Best Solar Powered Dive Watches

Watches have long served the dual purpose of being practical and stylish. Much like a good pair of shoes, the right watch can allow the wearer to make a statement as an accessory to their outfit.

For those that dive, or work in challenging environments, durability is as key as the technical specifications and performance.

Dive watches have become something of an iconic look, an essential addition to many people's wardrobes.

From James Bond to Arnold Schwarzenegger, from models gracing the cover of magazines to famous entrepreneurs, the dive watch has become something of a status symbol.

Best Solar Powered Dive Watches

Solar-powered watches are practical and sustainable. With no replacement battery needed, and only light required to charge, it’s no surprise that they have continued to take a bigger chunk of the watch market in recent years.

With so many models on the market from a wide range of manufacturers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to choose the right watch.

Should one favor style over substance? Will this model work as well in the boardroom as it does in the depths of the ocean?

Read on to discover some of the best solar-powered dive watches on the market today.

OUR TOP PICK

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Quartz Men's Watch, Stainless Steel with Polyurethane strap, Black (Model: BN0150-28E)

Citizen’s entire Eco-Drive range is a sustainable solar technology, as it uses a capacitor, it never requires a battery.

Water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet) so it’s suitable for diving and other challenging environments.

The case and crown are constructed from durable stainless steel, with a one-way rotating bezel, and a polyurethane strap.

The anti-reflective mineral and luminous details ensure visibility in the darkest environments.

Pros

  • Water Resistance - To a depth of 200 m (660 feet) 
  • Eco-Drive – Uses a capacitor, so it never needs a battery 
  • Anti-reflective Mineral - Crisp time display 
  • Construction - Stainless-steel case and crown with one-way rotating Bezel 
  • Warranty - 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Band Size - A little small for some wearers

EDITORS CHOICE

CASIO G-Shock FROGMAN GWF-A1000-1A2JF Solar Watch (Japan Domestic Genuine Products)

The CASIO FROGMAN range has been a popular choice amongst divers since 1993.

This is the first analog model in the range, providing time, tide information, and dive time measurement, in an analog format. 

It is ISO-certified water-resistant to a depth of 200 meters (660 feet), ensuring it will continue to function as desired at a greater depth.

As well as the analog display, the large, luminescent hands also improve visibility.

It's incredibly durable due to its stainless-steel construction and carbon-fiber-reinforced wristband.

Pros 

  • Water Resistance - To a depth of 200 m (660 feet) 
  • ISO Certified - Quality operation at increased depth 
  • Analog - Time, tide information, and dive time measurement is shown in analog for clarity 
  • Visibility - Large, luminescent hands 
  • Construction - Stainless-steel case, bezel, and crown with a carbon-fiber-reinforced wristband 

Cons

  • Customization - Whilst this can be a great option, there are over 100 different settings on this model 

BEST VALUE

Seiko SNJ025 Prospex Men's Watch Black 47.8mm Stainless Steel

A stylish redesign of the iconic 1982 Hybrid Diver's Watch, and a truly iconic watch due to Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing it in such movies as Commando and Predator.

Whether you need to “get to zee choppa” or “cool off” in the cold waters, this watch brings some style and heritage.

Water-resistant to 200 meters (660 feet) and with a six-month power reserve once it's fully charged.

The display is both analog and digital, with the LumiBrite hands and markers adding to the improved visibility. A unidirectional bezel

Pros

  • Water Resistance - To a depth of 200 m (660 feet)
  • Power - 6-month power reserve
  • Display - Analog and digital display
  • Visibility - LumiBrite hands and markers
  • Heritage - Worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in various movies

    Cons

  • Band - Some wearers express discomfort due to the metal pieces on the silicone band 

RUNNER UP

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Quartz Mens Watch, Stainless Steel with Polyurethane strap, Black (Model: BJ8050-08E)

This stylish and durable model is constructed from stainless steel, with a rubber strap. The Eco-Drive technology uses a capacitor, so it will never need a battery replacement.

It’s water-resistant to an impressive 300 meters (1000 feet) so it’s suitable for deep dives and high-pressured environments.

Highly visible due to the anti-reflective mineral and large, luminous hands and markers. High-quality Japanese quartz movement, a rotating bezel, and an analog display.

Pros

  • Water Resistance - To a depth of 300 m (1000 feet)
  • Eco-Drive - Uses a capacitor, so it never requires a battery
  • Anti-reflective Mineral - Crisp time display
  • Construction - Stainless-steel case and crown with rotating Bezel
  • Japanese Quartz Movement - Smooth and high-quality functioning

Cons

  • Size - At 48 mm, it’s not ideal for those with smaller wrists 

RUNNER UP

Seiko Prospex - Solar'Tuna' PADI Dive Watch Analog/Digital

The Tuna range continues to be a popular choice amongst divers and watch lovers alike.

It’s water-resistant to a depth of 200 meters (660 feet) and is durable enough to use in challenging environments.

With both analog and digital display, alongside LumiBrite hands and markers, for improved visibility even in the dark depths.

Constructed using stainless steel and plastic, with a silicone band for comfort. It has a six-month power reserve once it’s fully charged. 

Pros

  • Water Resistance - To a depth of 200 m (660 feet)
  • Display - Analog and digital displays
  • Visibility - LumiBrite hands and markers
  • Power - 6-month power reserve

Cons

  • Plastic Elements - Not as durable as the stainless-steel parts 

Buyers Guide

Water Resistance

If a watch is described as or marketed as a dive watch, then it must be water-resistant to at least one hundred meters. The water resistance depth of the models can vary greatly, with high-end and high specification watches being water-resistant to at least two-hundred meters.

This is essential for those wearing the watch when diving, or even when wearing it in wet conditions during other activities, or harsh working environments.

ISO Certification 

This is an industry test for ‘water resistance at overpressure’. The watches are tested at 25% more depth pressure than the labeled or rated depth of the model. For example, an ISO certified 200-meter rated watch will perform to a depth of 250 meters

Durable Strap 

The strap on a dive watch must be durable enough for a range of environmental challenges. They must be able to withstand the water pressure at deep depths, deal with direct sunlight, and also high percentage humidity.

Dive watches often have rubber or stainless-steel straps, as these are the most durable materials that can deal with varied conditions, as well as being adaptable to seawater.

Legibility 

The deeper a diver swims, the less light filters down from the surface, and depending on the water conditions, a diver can frequently be swimming in total darkness. Because of this, a dive watch must contain luminosity to ensure it's legible even in the deepest and darkest of waters. 

Rotating Bezel

The role of the rotating bezel is to ensure the diver can track how long they have been underwater. The rotating bezels are split into sixty sections representing sixty minutes, as most oxygen tanks used hold oxygen for around sixty minutes.

This feature is imperative to the safety and time management of any diver. This feature also functions as a timer in any environment out of the water, such as keeping track of a meeting or remembering to take food off the stove.

Helium Escape Valve

This feature is not found on all dive watches but is essential for professional and deep-sea divers.

It ensures the watch doesn’t get damaged due to the pressure changes when resurfacing. This safety valve safely allows any helium molecules that may have entered the watch to escape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Dive Watches So Popular?

Dive watches are built to last and are designed to deal with a variety of challenging environments. This durability and function mean that they are as popular in the boardroom as they are amongst divers.

They can withstand high-pressure, dirt, corrosive elements, such as sand and seawater, and can take knocks, shocks, and scrapes with ease.

They have a versatile style, and can often be seen on the wrist of influential people in the public eye, such as those in the entertainment industry, or by leaders of the business industry.

These factors, as well as the heritage, history, and clever marketing, ensure that dive watches are held in high regard by watch aficionados and casual wearers alike.

How Does A Solar-Powered Watch Charge?

A solar watch is powered by a solar cell. It absorbs both sunlight and artificial light through its solar panel behind the crystal. This solar panel converts light into electrical energy.

The rechargeable cell stores this energy to power the watch when it's not being exposed to light, meaning it still works efficiently at night or if covered by long sleeves.

Why Should I Choose A Solar-Powered Watch?

It can be a difficult choice to choose between solar, battery, or automatic watches as each has its strengths and conveniences. However, solar-powered watches are increasing in popularity for several reasons.

All they need is light to charge and function, so there's no need to regularly replace the battery, or move your wrist to charge like an automatic watch. They can be charged with both natural sunlight and artificial light.

Solar-powered watches are also incredibly accurate, as their batteries are constantly recharging, their accuracy is unrivaled. They are low maintenance and also better for the environment due to the lack of regularly replacing a disposable battery like other watches.

How Long Will The Battery Last In A Solar-Powered Watch?

The battery in a solar-powered watch is designed to last for ten years or more, with some high specification models lasting up to twenty years. To ensure it lasts for its intended lifespan, the watch must be able to be in sunlight regularly and not kept in the dark for extended periods. 

Garrett Jones