A solar-powered watch or light-powered watch is a watch that is powered entirely or partly by a solar cell.
Some of the early solar watches of the 1970s had innovative and unique designs to accommodate the array of photovoltaic solar cells needed to power them (Synchronar, Nepro, Sicura and some models by Cristalonic, Alba, Rhythm, Seiko and Citizen). In the 1990s, Citizen started to sell light-powered watches under the Eco-Drive series name. Since their introduction, photovoltaic devices have greatly improved their efficiency and thereby their capacity. Watchmakers have developed their technology such that solar-powered watches are now a major part of their range of watches. Several other watch manufacturers offer similar watches or are developing such technology. These other watch manufacturers include (amongst others) Junghans, Casio, Seiko, and Orient.
Typically, sunlight and artificial light are absorbed by a solar panel behind the crystal. The dial is either on a layer above or actually on the solar panel.