Luxury watches have lots of amenities, but they have not been known for integrating the latest in solar technology until recently. Now watch buyers and luxury watch collectors can look forward to an added feature with solar powering, allowing for both protection of the internal equipment as well as powering of the watch itself. With the ability to embed wafer thin layers of solar sheets inside the watch glass, the watch then gains the ability to be self-sufficient, energy-wise, when worn outside in the sun.
Here are some current market examples available now for retail:
The Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch offers a customer a high end watch with a quartz glass screen framed in a titanium or high quality steel frame. The watch is not small, it’s a sizable wrist time piece that comes with an analog display, and stop watch inside. It also comes with GPS-controlled time settings and automatic adjustment of time zones based on where a person happens to be. Additional features include date-setting up to February 2100, and international adjustments for up to 36 countries. The price range on this piece fluctuates between $2,800 and $3,600, depending on the watch frame choice chosen in the final product.
The Citizen Eco Drive Solar 24 Diamond 2 Tone Women’s watch is a bit of an older model, but it too includes the solar-powering feature when worn outside. As a result, this watch never needs a battery or recharge. The environment takes care of charging automatically with the built-in solar technology. The Citizen watch also comes with a low charge indicator, a time reset notice, a stainless-steel bracelet, and water resistance up to 100 feet deep. The watch ranges between $500 to $600, depending on retail source.
Seiko gets a second spot with the Seiko Solar Chronograph Compass Black Dial men’s watch, combining a stainless steel frame and a leather wrist strap. The watch incorporates a standard analog display with a 360 degree dial imprinted on the window ring. The unit also comes with a chronograph feature up to 60 units for quick measurement tracking. Retailing in the low $100s, this is a nice entry watch for a higher end solar-powered time-piece.
Because the market of embedding solar tech is somewhat fairly new, most of the choices available so far are going to be found in very low end watches. Luxury watch makers are still playing with the idea to find the right mix in a product. Within a few years the technology is likely to be standard, especially with companies like Seiko leading the charge and pressing other competitors to starting thinking about how to get into the same market. Further, demands from customers wanting a solar feature for powering will likely put the issue on watchmakers’ radars as well. As long as there is a market that wants the product, eventually the production side will catch up. The solar tech concept just happens to be in its infancy at the moment. Time will tell, but the use of solar power is a given.