During the 1990s, Citizen took the horological world by surprise by introducing the Eco Drive, which was unique in that it didn't require any sort of power, other than light, for its energy source. Imagine a watch that, even if left in complete darkness, could keep perfect time and when brought out into the light it would automatically move the hour and minute hands to the correct positions. Incredible it was, and still is.
The diagram on the right, courtesy of Citizen, shows how the watch is powered. Inside the watch is a patented solar panel, placed underneath the dial. Solar energy in the form of light - and it can be any form of light - passes through the dial and the solar energy is converted into electrical energy which is stored in a lithium-ion battery. Lithium ion batteries are a new type of battery also found in high-powered cordless power tools with characteristics that allows them to utilize just about all the power in the cell, lasting much longer than standard cells. I have some Dewalt 36v tools with the same type of battery; they are awesome!
According to Citizen, their solar watches will run from 135 days to 4 years without light, depending on the model, which is a remarkable feat. There are over 360 different solar powered watches to choose from as well which means that finding one you like shouldn't be too difficult.
Citizen's motto for this watch is that it is "Unstoppable", and with such long running times, unless you throw it in the drawer and forget about it, and why would you for such a good looking watch, it sums it up quite well. This watch has also been recognized by Japan for its environmentally friendly approach to timekeeping. Citizen were awarded the Japan Environment Association's Eco Mark for the technology that goes into the watch, a World's first.
In 2003 Citizen announced the introduction of the World's thinnest solar powered watch - the Stiletto. With a case thickness of only 4.4mm, the Stiletto certainly lives up to its name. There are around 25 stylish watches in the Stiletto range, all offered at remarkably reasonable prices. It is also worth mentioning that the complications within certain models inlcude a perpetual calendar and alarm model, so these watches are technically highly proficient as well.
Casio is another manufacturer of solar watches but somehow their watches don't have the same appeal of the Citizen range. I guess its all down to individual preference, so I will leave you with a choice of watches from eBay below.
Today's U.S. Auctions of Sale Items on eBay.
Not a member of eBay? - Sign up here: