Technically, a solar watch can work without a battery. However, since solar energy is available only during the day, the watch needs a battery to store energy for night use.
A running solar watch promises years of efficient performance, making it a favorite watch for those who value efficiency. But the battery can run out with time, like with any other watch.
That births the question — Can a solar watch battery be replaced? And more importantly, should you do it yourself? Read on to find out!
Can you Replace a Solar Watch Battery?
You can replace a solar watch battery, but chances are you will not need to for years and years. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the dirt and sweat off the watch’s body, will help prolong the battery’s span.
Solar watches use sunlight to generate the electrical energy needed by the watch to keep ticking. But unfortunately, even on a sunny day, the sun only shines for about 12 hours on average, leaving the watch 12 hours of beating darkness.
This is why solar watches, despite the name, still need batteries to keep them going when the available photons aren’t as strong to power them.
With time, these batteries will eventually run out, necessitating the need to change them. But again, because of the “hybrid” nature of the watch, this won’t happen as rapidly as those exclusively relying on batteries.
In fact, don’t be surprised if you never have to change the battery of your watch in a decade’s time. The draining process is so slow that you may forget your watch still runs on batteries!
But, of course, there’s an exception. If you leave the solar watch in a dark place for too long, say upward of six months, you may need to replace the battery.
But as long as the watch is getting adequate sun exposure, among the perks of using a solar watch is that the battery never runs out, even when you have abandoned it for too long. In fact, even after five to ten years, you will discover that the mechanism is still functioning, even though the battery may have begun to depreciate.
Now, in case the need to replace your solar watch battery arises, it’s highly advisable to leave the task to a professional watch repairer, preferably the manufacturer of your unit.
Can a Seiko Solar Watch Battery be Replaced?
Yes, you can replace the secondary battery for a Seiko’s solar watch, just like most watches. However, the swapping must be done by an expert, preferably Seiko manufacturers.
Seiko is a long-standing manufacturer of watches, whose journey of providing quality watches dates as far back as 1881. Recently, they’ve switched to solar watches, and the numbers again seem to be working in their favor.
And while the Seiko solar watch battery will last a long time, it eventually needs replacement. But when that happens, avoiding taking it into your own hands is essential unless you don’t mind losing your watch.
Let’s analyze the physical structure of a Seiko watch so you can see why you should not risk replacing it yourself.
At the top, which is the surface of your watch, is the typical glass covering. The second, minute, and hour hands follow, then the dial and the solar cell units.
The last thing you want to do is tamper with the photovoltaic cells of your Seiko watch. This is the mechanism behind the whole functioning of your watch.
Without the PV system, the watch will be useless. As such, it’s best to leave the work to the manufacturer. Seiko understands the anatomy of their watches very well and is the best for the work!
Can a Citizen Solar Watch Battery be Replaced?
The Citizen Eco-Watch is one of the bangers in the solar watch industry. And there are many reasons it stands out.
The technology takes the concept of solar energy to another level, so you don’t need to replace the battery.
Unlike the typical solar watch that needs a battery for electricity storage, your Citizen solar watch was designed to function without one. It uses advanced solar cell technology, so it charges in any light. You don’t need to replace your Citizen solar battery because the brand maximizes solar power to tell the time.
The Power Save feature explains how the mechanism works. Typically, electricity is stored in batteries for nighttime when there is no sunlight. Many of these watches can also charge their batteries with artificial light sources, but that is not the point.
With the Power Save feature on the Citizen watches, the minute and or second hands stop at 12 when there is no light source.
Citizen watches incorporate the Power Save feature, causing the minute and second hands to stop at 12 when there’s no light. Thanks to highly sensitive and efficient solar cells, these hands resume movement as soon as the watch is exposed to light again.
This function also includes disabling the calendar after three days of darkness, like when the watch is stored away. Moreover, Citizen Eco-Watches offer a wide range of designs, adding an extra layer of appeal to their solar-powered timepieces.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Solar Watch Battery?
Unless the solar cells are damaged, give or take, you can use your solar watch for a decade or even more. And you will only need to replace the battery once or twice ever, depending on how you maintain it, the brand, and the quality.
But if your solar watch battery is somehow damaged, replacing it will cost $30. Solar watch batteries are usually durable and can last five years and sometimes more. However, factors like moisture or water, dirt, and sweat can cause depreciation.
Water damage is especially an enemy to solar watch batteries because it causes rust.
Protect your solar watch from water at all costs. Moisture damage can also affect the watch’s internal mechanism and cause it to rust or spoil.
The time factor also matters; the longer you have had your watch, the less efficient its battery’s performance will get.
To safeguard your watch’s battery, consider charging it in a cooler environment. While solar cells require sunlight for charging, they don’t necessarily need high temperatures. Placing your solar watch on a car dashboard for charging might expose the battery to excessive heat, which can potentially cause overheating. The ideal temperature for your solar-powered watch is 60°C.
Neither should you charge your watch too close to an intense artificial light source. The same thing will happen — general destruction of the internal parts by heat.
Another way to protect the battery is by cleaning your watch regularly. You don’t need to open it up; instead, wipe it with a moist and soft cloth to remove the grime and sweat from your body.
If the battery has gone bad, replace it without delay. The longer you wait, the higher the chance the damage will extend to other watch parts.
Can You Charge a Solar Watch With a Lamp?
So yes, you can charge a solar watch with a lamp, but it is best to avoid making a habit of it. The best light source for your solar watch is the sun. But when the sun is not always available, you can use your LED lights but do not expect the same efficiency level.
The average solar watch needs 20 hours of sunlight to charge fully, but just three minutes are enough to get you enough power for the entire day.
On the other hand, an unnatural light source will take longer. For instance, LED lights require at least 150 hours of uninterrupted charge to reach a full battery. But to charge your device for twenty-four hours, it must be left under the lamp for at least three hours.
Now, when using LED lights, bear in mind that they are notorious for generating heat. Hence, keep the solar watch at least 20 inches away from the energy source. Otherwise, you risk damaging your battery because it may overheat and melt.
Still on the heat issue, if you must use a lamp to charge your solar watch, it is best to use smaller bulbs. Those generate less heat and are less likely to damage the battery.
But the best thing to do is avoid using LED lights as much as possible. Ideally, you should only charge your solar watch with an artificial light source when in a pinch.
Or you could buy an Eco-Watch. It has no battery and can be powered with the slightest display of light.
How Much Sunlight Does a Solar Watch Need?
A solar watch needs twenty hours of sunlight to charge the battery fully. But when the weather is chilly or cloudy, leave it in the sun for sixty hours.
On average, however, you can charge your solar watch for only three minutes, and the battery will last the entire day! But again, when the weather is cloudy, you may spend as much as ten minutes of extra time.
Can You Put a Regular Battery in a Solar Watch?
You should not put a regular battery in a solar watch, even though you technically can. There is a difference between a regular battery and a solar watch battery. The latter is called a secondary cell, and a regular battery cannot replace its function.
If anything, it will damage your solar watch.
When your solar watch battery spoils, your best bet is a professional, such as the manufacturer or retailer of your watch.
A solar watch is an accessory you can leave in a box for years and will not need to replace the battery before use. In most cases, leave it in the sun for a few minutes, and it will return to action.
The battery is a fantastic technology because it lasts a long time. This means there is less e-waste to dispose of. At the same time, solar energy is being maximized to the core.