Solar powered watches are becoming more and more mainstream. They don’t require frequent battery changes and help cut down the amount of toxic waste caused by expired batteries. However, we are still finding that many are still not completely educated about how they work, so here are some quick facts:
- It is not necessary to charge the watch in sunlight. Most manufacturers recommend charging your watch under a household lamp. Although putting it in a sunny window will also charge it, doing this too often may cause damage to the solar components over time as sunlight produces a very powerful type of light.
- You do not need to be in light all the time for the watch to work. Most solar watches have a power reserve after an initial charge and will run in complete darkness. Each watch will be different, so please reference your manual or check with the manufacturer on how to initially charge your watch. Once charged, you should be able to wear it daily and even leave it in a drawer or jewelry case for a while without having to specifically charge it again.
- When charging the watch, you should stop function of the watch by pulling out the crown (the little knob) used to set the time, as if you were setting the time. Attempting to charge a watch that does not have a charge, or very little charge will not achieve a “full charge” while it is running. Once charged, it will run fine and charge as you wear it so long as the dial is exposed to some type of light.
- In most cases, the second hand will “skip” a second when it has a low charge if it does not have a specific charge indicator on the dial. Most solar powered timepieces indicate that they have a low charge by means of a second hand that appears to tick two seconds at a time instead of one. If you see your solar watch doing this, you may want to repeat the steps to give it an initial charge, however not all of them may have this feature.
- Solar watches are just as accurate as Quartz, or battery powered watches. There is no need to be concerned about accuracy with a solar powered watch unless it is indicating that it has a low charge (which at that point, like a dying battery may not be keeping correct time).
We hope that helps you with any concerns you may have about solar powered timepieces! Some great brands to shop for solar powered watches are the Citizen Eco-Drive collection, Seiko Solar, and Casio Tough Solar.