Tag Archives: solar

Skagen Ryle Solar Watch – Go Square, It’s Hip

Skagen have a new solar powered watch and this has the old school rectangular case style, for that vintage look.

There is a 32mm diameter ladies model and a 36mm gents case width in the range, with grey and blue dial options. The mesh strap is also available in grey or black. Skagen say that just a few hours sunlight can power the watch up and it will then keep going for up to 6 months, which is remarkable – if true.

I mean it defies the laws of physics, but yeah, could happen.

The watch also a case made from 50% recycled steel, in tune with the Skagen leaf ethos.

Price is £169 and engraving is free.

VERDICT; A Seiko, Lorus or Citizen solar is cheaper and does the same job, probably more reliable in the long run as the Japanese have been making solar watches for a long time. But if you want that european, basic Ikea furnishings look, then Skagen have it covered.

Skagen’s Solar is an Eco-Friendly Choice

Skagen has sent us info on the Henrickson solar powered watch, which retails at £169.

They claim it can last for six months on just a few hours solar charge, plus it has a steel case which is 50% recycled metal.

For lovers of all things woke, the strap is made from eco leather too, which is not leather at all. It’s bits of bark n plants etc. So that’s brill, you are helping the planet and a solar cell should last ten years, rather than the typical 2 year button cell battery lifespan.

It’s a decent looking, slimline, modernist watch too. 40mm case size should fit most wrists nicely.

More here.

ICYMI: Casio Edifice Scuderia Carbon Fibre

Solar watches are very cool and their power cells usually last a decade or so, which means less battery usage, which in turn is good for the planet. It’s nice to have a few smartwatch features too, although we are old school mechanical/automatic fans here at the NWC magazine. But let’s say one thing upfront; if you’re buying quartz/solar watches, the Japanese make them better than anyone. No bull, because we have been inside hundreds of them changing batteries and even rescued a few 30 year old Seiko quartz models with some cleaning ether and a brush of the contact tab. They are amazing.

So this Edifice – we refuse to use capitals by the way – at £500 seems a bit pricey for a solar timepiece (same watch is just $330 in the USA, but you have import duty and VAT at 20% on top if you buy overseas). Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium is about £250 or maybe a Seiko Solar Prospex model at £309 is a good choice? We saw one today at Fraser Hart’s website. But then, all three of them could easily last you 20 years with one power cell change costing about £40 on eBay.

Casio are super durable, they’re renowned for it – mainly because of the G-Shock watches, but the Edifice are built to a high spec too. And this Scuderia blue/grey beauty is no exception. Like most Casio watches this one looks well built enough to survive a Putin-backed invasion force. Carbon fibre bezel, stainless steel case and bracelt, plus sapphire crystal – the dial plate is carbon fibre too. Smart Link tech means you can connect the watch to your phone and then get the exact time, wherever you are in the world, which is great accuracy of course. It also has that Scuderia Ferrari motorsport connection and yep, we love motorsport watches.

You can use the watch to check emails, but it isn’t a smartwatch in that you can make or receive phone calls. There’s no fitness tracker stuff either.

There is a Honda edition variat at £300 by the way, which is red and not quite as cool looking.

Here’s the word from Casio;

From EDIFICE, the high-performance motor sports chronograph that is designed and engineered under the concept of “Speed and Intelligence,” comes the first model designed in collaboration with Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula 1 team. From 2020, Scuderia AlphaTauri became the new name of the Scuderia Toro Rosso racing team.

This new EDIFICE Scuderia AlphaTauri Limited Edition model incorporates the white and navy blue colors of the racing team into this design. The face of the model is bi-colored with the blue blending with the white in a beautiful gradation. The Scuderia AlphaTauri team logo appears on the face and back case cover of this model, as well as on the buckle clasp of the EQB-1100AT.

The EQB-1100AT has a carbon fiber octagon bezel, and is based on a new slim solar Smartphone Link model. High-performance chronograph capabilities along with Smartphone Link and a Tough Solar power system come packed into a slim 9.6mm configuration. The second-unit accuracy and the simple operation of the World Time function of this model is highly prized by team members.

BUYERS TIP:

Casio UK do deals with Signet Group, who own the H Samuel brand in the UK. Wait until there is a summer sale on and you may get this watch for somewhere closer to £350 in a few months. You’re welcome.

 

Seiko Astron GPS: Hattori Edition is Understated Brilliance

It was a watch that shook the world. The Seiko Astron was the first mass-produced quartz watch that really won over huge sections of the public. Price matters – it does now, and it did back in the latet 60s too, which is why the average person decided that buying an Astron, at a price well below a Swiss watch, was a smart move.

So today, Seiko celebrates the life, career and achievements of Kintaro Hattori, with a limited edition Astron GPS Solar watch.

In 2012, Seiko demonstrated its leadership in high technology watchmaking with the world’s first GPS Solar watch. By connecting to the GPS network, Astron adjusts at the touch of a button to every time zone on earth and, by taking all the energy it needs from light alone, never needs a battery change. It offers local time with atomic clock precision on your wrist, wherever you are on earth.

Today, eight years on, the latest generation of Astron GPS Solar technology powers the new Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary. It’s a different piece of tech compared to the world’s first quartz watch from 1969, but the aim is the same; total accuracy when it comes to timekeeping.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch Hattori edition

The watch case and bracelet are in titanium with a scratch-resistant hard-coating. The bezel is made from Zirconia ceramic and has sixteen facets, one for each decade since Kintaro’s birth. With its deep black tones, gold tone accents and high gloss bezel, the watch has a commanding presence on the wrist that befits its heritage. You also get a croc leather strap as part of the package.

Limited Edition Details

The case back carries Kintaro’s name and three reminders of his legacy. The trademark “S” that he registered in 1900 occupies the center of the case back. His motto “One step ahead of the rest” appears above it and the name Seiko which was first used in 1924 is on the rim.

We absolutely love the gold pushers, crown and hands – they really stand out from the black dial and bracelet. It’s a classic combo and we reckon it’s a tool watch that will suit many enthusiasts. Great everyday timepiece.

The watch is offered in a special presentation box with a commemorative “S” badge and includes a card carrying a message from Kintaro’s great-grandson Shinji Hattori. It will be available in October, at Seiko Boutiques and at selected retail partners worldwide.

 

Fast Fashion is Dead. Vervandi Solar Range Offers 10 Year Lifespan

Fast fashion is a term that means cheap clothes, often worn a few times and then binned. Not good and arguably one the reasons why sweatshops exist in the UK to this day, instead of being consigned to the grim history of the hungry 30s. Of course there are `fast’ watches too, priced at under £15 and usually battery powered quartz models made from cheap plastics – you can see them in supermarkets, market halls and car boot sales.

But maybe it’s time to change all that. Ditch battery powered watches completely, phase them out by 2025? We think solar powered watches are the future of fashion brand watchmaking. Let’s be honest, the battery powered quartz watch is a 1970s mass-market technology and incredibly wasteful of the planet’s resources, although many batteries CAN be recycled as scrap metal.

vervandi solar watch

The market leading brand is Citizen of course with their Eco-Drive movements, and Seiko has also done well as regards selling the solar dream. So it’s good to report that Indie brands are doing it too. Vervandi are based in Norway and as you’d expect their watches are clean, kinda minimalist and feature a nice fume grey dial too.

Priced at £135 on an early bird Kickstarter deal, the project has exceeded its funding target and deliveries are expected in September. You get the watch in a travel pouch made from bamboo, which is sustainable wood and there’s a choice of 36mm or 40mm case sizes.

We like the green dial best – just saying 😉

vervandi green solar

Here’s the spec details from Verdandi;

No shortcuts were made when sourcing for materials. These timepieces are made to last. You’ll find a lot of the same materials used in high end watches by well known  brands. By using 316L surgical grade stainless steel as case material, the finish on the watch looks amazing. The same material is used for the mesh band that comes with the watch. The glass is a very scratch resistant sapphire crystal with an anti reflective coating on the inside. These timepieces will be available in a 36mm and a 40mm option.

  • Size: 40mm Case – 46mm lug to lug – Lug width 20mm
  • Size: 36mm Case – 42mm lug to lug – Lug width 16mm
  • Thickness: 7,7mm
  • 316L Stainless steel case
  • 316L Stainless steel mesh band
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • AR coating
  • Solar powered movement from Epson. VS17a

Skagen Henrickson Solar is A Green Dream for Woke Watch Fans

Are you woke? Fantastic, and congratulations on your gender-neutral Blue Peter badges. No doubt you’ll want to ditch that nasty battery powered wristwatch you currently own, and replace it with something like the Skagen Henrickson Solar, which features a solar cell power unit, plus a strap made from recycled plastic.

Actually, the savings to the planet by ditching battery powered watches are huge, as a typical solar cell lasts ten years or so, instead of 2-3 years for a battery watch. So yeah, seriously, solar watches are a good thing.

The actual movement holder inside the case is partially made from castor oil, which reduces the plastic content too. Plus the packaging around the watch is made from recycled paper.

Fantastic news, but the downside is that the new Skagen Henrickson costs £195, putting it beyond the reach of many poor working class people. Not very inclusive we think, because solar watches like this need to retail at inder £100 if we are going to really change the watch industry.

Sayonara Pulsar; Best of The Pulsar Watch Bargains Online

Seiko are pulling Pulsar out of the UK, with the last deliveries taking place early in 2020. That means remaining stocks are being sold off fairly competitively by UK retailers, large and small. We take a look online to cherry pick some of the bargains.

RUBICON WATCHES

This online retailer based in the UK has some nice examples of the PU2 Chronograph series, with one rose gold and blue dial model (pictured) catching our eye at £79.99. A WRC chrono in black and gold is another winner, especially at £69.

We bought a new Pulsar chrono recently from Rubicon and it arrived packed in the inner/outer boxes, all paperwork correct, tags and stickers protecting the dial, case and links too. Pro outfit 😉

pulsar PU2 chrono

THE JEWEL HUT

This online branch of TH Baker jewellers has a selection of models, including a PS9 Pulsar with a white dial reduced to £55. (see pic below) If you feel like splashing out just under £63 then there’s a handsome military GSTP style Pulsar, with big numerals set on a black dial, plus that distinctive Brit forces arrow. Nice vintage look on that one.

pulsar white dial PS9 model summer sale

A Solar Red Accelerator at £155 is another great deal in our view, as you get that long life solar cell/battery, saving you battery replacement costs every three years or so, plus limi dial and hands.

H SAMUEL

Looks like all H. Samuel Pulsar models are sold out.

Pulsar-Accelerator-Solar-Steel-Mens best price

EDMONDS JEWELLERS

Edmonds have got a couple of PT3 chrono models, including a nice black and gold model on offer at £50. That’s a big reduction on the original £150 RRP. They also have a handsome blue dial PZ6 chrono, with solar power, at £146, along with a few Solar Pulsar watches. Basic quartz models start at about £75 on their website, good selection in stock right now.

HOLLINS AND HOLLINSHEAD

Another good range of Pulsar watches with decent reductions at UK stocks are being cleared. Who can argue with a solar powered PX3 model at just £66? Not us, we think that is great value. We also spotted a Solar Accelerator model at £95 – has to be worth a look.

WATCH NATION

This Chester based business has a physical shop in the suburb of Hoole, or Notting Hoole as it’s known locally, but also do a great deal online, ship UK-wide, and specialise in clearance lines and discontinued models.

Great news for Seiko and Pulsar fans here as we saw plenty of bargains. We spotted a blue dial, steel case, Solar PX3 model reduced to £73, while a PG8 black dial, blue and silver bezel quartz captures the Seiko 5 feel for under £58. The thing we like about Watch Nation is that their website has a Make Offer button, so you can bid a few quid less and try your luck – handy if you want to price match.

Enjoy the bargain prices as come late 2021, when Pulsar watches have to be bought from overseas sources in the main, there’ll be extra import taxes and postage charges on some popular new models, depending where you purchase from of course.

 

 

 

Junghans Max Bill MEGA Solar Ticks the Sustainable Box

You can recycle mechanical watches by servicing movements clogged up with 30 years of dirt. You can re-purpose a fashion quartz by fitting a new Miyota movement for about £10 from ebay – you will needs tools and skills to pull that off of course. Other planet-saving options include buying a solar powered watch, like the famous Citizen Eco-Drive.

It’s all good stuff and Junghans are all over it, as they launched their new Max Bill MEGA Solar earlier in May. The really clever thing about this one is that you can’r see the solar cells on the dial anywhere – it has that classic super-clean Max Bill dial. That is a neat bit of technology.

The titanium case ensures that the watch is feather-light, (says the press kit info) extremely sturdy and is harmoniously compatible with the skin. Its leather straps are vegetable-tanned and feature velvety soft Alcantara on the inside. The case back arches perfectly against the wrist to complete the extraordinary wear comfort of the timepiece.

A completely new radio-controlled movement from Junghans guarantees maximum precision and is exceptionally energy-efficient: Even when completely drained of power, the watch will become fully functional again after only eight minutes of direct exposure to the sun.

Junghans MEGA solar movement

Moreover, the movement has a power reserve of up to three years. A perpetual calendar, automatic conversion from summer time to winter time and automatic adjustment of the time zones using the crown or – on a global scale – via time synchronization with the latest version of the Junghans MEGA App.

Even the design of the watch is sustainable due to Junghans’s collaboration with the artist Max Bill over the years. Junghans designed a convex dial with a solar cell specifically for the Max Bill MEGA Solar, merging into the overall design of the watch.

The Max Bill MEGA Solar timepiece incorporates natural materials, innovative technologies and puristic design. It has a 38mm case width by the way.

This timepiece retails at around $1000, which is a bit pricey compared to an Eco-Drive, let’s be honest.