Since 1977, Seiko has been producing solar watches and developing the technology of this special type of quartz watch. Top models have power reserves of up to twelve months and can store enough power for one day in only two minutes of charging.
The manufacturer Seiko launched its first solar watch in 1977, and the company has prioritized advancing the development of alternative ideas since its foundation. This also includes hybrid movements, such as Spring Drive or Kinetic technologies. The latter combines the best of both worlds: the precision of a quartz movement with the charging mechanism of an automatic caliber.
Watches with solar technology are user-friendly since they only require a few minutes of light for a day's worth of energy. You don't even have to go into the sun. All light sources charge this timepiece's battery, meaning it works flawlessly even in the dark winter months. That being said, you should give your solar watch as much light as possible and not wear it under your sleeves so as to guarantee the advertised power reserve. In doing so, you save yourself the hassle of changing a battery at regular intervals, which is necessary with typical quartz watches. It also helps to save the environment.
Seiko covers a wide range of designs in its solar collection. From dress watches to sporty chronographs, you are guaranteed to find a watch that matches your taste. Other than the "Solar" inscription on the dial, there is no other way to tell you are looking at a solar watch. In terms of material, you have the choice of stainless steel or titanium. Gold-plated or bicolor models are also available. Some of the collection's women's watches have dials made of mother-of-pearl or set with radiant crystals. If you're not able to find your match in this collection, the manufacturer's other collections also feature models with solar technology, for example, the Seiko Astron collection.
|Model||Price (approx.)||Design||Power reserve when fully charged|
|Astron GPS Solar World Time Novak Djokovic Limited Edition (SSE105)||1,500 euros||Futuristic and sporty, titanium case with pink-gold plating, black leather bandMother-of-pearl dial||6 months|
|Prospex Solar Chronograph Diver’s (SSC015P1)||300 euros||Diving watch, stainless steel case and bracelet, black dial||6 months|
|Seiko Solar (SUP295P1)||260 euros||Elegant two-handed watch, oval stainless steel case, chain-like stainless steel bracelet, mother-of-pearl dial, set with crystals||12 months|
|Solar Chronograph (SSC009P3)||250 euros||Motorsport look, stainless steel case, black leather band, black dial||6 months|
|Solar Chronograph (SSC141P1)||240 euros||Sporty, stainless steel case and bracelet, blue dial||6 months|
|Solar (SNE039P1)||120 euros||Simple three-handed watch, stainless steel case and bracelet, black dial||6 months|
|Solar (SUP880P1)||120 euros||Classic dress watch, rectangular stainless steel case with gold plating, black leather band, white dial||12 months|
The high-quality Seiko Solar models have exceptional value for money. Each one is produced using only in-house components. Prices for these first-rate, solar-powered timepieces start around 120 euros. For this price, you can get the Seiko Solar (SNE039P1) in mint condition. This simple, three-handed watch has a stainless steel bracelet and 37-mm case combined with a black dial. The line indices used to show the hours are coated in Seiko's luminous Lumibrite material . The weekday and date displays finish off the look of this modest men's watch.
You can buy the rectangular Seiko Solar (SUP880P1) resembling the Cartier Tank for a similar price. The stainless steel case with gold plating harmonizes well with the black Roman numerals on the white dial. This makes the two-handed watch a classic dress watch perfect for any business suit or evening attire. This timepiece has both men's and women's variants, the latter having a delicate 18-mm case. Both versions have a power reserve of up to 12 months .
Another model for women is the Seiko Solar (SUP295P1) set with crystals and featuring a mother-of-pearl dial. This two-handed watch has a 23-mm oval case in stainless steel and appears especially feminine. The chain-like stainless steel bracelet makes the watch feel like a piece of jewelry. Never worn models are priced around 260 euros.
You will also find chronographs in Seiko's solar collection. Thanks to their precise quartz movement, they can measure time very accurately. The 43-mm Seiko Solar Chronograph (SSC141P1) does so in increments of a fifth of a second for up to 60 minutes. The alarm function at 6 o'clock can also be used to display a second time zone, which is especially useful when traveling. The tachymeter scale appeals especially to motorsport enthusiasts since you can use it to determine a vehicle's speed. The Solar Chronograph in stainless steel with a blue dial costs around 240 euros new.
The Solar Chronograph (SSC009P3) has a design that is even more geared toward motorsports and offers the same functions as the aforementioned model. The black dial with red accents and bright hour and minute markings is reminiscent of the tachometers found in race cars. The black leather band completes the look and is equipped with a pin buckle. Plan on spending about 250 euros on this model.
Seiko launched the first quartz wristwatch in the world in 1969, and called it the Astron. Since then, this collection has represented the manufacturer's visionary innovations. The Seiko Astron GPS Solar was the world's first solar watch with GPS at its introduction in 2012. Using satellite signals, it sets itself to the current local time automatically at regular intervals. You can also change the time zone manually with the push of a button. A small ring antenna under the bezel receives the signals. Since the best reception for GPS signals is outside, it is all the more practical to power this model with solar energy. This means you can charge your Astron Solar while also updating your timezone.
A highly-coveted model is the Seiko Astron GPS Solar World Time Novak Djokovic Limited Edition (SSE105) presented at Baselworld 2016. This limited run of 3,500 luxury watches is dedicated to the famous tennis player Novak Djokovic. He has won multiple Grand Slams and topped the tennis rankings for 223 weeks. It has a titanium case with pink gold plating, and the case back is engraved with Djokovic's signature. The black ceramic bezel fits perfectly with the black crocodile band. With the specially chosen shimmering blue mother-of-pearl dial, this world time watch with a perpetual calendar is a real showstopper. New models cost around 1,500 euros.
Since watches with solar power are very environmentally and user-friendly, Seiko also uses this technology in its other collections. If you're looking for a diving watch, you may like the Seiko Prospex Solar Chronograph Diver's (SSC015P1). This stainless steel model is water resistant to 200 m (20 bar) and has a unidirectional bezel. This increases safety while diving, because unintentional adjustments of the bezel can cause the watch to show longer diving times than intended. With this watch, a diver will never resurface too late, but rather too early, at most. The band has a folding buckle with an additional safety mechanism to keep it securely on your wrist. The indices and hands are coated in LumiBrite luminous material and are set against a black dial, making it is easy to read even in deep waters. You can find a new Solar Chronograph Diver's starting at 300 euros.