How to Charge a Solar-Powered Citizen Watch

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Powered by what Citizen calls an Eco Drive energy cell, solar-powered Citizen watches do not use a conventional battery but transform light into energy through a panel under the translucent watch dial. When fully charged, a Citizen solar-powdered watch can run for up to six months without the need of further charging. If, however, your Citizen does need to be charged, the watch will run slower but still keep time, with the second hand moving only once every two seconds instead of every one second. If this happens, you need to charge your watch as soon as possible to avoid it stopping altogether. The watch will not return to normal functioning until fully charged.

Charge your Citizen with a light bulb. Citizen solar-powered watches can be charged by placing them under a fluorescent light around 6 inches from the light source. This will fully charge the watch in 22 hours. If no fluorescent light source is available, the watch can be charged under a 500-watt or higher light bulb, but it will take 320 hours to fully charge the watch.

Charge your Citizen in the sun. Such watches can also be charged outdoors, using the power of the sunlight. On a bright day when you can place the watch in full sun, it can be fully charged in as little as six hours. When the sky is cloudy, you can still charge the watch full but it can take up to 17 hours or more. Place the watch so that it is facing the position of the sun in the sky for maximum charging potential.

Charge the watch daily. Solar-powered Citizen watches are designed to operate better when then are charged daily, instead of just once every six months. By holding your watch in direct sunlight for as little as two minutes, you give it a charge that lasts for a full day. If you are in the office, placing your watch under a fluorescent light for 20 minutes or under a 500-watt bulb for two hours will be sufficient.

Based in San Francisco, Ocean Malandra is a travel writer, author and documentary filmmaker. He runs a major San Francisco travel website, is widely published in both online and print publications and has contributed to several travel guidebooks to South America.