Newer Casio Solar Models Leaflet and Recovery Times, November 2013

Under the Bangkok sun
On Friday November 8th, 2013 I had started to charge all my solar watches. I wanted to see how long different CASIO and CITIZEN models would take to come up to the highest starting level. On Monday 11th November 2013, this G-5600E was still on a M(EDIUM) charge level. This watch had approximately 6 hours of sun shine since last Friday. I had always assumed the recovery times would be much shorter. So I consulted the Caliber 3160 models and there I found it. To come from M(EDIUM) to H(IGH) you will need 20 hours of sunshine! That is not a lot for Thailand, but could pose a problem for those further North. Don't leave a black solar watch unattended in the sun or on the dashboard. The heat could create some serious damage. Not only in Thailand, but allover the globe.

The Manual says it takes 20 hours of Outdoor Sunlight (50'000 lux)
while in MEDIUM level to reach the HIGH level. That is certainly not a problem for me in Thailand. But if you leave the office when it is still dark and return home after dark, you might have some difficulties to clock 20 hours of sunlight during the cold season. Also during the weekends in winter time, we normally wear long sleeves and gloves. Keeping us warm, but not really helping the charge of the watch. Sometimes it might be a good idea to wear the watch over your winter coat if the charge level is low. I can also add from my personal experience that it is not really a big problem if the watch runs down completely. After a short time of exposing the fully discharged watch to light, the display will start working again.
Note that if you want to charge the watch indoors, it will take a full seven days and nights to get from LOW to MEDIUM charge level. It is a factor of 85 times longer than sunshine. Better even, use the rule of thumb: sunlight is 100 times more efficient than indoor fluorescent light.

It actually took less than 20 hours for her to get to high again
As you can see from the picture above, the level H(IGH) is displayed again. Well, at least while on the jogging track. Back in the car, she was still high, but after checking her at home after ca. 2 hours, she was back to M(EDIUM). Going to take her to the track again tomorrow and update the progress here.  

 

This Leaflet is inserted into the Manuals of newer solar CASIO watches
The advice to keep the watch exposed to light as much as possible is right there in the middle of the leaflet. If you are living further away from the Equator, there will be a season where there is less sunshine. And I think this is what CASIO is trying to address with these extra instructions. Makes one think whether that money and paper and ink would be better invested in better capacitors or larger solar panels? I have noticed that newer CASIO Tough Solar G-SHOCK watches have ever shrinking solar cell frames around the LCD display. I think with today's technology it should be possible to bring a CASIO Solar through the winter in the dark without chasing every sunbeam. Maybe Tough Solar means tough for the consumer and more happiness for the shareholders. CASIO was an entirely different company when they switched from desktop calculators to watches. And the first couple of years in watches were great. Lately I see - except with the Edifice line - mainly maximizing profits. G-SHOCK prices have reach a ridiculously high level here in Thailand. The top models all cost nearly THB 20'000 up to THB 26'000 for the top RAF inspired G-SHOCK. And even these very expensive watches will last maybe 7 years max. Makes on wonder whether it is actually worth owning more than one CASIO. I found myself a very affordable sub USD 40 (paid THB 1950 for it brick and mortar) CASIO Illuminator. A Tough Solar CASIO with lots of bells and whistles. That's like 20 times less expensive than the top Gs! Makes a lot more sense to me.