Dating back to a time before civilization, the sun is mankind’s oldest method of keeping time. Yet, while sundials utilize the light from the sun in order to tell time, we hadn’t learned to harness our star’s energy until Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered that electricity could be generated from sunlight, back in 1839. Even still, the practice didn’t become commonplace until much more recently.
Now, however, sunlight can be used to power just about anything. From resorts in the Maldives, unmanned aircraft flying high above the Earth, and even everyday carry gear. In fact, as if it were kismet, the sun’s light has found its way back into timekeeping, in the form of solar powered watches. And that’s exactly what we have for you in the following collection: the twelve best solar watches for men.
Seiko SNE331 Solar Watch
Leave it to Seiko to prove that you don’t need to be rich to afford a quality solar-powered timepiece. Their SNE331 watch that you see before you will never need a new battery, has a monstrous 10-month power reserve when it is fully charged, a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal mated to a stainless steel case, comfortable nylon band, and it’s water-resistant to 330 feet. If you’re on a budget, you can’t do better for a solar watch than this.
Citizen BN0150-28E Eco-Drive Promaster Dive Watch
Citizen’s Eco-Drive Promaster Dive Watch does two things very well: it looks excellent (boasting iconic diver styling) and it never needs a battery swap. And while either of those things would make for a solid timepiece, pair them together and you get something that’s better than the sum of its parts. Add to that a water resistance rating of 660 feet, a stainless steel case, a silicone band, and a Japanese quartz movement, and this thing is practically a must-have — which is made all the better thanks to its affordability.
Bering 14440-227 Solar Watch
Bering’s solar watches offer up something that seems to be a bit lacking in similar offerings: a bit of class. Proof positive that not all solar-powered timepieces need to look like gaudy outdoor-ready tactical things, this handsome offering is more of a dress watch than anything else we’ve come across. Of course, it’s not delicate — featuring 50m of water resistance, a tough stainless steel case with an integrated mesh band, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman Solar Watch
If you want to get your hands on a solar-powered watch that can travel with you through thick and thin to the ends of the Earth and back, go no further than the GW9400 Rangeman from G-Shock. This monstrously-durable timepiece is a hefty piece of everyday carry, but it was made to survive the apocalypse. In fact, on top of supreme water resistance and (of course) shock resistance, it can also withstand centrifugal forces and hard impacts. And that’s all on top of its seemingly-endless list of other features.
One Eleven CBOE5002 SW1 Solar Watch
Though not as well known as some of the other brands on here, One Eleven has definitely earned their spot among the best solar watches with their SW1. This handsome pilot-style watch has classic good looks that are suitable for both casual and formal wear; looks that beautifully conceal the interesting solar-powered movement within (which can be powered by both artificial and natural light. It’s also water-resistant to 330 feet, comes with both leather and nylon bands, and is made in part from reclaimed materials (for all your conservationists out there).
Seiko SNE499 PADI Prospex Solar Dive Watch
From its unique silicone-embedded stainless steel case (with matching band) to its Pepsi-style dive timing bezel and Hardlex scratch-resistant mineral crystal — this limited edition timepiece is one of the best solar watches on the market. And it comes from a brand that has earned respect time and time again. If you’re looking for a truly unique solar-powered timepiece from a brand you can trust, go no further than this one.
Casio PRW2500T Pro-Trek Tough Solar Watch
An early adopter of solar technology, Casio has been making their Pro-Trek Tough Solar Watches for some time now. That also means that they’ve mastered the technology alongside very few others, making this one of the most reliable options on the market. Pair that with its long suite of onboard features — like 200m of water resistance, moon phase functionality, a stopwatch, a world timer, and more — and this is one of the best options out there for a solar-powered watch.
LunaR Solar Smartwatch
LunaR claims that their trio of offerings comes together for the world’s first transparent solar smartwatches. While they boast a traditional analogue dial and hands, they also feature an integrated LED screen that can display discreet, at-a-glance notifications without sacrificing normal time-keeping functionality. What’s even more impressive, however, is that they function for a full day on just a one hour charge — be that in sunlight or artificial light. And, as we’ve come to expect from smartwatches, they also offer activity and sleep tracking.
Citizen JY8035-04E Eco-Drive Navihawk Solar Watch
At a glance, the Citizen Eco-Drive Navihawk Solar Watch looks insanely busy — but that’s because it has a remarkable amount of capabilities. For starters, it’s radio-controlled with the ability to display the time in up to 43 different cities. It’s also water-resistant to 666 feet, has 1/100 second chronograph functionality, and boasts a tachymeter bezel that’s suitable for aviation, racing, and nautical purposes. It’s complicated, yes, but it might also save your life, — if you learn how to use it.
Casio G-Shock GSTB100XA-1A G-Steel Solar Watch
Casio’s G-Shock watches are renowned for their durability and capability. Even by those standards, however, this G-Steel Solar Watch is exceptional. A big part of that is because this particular watch is the first the brand has ever offered with a carbon fiber bezel. Of course, it’s also shock-resistant, scratch-resistant, features Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, and (of course) boasts solar power.
Tissot T110.420.47.051.00 T Touch Expert Solar II Watch
Believe it or not, but Tissot actually developed a touchscreen watch long before anyone else, way back in the ’90s with their T Touch series of timekeepers. Today, they still make offerings in that line, though they have improved quite a bit. The Expert Solar II you see here is a member of that series but also benefits from solar power — making it a pretty unique part analogue, part digital watch for fans of horological obscurity.
Seiko Astron 5x GPS Solar Watch
Originally unveiled back in 2012, the Seiko Astron was the world’s first solar-powered watch to feature GPS connectivity. Now, they’ve unveiled their 5X version, which they’re touting as the “world’s smallest and thinnest GPS solar watch.” For reference, the 5X has a diameter of 42.9mm and a depth of only 12.2mm — both impressive, considering the long list of features included. There’s also an option for a titanium case, which makes this top-of-the-line solar watch even more desirable.
30 Best Men's Watches Under $1,000
Since not everyone has a huge budget, we felt it pertinent to share with you the fact that you can still find a solid timekeeper without breaking the bank. In fact, we’ve rounded up 30 of the best men’s watches under $1,000 for your purchasing pleasure.