Automatic vs Solar Watch : Which One Is Better?

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Are you new to watches? Have you heard the term automatic and solar watches for the first time? Do you want to know what are they and what is the difference between them? Don’t worry in this article I will try to answer all your questions regarding automatic vs solar watches in the simplest way possible. So are you ready to learn something new today? If yes then let’s get started without wasting any more time!

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Automatic VS Solar Watch

The main difference between automatic and solar watches lies in the mechanism which powers them. In automatic watches, the mechanism generates power from your hand movements while a solar watch generates power from the light to keep the watch ticking. Both automatic and solar watches don’t rely on batteries for their operations like conventional watches.

Let’s know about each of these watches in more detail.

Automatic Watches

Automatic watches

What Is An Automatic Watch And How It Works?

An automatic watch as I already told you is a self-winding timepiece that winds on its own when you wear it on your wrist. It converts the natural motions of the wearer into energy that fuels the watch hands to keep moving. However, if you don’t wear the watch that often then it may lose time very quickly. So you may have to sometimes manually wind your automatic watch to keep accurate time or you can even use a watch winder.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Automatic Watch

Like any other watch, there are some advantages as well as some disadvantages of an automatic timepiece. If we talk about the advantages first then it has a complex design and the fact that most automatic watches are still hand fabricated makes it a collector’s favorite. When compared to mechanical watches, automatic watches don’t need to be winded manually as they get winded themselves. Automatic watches are more durable when compared to Solar watches and therefore they are being passed from generation to generation.

Talking of some of its disadvantages then the first big disadvantage is that these watches are not very accurate. Secondly, automatic watches are on the heavier and bulkier side and even cost more than Solar watches.

Brands That Makes The Best Automatic Watches

From Swiss, Japanese, to German there are many watch manufacturers that make automatic timepieces but not every brand is the same.  Out of all other watch manufacturers, swiss watch brands make the best automatic watches. And here are some good examples of it.

  • Rolex
  • Tissot
  • Patek Philippe
  • Rado
  • Chopard
  • Seiko (Japanese)

Who Should Buy An Automatic Watch?

The automatic watches are the epitome of watchmaking and craftmanship and hence the collectors and watch enthusiasts love to own these watches. Also, since most of these watches are still hand fabricated they have a high level of detail and luxury feel to them and hence are more expensive. So, people who are looking for luxury and premium watches can also go with automatic watches.

Solar Watches

solar watches

What Is A Solar Watch And How Does It Work?

A solar watch as you may have guessed by its name is powered by indoor light or solar energy. These watches convert solar energy into electrical energy and store it into a capacitor which keeps the watch ticking even if there is no light source around. Moreover, some solar watches can even work for months without being exposed to sunlight.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Solar Watch

Similar to automatic watches, solar watches also have their pros and cons. One of the biggest advantages is that solar watches are much affordable and cheaper than self-winding automatic watches. Apart from that, solar watches are also more accurate than automatic timepieces as they are powered by quartz and Japanese quartz movement. Also, solar watches need very little maintenance as compared to automatic watches.

If talking of its disadvantage then the main disadvantage of solar watches is that they are not very aesthetically appealing and do not go that well with formal attires.

Brands That Makes The Best Solar Watches

Like Swiss brand makes the best mechanical automatic timepieces when it comes to the best solar watches no one can beat the Japanese watch brands.

  • Citizen
  • Casio
  • Seiko
  • Timex

Seiko makes equally good solar and automatic watches hence it’s on both automatic as well as Solar watch brands list.

Who Should Buy A Solar Watch?

Everyone can buy a solar watch but especially people who spend most of their time outdoors like adventures, military personnel, etc. can buy these watches. Also, if you don’t like changing your watch’s battery that often then solar watches are the perfect gift for you.

Solar VS Automatic Watch: Which One Should You Buy?

Both automatic and solar watches are good on their own terms and it comes down to your choice and preference that which watch you want to go for. If you have a lavish budget and want to buy a luxury watch and you are fine with the fact that it won’t be that accurate then an automatic watch is to go for.

However, if you are someone who wants a basic everyday watch that fits in your budget and also shows accurate time, and saves you from the trouble of charging it again and again then solar watches are the best option for you.


Solar VS Automatic Watches Which Is More Expensive?

Generally, automatic watches are more expensive than solar watches.

Solar Or Automatic Watch Which Lasts Longer In Terms Of Battery?

Solar watches can last up to months on a single charge whereas upon fully winding an automatic watch can only last up to 40 to 50 hours.

Out Of Solar And Automatic Timepieces Which Keeps Better Time?

Automatic watches are not very well at keeping accurate time whereas solar watches are very accurate.

Which Brand Makes The Best Solar And Automatic Watches?

Swiss brands are known for making the best automatic timepieces whereas Japanese watch brands make the best solar watches.

Solar Or Automatic Watches Can Last A Lifetime?

Both solar and automatic watches can last a lifetime when taken good care of.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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