Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sustainable Power in Watches - Fashion and Function

You’ve seen the adverts about the Citizen Eco Drive watch, but it’s hard to look any deeper than the hyped media that is pushed out by advertising agencies. What you need is the facts and figures of why these watches are so special and what has been done to ensure the quality and “constant power” they have been projected as having.

Solar power

The power of the sun has been harnessed to be used in any different appliances in the world, but what has been applicable on the top of buildings, in farms built specifically for this type of power, and located on the top of calculators, has been hard to imitate on an ever mobile wrist with inconsistent light levels.

The difference has been through the technological advances made to solar energy and the integration by Citizen to create a watch face that allows the watch to look as stylish as it is functional.

Getting technical, the solar panel in the watch consists of a micron thin disc of amorphous Silicon, this small piece of synthietically made material is then placed underneath the dial and then converts light energy into an electrical energy through a process known as the photovoltaic process (the process common to all solar panels).

Because the energy can be built and stored efficiently behind the scenes, it means that all the aesthetic design qualities can be kept, the watch can be powered efficiently, and the hands don’t stop ticking, especially when you consider the energy cell inside the watch is expected to last a lifetime.

Most citizen watches will not need to have the power source changed, but even so it is wise to have the watch serviced every few years, as the water resistant aspect of the watch is not a permanent feature of any watch as the rubber seal can deteriorate after time.

The way that these watches are powered, makes wonder why the lithium batteries that power so many other watches and cause a slight detriment to the environment in their mining and distribution. There are other brands of watches that are making the same progress in using natural energy.

Kinetic Watches

The other form of watch that has been around since watches began is the kinetic movement charger, the turning of a charger may once have been the only way to create kinetic energy, but now, designers and companies have created a watch that keeps its charge by using the wearers natural energy as they move around, swing their arms whilst walking, typing at a computer, all of these minute movements will contribute to the charge of the watch.

Watch technology has advanced dramatically since the first watches, and even since the turn of the century we have created watches that test the traditional designs, internally and externally. Without which we would never have these stunning designs.

Andy is a technology enthusiast and writer for The Watch Department and designer watches that are sold there. There are both kinetic watches and solar powered Citizen watches available on the site.