5 Ways Solar Watches are Superior to Quartz Watches


When it comes to watch technology, nothing is more common than quartz. Watches used to be a very specialty item, but once quartz hit the scene, watches could be found in places as mundane as cereal boxes!

Today, there is a shift happening in the watch world. And that is a shift towards solar watches.

Solar watches wouldn’t exist without the technology that powers quartz watches, but there are several standout features of a solar watch that are worth considering. Keep reading to learn how solar watches are better than standard quartz watches.

What are Solar Watches?


Solar watches represent a fusion of traditional timekeeping with modern, eco-friendly technology. At their core, these watches harness the power of light—from the sun or even artificial sources—to generate energy. This energy is then used to operate the watch, eliminating the need for traditional battery replacements. Solar watches come equipped with a solar cell beneath their face, which captures light and converts it into electrical power. This power charges a rechargeable battery or capacitor within the watch, ensuring it keeps running even when not exposed to light for extended periods.

The appeal of solar watches lies not only in their environmental benefits but also in their practicality and efficiency. They can run for months on a single charge, with some models offering power reserve indicators to show the amount of stored energy. Beyond their technical prowess, these watches do not compromise on style or functionality. They are available in a variety of designs, from rugged, sporty models suitable for outdoor adventures to elegant pieces that complement formal wear.

Furthermore, solar watches are low maintenance compared to their mechanical and quartz counterparts. Without the need for regular battery changes, they offer a more sustainable and hassle-free option for watch enthusiasts.

What are Quartz Watches?

The defining feature of a quartz watch is its use of a quartz crystal to regulate the timekeeping mechanism. When an electric current supplied by a battery passes through the quartz crystal, it vibrates at a constant frequency of 32,768 times per second. These vibrations are then converted into pulses that drive the motor, moving the watch’s hands at a precise rate.

Introduced in the 1960s, quartz watches quickly became popular due to their accuracy and reliability. They are capable of maintaining time within a few seconds per month, far surpassing the performance of their mechanical predecessors. This precision, coupled with their affordability and low maintenance requirements, has made quartz watches a favored choice among casual and serious watch wearers alike.

Moreover, the durability and energy efficiency of quartz watches adds to their appeal. A single battery can power a watch for several years before needing replacement. This, combined with their resistance to everyday wear and tear, ensures that a quartz watch can be a long-lasting and dependable timekeeping tool.

5 Features that Make Solar Watches Standout

In the evolving landscape of watchmaking, solar watches have emerged as a beacon of innovation and sustainability. These timepieces, powered by light, offer a blend of technology and eco-consciousness that caters to the modern consumer’s needs. Here are the five standout features of solar watches.

  1. Solar watches have a longer battery life. If you own a solar watch, you’ll be changing your battery far less often than you would with a standard quartz watch. For some solar-powered watches, you can expect your battery to last over an entire decade!
  2. A solar watch is constantly charging. Every solar watch you’d find from top watchmakers like Nixon and Casio uses the sun to generate power. They do this by converting light into energy that is then stored within a battery. But the best light-powered watches can generate a charge off of all types of light, including artificial light found in offices or schools! A few minutes under artificial light could be enough to power your watch for several hours.
  3. Light-powered watches last a long time on a single charge. As mentioned above, just a few minutes of exposure to artificial light is enough to power a solar watch for several hours. That’s because the technology in these types of watches is extremely efficient! And if you’re out in the sun, you’ll need even less exposure. For light-powered watches from Nixon, just a few minutes in direct sunlight is enough to power your watch for a full 24 hours. And if your watch is fully charged, you can expect it to stay powered on that charge for months on end.
  4. Many solar watches are still waterproof. You don’t have to sacrifice functionality or durability to enjoy solar movement technology. Many of the best watches of this variety are rated up to 10ATM, meaning they are waterproof up to 100 meters.
  5. Solar watches look just as good… and even better! Whether you’re looking for something more subtle, straightforward, and classic or a watch that pops at first glance, a solar watch is a great option. You can find nearly as many unique styles in this type of watch as you can in classic quartz movement.

Interesting Facts About Solar Watches

Watch with rubber strap

Solar watches have carved out a significant niche in the world of timekeeping, blending innovative technology with environmental sustainability. These watches harness the power of light to run, making them an intriguing choice for eco-conscious consumers and technology enthusiasts alike. Below are some interesting facts and statistics about solar watches that highlight their unique features and growing popularity:

  • Broad Spectrum Power: Solar watches can convert not only sunlight but also artificial light from sources like lamps and computer screens into energy, ensuring they remain charged in various lighting conditions.
  • Longevity: Once fully charged, some solar watches can run for months without additional exposure to light, showcasing their efficiency and reliability.
  • Historical Milestone: The first solar-powered watch was introduced in 1972, marking a significant leap in watchmaking technology and setting the stage for future innovations.
  • Eco-Friendly: By eliminating the need for disposable batteries, solar watches significantly reduce hazardous waste, making them a more environmentally friendly option compared to traditional quartz watches.
  • Market Growth: The demand for solar watches has been steadily increasing, with the global market for eco-friendly watches, including solar-powered models, expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
  • Diverse Range: Solar watches are available in a wide array of designs, from rugged outdoor models to sleek, sophisticated pieces suitable for business and formal wear, catering to a broad spectrum of tastes and preferences.
  • Innovative Features: Beyond timekeeping, many solar watches offer additional functionalities such as calendars, world time, alarms, and even GPS, powered entirely by light energy.
  • Temperature Resilience: Solar watches are designed to be resilient across a wide range of temperatures, making them suitable for wear in extreme conditions, from cold mountains to hot deserts.
  • Affordability: Despite their advanced technology, solar watches are available at various price points, making them accessible to a wide range of consumers.
  • Consumer Interest: Surveys indicate a growing consumer interest in sustainable products, including solar watches, as awareness of environmental issues increases, driving the market for these innovative timepieces.


Solar watches offer a compelling combination of eco-friendliness, innovation, and practicality that sets them apart from traditional quartz watches. As technology advances and environmental awareness increases, solar watches are poised to become an increasingly popular choice for those seeking a timepiece that reflects both their lifestyle and their values.

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