Watch making technology has experienced tremendous development in the last couple of decades. We have seen not only new styles and designs, but also incredibly ingenious and innovative mechanisms and concepts developed in the timekeeping industry. This is a rapidly developing field with stunning innovations sprouting up every year. There has been constant striving for improvement and incorporating new solutions in the way the watches are powered, too. Not so long ago, battery-powered watches were thought of as the most ingenious invention. But today, things have been taken to a whole new level and we now have timepieces that can harness the power of the sun in order to support their movement.
Solar Power Harnessed watches have started to gain popularity recently and many brands such as Casio, Citizen and Seiko watches have been researching the possibilities of this technology and have already applied it in a number of their models. So here, we have decided to take a look at a few models and collections from different brands, which rely on the sun or another light source to be able to power their mechanisms.
The Casio Solar-Powered Collection – MRW-S300H
Casio has a couple of collections which consist entirely of solar-powered timepieces – the Tough Solar and the Solar-Powered collection, and quite a few models of other lineups in which they have incorporated this technology. However, we have decided to take a look at the Solar-Powered lineup, as it is also the most recently released one. Casio’s Solar-Powered collection includes eight color variations of the MRW-S300H model. The model has a resin case and band with case measurements of 52.5×47.9×13.2mm and it weighs just 44 grams. It runs on a solar-powered battery with a low battery indication function and has a 3-hand analogue display. The other main features of the model are a rotating bezel, a stylish diver design with different color combinations available, 100m water resistance capability and a date display. When fully charged, the watch can run for approximately three months until it requires a recharge, which is quite an impressive power reserve.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Collection – The AO9003-08E Men’s Strap Model
Citizen has a vast collection of watches powered by light under the name Eco-Drive and the brand keeps expanding this lineup with new releases every year. We have decided to take a look at one of the latest releases – the AO9003-08E Men’s Strap Model. But first, we must note that unlike the models of Casio and Seiko watches, which we will examine on our list, the timepieces of Citizen can use not only natural light to power their batteries, but also artificial light sources, which is a unique feature of these watches.
The AO9003-08E model has a stainless steel case with a rose gold-tone coating and a beautiful brown leather strap with a buckle clasp. The case measures 42mm in diameter and has a mineral crystal window. The watch runs on the Eco-Drive 8635 analog movement with a black dial and rose gold hands and hour markers. It has two sub dials which display the day and the date and is also resistant to minor water splashes. This is a really elegant men’s model from Citizen.
The Seiko Astron GPS Collection – The Astron GPS Solar SAS031
in this year, Seiko released the first GPS solar-powered timepiece ever – the Astron. In the beginning of 2015, the brand announced a new addition to the Astron GPS collection with an even more stunning design and capabilities. The new Seiko watches in the Astron GPS lineup are available in five models with different options for the case and the strap, with both resin and leather bands. We will take a look at the SAS031 which has a stainless steel case and a black extra-strength silicon band (the other models have similar specifications). The SAS031 has a 48mm case with a screw case back and a screw-down crown, 10bar water resistance and 4,800 A/m magnetic resistance. The black analog dial has a date display and a perpetual calendar, world time display, power saving and daylight saving functions. The most notable feature of the model is its GPS controlled atomic timekeeping and the ability to switch between time zones automatically. This function makes the Astron a unique timepiece in the lineup of Seiko watches.
Solar-powered watches will be gaining wider popularity in the future, and even more brands will join the competition for creating stunning models powered by the light of the sun. The industry is slowly turning to alternative power sources and exploring their benefits.
Author bio: Rita is a passionate fashion blogger and a freelance writer in her spare time. Due to her mixed ancestry she speaks English and Norwegian perfectly and that is why she agreed to start writing for the Norwegian watch company Uniwatches and their Seiko watches line. More detailed information on this topic can be found here: http://no.uniwatches.com/brand/seiko-klokker/49