September 2, 2014
Watches that offer both solar power and atomic radio time-syncing, I am willing to bet, call to mind for you, as they do for me, watches that hail from Japanese companies – and for good reason. Brands such as Casio have really made atomic solar watches a big part of their portfolio, offering a variety of styles. It might come as a bit of a surprise, then, to learn that German Junghans‘ Force Mega Solar is not a completely new foray for the brand.
It was back in 1990 when Junghans came up with their first radio-controlled watch, and just three years later incorporated solar recharging. For their latest iteration, they’ve got a series of watches that can sync around the world (with American, German, and Japanese transmitters) and offer a 21-month stand-by capability.
While these technical chops are interesting (and of course meet the criteria of a quartz watch doing what a mechanical cannot), it is not the only story here. Junghans has created some clean, classic styles with these Junghans Force Mega Solar watches, along with incorporating a variety of materials – including ceramic, with one being made fully in ceramic, while another model combines steel and ceramic.
It is funny to think that with the materials and design of these Junghans Force Mega Solar watches, you would be hard-pressed to know that these were quartz watches. Well, aside from that LCD date display, of course. Many times, when we talk about atomic-solar watches, they are very much in the rugged/outdoors/chock-full-of-plastic category. Here, Junghans has gone in a much more reserved direction, with a few sportier models mixed in – but no plastic in sight.
At first, I rather liked the designs that had the white dials, with the crisp presentation. Looking at the pictures more closely, however, I feel the Junghans Force Mega Solar watches with the black dials actually are the more intriguing. With those, you can still see the solar panel in all its glory. For me, that look calls to mind the futurism of the 80s somehow (perhaps from seeing the first solar-powered calculators), and lends that extra bit of “oomph” to the design for me.
The new Junghans Force Mega Solar models are available now, with pricing coming in at $1,555. Frankly, if you are only going to have one or two quartz watches, one of them should be an atomic solar model – it will run for a long time with minimal intervention, and it will have the most accurate time of anything in your watch box, coming in handy for setting your mechanicals against, for instance. While most comparable options have been very sporty models, Junghans gives you a more classic look to go with technical precision. junghans.de