A solar-powered watch is entirely powered by a solar cell that absorbs sunlight or artificial light, which is then converted into electrical energy. Solar watches are a great alternative to traditional watches as they are more modern and allow you to save money on watch batteries. Despite all these benefits, many people are still hesitant to get one because they aren’t sure how to charge their solar watch. However, charging a solar watch is easier than one might think.
What Exactly Is a Solar Watch?
Before getting into the details of how to charge a solar watch, it is best to clarify what a solar-powered watch even is. As mentioned previously, solar watches run on sunlight that gets absorbed by a solar cell located behind the crystal. The power is stored in the cell when covered or stored in the dark. Oftentimes, this technology is referred to as “eco-drive.”
Solar-powered watches are not as new as many people might think they are. In fact, the first solar watches were manufactured during the 1970s and started being sold in the 1980s. Over the past few decades, they have continued to grow in popularity and are pretty common to this day, growing more popular in the past couple of years. In the beginning, solar watches were made in strange styles and designs because of the fact that watchmakers struggled to accommodate the solar panels required for the watch.
Many people prefer solar watches over regular watches because of the fact that they are pretty low maintenance. They don’t need to be wound up manually and only need light to function. The best part of solar watches is that they don’t need any batteries, which makes them eco-friendly since you’re reducing the need for reusable batteries. In fact, watchmaking company Citizen has been keeping track of how many batteries have been kept out of landfills since 1976. To date, solar-powered watches have kept over 80 million batteries out of landfills.
Solar-powered watches are also well-known for being incredibly accurate. This is because of the fact that the watch is always running and with constant operation, which means it ensures that timekeeping is kept consistent and accurate.
How Do You Charge a Solar Watch?
In order to make sure your watch is fully charged and ready to go, all you need to do is make sure it’s exposed to some sort of light. Despite its name, a solar watch can be charged by both the sunlight and any other form or light. However, light is weaker compared to sunlight, so it takes a longer time to recharge the watch. As a result, when recharging, be sure you place the watch by a window and expose it to sunlight with the dial facing the sun.
How Long Does a Solar Watch Take to Charge?
The answer to this question all depends on the type of watch you have. But for the most part, it takes about three hours of direct sunlight to fully charge most solar-powered watches. A watch charges faster when the light is more intense, so it’s best to charge during the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest.
Despite their name, solar-powered watches don’t have to be charged by the sun and can actually charge via any light source, whether indoor or outdoor. Even without the sun, a solar powered watch can charge with a lightbulb or even an LED light.
How Long Does a Solar Watch Battery Last?
After being fully charged, a solar-powered watch then functions in complete darkness for about 6 to 12 months. Again, this all depends on the type of watch you have.
How Do You Know When It Needs to Charge?
Another question people ask when looking into getting a solar watch is how you can tell when it needs to be charged. After all, it’s not like you plug it in and watch it charge. Luckily, solar-powered watches will inform you of their low charge level via some sort of additional functionality. Digital solar powered watches have a power level visual indicator on the display that lets users know when the charge might be low.
Analog watches, on the other hand, will have specific functions associated with the secondhand. If the battery charge is low on the watch, you might start to notice the ticks operating in bursts of two. All solar-powered watches are different, so knowing the charge level of it all depends on the type of watch you have.
How Long Does a Solar Watch Last?
Since the batteries in solar-powered watches tend to last up to 10 years, it is safe to say that the watch itself lasts at least a decade. Others, however, have been known to last anywhere between 15 to 18 years. The more advanced solar-powered technology gets, the more reliable they tend to be.
How Much Does a Solar Watch Cost?
If you are in the market for a solar-powered watch, you can expect to shell out a bit more than you would for a traditional watch. However, this is not to say that you can’t find an affordable one. Some of the more cost-effective solar-powered watches cost around $40. On the other hand, they can go up into the thousands.