Solar-powered watches aren't necessarily a new invention, having first appeared as early as 1972. The cumbersome, inefficient models of the early 1970s were continually refined by a number of companies over the decades, bringing us to the highly efficient solar-powered watches of today. Men looking for a solar-powered watch will essentially have two aesthetic options: a bulkier and feature-heavy solar watch designed for the outdoorsman, or a sleeker and more straightforward fashion solar watch.
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The 119gr Casio Pathfinder is one of tougher solar-powered watches, designed to be waterproof, shock-resistant, and able to withstand extreme temperatures. The watch can operate up to five months on a full charge. The Pathfinder is loaded with extras as well, including a digital compass, thermometer, calendar, altimeter and barometer. Given all of the extra features that the Pathfinder comes with, the watch is known for being a bit on the bulky side, but is extremely useful for outdoor types who do a lot of camping and hiking.
The Casio Pathfinder in November 2010 retails for anywhere between £162 to £292.
Citizen Eco Drive
A slimmer and more fashion-conscious watch than the Casio Pathfinder, many of the models in the Citizen Eco Drive men's line have a stainless steel wristband and a clockface made of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The weight of this analogue watch varies, depending on the specific model. The Citizen Eco Drive is simply designed to tell time by means of the regular clock or the stopwatch--and to be stylish.
One useful feature of the watch is its ability to convert energy from any kind of light, whether solar or indoor electric. The converted light energy is stored in a battery, and can power the watch for up to six months.
As of November 2010, the Citizen Eco Drive retails for between £130 and £195.
Timex Ironman Shock Solar
The Timex Ironman Shock Solar is a waterproof, shock-resistant solar-powered digital men's watch with Indiglo backlighting, a 100-hour chronograph, a timer, and five different alarms. The parts of this 221gr. watch are housed in a hard plastic casing, and the wristband is made of resin. A battery symbol, located in the centre of the screen between the date and the time on the clockface, indicates the level of solar charge left in the battery. Like with the Citizen Eco Drive, you can recharge the Timex Ironman Shock Solar with either solar or indoor electric light.
This watch as of November 2010 retails for around £65.
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