Like Tree4Likes

Thread: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 41
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    14

    Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    I've been reading around and I'm hearing they only last about a few years and the solar cell takes up valuable face space.

    I believe standard CR2016 lasts just as long as the useful life of the CTL1616 if not longer.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Anderson, SC
    Posts
    39

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    I can say that I have a couple of citizen Eco Drives that have huge faces. I can't really speak to the longevity of them, because I've only had them for about a year and a half. I will say that I haven't heard any complaints from any of our customers who have purchased one. Perhaps its an issue of the brand, or number of functions.

  3. #3
    Member gloster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    1,019

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    From personal experience, I can say my Citizen Eco-Drive is still going fine after about 8 years. That includes about a year where I didn't wear it. When I charged it back up, it worked fine again. My only other solar watches are both Casio. One is about 3 years old and the other is about 2 years old. Neither has had any problems.

    From hearsay, I can say I've been told rechargeable (solar) batteries last anywhere from 10-20 years. They can be replaced when they die.

    Eco-Drive's don't take up any face space as they absorb light right through the face. Most Casio's show some of their solar cells, but nothing I find obtrusive. Personally, I don't consider solar a positive or a negative.

  4. #4
    Member GTR83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Posts
    2,465

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    Quote Originally Posted by gloster View Post
    From personal experience, I can say my Citizen Eco-Drive is still going fine after about 8 years. That includes about a year where I didn't wear it. When I charged it back up, it worked fine again. My only other solar watches are both Casio. One is about 3 years old and the other is about 2 years old. Neither has had any problems.

    From hearsay, I can say I've been told rechargeable (solar) batteries last anywhere from 10-20 years. They can be replaced when they die.

    Eco-Drive's don't take up any face space as they absorb light right through the face. Most Casio's show some of their solar cells, but nothing I find obtrusive. Personally, I don't consider solar a positive or a negative.
    That's right. It is a novelty, not a must-have feature or a deal breaker. On the flip side, I noticed that with normal batteries, if we leave them inside the watch long after they die, the liquid inside the dead battery can ooze through the module. Do you think this can also happen with the solar cells of Eco-Drives/Pathfinders and the like?

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    3,039

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminaire View Post
    I've been reading around and I'm hearing they only last about a few years and the solar cell takes up valuable face space.

    I believe standard CR2016 lasts just as long as the useful life of the CTL1616 if not longer.

    Thoughts?
    The technology used by Casio and Citizen on the solar/rechargeable part is not identical - Citizen EcoDrive models (mostly using MT920) tend to last very well (my oldest is close to 10 years old and still perfect but there are many older than that which still work fine).

    On Casio things are a little more complex and it seems MTL1616 and especially CTL1616 are somehow trickier - I had myself problems with 2-3 models after a few years (like 3-5 years) but most of the problems seem to have been related more to having Auto-EL activated and wearing the watch when sleeping (when probably the light was activated at least once/night).

    Another HUGE improvement in the long-term life of solar watches is ALWAYS keeping the watches when not worn in a window (but NOT one where a lot of direct sun would hit the watches and overheat them - overheating seriously shortens the life!).

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    14

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    Quote Originally Posted by GTR83 View Post
    That's right. It is a novelty, not a must-have feature or a deal breaker. On the flip side, I noticed that with normal batteries, if we leave them inside the watch long after they die, the liquid inside the dead battery can ooze through the module. Do you think this can also happen with the solar cells of Eco-Drives/Pathfinders and the like?
    I have never seen it happen with lithium batteries. Even if they do, the electrolyte is not corrosive. The 1.5v button cells use same electrolyte as standard alkaline batteries, which is a blend of caustic sodas.


    Quote Originally Posted by Catalin View Post
    The technology used by Casio and Citizen on the solar/rechargeable part is not identical - Citizen EcoDrive models (mostly using MT920) tend to last very well (my oldest is close to 10 years old and still perfect but there are many older than that which still work fine).
    And some Casio with standard CR2016 is advertised as "10 year lithium".

    On Casio things are a little more complex and it seems MTL1616 and especially CTL1616 are somehow trickier - I had myself problems with 2-3 models after a few years (like 3-5 years) but most of the problems seem to have been related more to having Auto-EL activated and wearing the watch when sleeping (when probably the light was activated at least once/night).

    Another HUGE improvement in the long-term life of solar watches is ALWAYS keeping the watches when not worn in a window (but NOT one where a lot of direct sun would hit the watches and overheat them - overheating seriously shortens the life!).
    On my Casio, the solar panel segments are arranged in ring-like pattern and uses up space that would otherwise be available for larger LCD to show more information. Heat accelerates degradation on battery and UV degrades resin components, so I'm not sure if that's such a good idea. The capacity of CR2016 is something like 100mAh at 3.0v, which is substantially greater than 10mAh at 2.5v or so of CTL1616. With the normal cell, the capacity is used until it is depleted, but rechargeable is not used like that.

  7. #7
    Member GTR83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Posts
    2,465

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    So you are implying that the output of a CTL1616 is actually lower?

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    3,039

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luminaire View Post
    ...On my Casio, the solar panel segments are arranged in ring-like pattern and uses up space that would otherwise be available for larger LCD to show more information. Heat accelerates degradation on battery and UV degrades resin components, so I'm not sure if that's such a good idea. The capacity of CR2016 is something like 100mAh at 3.0v, which is substantially greater than 10mAh at 2.5v or so of CTL1616. With the normal cell, the capacity is used until it is depleted, but rechargeable is not used like that.
    1. Do not confuse your desires with Casio's interests - generally they like very much to use smaller but lower-cost displays ...

    2. Keeping a solar watch in daily light but NOT direct sun or heat (which I clearly stated) is ESSENTIAL in order to maximize the life of current rechargeable batteries! A similar thing can be said about kinetic models (using the same Panasonic MT920) - not wearing those at least 3 times/week is clearly resulting in the pretty large number of reported problems.

    3. CR2016 is NOT of the same size as CTL1616 - CR1616 is!!! Also the power rating of the CR primary batteries are indeed higher BUT with a correctly-used (and recharged) solar model you get the equivalent of 500 full cycles - so you might need to compare 100 mAh with something like 5000 mAh - and even if you only get the equivalent of 50 recharge cycles that is still 500 mAh. So the bottom line is that the relevant info is the one on actual typical power consumption of the watch - and if you have up to 4 attempts to radio sync EVERY SINGLE NIGHT plus a number of auto-EL starts I can guarantee you that something like the CR1616 will most likely not survive more than 2-3 years.

    That being said for models that can use standard lithium batteries a replacement around 5-10 years is definitely not such a big deal - around that point you need anyway to do some gasket checks for watches that indeed are used somehow 'closer to water'.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    14

    Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalin View Post
    1. Do not confuse your desires with Casio's interests - generally they like very much to use smaller but lower-cost displays ...

    2. Keeping a solar watch in daily light but NOT direct sun or heat (which I clearly stated) is ESSENTIAL in order to maximize the life of current rechargeable batteries! A similar thing can be said about kinetic models (using the same Panasonic MT920) - not wearing those at least 3 times/week is clearly resulting in the pretty large number of reported problems.

    3. CR2016 is NOT of the same size as CTL1616 - CR1616 is!!! Also the power rating of the CR primary batteries are indeed higher BUT with a correctly-used (and recharged) solar model you get the equivalent of 500 full cycles - so you might need to compare 100 mAh with something like 5000 mAh - and even if you only get the equivalent of 50 recharge cycles that is still 500 mAh. So the bottom line is that the relevant info is the one on actual typical power consumption of the watch - and if you have up to 4 attempts to radio sync EVERY SINGLE NIGHT plus a number of auto-EL starts I can guarantee you that something like the CR1616 will most likely not survive more than 2-3 years. Actually, wh

    That being said for models that can use standard lithium batteries a replacement around 5-10 years is definitely not such a big deal - around that point you need anyway to do some gasket checks for watches that indeed are used somehow 'closer to water'.
    The waveceptor with 3054 module I have without solar uses 3v 79mAh CR1620 and battery life is said to be 2 years. It's probably sat around on the store shelf for quite a bit since its a disc. model and I've had it for about a year and still going. I live in west coast of US, so it often makes every single reception attempts, and only get it every 3-4 days. Battery is drained to the ground before it is replaced, as you expect. Actually, when I bought it, I think the last "get" date was sometime in 2009 and on the 3054, thats six times every single day.

    The 3090 module uses 2.5v 10mAh or so CTL1616 (CR1616 is 3v 55mAh) and if we go by your reasoning in #3, it would last the lifetime of watch, but apparently many people are having issues with CTL1616 not lasting that long.

  10. #10
    Member Queen6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Today: China/Malaysia
    Posts
    3,288

    Picture Re: Are solar rechargeable watches best avoided?

    I have Protrek`s exceeding five years old with constant heavy use and I seen no diminishment of the cells performance. The CTL1616 will most likely outlive the useful cycle of the watch, twenty years is not unrealistic....

    The CTL1616 has a cycle life of greater than 100 cycles; even a power hungry digital like the PRG-240 will run with light use of functions (Time, EL, Alarm, Altimeter, Compass, Barometer) for up to six months with no exposure to light, once fully recharged one cycle has been consumed. With this in mind a watch kept in a controlled environment and controlled use can possibly exceed fifty years of use, so twenty years in real life conditions is not so much of a stretch

    Link: CTL1616 Data

    CTL1616 Cycle Life Characteristics


    A PRG-40 runs on four standard replaceable batteries and you would expect no more than three to four years life with careful use. On a sub note it is much better for the solars to be kept fully charged, deep discharging the cell is not recommended for longevity. Watches that are kept fully charged will run far longer before the cell requires to be replaced compared to one stored in the dark. It is in fact possible to completely dissipate the cell, resulting in the watch being unable to recharge with the only recourse left to replace the capacitor or manually charge it

    Got anything hidden the closet boy`s

    Q-6
    gaijin likes this.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •