15 Best Seiko Solar Chronograph Watches (For ALL Your Needs!)
Home / Blog / 15 Best Seiko Solar Chronograph Watches (For ALL Your Needs!)


Best seiko chronograph solar watches

15 Best Seiko Solar Chronograph Watches (For ALL Your Needs!)

The Japanese giant famous for its affordable dive and sports models actually have a rich history of chronographs. Also known for its solar innovations, Seiko has become the number one place for beginner and seasoned collectors alike, providing some of the best entry-level timepieces to some of the most unique.

The combination of a chronograph and the technological prowess of a solar-powered watch significantly increases the utility of the complication. Regular mechanical watches do lose power faster when the chronograph is running, but this won’t be an issue seeing as your watch is technically being powered by nuclear fusion; pretty cool, huh? 

About Seiko Solar Chronograph Watches

As mentioned, a Solar Chronograph is a genius combination of practicality with power-efficient technology. It’s not quite clear which model was the first Seiko Solar Chronograph, but we can look at a few contemporary or popular models to get you up to date. 

The most well-known Seiko Solar Chronographs are all within the Prospex Speedtimer line, based on the automatic Speedtimer series from the 1960s-70s. In the range, you’ll find various iterations of the same format, all with Seiko’s solar Caliber V192, a 60-minute chronograph that also allows you to see the power reserve with the push of a button. 

For those that prefer something a bit dressier, there is also the ref. SBPY115, which was introduced in the early 2020s and features a vintage chronograph look with the addition of a rather handy alarm function. 

There are other watches in the Seiko lineup that are not strictly chronographs alone but watches that feature a chronograph function as well. The Astron GPS range is a crowd favorite, and there are even a few divers that fit the bill, like the ref. SSC741P1. 

The most well-known is probably the Arnie, ref. SNJ033P1, a large and no-nonsense tool watch. The original Arnie was worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 movie Predator.  

History of Seiko Solar Chronograph Watches

In the late 60s, the watch industry was experiencing a technological evolution with the influx of new movements, case materials, and finishing methods. By the 70s, the quartz crisis had taken its hold on the industry with cheaply produced but highly-accurate wristwatches.  

Solar-powered watches are actually a wee bit older than pure quartz watches. Experiments were run in the 60s to try to use solar energy as a power source, and the first solar-powered wristwatch was finally released to the market in 1972 with the Synchronar 2100. 

The first solar-powered Seiko was introduced in 1977 using the Caliber 4826. Rather brilliantly, it used 12 smaller solar cells located on the chapter ring of the dial. It’s unclear which model was the first Seiko Solar Chronograph. 

The 15 Best Seiko Solar Chronograph Watches

1. Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC813

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC813

As mentioned, the current Speedtimer line is based on the Speedtimer series from the 1960s-70s. The first of the namesake was introduced in 1969 and featured the automatic caliber 6139, an innovative chronograph movement and the first to feature a column wheel and vertical clutch. 

This ref. SSC813 is inspired by the original 6139 Speedtimer with a more contemporary style and wearing dimensions. Fitting rather comfortably on most wrists, the watch measures 39mm in diameter and 45.5mm lug-to-lug, the case features fine circular brushing and two pump-style pushers, providing a bit of vintage flair.

Mounted on a polished three-link bracelet with a  three-fold clasp. Moving to the dial, you’ll find a ‘panda-style’ configuration, a blasted matte white dial with darker subsidiary registers at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. These subregisters are actually transparent and function as solar panels as well. The bezel is IP-coated in a glossy black finish and features a tachymeter scale, as you’ll find with most other chronographs. 

Within this affordable alternative to the Daytona, you have the caliber V192, a solar movement with an accuracy rating of +- 15 seconds per month, and features a power reserve and date complication. A great offering from Seiko for those that want to scratch the itch of having a stylish yet practical chrono for under $1000. 

2. Seiko Recraft Solar Chronograph SSC667

Seiko Recraft Solar Chronograph SSC667

The Recraft series is a series that was introduced to exhibit its heritage of innovation and styling of the past. The range allows the designers to let their hair down and use interesting colors and designs. The ref. SSC667 is an extremely affordable chrono coming in at under $500. 

Measuring a reasonable 43.5mm in diameter and 12.5mm in thickness, the thin profile is slightly slimmer than automatic movements thanks to the solar caliber V175 within. The tonneau-style steel case features contrasting finishing methods along the polished bezel and brushed case. 

The sun-brushed blue dial features the same photovoltaic cells within the subregisters and creates a somewhat iridescent hue under certain lights. Dimension is added to the dial through the raise rehaut on which a tachymeter scale is printed. This bundle of utility is mounted on a sporty NATO strap, producing a sporty feel that matches the overarching design of the timepiece. 

3. Seiko Astron GPS Solar SSH121

Seiko Astron GPS Solar SSH121

The modern Seiko Astron line was introduced in 2012 as ‘the Most Advanced Ever’, combining just about every complication Seiko could cram into a case. The massive Astron GPS Solar collection uses GPS technology, and with a simple push of a button, the wearer has the ability to change their time zone. 

The ref. SSH121, or “5-X TITANIUM DUAL TIME”, is a visually striking watch combining sleek lines, a super-hard black-coated titanium case, and a blue ceramic world time bezel. On the side of the 43.1mm case, you’ll find rectangular pushers, which also assist in the streamlined design. 

Within the 100m water-resistant case sits the caliber 5X53. This groundbreaking solar caliber features a host of complications; GPS time and time zone adjustment, power save function, date calendar, AM/PM indicator, and, of course, a chronograph. 

4. Seiko Excelsior Solar Chronograph SSC139

Seiko Excelsior Solar Chronograph SSC139

Ever seen a watch that looks like a symbiote and an android at the same time? Well, the SSC139 Excelsior has a unique design that many have described as ‘organic’, perhaps the perfect watch for vegans. It all starts with the bracelet, which has a two-tone design of silver and a slightly darker metal in a somewhat reptilian pattern.

It doesn’t have a name per se, but it grabs your attention. 

This design language continues along the case with four silver-finished crescents along each corner of the bezel. Rounded crown guards separate the crown from the pump pushers, also finished in a polished manner, once again contributing to the sleek and futuristic look. 

The large black dial is adorned with polished hour markers and hands while also featuring the three subregisters displaying an alarm, a seconds counter, and the 60-minute chronograph timer. Within the 100m waterproof case sits the caliber V172 movement with a proposed power reserve of 6 months. 

A watch that certainly isn’t for everyone, and at 43mm, it isn’t exactly petite, but various of Seiko’s most influential watches weren’t exactly subtle. Perhaps the perfect antithesis if you already own a Seiko Arnie. 

5. Seiko World Time Solar Chronograph SSG015

Seiko World Time Solar Chronograph SSG015

What about something that combines the vintage look of a pilot’s watch with a subtle hint of dressy aesthetics? The 45mm Seiko ref. SSG015 seems to fit the bill perfectly! The black ion-finished stainless steel case houses the caliber 8B92, which has a unique function – radio sync. It receives a radio signal to keep your time as accurate as it can be. 

The black dial is where the business end of this watch is found. The rehaut features several important cities from around the globe, as you will see on most world timers. Large white Breguet numerals and tapered hands are all filled with plenty of LumiBrite, creating a rather legible look for such a busy dial. 

The case is mounted on a leather strap which fits the vintage overarching idea. A peculiar configuration but one that was a crowd favorite. Unfortunately, the reference has been discontinued, but you’ll still be able to find a few if you’re really determined. 

6. Seiko Prospex “Sumo” Solar Chronograph SSC795

Seiko Prospex “Sumo” Solar Chronograph SSC795

From dressier timepieces back to where Seiko has made its name – divers. The Prospex line is a step above the loved Seiko 5 line and is home to some of their most popular references. The ‘Sumo’ nomenclature seen in the name of this watch is actually not a name given by Seiko, but it is actually a nickname, and many believe it refers to the distance between the lugs being quite large – 20mm. 

The ‘PADI’ name, on the other hand, seen on the 6 o’clock subregister, does mean something. It stands for ‘The Professional Association of Diving Instructors’ and is only displayed on watches that would actually work in their environment. 

You’ll find the V192 caliber within the 44.5mm case giving you the functionality of time, a date aperture at the 4 o’clock position, and a 60-minute chronograph. In fact, the 6 o’clock subregister also displays the power reserve if you take a good look at the dial. 

Large hour plots and sword hands take care of timekeeping duties, while the famous red and blue diver bezel allows the wearer to time their time underwater – or perhaps just how long it takes to get to the front of the line at the DMV. 

7. Seiko Flight Chronograph Solar SSC277

Seiko Flight Chronograph Solar SSC277

From the sea to the sky, we move over to a chronograph taking inspiration from several prominent pilots’ watches in the horological world. The first thing you notice is the E6B navigational slide rule, thanks to the contrasting use of orange on a black ion stainless steel bezel. This rather intriguing complication has various uses in the aviation world. 

The next thing you notice is the unique crown guards that extend up and over the pushers and can be opened to make use of the pushers. The black dial itself is quite busy, displaying large hour markers as well as three contrasting silver subregisters. The hands also feature the same color scheme, combining the contrasting silver and orange. 

Sticking with the ‘large pilots watch’, the case measures a prominent 44mm in diameter but a slim 12mm in thickness. The watch appears somewhat stealthy thanks to the somewhat matte black case and bracelet. Combined with the unique crown guards, it’s a watch that looks, for lack of a better term, kind of badass. 

8. Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC915

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC915

The Speedtimer is the current iteration of Seiko’s sports chrono line and the ref. SSC916 embodies the namesake perfectly. Sporting a 41.4mm highly polished case, a red and black Tachymeter bezel, and a three-link bracelet with a tri-fold push button release clasp. All classically chrono elements and all to be expected from a watch coming in south of $800. 

Drawing your attention to the dial reveals a similar design to the 1969 Speedtimer, featuring three subregisters, but this time these function as the solar cells for the caliber V192. Large hour markers and hands are filled with plenty of LumiBrite if you need to time something in the dark. 

9. Seiko Coutura Solar Chronograph SSG021

Seiko Coutura Solar Chronograph SSG021

Integrated bracelets are the hottest thing on the market at the moment, thanks to heavy hitters like the affordable PRX and not-so-affordable Royal Oak. The ref. SSG021 sports a black-coated steel case and a tapering integrated bracelet sporting a three-fold clasp with push button release. 

The futuristic case design spills over into the dial, which features sword-like hands that look as if they came from Blade Runner. The subtle touch of blue around the 6 o’clock subregister is matched with the blue bezel, which features various big cities around the world – the caliber 8B92 does feature a world time function. 

The caliber also receives standard radio signals from Japan, China, the U.S.A., Germany, and the U.K. Other functions include a chronograph, a power save function, an overcharge prevention function, and many others. Definitely not a design that’s for everyone, especially not purists, but who doesn’t like messing with purists every now and then? 

10. Seiko “Save The Ocean” Diver Solar SSC701

Seiko "Save The Ocean" Diver Solar SSC701

Perhaps a futuristic chrono isn’t your game. Maybe you’d like a robust diver, like the 43.5mm stainless steel ref. SSC701. While it may seem like something you’d see every day, this is part of their ‘Save the Ocean Prospex’ line and features a dial adorned with various hues of blues in a wave pattern. Parts of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center.

Large white hour markers and hand make the busy dial rather legible, and the massive 60-minute track on the unidirectional blue-black bezel will come in handy within murky waters. Thanks to a screw-down crown and pushers, you have 200m of water resistance combined with the blue rubber strap, making this Prospex diver the perfect choice for your next marine outing.

11. Seiko Solar Chronograph SSC775

Seiko Solar Chronograph SSC775

From a robust diver to a sporty and slim chrono, we have the ref. SSC775 or otherwise known as the Macchina Sportiva Solar. Seiko and Italdesign created this version taking inspiration from the 1996 Macchina Sportiva (sports car). A unique combination of blue and orange along the dial and strap makes for a sporty appearance, matched with a sleek 41mm polished steel case. 

The hexagonal pattern dial features two recessed circular subregisters and one hexagonal subregister, the latter located at the 9 o’clock position. As with most chronographs, a tachymeter is presented on the sloped rehaut (or flange), and beneath the applied Seiko name sits a recessed date aperture. 

The dial accomplishes a sporty and aesthetic look without having too much visual pollution, a feat easier said than done when considering it’s a solar-powered chrono. 

Pump pushers and a textured screw-down case not only solidify the sporty nature of the timepiece but also afford the watch 100m water resistance. 

12. Seiko Coutura Perpetual Calendar SSC787

Seiko Coutura Perpetual Calendar SSC787

Coming back to the futuristic chronographs we discussed earlier, but this time in silver with subtle hints of blue on the bezel and hands. A three-link integrated bracelet is matched with a polished 44mm stainless steel case, resistant to 100m below sea level. 

The dial is certainly the business end of the timepiece, a rather quirky design. The main dial features three subregisters. The lower features two hands displaying the 24-hour and running seconds functions. The 9 o’clock subregister displays the 60-minute chronograph counter, while the 12 o’clock subregister displays the day of the week and the power display. 

The movement within is the caliber V198, a solar-powered unit that has a power reserve rated at 6 months when fully charged. 

13. Seiko Solar Chronograph SSC715

Seiko Solar Chronograph SSC715

From quirky designs to something more classic and timeless, this 43mm steel chronograph ref. SSC715 doesn’t try to be anything it isn’t. The polished three-link bracelet blends seamlessly with the brushed case featuring polished elements on the pushers and crown. A thin steel bezel with a black insert displaying engraved tachymeter markings.

The contrasting matte black dial starts at a sloped outer dial and features luminous silver-tone hands and index hour markers. The no-nonsense dial features three recessed subregister dials located at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. Powering the hands is the Seiko Caliber V176, a Rattrapante chronograph displaying the date at the 3 o’clock position. 

14. Seiko Solar Diver Chronograph SSC783

Seiko Solar Diver Chronograph SSC783

Seiko is known for creating some of the most affordable divers that can still stand the test of time. The ref. SSC783 presents itself as another classic example of this, sporting a rather robust 44mm case featuring the famous ‘Pepsi’ color scheme on the bezel. Moving inwards to the dial, you’ll be met with three subregisters displaying the chronograph and 24-hour functions.

Below the 3 o’clock subregister sits the subtle date aperture hidden away without a cyclops. Large luminous covered hands and hour markers take care of timekeeping duties, while the red chronograph hands provide a hint of red contrasting to the blue dial. As is customary with all of the watches on the list, this one is powered by a solar-powered movement, the caliber V175, which will maintain an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month. 

15. Seiko Astron GPS Solar SSH024

Seiko Astron GPS Solar SSH024

Last on the list is the dressiest of them all, the Astron GPS Solar ref. SSH024. The steel case is covered with a brass-colored coating that has been hardened for increased robustness. Sized for contemporary tastes at 42.7mm, equipped with a sapphire crystal, and matched with a blue-black silicone strap – ticking all the boxes so far. 

The dial is something special. Large brass-colored hands are matched with similarly colored hour markers and outer rims to the subregisters. The Seiko scripture is also finished in the same scheme, elevating the sporty watch to something a bit more luxurious. 

Of course, three subregisters are located on the dial displaying several complications – a perpetual calendar, a dual-time indicator, and a power reserve indicator. Other complications include a world timer function and a GPS signal reception function to ensure your time is always correct. All the watch you could ever need, snugly fitting in a 13.3mm thin case. 


Seiko is known for creating options for everyone, from the kid down your street to the millionaire who simply wants a beater while they go diving. The solar options presented here all feature multiple complications and a chronograph, a combination that seems like a no-brainer if you really think about it. Whether it’s your first watch or if you’re adding to your collection, you simply cannot go wrong with a solar Seiko chrono – hell, you don’t even have to worry about a power reserve.

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

as seen on
To Top