Solar watches have an in-built solar system that recharges the battery automatically. The common misconception associated with these devices is placing them in the sunlight to gain energy. However, these devices can be recharged using any light, including artificial light from fluorescent bulbs.
Even better, the batteries of these devices usually have high-quality batteries which can retain charge for over six months when fully recharged. Consequently, rarely will these watches die because of charge. Due to their high reliability, most people wonder if these continuously recharging devices die.
The truth is that solar watches die even though the situation is rare. If your watch is dead or you want to be prepared for the situation, stick with us as we explore some causes of solar watch deaths and how to revive them. Let’s get into it.
What causes the death of a solar watch?
The leading causes of the death of a solar watch are obsolete batteries, lack of adequate lighting, poor storage, and lack of service.
- Obsolete batteries
Batteries have a limited lifespan which, when depleted, begin to leak and discharge quite fast. If the situation is quite severe, the batteries might lose the capability to store the charge. Therefore, if you have had the solar watch for years and it stops functioning, the battery could be dead.
One way to test the battery’s efficiency, place it in direct sunlight, and observe if it is functioning. If the watch is functioning, take it back to a closed removal and observe. If the battery is obsolete, the watch is likely to stop operating while inside the room.
The electrical energy from the solar system is used to power the watch system while the excess is stored in the battery for later use. Consequently, when the battery is destroyed, it is incapable of storing the power. Thus, it doesn’t function when removed from the light. But all is not lost! You can purchase a new battery to revive the watch.
- Inadequate lighting
You might be busy running your errands, and rarely does it turn to your mind that solar watches need adequate light to recharge fully. Moreover, you might be relying on only artificial light, but that is not enough, although it helps.
Artificial light is 90% ineffective compared to natural light. Thus, it is important that you spare some time and place the watch in the sunlight if you are always indoors. Typically, charging the battery for an hour will prevent it from dying due to lack of charge. However, if you are in areas where you rarely have sunlight, you will have to place it longer on the light.
- Lack of servicing
Some people will choose solar watches over mechanical watches to avoid servicing them, and if that’s you, we are sorry to blow your hopes. Solar watches also need servicing. Lack of servicing may result in corrosion or defective coils. All these issues, among many others, will cause the watch to slow down or, worse, total death.
Thus, you should ensure that you service the watch regularly, for instance, by adding a new layer of lubrication on the moving parts, and if it is broken down, you can take it to a professional to replace the defective parts.
Most watches have a power-saving or hibernation feature. Consequently, if you store the watch for a long time, these features are activated to prevent the battery from running out of charge. Nonetheless, if the battery is stored for too long, the charge will drain completely, causing death. Fortunately, you can quickly revive it by placing it in the sunlight for at least 8 hours and manually resetting it.
- Water-resistance issues
Ideally, everyone is looking for a watch with a water resistance feature. Such watches have a silicon gasket which requires regular oiling to prevent the water from penetrating. If these gaskets are oiled poorly, they will slowly start allowing water to get into the watch.
Considering that the watch is made of several electrical components, the dampness destroys the components, resulting in the watch’s death. Therefore it is essential that you oil the gaskets more carefully and service them regularly to prevent any possible damage.
Solar watches, just like other devices, have a limited lifespan. Their parts depreciate as they age. Thus, they start working slower than before or worse if the past impacts were quite intense. That is why you must maintain the watch well to extend its lifespan. In the next section, we will look at the to-dos that will help extend the lifespan of your solar watch.
How to extend the life of a solar watch?
- Service the watch
A lot of watch problems can be resolved by regular servicing. When the little dust or moisture finds its way inside the watch, you will notice it early enough before it causes corrosion. In other words, servicing helps correct minor problems before they cause significant death and ultimately the death of the watch.
- Could you keep it clean?
Dust and small pieces of debris can find their way into the watch, and they can block the movements of the essential watch components. Besides, a dirty screen display will not look good on you. Consequently, you need to clean the watch after some time, however, not with soap. Instead, use a slightly wet microfiber cloth. Although, you should be careful to ensure that the moisture doesn’t get into the leather strap.
- Seal the gaskets well
The silicone gaskets are used on watches to prevent the entry of the water. These parts require frequent sealing using a lubricator. Thus, it will be wise to seal them regularly and carefully to prevent the moisture from damaging your watch. Typically, most people seal their watches after six months. However, you can consult your manufacturer about the same.
- Use your warranty
Manufacturers offer limited or lifetime warranties on their products. You can receive a free consultation, repair minor damages, or even replace the item during this period. Consequently, if your watch is not functioning normally during the warranty period, it would be wise to consult the manufacturer rather than take it to a technician. Take advantage of the opportunity, even better at an accessible cost, and prevent further damages.
- Avoid impacts
Extreme shocks on the watch are likely to cause its death. Likewise, slight shocks might have survived, but they might have paved the way toward the death of the watch. In other words, you should avoid impacts on your watch at all costs if you want to extend its life.
- Change the straps carefully
During the lifetime of the watch, you may want to change the straps. Please, if you don’t how to disconnect and fix them, learn first. Similarly, you should ensure that you use the correct tools. For instance, some people use a knife instead of a spring bar tool which is wrong. However, if you find it hard to do it yourself, taking it to a technician will not hurt. It will cost you a few dollars but save the life of your watch, which is more expensive.
If you notice something different from the expected functionality, for example, the watch stops working for a few seconds, you need to take action. If it is within the warranty period, you can consult the manufacturer or use online resources before taking it to a technician.
- Avoid contact with chemicals
Chemicals in this context don’t only mean acidic and other corrosive chemicals. They are also harmful to your watch, but we mean everyday items such as cologne and perfumes. Shocked? Most perfumes damage leather bands which weakens them and exposes them to tear and wear.
Similarly, these items are likely to cause stains on your expensive diamond watch. Thus, you should spray the cologne or the perfume before wearing the watch and wait until your wrist is completely dry before wearing it.
- Keep away from magnets
Watches are magnetic devices. Placing them near a magnet disrupts their time-keeping feature, making them inaccurate. Chiefly, it affects the balancing of the spring, which ensures that the device is ticking steadily. As a result, the steady ticking of the watch is affected, making it inaccurate. If the magnetic field is quite powerful, it may even cause permanent damage to the device.
Solar watches rely on light to recharge their batteries. Thus, if you are regularly out of the house, you will not have to battle the issues of a dead watch because of a drained watch. However, several other factors can cause the death of your solar watch. One of them is poor lighting. Strictly, you shouldn’t rely solely on fluorescent or any other artificial light to recharge the battery.
Nonetheless, several things can be done to extend the lifespan of the watch. Majorly, store the watch in a case far from magnetic materials. Similarly, take advantage of the warranty and consult the manufacturer in case of any issues. However, don’t ever try repairing the watch by yourself if you don’t have any guide.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.