that it fits nicely on almost any sized wrist. The shock resistance puts my mind at ease as I rarely remove my watch and often forget to be cautious especially while running after my young kids…

The only drawback is that it doesn’t come with a built in light. I find this surprising and it’s a great shame, as otherwise I’d give the casio a 10/10. The LED display does illuminate in the dark but for those of us whose eyes are a little worn – it’s not as bright as it could be.

In every other way, this is a fantastic and sturdy watch that will last you a lifetime. And if you’re a frequent traveller, there is the added bonus of working across 29 different time zones around the world.

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G-Shock Unisex Atomic Solar GWA1100 Orange Watch

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Last update was in: April 7, 2018 11:03 pm

The Gadget Nerds