5 of the best Seiko Solar Chronograph Watches
James Elliott8 March 2021 | 6 min read
Whilst the magic of an automatic watch can never truly be beaten, it can be a little annoying having to set the time and date once in a while. For those that instead opt for a quartz model, there’s then the inconvenience of having to change the battery. So, what’s the alternative?
Solar powered watches harness the natural light around you to keep powering on whilst keeping near perfect time. No winding and no regular battery changes!
You may think a solar watch would be expensive. But, the great news is you can pick them up at budget prices, including for those models that also sport great chronograph features.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best solar chronograph watches from one of the world’s best known watch brands, Seiko. We’ll pick out the best watch for a number of different categories as well as compare them on their specs and design helping you pick the best one for you.
Ready? Let’s go!
Seiko Solar Chronographs To Buy For Men
What are you looking for? Feel free to read the full article, or skip down to any section using these links:
Best for Daily Wear: Seiko Mens Chronograph Solar SSC715P1
We start off with a great all rounder in the Seiko Solar Chronograph SSC715P1 model. At 42mm, it’s not too big on the wrist and shows off a simple but smart design that combines a steel case and bracelet with a clean black/brown dial.
From a chronograph perspective, three tracking windows combine to give granular time measurement down to 1/20th of a second for up to one hour. A date window is also combined with a tachymeter ring to give you many options for measuring the time required for day-to-day tasks.
The solar/quartz movement delivers a power reserve of up to 6 months meaning you’ll be hard pushed to run the battery down without exposure to natural light. Additionally, this watch also comes with 100m of water resistance, a hardlex crystal and LumiBrite coated hands and markings.
It’s a pretty complete package and an easy one for us to recommend as the best daily wearer. This watch is an absolute steal considering it’s specs, solar movement and chronograph features. You’ll also have the peace of mind knowing it’s come from a brand renowned for high quality in Seiko!
Best for Casual Wear: Seiko Mens Chronograph Solar SSC431P1
If you’re looking for a solar chronograph watch to wear casually, we’d recommend checking out the SSC431P1. As you’ll see from the reference number, it comes from the same family of watches as the previous model but with a more casual blue/steel design combination.
This watch also comes in at 42mm and combines a steel case and bracelet with a blue dial design that houses some cheeky red accents. Chronograph wise, this model will give you 60 second, 60 minute and 12 hour tracking features alongside a date window and an alarm function. It also features a tachymeter ring if you need that extra option for tracking too!
This watch incorporates the same solar movement we saw previously, meaning you’ll have 60 hours of power reserve to keep you going! Where this model does differ specs wise is in the crystal, with just a mineral addition here rather than hardlex. But, good news for those who like a casual swim, you’ll still get 100m of water resistance as standard.
This is another fantastic watch from Seiko and with that blue dial and red accent face design it’s a great model for wearing casually day-to-day. That lower spec crystal and less precise chronograph mean you’ll be able to pick this piece up for a slightly cheaper price. That low price again shows the value of Seiko and provides another great solar chronograph for those on a budget.
Best For Formal Wear: Seiko Men’s SSC139 Excelsior Gunmetal
If you’re looking for something a little different, that can be worn on a special occasion, you’ll love the SSC139 Excelsior model from Seiko. This sculpted watch design blends the bracelet and face together seamlessly to create a unique looking watch that’s dark and mysterious.
The gunmetal and silver two-tone design blend nicely into a black dial that strikes a great balance between being clean and simple whilst still sporting 3 chronograph dials. Hollowed out baton and arrow hands also combine with silver arrow-tip hour markers to round off that metallic design style. Whilst this watch design may not be for everyone it certainty catches the eye!
The chronograph combines second tracking all the way up to 60 minutes with an alarm function and a date window also thrown in. You’ll also get a hardlex crystal, 100m of water resistance and that same 6 months of power reserve we’ve seen with our other Seiko models.
There’s no denying that this watch is a step up from what we’ve seen before. Whilst the specs are fairly similar, the design here is far more polished with the gunmetal/silver combination very attractive to those who like the style. You are paying for that premium uplift but you’re getting a very smart watch for the price!
Best Sports Watch: Seiko Solar Chronograph SSC445
Whilst most of our watches could qualify as a sports watch, the SSC445 model is a great all round example of what a sports watch should be – functional, durable and stylish!
At 44m, with a very smart and well designed blue/black/steel design, this is a sports watch you can feel comfortable with at both a formal event and out on the tennis court. Hollowed out baton hands accompany steel, rectangular hour markers and an external black bezel ring.
On the dial you’ll find 3 chronograph windows delivering a ⅕ seconds hand, minutes tracking up to an hour and a 12/24 hour indicator. There’s also a date window found between the 4 and 5 o’clock position and that external bezel ring to track time further if needed (although unfortunately, no rotation on that bezel!)
That solar/quartz movement delivers the same 6 month power reserve we’ve seen previously but does incorporate an overcharge protection feature and guarantees accuracy within ±15 seconds per month. You’ll also get a hardlex crystal and 100m water resistance as standard.
If you’re looking for a great mid range sports watch with a solid chronograph and solar movement, there aren’t many better at this price point – not just from Seiko but in general.
Best Diver: Seiko Men’s SSC019 Solar Diver
It wouldn’t be a Seiko round up article without talking about one of their signature watches genres, the diving watch. There’s a number of great solar diving watches from Seiko, but we’ve pulled out the SSC019 model.
At 43mm it’s a fairly sizeable diving watch that sacrifices a slightly smaller face size to incorporate a large unidirectional bezel – a core feature of most divers. This model in particular utilises the classic red/blue ‘Pepsi’ style and is a very attractive design for a sporty dive watch. Again, the arrow hands and circular hour markers are synonymous with the dive watch genre and will be familiar with most diving watch fans.
The chronograph shows that familiar 3 window setup with a 60 second dial, 60 minute dial and a 12/24 hour indicator. There’s a small date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions and that uni-directional rotating bezel can also be used to track time if required.
The movement on this dive watch matches the 6 month power reserve we’ve seen previously with the hardlex crystal also offering similarly great protection from scuffs and scrapes. As a diver, the screw down crown and enhanced finish mean this watch will see you good down to 200m as a certified scuba diving instrument.
As a specialist, premium dive watch you’re naturally going to pay a little bit more here than with our other models. For those that need a watch for diving, Seiko are great and this model is the perfect companion to put on the wrist when hitting the depths. This is a premium piece of kit that also looks great on the wrist out of the water for day-to-day wear.
The great news is that if you want a watch that combines the functionality of a chronograph with the sustainable operation of a solar movement, there are tons of options on the market. Seiko really stand out in the solar/chrono space and have a number of great models across the daily wear, sports and diving ranges to suit any taste.
The ones we’ve featured above are just the tip of the iceberg, so enjoy shopping the many different options available when looking for your next Seiko solar-powered chronograph watch!