Solar powered watch

Topics in this category pertain to planning. Discussions include how to prepare yourself, your family and your community for catastrophes and what you plan to do when they hit you.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

User avatar
Maast
* * *
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:26 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Sean of the Dead
Location: Gig Harbor (ish), WA

Solar powered watch

Post by Maast » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:23 pm

This might be old news but I just discovered (and bought) a casio solar powered watch. It was more expensive than my usual $20 timex watches - which I usually destroy within a year or two. If this one makes it past 5 years I've made my money back. And it looks a hell of a lot better than my usual cruddy watches.

It's a "G Shock Tough Solar" with a stainless case and band, what I thought was cool is that the solar cell is behind the LCD face and doesn't show.
From what I understand the watch is supposed to be basically indestructible, also the battery is guaranteed for 80% or better of capacity up to 20 years - as long as it's kept routinely charged.

Evidently casio and a few other watch makers have solar watches with the solar cell behind the face.

Since the watch can function without recharging for up to 2 months it'll probably keep working until the battery has less than 10% of capacity left with daily exposure to light, which means the watch will probably outlast me by many years. It's also time synced to the US atomic clocks, has 5 alarms, etc.

Since timekeeping will still be important in a post-SHTF world I thought I'd mention it.

Image
"Everybody thinks they're the hero of their own story"

User avatar
Dabster
* * * *
Posts: 810
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by Dabster » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:33 pm

I got one of those About fifteen years ago. It was the height of geeky-chic. I loved the alarms and I felt so prepped with it being solar. However it was heavy, had a lot of sharp corners and I was always carrying a cell phone. It got parked in a drawer...

Ten years later, my daughter found it and started playing with it. The silly thing still worked! I just had to set the time zone. When she lets me I have enjoyed wearing it.

Good watch.
I am not a 'gray man'. I am a brown man, coyote brown. With FDE highlights, of course.

User avatar
JayceSlayn
* * *
Posts: 680
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:07 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by JayceSlayn » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:27 pm

The Casio G-Shocks have a long, long history of being a tough-as-nails quartz watch. I have the GW-5600J (http://www.amazon.com/Casio-GW5600J-1-G ... B00134JNJG), and it has been scuba diving, drug though mud and sand, and all the other abuse you'd expect from being strapped to my wrist daily for so many years. I liked the classic style more than some of the knobby and bulky more recent designs.

The solar cell itself, and probably all the other electronic innards ought to keep working for 20+ years, but the first thing to fail will probably either be the watch face from impact, or the rechargeable battery, which has a 10 year service life. The battery will still go beyond that to a degree, but that's when you start looking at it not holding a charge for very long etc.

I would wager you'd easily be able to get your money's worth out of the purchase, at least if you aren't using it to actually hammer nails frequently.
Rahul Telang wrote:If you don’t have a plan in place, you will find different ways to screw it up
Colin Wilson wrote:There’s no point in kicking a dead horse. If the horse is up and ready and you give it a slap on the bum, it will take off. But if it’s dead, even if you slap it, it’s not going anywhere.

User avatar
modustollens
* * *
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:51 am

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by modustollens » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:56 pm

I have one of these solar powered G-shocks; it is called the Riseman model and it has a barometer in it - so, it can help with weather forecasting. A fast falling barometer indicates high winds are coming and usually a storm too!

MT
My homemade stove:Homemade Backpack Stove
Radio Page: VE3EFQ

OmahaOutdoors
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:31 pm
Location: Nebraska
Contact:

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by OmahaOutdoors » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:57 pm

Thanks for the share. I wasn't aware solar watches were nearly this efficient. I may end up grabbing one myself soon knowing this.

none1
* * * *
Posts: 868
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:22 pm

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by none1 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:32 pm

Ya, Gshock GW9400 ... solar AND ABC (altimeter, barameter, compass). The PRW protek series (e.g. prw 3500, prw 3000) can be dressier and more appropriate in a "dress up" work environment. As long as you're looking good in a suit, you might as well have a dressy compass on your wrist in case something happens ....

But .. then there are the citizen eco drive watches with slide rules (sometimes referred to as pilot's watch)
http://www.amazon.com/Citizen-Nighthawk ... +nighthawk

Tells time with solar battery like the casios, AND, has a slide rule on the bezel (that works just fine even if the battery stops).

You DO all have slide rules as part of your preps, right? Because maths will still be important long after the calculators stop ....
ninja-elbow wrote: Almost every survival show I've ever seen has one common denominator: lack of caloric intake is shitty.

williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1667
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by williaty » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:08 am

If you want the same technology in something fancier, the entire Citizen Eco-Drive line is solar powered. Seiko does as well, which they just call Seiko Solar. There's a wide range of choices if you want something less clunky and easier to read than a G-Shock.

I've always been amazed how large the G-Shocks are yet how small of numbers they manage to cram onto the face. :clap:

nolongpork
* *
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:20 pm

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by nolongpork » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:13 am

Or another angle the self winding watch has been around for around 100 years and uses the movement of you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_watch

williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1667
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by williaty » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:19 am

Interestingly, a good quality, well cared for automatic will run about as long between services as many of the solar ones (due to the limitations of the battery). If you want a cheap introduction to the basic but well made automatic, check out the Seiko SNZG15 (I just recently sold mine. A slightly nicer option would be the Seiko SARG005 or SARG003. Then of course if you just want to jump right to the top of the pack, read up on the technology in the Sinn 856 or one of their Diapal watches. Hhhhnnngggggg....

User avatar
Murph
* * * * *
Posts: 5771
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:46 am
Location: Virginia
Contact:

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by Murph » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:04 am

As far as solar powered watches go, I have two Citizen EcoDrives and a Casio Solar Analog. They're all decent watches for the price.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
"When planning, prepare for the most likely, and then the most catastrophic."
raptor wrote: Being a gun collector does not make you a prepper.
the_alias wrote: Murph has all the diplomacy of a North Korean warhead, but -he has- a valid point

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7278
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:35 am

williaty wrote:Interestingly, a good quality, well cared for automatic will run about as long between services as many of the solar ones (due to the limitations of the battery). If you want a cheap introduction to the basic but well made automatic, check out the Seiko SNZG15 (I just recently sold mine. A slightly nicer option would be the Seiko SARG005 or SARG003.
I just purchased a Seiko 5 SNK805, a military style automatic (mechanically self-powered) watch. They typically sell for $55 - $65 on Amazon, but of late they seem to be going on sale on Ebay (vendor is Jomashop) every month or so for $20 shipped, which is a bargain. http://slickdeals.net/f/8110758-ebay-se ... SiteSearch

Just started using it, so can't yet report much, other than I appreciate the crisp, no-nonsense dial. Even these entry level Seiko 5 automatics enjoy a good reputation for reliability, so I'm hopeful.

It does have a rather small case (37mm, I think) that is noticeably smaller than most analog watches, which are typically in the 40-42mm range. Definitely "unisex" sizing, which may bother some people. I have very thin wrists, so proportionally it looks fine on me.

Image

williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1667
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by williaty » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:52 am

majorhavoc wrote:It does have a rather small case (37mm, I think) that is noticeably smaller than most analog watches, which are typically in the 40-42mm range. Definitely "unisex" sizing, which may bother some people. I have very thin wrists, so proportionally it looks fine on me.
Actually, that's a traditional men's watch size. For most of a hundred years, men's watches were 36-38 typically. Then about 5-10 years ago suddenly the sizes exploded. Now, everything's a dinner plate on your wrist. Stupid Invicta is selling things up into the 50s now! The industry seems to think we're all Flava Flav.

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7278
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:56 pm

Maybe, but to modern eyes, it definitely looks on the "petite" side of normal. I wanted to make a point of mentioning that in case anyone reading my post becomes interested in actually purchasing this watch. Like I said, not an issue for me, but might be for some. Many of the reviews on Amazon mention it's unexpectedly small case size.

The 23 jewel SNZ range of the Seiko 5 line includes some military styled models that have what most would consider to be a more normal sized case. Of course those typically sell for $140 and up.

williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1667
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by williaty » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:17 pm

majorhavoc wrote:Maybe, but to modern eyes, it definitely looks on the "petite" side of normal. I wanted to make a point of mentioning that in case anyone reading my post becomes interested in actually purchasing this watch. Like I said, not an issue for me, but might be for some. Many of the reviews on Amazon mention it's unexpectedly small case size.

The 23 jewel SNZ range of the Seiko 5 line includes some military styled models that have what most would consider to be a more normal sized case. Of course those typically sell for $140 and up.
Jomashop and Sky Watches can help you get those prices down a bit. I only paid $110 for my SNZG15 and then resold it for $100 when I moved on.

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7278
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:16 pm

williaty wrote:
majorhavoc wrote: The 23 jewel SNZ range of the Seiko 5 line includes some military styled models that have what most would consider to be a more normal sized case. Of course those typically sell for $140 and up.
Jomashop and Sky Watches can help you get those prices down a bit. I only paid $110 for my SNZG15 and then resold it for $100 when I moved on.
Thanks. I'll suffer along with my SNK for a while yet, and perhaps report back on this or that other watch thread. At $20, it seems like an incredible bargain.

User avatar
crypto
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 16637
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: City of Saint Louis

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by crypto » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:27 pm

To date, I have broken a total of 4 automatic watches. :(

I'm clumsy and having long arms that bang into shit has wound up being the death knell for automatic movements. they all die the same way: I accidentally bang the watch into something hard enough to put the slightest bend on the shaft that the eccentric winding weight spins around, and then it stops winding.

two Seikos
One Tissot
and one Tag Heuer

In all cases, the watchsmith told me it wasn't worth fixing them, as it would cost more than (the former 3) or as much as (the Tag) a new watch to repair them.

Additionally, automatic watches are supposed to get periodically serviced. If you dig down in the manual it will tell you how often you're supposed to take it somewhere to get re-lubricated and looked at. All automatics are supposed to have this done, no matter how cheap they are. In the real world, watchsmiths laugh at you if you bring them anything less than a thousand dollar watch for maintenance.

So, I'm done with automatics. I'd rather have one I needed I wind every day. That said, I love solar watches. I've got an Ecodrive on right now, and a solar G-shock on my nightstand.
MF'N TEAM LEADER

"Some people think that the best way to stop the leopard is to cut the horns off the gazelle. This, my friends, is insane."

Image
Image

williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1667
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by williaty » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:36 pm

crypto wrote:To date, I have broken a total of 4 automatic watches. :(
Did all 4 have impact-protected movements? Not all do. That's one of the reasons I want that Sinn 856 so bad.
Additionally, automatic watches are supposed to get periodically serviced. If you dig down in the manual it will tell you how often you're supposed to take it somewhere to get re-lubricated and looked at.
The period for this is typically over 10 years now in almost all watches. That's about same period as the useful service life of the batteries in the solar-electric watches.
In the real world, watchsmiths laugh at you if you bring them anything less than a thousand dollar watch for maintenance.
You need to find a horologist who isn't a dick then. I've found that attitude a lot among horologists who are only Rolex and/or Panerai factory certified. However, there's a lot of decent horologists out there, you just have to find one in your city. Depending on what needs done, I've been quoted as low as a $100 for the service. Obviously, it makes no sense to spend $100 to service a $20 watch, but any watch that costs enough that you'd bother to have it serviced anyway can typically be serviced for little enough money that it makes sense to do so.

User avatar
crypto
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 16637
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: City of Saint Louis

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by crypto » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:46 pm

*shrug*

I'm not that interested in PMCS on watches. I'm happy to pay a hundred bucks every decade and trash them when its time for a new one rather than keep trying to pour money into a baroque mechanism. For a expensive watch I only wear to be fancy, sure, but the end of me wearing one as a daily driver are over.

I called 3 jewelry stores in town and no one was interested in doing any kind of maintenance on anything except the Tag. Thats about all we have in the way of watchsmithery here. Horologist turns up no local entries at all.
MF'N TEAM LEADER

"Some people think that the best way to stop the leopard is to cut the horns off the gazelle. This, my friends, is insane."

Image
Image

williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1667
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by williaty » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:52 pm

crypto wrote:I called 3 jewelry stores in town and no one was interested in doing any kind of maintenance on anything except the Tag. Thats about all we have in the way of watchsmithery here. Horologist turns up no local entries at all.
Jewelry stores are the devil. I'm not surprised you got that response. Try finding a custom or boutique watchmaker in your area. You live in a big enough city that you ought to have one. I've had pretty good luck getting guys that hand assemble watches one by one to work in a repair for me even when it's not on a watch they made.


ETA: If the movement is Chinese, forget about getting it serviced. It's basically impossible. The problem is that the Chinese have clones of clones of clones. The result is the watchmaker never has any idea what he's dealing with or how to get parts for it. Rather than servicing the few good movements (Seagull, Hangzou), most just refuse to work with the whole country.

User avatar
The Twizzler
* * * * *
Posts: 1005
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:47 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead
Return of the Living Dead
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by The Twizzler » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:58 pm

Yea, I guess a 10 year lifetime for a watch is ok. But perhaps I can interest you in something that truly lasts....
Image

I mean there are sundials 3000 years old still going strong. This model has the added benefit of being portable and you can eat off it. Try that with your fancy watch.

Also, little known fact you can use a cat's eyes to to tell the time of day. Now you do have to get the cat to be looking at the sun and not moving (gloves might be a necessity) and it is really more of an approximation of the time depending on where the sun is in relation to the cat. You will also need to have a diagram showing the slight differences in pupil dilation, never the less it can be done. But really between the 2, sun dial seems the way to go in my book.
"Oh Bother!" said Pooh, as he drew his dagger...

nolongpork
* *
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:20 pm

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by nolongpork » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:44 pm

if it gets that bad and not better when your watch craps out 10 years into it:

Time of day won't @#$% matter that much because most wont have watches so dawn sunset and noon are as good as you need.

It is a miracle you are still alive and I doubt your watch will have had much to do with that mojo.

......Just some perspective on time keeping in the Ragnarok

williaty
* * * * *
Posts: 1667
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by williaty » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:53 pm

nolongpork wrote:if it gets that bad and not better when your watch craps out 10 years into it:

Time of day won't @#$% matter that much because most wont have watches so dawn sunset and noon are as good as you need.

It is a miracle you are still alive and I doubt your watch will have had much to do with that mojo.

......Just some perspective on time keeping in the Ragnarok
That's my take on it too. If more than a year or two goes by and I can't get the watch to someone to service it it's a near-certainty that we're not counting hours anymore. Day of the week might even be iffy.

User avatar
Maast
* * *
Posts: 555
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:26 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Sean of the Dead
Location: Gig Harbor (ish), WA

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by Maast » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:16 pm

I dunno, I disagree - even in a post-SHTF world I think timekeeping will still be important.

I'm thinking things like guard post schedules, alarms to wake up, timing of meetups, etc.
"Everybody thinks they're the hero of their own story"

User avatar
Confucius
* * * * *
Posts: 2762
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:17 pm
Location: The last, best place

Re: Solar powered watch

Post by Confucius » Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:44 pm

Maast wrote:I dunno, I disagree - even in a post-SHTF world I think timekeeping will still be important.

I'm thinking things like guard post schedules, alarms to wake up, timing of meetups, etc.
Determining longitude...

Not a fan of big watches. If they made a solar watch that looked just like my timex expedition, I'd be set...

Post Reply

Return to “Contingency Planning & Preparation”