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Thread: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

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  1. #1
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    Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    Just received my first solar watch. Actually, I purchased two solar watches in the last two weeks, one for me and another for my son.

    It got me thinking about the different ways watch manufacturers use to power their devices.

    My watch, an MTG1000-9, came completely dead, and required that I put it under the light... a reading light, to be specific, for about five hours, until the hands finally came to life! My son's AWG100 came fully charged.

    What attracted me to solar is the belief (hope?) that I won't have to bother replacing the battery for a long, long time (rechargeable batteries will eventually lose their ability to hold a charge, but I'd figure that will be much further off into the future then if I simply had a regular battery which needed replacement when it went dead)

    I was browsing in the Seiko forums, and noticed some posts from people with Kinetic watches, who were having issues with the watch. If they didn't wear it much of the time, or if they left it in a drawer, it would go dead. Some of them said they'd wear it to recharge it, while watching t.v., and shake their wrist. Others were looking into self winding boxes, but I read those won't work on Seiko Kinetic watches, as the movement is different then automatic watches....

    So... if you need to go to additional hassles to keep the watch working, while using a Kinetic watch, doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?

    For that matter, have any of you, with solar watches, found that you've needed to go to extra lengths, to keep the solar watch going, where you wouldn't have needed to if it was a simple battery powered watch?

    For that matter, while I LOVE technology and the "wow" factor, is it really that much easier then simply taking your watch every two, three years and putting a new battery in it? (My Tag Heuer lasted over TEN YEARS with the same battery!)

    Just wondering what other people's thoughts are... solar? kinetic? automatic? or stick with a simple replaceable battery?

    Are these mostly sales gimmicks?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Member cal..45's Avatar
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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    since a protrek PRG-80YT with CTL1616 solar battery (found on most modern casio solar watches) died on me for no obvious reason, i am sceptical about the whole solar thing.

    i think solar IS an improvement in "regular" watches (no ABC type) over those mini-silver-oxide battery cells which require every two years or so a change.

    in my opinion solar IS NOT an improvement on watches which already run on a CR2016, CR2025, CR2032 or even bigger 3 volt lithium battery, that will last for many, many years (in "regular" watches). i also came to the conclusion, that solar batteries are simply out of place in ABC watches where is lots of power required and a quick battery change might be necessary. I know there are lots of people who think otherwise but this based on my experience and my opinion.

    i can't tell anything about kinetic watches, since i don't have one. if i am not mistaken, the power is stored in a capacitor, rather than a battery. i don't know if one technique is better over the other but one thing is for sure: with a kinetic watch, one is even more autarkic - all whats needed is movement of the arm.


    cheers
    Last edited by cal..45; February 13th, 2010 at 18:54.
    xiemaru likes this.
    The big difference between an analog and a digital watch:

    - An analog watch is an interpreter (about 10-11 minutes to eleven)
    - A digital watch leaves no room for interpretation but only facts (10:58:50)

  3. #3
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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    For me, solar is best, as I just leave it by the wondow sill when I'm not wearing it. That, and I can have guiltless use of the illuminator.

    Battery powered ones are good if you're lazy and store your watches away. The fact they are so maintennence free has quite an appeal, but alas the battery will die someday and will need replacing sooner than the solar rechargeable ones.

    Automatics are nice to have. Just be prepared to readjust them if they are off your wrist for more than a few days. They will also come in handy when there's an EMP or if you're orbiting the earth. So, Tuesday, then.

    I think seiko kinetic is a nice idea if it's your only watch. The last thing you want with something with a rechargeable battery is to let the battery run down completely.

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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    Generally speaking I think solar or Kenitic is a good idea, although on many ABC watches the power draw is quite low so the battery lasts a good long while. My old $15 Casio LCD watch battery lasted about 10 years which was nice but a quartz Seiko received as a gift would go though a battery in less than 2 years which was a major hassle (back before I started changing my own batteries). Guess it just depends although personally I'll pay extra for solar because it appeals to my inner tech'y side.

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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
    . Guess it just depends although personally I'll pay extra for solar because it appeals to my inner tech'y side.
    Yeah, I wonder how much I purchased a solar watch because I "wanted a techy watch" and how much of it was really feeling that it would be less hassle then needing to replace the batteries every couple of years.

  6. #6
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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    There's a really uneven balance between technology and convenience. People also mistake technology for convenience when in actuality its just to opposite.

    I personally think they're gimmicks. Solar/atomic watches, while being fantastic technology, many people tend to go out of their way to make sure they're fully charged or that they received their nightly signal. They get the feeling that if see that M on the charge indicator or if don't see that RCVD, the watch is flawed and they'll do what it takes to make it optimal again. the result is less actual convenience while a regular battery can be changed in 30 minutes tops every 10 years.

    Kinetics aren't that new and very technological, but they're very complex and meticulously engineered pieces of machinery. As you've already mentioned, people wear it and go out of the way just to keep them running. and if they don't wear them for a while, they have to readjust it every time they pick it up. And every few years, you have to take it out to a regularly scheduled service like you would a car.

    Typical cases of being owned by the machine instead of the other way around as its intended to be. Some people don't mind it, and some do.

    The watch you want depends on how well you can balance your love of complex engineering or technology and your need for convenience.

  7. #7
    Member BenL's Avatar
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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    Well, to be honest, I do treat my solar watches slight differently: I keep them by the window, or make sure they are on the top shelf of my watch box with the display top so that they get a healthy dose of light each day.

    While I do agree with you that the Kinetics do require a bit more work, my understanding is that they do have a lengthy power reserve (something like 6 months, just like the Casio solars), and that they are quickly recharged when you wear them. It's not like you have to wear them to the gym every day to keep them charged up.

  8. #8
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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    I like solar, I like automatics. Battery powered watches are OK, but I have a harder time feeling that they are "dependable" but that has more to do with my personal hang-ups than anything with the watch.

  9. #9
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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    As long as you wear it frequently it will be fine,
    and a quick run will surely charge it to full or close to full.
    In general, winders are less efficient with Kinetics,
    so if you own more than a couple, a Kinetic charger is the way to go.
    I think Kinetics are simply better suited with those
    more "faithful" one-watch owners

    Solars are relatively less work, but I still find myself
    checking the power reserve needlessly from time to time.
    However, I'll be more irritated if there is no reserve indicator .
    Last edited by ggyy1276; February 13th, 2010 at 20:41.

  10. #10
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    Re: Solar vs. Seiko Kinetic vs. Battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by BenL View Post
    Well, to be honest, I do treat my solar watches slight differently: I keep them by the window, or make sure they are on the top shelf of my watch box with the display top so that they get a healthy dose of light each day.

    While I do agree with you that the Kinetics do require a bit more work, my understanding is that they do have a lengthy power reserve (something like 6 months, just like the Casio solars), and that they are quickly recharged when you wear them. It's not like you have to wear them to the gym every day to keep them charged up.
    Do you also try to wear short sleeved shirts or roll up your sleeves or keep your wrist in the sunlight while driving? I know plenty of folks who do that when wearing a solar, myself included

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