A Brief Explanation of Kinetic, Eco-Drive and Solar Watches

We regularly get Kinetic, Eco- Drive and solar watches in for "batteries", so we realized it might help if we provide, at least, some basic information concerning these types of watches.    

                Kinetic Movement

               Kinetic Movement

Kinetic watches act much like automatic watches in that it is the motion of the arm while wearing the watch that powers the watch. In an automatic watch, this motion winds the mainspring. In a Kinetic watch, the motion charges the storage capacitor. Regular watch batteries cannot be recharged. Storage capacitors act like a battery; however, they can be recharged. 

As with all rechargeable batteries, if we run the battery down too often and do not fully charge the storage capacitor it will fail prematurely. Replacing a storage capacitor is much more costly than replacing a simple watch battery. Having said that, you can see why a jewelry box or sock drawer is not the best place to keep this type of watch. 

Eco-Drive/ Solar watches, on the other hand, generate power from ambient light in order to recharge their storage capacitors.  

               Eco- Drive Movement

              Eco- Drive Movement

  All solar, Kinetic and Eco-Drive watches have a symptom that lets you know when the storage capacitor needs to be charged--the second hand begins to trip. What is meant by “trip” is that the second hand will skip two seconds for every second it ticks.

If you do own a Kinetic, you might consider getting a watch winder to recharge the capacitor if you are not using it on a regular basis.For an Eco-Drive or other solar watch, you can simply place them under an incandescent light bulb for a few hours (We use a couple of 15 watt fluorescents for around 12 hours, but you shouldn't need more than a few hours).  

An Eco-Drive/solar watch will be fully charged in about four hours. If, after 20 minutes, it is still skipping, the watch will likely need the storage capacitor replaced. Generally, it's only a matter of having the storage capacitor charged

Again, try recharging the capacitor before going through the process of sending the watch to your watchmaker. Citizen recommends exposing it to light every day to keep the battery "conditioned".

In either case, you don't need a battery.