Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

Thread: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

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  1. #1
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    Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    Hello,

    I am interested in getting a nicer watch (i.e., something more attractive and interesting than my $20 timex) and have been looking at a few of the "field" style seiko solar/automatic/battery watches. I fine the idea of 'solar' to be interesting, but I don't know what to expect 15+ years down the road in terms of what is likely to fail, and whether repair can be done, whether parts will be available, etc. I've also read about a dozen threads from this forum via. google search related to various automatics and movements, and kinetic vs. solar, "hacking", etc. It's like there's a whole world-within-a-world I never knew about with watches.

    I guess my question is, are there advantages in going solar/kinetic (aside from aesthetic) related to not having to make frequent battery replacements, or is it simpler to just stick to quartz + cheap batteries which I can replace on my own for little expense? I would almost rather keep replacing batteries versus ending up with a dead watch (solar or otherwise) that no longer has parts available. What tends to go first on those? One model I've been looking at is the seiko sne329 if that helps.

    Thank you for your help! This seems like a great forum --

  2. #2
    Member Wolfsatz's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    ... If you like quartz watches... then you'll like Solar. They are quartz watches just powered a bit differently.

    after 10-15 years of not having to put batteries, I think the watch has done what it was meant to do. but I am sure that you are able to find the batteries that need to be replaced.

    They are all quality pieces. Worry free!

    I have 3 solar powered watches. Casio, Citizen and Gshock.

    20160918_195109 by Wolfsatz, on Flickr

    20160917_134131 by Wolfsatz, on Flickr

    20160917_133823 by Wolfsatz, on Flickr


    20160903_192420 by Wolfsatz, on Flickr

  3. #3
    Member garrinfraze's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    If you're interested in solar and not having to replace battery for a good 15-20 years, Citizen Eco-Drive is specced to not have any issues for 20+ years. Citizen Nighthawk is one of my favorite watches.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  5. #4
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    I own 3 solar watches. Two Citizen and one Gshock. My oldest citizen is about 13 years old and just recently stopped taking a charge. It's a small 36mm kinda dress style that I quit wearing a couple years back. Looking on the internet I think a kit to repair was about $75 IIRC.

  6. #5
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    Welcome to the forums!
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

  7. #6
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I own 3 solar watches. Two Citizen and one Gshock. My oldest citizen is about 13 years old and just recently stopped taking a charge. It's a small 36mm kinda dress style that I quit wearing a couple years back. Looking on the internet I think a kit to repair was about $75 IIRC.
    Also figure that battery tech has improved since then.

    Solar means you're not popping off the caseback. Most basic Seikos and Citizens these days use snap-in casebacks, not screw-in...so you're risking scratching up the back each time. You're breaching the factory seal the first time, too.

    I don't really think there will be a big parts issue. Worst case: replace the whole movement. Even if the movement you buy today is gone 20 years from now, its ancestor will *probably* work. Watch movements are made to a few more-or-less standard sizes, and quartz movements are often rather smaller than their cases.

    I *do not* recommend the Seiko Kinetic, because the Seiko catalog suggests they're phasing it out. Going to:

    https://www.seiko-watch.co.jp/products/filter

    There is *1* Kinetic listed. Just one. There's 80 'plain' solar, another 125 solar RF, and 45 Astrons...solar GPS.

    The SNE is fine; my only dislike is I don't like day/date. Take a look at the Citizen Military collection as well.
    The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

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  8. #7
    Member pl39g's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    I have 3 solar watches. Set and forget and accuracy that are hard to beat. My Citizen has 10 years use, works perfect.

  9. #8
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    I have a Casio Edifice solar watch -- sporty and fun. Totally recommended.

  10. #9
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    Thanks for the information guys -- I appreciate it!

    That gives me more to think about....

  11. #10
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Beginner question related to solar watch parts; what to expect

    The average lifespan of a solar/Kinetic battery is about 15+ years and all it will ask is that you keep it well charged (despite what the manufacturers say about it running for 6 months) Oh it will run for that length of time alright but what they fail to tell you is that it will more than likely ****** the battery up letting it get so low on charge. I have a flock of solars and Kinetics and fully expect them to have a long lifespan. I don't expect replacements to be a problem 15 years hence as there will be loads of solars all wanting new batteries.

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