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I am curious about the existence of a watch with the following traits:

  • Quartz/mecaquartz movement with sweeping seconds hand. Like Bulova UHF, Seiko/Hattori VK, etc.
  • Solar powered or kinetic powered.
  • Dress watch style.
  • 5 bar or more WR.
  • Case made of stainless steel or titanium.
  • Sapphire crystal.
  • Dial with no date or only day of the month.
  • Under 300 euros.
  • Moderate size. 37-40mm.

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Perhaps Undone watches have something like that. I thought I recall them using the Seiko VK movements a lot for their quartz offerings.


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Perhaps Undone watches have something like that. I thought I recall them using the Seiko VK movements a lot for their quartz offerings.


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I think the vk63 is battery operated. Similarly, Dan Henry 1964 ticks all the other boxes if the solar/kinetic requirement is abandoned because they use the vk63 as well and run about 250.
 

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The only thing that sweeps smoothly, is Kinetic-ish (Spring Drive), titanium, sapphire and dressy that I know of has Grand Seiko on the dial and costs 10x your budget.

I don't think there is a solar watch with a smooth second hand on the market. They're two different movements. The voltage required to make the second hand sweep smoothly is more than a solar movement can produce. That's why the UHF movement have larger batteries.
 

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Nope, such watch doesn't exist yet. I'm sure because I have been looking for solar watch with sweeping hand for years. 😞
 
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I didn't know about Undone watches. The Undone Mystique looks very close, unfortunately it is too big lug to lug and it have a mineral crystal (and still 2-3 years battery).

Good point about the bigger power requisites of most sweeping quartz movements. I think Casio does sweeping second analogic multifunction watches in the MTP line, but they're very big watches and also not solar powered, they require special batteries too.

I think Seiko however did a lower power requirement sweeping quartz, the VH31 that is used in some affordable watches use the standard LR44 1,5V batteries. No idea if someone combined it with solar power yet.

Hopefully someone make a solar watch like that at some point.

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don't think there is a solar watch with a smooth second hand on the market. They're two different movements. The voltage required to make the second hand sweep smoothly is more than a solar movement can produce. That's why the UHF movement have larger batteries.
Negakinu nailed it. Solar watches are great for delivering bursts of power-- reception of time signals from an atomic radio, running a chronograph, etc. but any sustained power draw is going to be greater than the capability of a photovoltaic cell to charge the battery. At that point you no longer have a watch, you have a non-functional device.

Kinetic is much more problematic than solar. It adds the height of the automatic rotor to the watch. It adds the point of failure of a mechanical rotor. It also requires that you put a lot of care into keeping the rotor spinning to provide enough power to the watch and when you want a stopped kinetic to run, it needs a LOT, and I mean a LOT off spins of the rotor to charge the battery. You might have to wear a dead watch for a few days. At the end of Kinetic, there was a direct drive version where you could charge it from spinning the crown (more cost, more points of failure) but you'd need hundreds of turns to start a dead kinetic. Seiko is pretty much done with Kinetic and has stopped or slowed production of all of their Kinetic models. All of the other brands (which confusingly usually called them mecha-quartz, not to be confused with Seiko Mecaquartz) have given up on the concept as a technological dead end.

I am curious about the existence of a watch with the following traits:

  • Quartz/mecaquartz movement with sweeping seconds hand. Like Bulova UHF, Seiko/Hattori VK, etc.
  • Solar powered or kinetic powered.
  • Dress watch style.
  • 5 bar or more WR.
  • Case made of stainless steel or titanium.
  • Sapphire crystal.
  • Dial with no date or only day of the month.
  • Under 300 euros.
  • Moderate size. 37-40mm.
Again with the technical limitations:

There's no reason why the case material or water resistance or a sapphire crystal would cause a problem, but some of the other choices are problematic as well.

It's already not reasonable to run a high-beat movement off of solar, but you're limiting the size of the PV cell by going with a smaller watch. It's entirely possible to run a solar watch (without a high beat movement) off of a PV cell this size, even including a chronograph feature, but you'll need to use the entire dial.

Typically when watches do that, they'll try to design the dial in a way that the dial looks good but also transmits as much light as possible.

When I think dress watches, I think white dials, maybe black dials. Both solid colors are a problem for photovoltaic cells. White is particularly bad-- to get one that transmits sufficient light, they tend to look very translucent-- like watered down milk, not really something that resembles a dress watch's dial. Black is closer, but will be more like a dark gray, not a super dark black.

Going back to using a battery, Bulova has a UHF variant (at 8 beats not 16, I think) that can fit in watches as small as ~38mm. They used it, as far as I know, only in ladies watches and I think they've stopped, again, because it was unpopular. Those use a CR2016, a very large battery to power the movement. That's typically used in "10 year battery" or "5 year battery" watches. For UHF a CR2016 typically lasts 2 years or less. Bulova does not supply their movement to anyone else, so unless they come out with a dress watch using the smaller movement, you're out of luck.

The Seiko VK is a fairly large ~30.5mm movement, so you can put one into a ~40mm watch pretty easily, 38mm possible, but beyond that you really have difficulties engineering the watch. Seiko do supply movements obviously, but I'm not aware of a quartz, 37-40mm dress watch with a 4-beat VK. It's possible someone does make one or will make one in the future. Those watches are not my specialty someone else might know better.

So the short answer is no, but the long answer is also no. For a 37-40mm watch, you'll either need a battery-only quartz or a mechanical movement, and only the conventional deadbeat quartz will be something that's relatively easy to find.
 

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The mechaquartz combined with solar has not been done yet. It has been a topic of many discussions with Citizen (Eco-Drive) owning Bulova (Precisionist, UHF). So you’ll have to give one of those up. Personally, I’d give up solar. MWC uses the Seiko three-hand VK in some of their watches.

I have the one below. The brand is kind of cheesy. But the watch is solid. It’s a nice little watch - screw-down crown and outstanding lume.

 

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The Bulova Accutron II it's larger than you like because the Accutron movement is larger than most. It's not solar either but that sweeping seconds hand is wonderful. I found one on an auction site for $150, but I was lucky and patient. I sold it eventually because it wasn't getting the wrist time to others were...


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