Solar Watch – Never Lose Track of Time With These Sun-Powered Timepieces

There’s actually a great argument to be made for wearing a watch these days, be it an investment-level timepiece or a more affordable beater watch. Accessories that provide you with a sense of purpose and place are to be treasured, cherished and actually, well, properly worn rather than left in a collector’s box. This is the case with a great watch, especially a solar watch.

As technologically advanced as it might sound, solar watches harness an age-old element — good old-fashioned sunlight — to power intricate timekeeping processes right on your wrist (or perhaps, while resting in sunlight, waiting to be worn again). The best solar watches are at once rugged and yet refined, the right sort of balance for a timepiece these days (especially if your wardrobe is now more casual than dressy). Wherever you want to go, and provided it’s stored up enough juice, the best solar timepieces can take you there with purposeful style in mind.

Don’t believe us just yet? We’ve got a few insights that might sway you towards this innovative type of watch.

Why else should you wear a watch? Well, we’ve talked about this before, but it’s an accessory that can guide you by quite literally keeping you on time, and yet it means more than that. Your outfit arguably isn’t complete without a wristwatch, in much the same way you wouldn’t leave the house without your wallet. Consider it a part of your everyday carry, and consider going all out with a seriously cool, technically savvy solar watch.

Solar watches have gotten more attention in the watch market in recent years, prized by watch brands that want to give back to the environment by incorporating upcycled and recycled touches into watches that harness natural (and artificial)light. The result is the latest and greatest in boundary-pushing watch design that’s still often wrapped in the same classic design as your trusted field watch. That’s all the more reason to consider snapping up a solar watch: Form and function sets apart all the best watches, in our minds.

Don’t believe us just yet? We’ve got a few insights that might sway you towards this innovative type of watch.

If you need any more proof that a watch is a worthy accessory to have on your person at all times, might we suggest taking a page out of the playbook of the world’s most trusted secret agent? Yes, we’re talking about James Bond, lately seen in the epic No Time To Die. Now, is Bond wearing a true solar watch? He’s not, but his watch is packed with enough standout style and technological wizardry to make you want to add a wristwatch to your daily ensemble (even if it’s not a super-pricey Omega). Would Bond’s quartermaster Q approve of a solar watch? Hey, we’ve got a feeling he just might.

Think of it like making a bit of an investment in yourself. You’re picking up an adventure-ready solar watch to guide you on the path forward with both style and purpose. It’s all the better that these watches turn heads but don’t cost an arm and a leg. And things get that much cooler when you consider the fact that as long as you can harness the power of daylight, well, you’ve got a reliable way to keep time, no matter how far off the grid you go.

The world of watches is large and varied, though. How do you find the right watch for you? What should you keep in mind when shopping? And heck, how should this watch look — dressy and refined or rugged and casual (spoiler: A bit of each is fine). Here are a few crucial touchpoints on the winding road to finding a stellar solar watch.

How to Choose the Best Solar Watch for You

  • Know your brands: Some brands specialize in solar watches, like Citizen Eco-Drive. Others, like Jack Mason, have also made the solar watch a unique and much-loved part of their collection. It’s always best to stick with a trusted brand when in doubt, so leave nothing to chance. Watch forums can light the way if you want to truly dial down the best solar watch, complete with hands-on photos and reviews (the same as you might find through retailers themselves). If we had to nail one thing down, it’d be that the experts know best, so choose wisely.
  • Know how to wear it: The more you shop for a solar watch, the more you just might find that most of them more closely resemble rugged field watches than traditional dress or dive watches. What’s the point of having an incredibly cool watch if you can’t wear it, right? Match your ensemble to your timepiece choice with similar classics. If you do end up picking out a dressier solar watch, be sure it’s worn accordingly with crisp style staples (think an office-ready Oxford shirt, a cotton blazer and tan chinos). If a rugged field-style watch ends up on your wrist, then mix and match with corresponding menswear. That way, your watch will fit in nicely with your ensemble, and it’ll prove that much more valuable because of it. Here’s one more way in which you can be like Bond, right?
  • Know your budget: Budget, budget, budget. It’s as critical when shopping for a T-shirt or a pair of leather boots as it is when upgrading your accessories. If you can only snag one watch at the moment, it’s OK to pony up some more cash up front. If you have a well-stocked watch rotation that could merely use some versatility (and perhaps some iconic, recognizable looks), then shopping for a slightly more affordable watch is in the cards for you. Budget should be just one of your concerns when solar watch shopping, but it still merits consideration.

Now, those tips are all well and good but what about the watches themselves? Which watch — or watches — should you make your own right now? We’re glad you asked. Here are some of our top choices at the moment.

The Best Solar Watches for Men to Buy Right Now

Jack Mason Solar Watch

Jack Mason Solar Watch

Keep in mind what we mentioned earlier in terms of knowing your watch brand and knowing how to wear it, because Jack Mason puts on a master class here when it comes to the best solar watch for men. This is a vibrant yet rugged choice, particularly in the way it blends design and functionality. It’s made with a recycled stainless steel case in a nod to Earth Day, and the strap is made from recycled materials, too. Best of all, it retails for well under $300.

Seiko Chronograph Solar Coutura Stainless Steel Watch

Seiko Chronograph Solar Coutura Stainless Steel Watch

Sometimes, the best solar watch pick for you is one that goes all out in terms of bells and whistles. Seiko translates the idea of the solar watch into a jam-packed chronograph watch, featuring a handsome green dial and a two-tone design that’s sure to turn heads when worn with a grey polo or even a slightly tattered grey T-shirt, a la a certain secret agent in a certain action movie. The 45mm case diameter is bold and easy to read, and once again, the chronograph design is about as utilitarian as it gets.

Citizen Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Chronograph

Citizen Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Chronograph

Citizen Eco-Drive is yet another brand that’s successfully staked its reputation on building incredibly precise, remarkably cool and highly useful watches that harness natural energy. As Citizen says, it’s powered by “both natural and artificial light, never needing a battery,” and is also built with a 5-year warranty. You can wear this watch all over the globe without missing a beat, and 100 meters of water resistance is a nice touch, too.

Timex Expedition North Field Solar Watch

Timex Expedition North Field Solar Watch

If you want to save some cash while shopping for your new favorite watch, and yet you don’t want to sacrifice quality, then Timex has long been a safe bet. And better than safe: Timex watches are built to last no matter what, including this incredibly well-priced field watch designed to run off solar power. The design is minimal and crisp, the build is ready for adventures aplenty on and off the grid, and you can’t beat the Timex price tag (hint: It’ll allow you to save enough cash to add an extra mini-leg to your trip, if you plan wisely). Plus, you’ll have this unbeatable solar watch for years to come.

Nixon Light Wave Solar Nylon Strap Watch

Nixon Light Wave Solar Nylon Strap Watch

Spend enough time digging around the world of watches, and you’ll realize that Nixon can’t be topped when it comes to designing seriously modern, sleek watches at prices that are mind-boggling… in terms of how low they happen to be. Such is the case with this nylon strap field watch, designed with a super-minimal face, a cool case design and that solar-powered utility that’s such an added benefit, it’s a wonder more companies don’t make watches in that same manner. It’s also just as affordable the solar watch made by our friends at Timex, so consider investing in both of them if you want to amp up your timepiece rotation without spending James Bond-level amounts of cash.

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Beau is Brooklyn-based style and lifestyle writer. He covers menswear, gear, spirits, craft beer and music. When not writing, Beau can be found shopping for vinyl or sipping on a Brooklyn beer.

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