This $180 Solar-Powered Watch Keeps Going and Going and …

One minute of sunshine = 24 hours of power

May 23, 2018 9:00 am

If you haven’t been able to get your hands on a Tesla, Tesla solar panels or even a “Tesla” phone case — don’t despair. Solar power waits for no brand, and you can incorporate it into your daily routine in a different way: on your wrist.

That’s what Centric Instruments are proposing with their Lightwell watch series.

The timepiece is the first product from the Northern California-based design studio founded by Michael Belen and Anthony Kerrigan, who have cut their teeth designing gear for some of our favorite outposts like Huckberry, Lum-Tec and Taylor Stitch.

Centric Instruments (4 images)

So while they join an uptick in new watch brands seeking crowdfunding through Kickstarter, they’ve certainly got enough of a pedigree to warrant going in on the early-bird pricing.

Chiefly, the Seiko solar quartz movement is their raison d’être. While that certainly sounds like an instance of hopping on the solar bandwagon, Seiko actually introduced its first version of this movement all the way back in 1977 — only eight years after their groundbreaking Astron, the first commercially produced quartz watch.

What we’re saying is, this isn’t some faux-sustainability gimmick to court millennials. These are watchmakers doing what they do best: innovating.

Check out how it works below:

Basically, the Seiko VS37A movement is powered by a solar panel which is charged by natural and artificial light. One minute in the sun will power it for 24 hours, and at full charge it could keep ticking for six months in the dark. The subtext here? No battery replacement — ever.

As for Centric Instruments’ design, they took up the mantle of the tried-and-true field watch, incorporating a supremely utilitarian 38mm case, three-hand face and luminescent markers for reading in the dark. But with easily swappable straps and your choice of dial, it’s still customizable to your taste or current collection.

Oh, and with the 10 ATM water resistance rating, you can actually charge the Lightwell in the sun without worrying about what sun-dappled activities you can or can’t participate in.

The Kickstarter runs through June 14, with an estimated delivery of November. At the time of writing, there are still $180 early bird watches to be had, but it’ll rise to $200 after those sell out.

Don’t let someone steal your sunshine.

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