Are you looking to buy your first or next solar powered watch?
If so, then this review of the best solar watches is for you.
We’ve broken down the best solar watches by category. So whether you’re looking for a solar dive watch, or a solar dress watch, or even a solar powered smartwatch.
We’ve got a choice of the best.
Solar powered watches are growing in popularity year on year. There are a whole host of reasons for you to buy one.
So start exploring some of the best affordable solar watches in this review, and we’ll help you decide which solar powered watch you’ll choose next.
Best Solar Watches
- Best Solar Dive Watches
- Best Solar Smartwatches
- Best Solar Sports Watches
- Best Solar Field Watches
- Best Solar Dress Watches
What is a solar watch?
A solar watch is a watch that is powered by light. Their battery is charged by converting light energy into electricity which powers the watch.
Learn more about solar watches and how they work in our guide.
Reasons to buy a solar watch
Solar watches are gaining in popularity year on year. Reasons for this are:
- A solar watch recharges its battery with light.
- A solar watch can charge from any light source – artificial or sunlight.
- Solar watches can last as long as 10 to 20 years, or even more.
Best Solar Dive Watches
Starting off our best solar watches review, we’ll look at the best solar dive watches.
Solar dive watches are growing in popularity and there are some excellent solar dive watches out now.
A great reason to buy a solar dive watch, instead of a quartz one. Is that there is no need to open the caseback to change the battery every few years.
This ensures that your solar dive watch stays airtight and retains its water resistance.
- Seiko Solar Dive Watches
- Citizen Solar Dive Watches
- Casio Solar Dive Watches
Seiko Solar Dive Watches
Seiko produces some of the best solar dive watches around. Here are our top picks of the best Seiko solar dive watches you should consider.
The Seiko Arnie got its nickname from the actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger. He liked to wear his large Seiko dive watch in many of his 1980s movies.
Movies like Commando in 1985, and Predator in 1987.
Later this diver from Seiko was even nicknamed the Seiko Arnie after him.
You can see Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing his own Seiko Arnie in the jungle in his hit movie Commando.
The Seiko Arnie is still around today, and it has been re-issued by Seiko, and re-designed as a solar dive watch. What is great about this switch to solar is that these Seiko solar dive watches come with a 6 month power reserve.
Which means you can keep these watches in the dark for a long time and not worry about them dying.
The Seiko Arnie SNJ025 is in the original color that Arnold wore. It comes with the black on black design.
These watches are beasts, and come in at an extra large 47.8mm case size. So they are likely only going to suit larger wrists.
Seiko also has a solar version dive watch of the Arnie that comes with a bright Pepsi bezel instead. Adding a bit more color to this chunky dive watch.
The Seiko Arnie SNJ027 has all the same features as the classic SNJ025 too.
The solar powered Seiko SNE435P1 dive watch comes with a gorgeous deep blue bezel and dial. With hints of red around the dial, on the crown and on the hands too.
The watch is a powerful diver, and is a PADI certified dive watch. It comes with 200m (660ft) of water resistance. So it is a capable watch suited for scuba diving.
This solar watch also comes with a 10 months power reserve when it’s fully charged.
The case is on the large end at 43.5mm. However, the watch isn’t too thick at 12mm of thickness. So the watch can look good on even a smaller wrist.
This solar diver from Seiko would also look great with a rugged looking NATO strap. You can find many straps to suit the 20mm band width of this dive watch.
A NATO strap in blue would especially look good with this diver.
Seiko Prospex Street Series
The Seiko Prospex Street series come with a similar case design to the Seiko Arnie dive watches. With large, chunky round case shapes.
The grey is one of our all time favorites, it’s a unique looking solar watch. A really cool timepiece.
All of these Seiko solar dive watches come with the same features and similar specs. They all come with 200m (660ft) of water resistance and are built for scuba diving.
They all are powered by light and come with 10 months of power reserve once they get a full charge.
The main difference between the green Seiko SNE535P1 and the other two is that the green comes in at a smaller case size. It has a 44mm case size.
There is also one more that we have to squeeze in, and that’s the Seiko SNE543P1. This watch comes with the same 47mm case size and specs, but comes in a gorgeous very dark green and almost black color combo.
The hints of gold and silver on the dial and bezel really make this big solar dive watch stand out.
All of these divers feature a sporty silicone band in the matching shade. And you can find all of these Seiko solar powered watches on Amazon for a pretty affordable price.
Citizen Solar Dive Watches
Citizen are famous for their solar watches. They have their own solar technology which they renamed Eco-Drive Technology.
Eco-Drive works just like any other solar powered watch. It uses any light source to recharge the battery inside of the solar movement.
Citizen’s Eco-Drive collection offers some of the best solar dive watches, at a range of prices.
The Citizen Promaster dive watch collection is a great place to start when hunting for a Citizen solar dive watch.
In this review we’ve highlighted some of the best solar dive watches from this collection that you should consider.
Citizen Promaster Diver
Both of these divers come with matching specs and features. The only difference is the color.
These solar divers come with a case size of 44mm, and a water resistance of 200m (660ft). These divers are tough enough for water sports and scuba diving as they are ISO compliant.
Both come with Eco-Drive Technology, so their battery charges from exposure to light.
There is also stainless steel Promaster Diver’s too. These comes in at a slightly larger 45mm. They come with the same level of water resistance and have excellent lume as well.
Citizen Promaster Professional Diver
However, if you’re in need of any even tougher dive watch. Then the Citizen Promaster Professional Diver is an even better pick.
Now word of warning, this watch is BIG. Even bigger than the Seiko Arnie.
The Citizen Promaster Professional Diver comes in at a giant 48mm. But it also is thick too. It has a thickness of 19mm! So it’s a big ass watch that’s for sure.
This watch also comes with a super high level of water resistance, at 300m (1,000ft). You can scuba dive with this diver to even deeper depths.
However, many of us feel that more is more. So if you are after a solar dive watch that makes a statement then this watch is definitely it.
You can find all of the Citizen Promaster solar dive watches on Amazon.
Casio Solar Dive Watches
Casio is another excellent brand for solar watches, except this time they are ridiculously affordable.
The Duro range was Casio’s answer to really inexpensive, yet high quality, dive watches. However, they are not powered by solar.
But now Casio has made a collection of solar powered dive watches similar to the popular Duro line. This time they charge by being exposed to light.
They’re also still super affordable too.
Yet, these divers don’t compare to the water resistance levels of the other watches on this list. They sadly only come with 100m (330ft) of water pressure resistance.
This low of a level means they cannot even be considered a dive watch in terms of their functionality. But at least they come with the look of one.
Disappointing when we compare the Duro, which is cheaper, and it has 200m (660ft) of water resistance, for a cheaper price too. However, it comes powered by a quartz movement, because quartz is more affordable compared to solar.
You can find a wide range of inexpensive Casio dive watches on Amazon.
Best Solar Smartwatches
Solar powered smartwatches are a very handy type of watch. They’re growing in popularity, but there are only a few on offer.
We’ve chosen the top fitness focused, tactical smartwatches out now that can keep charged thanks to light.
Garmin Solar Instinct
If you are after a solar powered, fitness focused, tactical smartwatch, then the Garmin Solar Instinct is a great choice.
These watches are built for the outdoors. They come jam packed with features like GPS tracking, compass, barometric altimeter, military grade shock resistance, and 100m (330ft) of water resistance too.
If you want a smartwatch to keep track of your activities then this watch will do just that.
The solar smartwatch comes powered pre-programmed with a sports app. So whether you’re running, walking, swimming, or cycling. The watch will know and track accordingly.
This watch is rugged and built with a military theme. So check out more of the features on Amazon.
Plus this solar smartwatch comes in a wide range of colors and styles too.
Garmin Instinct Solar Surf
Just like the Garmin Solar Instinct, except with a focus on surfing.
The Garmin Solar Instinct Surf is a smartwatch built to be a surfer’s best mate. It comes with all of the smartwatch features of a Garmin solar powered smartwatch.
But it also comes with many surf focused features, such as:
- Tide data
- Number of waves surfed
- Max speed reached
- Distance surfed
The watch comes with the usual 100m (330ft) of water resistance. So it will survive a day on the waves, and will keep powered by the sun.
In need of a surf watch? Then why not check out our guide to the best surf watch brands and their top surf watches.
Now onto a Swiss made smartwatch. Tissot is a Swiss watchmaker who offers a great selection of mid range Swiss watches.
Their T-Touch collection is where you can find their range of solar powered smartwatches.
It’s a large watch with a 47mm case size, and we especially love the black PVD coating with splashes of orange.
The T-Touch solar smartwatch is made from titanium. A lightweight but super tough material. The case is even anti-magnetic too. Plus the dial is protected by a scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
The watch comes with a whole host of features, including:
- Connects to smartphone; notifies you of calls and messages
- Step counter
- 6 month power reserve
- Security lock
- Weather updates
- and more!
The Tissot T-Touch solar watch is pricier than the Garmin Instinct Solar. However, you are paying more for the Swiss craftsmanship, and the materials.
We think the T-Touch Solar smartwatch from Tissot is an ideal investment timepiece, built to last.
Check out the full range of Tissot solar smartwatches.
Best Solar Sports Watches
Now onto some of the best solar powered sports watches. These watches are super durable, and make for excellent everyday sports timepieces.
Casio makes some of the most inexpensive sports watches today. They’re super tough too and can take a beating.
The Casio GWM5610-1 is a solar powered everyday sports watch. An ideal choice if you are looking for an everyday beater watch.
The watch comes with a case size of 43mm, so it would suit the majority of wrists. It has a boxy, chunky design which is popular with Casio timepieces.
Once this watch is fully charged, it has a 10 month power reserve.
The watch comes with a few handy features like; 5 daily alarms, EL backlight, world time which includes 29 time zones, and plenty of shock resistance.
This watch is a super affordable solar sports watch that will suit almost anyone. Check it out on Amazon.
Casio Pro Trek PRG-270-1
We’re still staying with Casio for our second top solar powered sports watch. This time it’s from the very popular ProTrek range.
The Casio ProTrek PRG-270-1 is built for someone who loves the outdoors, and especially for someone who needs a watch for their hikes and treks.
This watch can be considered a sports watch or even a tactical watch. Thanks to its many useful features, such as:
- Low temperature resistance, as low as -10 C / 14 F
- 100m (330ft) water resistance
- World time (31 time zones)
- Backlight with afterglow
- Digital compass
This watch also comes with a 9 month power reserve, thanks to its solar power technology. So it’s a very low maintenance tactical timepiece.
You can check out the entire solar powered ProTrek range from Casio on Amazon.
Best Solar Field Watches
Do you love the field watch style of watch, but want it coupled with solar technology?
Then you are in luck, because here are our top picks of the best solar powered field watches.
Seiko SNE329 + SNE331
Not only do these solar powered field watches look great, they are durable, and built to last.
Both of them come with basically the same specs and features. They come in a 43mm case size made of stainless steel.
They are a powerful solar watch, with a 10 month power reserve. Also these watches can be worn swimming, as they are built with 100m (330ft) of water resistance.
However, the biggest issue is if you do want to change the nylon band on one of these watches. As they come with a very large 25mm band width. This is a really awkward size to find a band for, so hopefully you like the strap!
Overall these would be our top picks for the best solar field watches, and they are usually a very affordable price on Amazon.
Citizen Eco-Drive Garrison
The Citizen Eco-Drive Garrison military style watch is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a solar powered field watch.
The silver toned case, with the black dial, and rugged military style strap. Really make this watch.
Citizen’s own solar technology, which they call Eco-Drive Technology, powers this watch. So the watch can charge with any light source. Making for a very low maintenance timepiece.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Garrison comes with 100m (330ft) of water resistance. It can handle swimming, but don’t use it for diving or in the shower.
The watch is very easy to read with minute markers all around the dial. Plus this watch has luminous hands and hour markers.
It’s also a very affordable watch too. Check out the latest price here.
Or take a look at the big selection of field style Citizen watches to choose from, many powered by their Eco-Drive Technology. Check them out.
Timex Expedition Ranger
But if you are after a solar powered field watch. Then the Timex Expedition Ranger watches are a great choice, and very affordable.
These watches comes in a case size of 43mm, with a lovely large dial. Super easy to read during the day, and at night just the hands are luminous. So it’s a little more difficult.
The dial on these watches really make it. The hint of orange goes a long way, especially with the elongated minute hand which looks great.
This solar powered watch comes with a two month power reserve. Which is not great, so be on the safe side, make sure to leave this watch always out in the light.
The watch’s strap isn’t great, but for the price of this solar powered watch you can’t really complain. You can always swap out the 20mm band for one you will love.
We also love the black and yellow version of this watch too.
Best Solar Dress Watches
If you’re after a solar powered dress watch, then the top Japanese watch brands Citizen and Seiko have plenty to offer.
Here are our top picks of solar dress watches from these two watchmakers.
The Citizen BM6550-58E dress watch is an ideal choice if you are after a smaller style solar powered watch. As this one will do what a dress watch should do, and fit neatly under the sleeve of your shirt.
The rectangle case size is 32mm, with just 8mm thickness. So it’s a slim and slick dress watch.
If you’re after a larger watch, then best avoid this and choose a larger watch reviewed at the end. However, if you want a solar powered dress watch with a more vintage sizing this is ideal.
The dial design is simple and we love the black and silver tone combination. With a simple date window in the 3 o’clock position.
Check out the price on Amazon, it’s usually very affordable for such a good looking watch.
Now onto the Seiko SUP880, which comes in at an even smaller size than the Citizen dress watch above.
The gorgeous, solar powered SUP880 measures at 28.5mm. The rectangular case is also very slim, only coming in at just 6.1mm in thickness.
This watch is a very neat dress watch and will fit neatly under the sleeve of your shirt.
The gold detailing makes this watch. With the gold tone case, and the hints of gold around the white dial. Plus the Roman Numeral indices give this watch a real vintage aesthetic.
It’s a lovely solar dress watch from Seiko, and at a really affordable price too. And it’s a powerful watch too, coming with a 12 month power reserve once fully charged!
If you are a fan of gold, then the Seiko SUP896 is a great choice thanks to its all over gold tone dial and case.
This gold solar powered dress watch from Seiko comes in at almost the same sizing as the other Seiko on this list.
It has a case size of 28.1mm, and is a little thicker at 7.5mm. It’s a great dress watch size for a formal occasion.
The gold on gold design of the dial matches well with the brown leather strap. The leather is given a textured look to give it a more expensive feel to it.
This Seiko solar dress watch is a really great find, and looks much more expensive than it is. The price surprised us, and will probably surprise you too.
Now if you are after a larger dress watch then the next two Citizen watches are ideal picks. As they come in at a modern size of 40mm.
The Citizen AU1043-00E comes with a rose gold case and gold baton hour markers to match. These stand out nicely against the deep black dial.
The hands have lume on them. This isn’t usual on a classic dress watch, but is handy if you like to wear this watch as an everyday watch.
As for the strap, it’s a brown leather strap that has been treated to give a crocodile effect. Giving this inexpensive watch a more luxurious feel to it.
The last of the best solar dress watches roundup is the Citizen BM7193-07B. Again in a round case design, and a popular size of 40mm.
This watch comes in a choice of gold tone or else a silver tone. Check out the silver tone version here.
Both versions come with an uncluttered dial. The gold version comes with an ivory dial. While the silver comes a crisp white dial.
These solar powered dress watches come with leather straps that have been treated with the crocodile look. Making these affordable dress watches appear more pricey than they actually are.
Check them out on Amazon.
Right now there is so much choice when it comes to great solar powered watches.
However, two watch brands stood out the most and provided us with so many styles to choose from. Those two brands were; Citizen and Seiko.
These are two of the best affordable watch brands right now, and their solar technology is top quality. They offer a huge selection in a range of styles. From great solar dive watches to excellent solar dress watches too. You will be spoiled for choice with either of them.
Check out what both of these brands have to offer on their Amazon stores.