Solar watches have gained great popularity in the past few years as the world is growing more and more eco-conscious. The technology which powers these types of watches is known to be clean, sustainable and renewable. If you were thinking of adopting a lifestyle which is more gentle on the planet, you may wish to consider a solar watch for your next timepiece!

Everyone keeps on talking about how great for the environment solar power is - but when it comes to fashion accessories such as watches, does the technology live up to the expectation? Environmental benefits aside, what makes solar watches good - or bad?

If you have ever wondered if solar-powered watches are good, keep on reading as we will deep dive into the pros and cons of such timepieces and how they compare to other types of watches you will find in the market.  

Pros and Cons of Solar watches

The Pros and Cons of Solar Powered Watches

Just like any other type of watch you will find out there, solar watches will have their pros and cons. After all, have you ever heard of a perfect solution? 

If the idea of getting your hands - or shall we say wrists? - on a solar watch sounds of interest, you should start by having a better idea of what such a purchase will entail - the good and not so good. The below provides a brief overview of what to expect from a solar watch. 

In a nutshell, the main advantages of solar watches are quite straight to the point: they are gentle on the planet thanks to the clean energy which powers them, they require little maintenance as their batteries are rechargeable, and they are incredibly reliable and long-lasting - much more than the other types of watches on the market. Solar watches do come with certain disadvantages too though, the key ones being that they are usually more expensive than a regular quartz watch and there is still as of today limited availability on the market. 

Solar Powered Watches: the Pros

Solar watches present a vast list of advantages which you should know about if you are thinking of getting one:

  • They are eco-friendly. As stated earlier, solar watches are powered by renewable and clean energy, making them a greener option than other types of watches on the market. Unlike a common quartz watch, which requires a battery change every 2 years, solar watches can help reduce one’s carbon footprint and help preserve the environment as they won’t require a battery replacement for at least 30 years.

  • They require very little maintenance. With solar watches, you can say goodbye to regular - and costly - visits at the jeweller! With their batteries which can last for almost a lifetime, you won’t have to get any battery or parts replaced or checked every second year.


  • They are cost effective in the long run. With certain types of watches, your wallet will be taking ongoing hits over time. New battery as the last one died, power sources since the one you have at home is broken, maintenance of the mechanic movement… a watch can easily and quickly become an expensive accessory. Solar watches present the advantage of removing these frequent costs from the equation.

  • They are reliable and long-lasting. Solar watches rely strictly on light - whether it is artificial or natural. They can also function in conditions that are not sun-filled: low light environments can still enable them to charge and operate. They also use a quartz movement which makes them incredibly reliable - on top of durable and long-lasting.

  • They are also convenient. Because they are powered by light - both natural and artificial - solar watches are very convenient. No need to worry about a battery dying in a few years; you can rest assured that as long as you wear your solar watch on your wrist, you are covered for a long time! For example, Solios’ watches can hold a power reserve of 6 months after sitting under the sun for only 2 hours. 


As you can see, there are many reasons why you should consider a solar watch for your next timepiece. Whilst there is the obvious positive impact on the environment, solar powered watches also present some key benefits in relation to their durability and reliability. What’s not to love?


Solar Powered Watches: the Cons

Everything is obviously not all bright and shiny when it comes to solar watches. If you are contemplating the idea of gifting yourself or someone a solar timepiece, do keep in mind the below elements, which can weigh in the balance. 

  • Solar watches don’t come cheap. When compared to other types of watches on the market, such as the traditional single-use battery-powered ones, solar watches will come with a higher price tag. If your main goal is to keep the cost as low as possible, you may find solar watches a little too expensive at first. Keep in mind though that the extra cost you may be putting on a solar watch will quickly even out what you will have to spend on battery replacements or maintenance over time - it may be worth fronting the cost and getting your hands on a better quality timepiece.
  • There is limited availability in the market. As the concept of a solar powered timepiece is still relatively new in the watch industry, there aren’t as many suppliers and brands out there offering a good variety of such watches. The solar movement still has some work to do to catch up with the popularity of quartz and mechanical movements - meaning that someone interested in getting a solar watch will be faced with limited designs and technicalities. 
  • They can struggle in darker environments. As mentioned earlier, solar watches are able to hold a long power reserve after being exposed to light. However, when kept in dark environments for a few months, solar watches may struggle to function properly and may need to be recharged for a few hours before using again. 

Are Solar Watches Reliable and Accurate?

You’ll be happy to learn that yes, solar watches are incredibly reliable and accurate. As they use solar cells to convert light into electrical energy - which will then provide power to the timepiece - solar watches eliminate the need for traditional batteries. You can say goodbye to seeing your battery slowing down your watch over time, making it less reliable through the years. Solar watches will provide an accuracy and reliability which you won’t find in traditional quartz or kinetic timepieces, given how easy it is for them to function. 

Solar watches are therefore a trusty, reliable and accurate choice for anyone who desires a timepiece which requires minimal maintenance all whilst being powered with clean and renewable energy.

Solar watch on men wrist reading

Can a solar watch charge with interior light or on a cloudy day.

Good news - yes, solar watches can charge with interior light or on a cloudy day. Whilst a solar timepiece will be able to charge in such conditions, its charging rate may be slower than when exposed to direct sunlight. 

Direct sunlight will provide the most energy for a solar watch, but you can still get some in darker conditions or in a room powered by artificial light. If your solar watch hasn’t seen any light in months, you may wish to put it straight under the sun for a good recharge: whilst you could still do it under artificial light, it will take a little more time to charge. 

Do Solar Watches Last Forever?

Solar watches could (almost!) last forever, but this depends on the brand and watch model in front of you. Solar technology has many benefits - one of it being that it can power a watch for a much, much longer time than single-use battery quartz watches. 

This type of watch still has a limited lifespan though, which can highly vary from one brand to another. This is because there are multiple factors which need to be taken into account when thinking about the lifespan of a watch: its movement, the crystal and its wear over time. Some brands will therefore have a watch that lasts much longer than others. At Solios, we wanted to create a watch that could last for as long as possible. Which is why we use a Solar movement that can last well over 30 years, a sapphire crystal for improved durability, and strap / case materials chosen for their longevity. After all, a sustainable watch would not be sustainable if it didn't last. 

What is the main difference between a Solar Watch and a Kinetic Watch

The main difference between a solar watch and a kinetic watch is the way they both generate and store their power. As stated above, a solar watch will be powered by sunlight, as it will store a battery that gets charged through solar cells located right under the dial. This means that the solar watch will be able to function as long as it is exposed to light - artificial or natural. Solar watches are known to be reliable, durable and long-lasting. 

Kinetic watches are on the other hand motion powered by a battery which gets charged by the movement of the wearer’s arm. The watch will have a tiny rotor which will spin as the person wearing it moves, creating the energy necessary to fuel the battery. This means that the kinetic watch will function as long it’s being worn and in constant movement. As you can imagine, this type of watch will require more maintenance and attention than the solar watch, as one may not be wearing their timepiece every single minute of the day. Those who purchase these kinds of watches will usually have to pay a few trips to jeweller to maintain the quality of the movement, and they will also have to purchase additional accessories such as watch winders, which keep a watch moving when one is not wearing it.

sustainable solar watch

What is the main difference between a Solar Watch and a Quartz Watch

Solar watches and quartz watches are powered by different types of energy and battery. 

A solar watch will have a rechargeable battery which is powered through exposure to light. Solar panels located under the watch’s face will convert light into energy that will get stored into the battery. Solar timepieces will be fueled by clean and renewable energy, making them a sustainable choice on the market. 

Quartz watches will be powered by a battery that is not rechargeable. Watches with single-use batteries will have a tendency to lose their power in a short time frame - usually around 2 years. This means that with a quartz watch, you will find yourself getting the battery replaced every couple of years - as you can imagine, this can be quite the hit for the planet over time!

As discussed in length, whilst solar watches will have their cons - just like any other type of watch on the market - they do come with a large set of benefits. If you are contemplating the idea of indulging in a timepiece which is gentle on the planet, the solar option might be your best shout. 

Need some inspiration? Then start perusing Solios’ vast selection of classic and elegant solar watches and see which one better suits your style!

Solios Watches