Walter Shillington is an avid collector of mechanical watches. His reviews focus on inexpensive but often intriguing Chinese timepieces.
Skmei 1064 Solar Powered Watch: Description
I purchased this timepiece from GearBest Online Shopping. It cost me seven dollars in US funds and was eligible for free shipping. The watch arrived within the expected period, wrapped in the thinnest lay of bubble wrap I have ever seen and shoved into an envelope layered with the same quality of wrap. Despite inadequate protection, the timepiece arrived unscathed.
This watch is large and heavy, weighing in at 99 grams (3.49 ounces). It is 4.7 cm in diameter and 1.3 cm thick. If you prefer a smaller and lighter timepiece, you might be interested in my review of the Wilon WL938.
A black plastic bezel is attached to the watch’s stainless steel case. Some manufacturers provide a bezel that can be rotated to allow the purchaser to measure elapsed time. Skmei considers this practice frivolous; so much so that it has used six shiny screws to secure the bezel firmly in place.
The dial is gray. Silvery inserts mark off the hour, and a white outer ring provides the ability to keep track of minutes and seconds. The hands are attractively designed, and although they are not coated with a luminous compound, they are easy to pick out in limited light.
A solar cell occupies the top half of the dial, and a digital display is located below. This display can be back-lit at a touch of the appropriate button.
There is a flaw in the design of the dial. The brand name SKMEI is printed in white at the nine o’clock position. Due to its size and shape, I found myself sometimes mistaking it for the hour hand.
Normally, I review automatic watches. Because of my unfamiliarity with digital timepieces, I originally found it difficult to set up this watch. The procedure, however, is logical, and those familiar with digital timepieces will not experience a problem.
This watch contains a dual movement. The analog movement is adjusted by pulling out and turning the crown. The digital movement provides the date as well as the time. Four buttons protruding from this device allow the user to check the date, utilize the back-light, set an alarm, and run the stopwatch function. The push-buttons feel reasonably solid and should last for the lifetime of this watch. The Skmei 1064 emits a distinctive tic as the second hand rotates. I quite like that.
The Skmei 1064 boasts a water resistance rating of 50 meters. Considering its price range and the number of protruding buttons, you might not want to test this feature.
The watchband is composed of rubber. It is thick at the point where it attaches to the watch, thinning and becoming very flexible throughout the remainder of its length. The buckle utilizes two pins. For those such as myself, with dubious hand and eye coordination, it is slightly more difficult to attach than a normal band. It is worth the effort. While rubber straps may be the most durable of the less expensive bands, they are also the plainest. Any attempt to improve aesthetics is appreciated.
The Skmei 1064 is equipped with two batteries. Another storage unit—probably a capacitor—can be charged by either sunlight or the CR2016 battery, which normally powers the digital section of this watch.
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The analog section is powered by an SR626 1.5-volt battery. It is hidden within the depths of the movement, and in my opinion, not replaceable.
The digital section of the movement is powered by a CR2016 3-volt battery. This cell is not rechargeable. The CR2016 is concealed under a cover at the top of the movement. It can be replaced, but because the cover is glued down, the process would not be easy.
I ran a series of tests to determine the usability of the rechargeable storage unit. Unfortunately—due to testing methods best described as unsatisfactory—the results of my procedures proved contradictory.
I removed both the back cover and the SR2016 battery. During my first test, the digital display remained visible for 40 minutes. A few minutes later, I brought the watch into sunlight. The display reappeared, and enough power had remained to prevent the unit from losing track of time.
I could not repeat this result. While five seconds of sunlight proved sufficient to keep the display active for one minute, lengthier exposure to light did not extend operation in a dimly lit room. I replaced the battery, but once it was again removed, the display remained readable for only one minute.
I also ran into difficulty setting the watch while it was running on solar power.
I blame my tests. More than likely, I damaged the storage device or limited its ability to charge by depriving it of a ground. Also, leaving the watch on a hot sun porch could very well have damaged the interior components.
My best guess is that, fully charged, the internal energy storage device will allow digital operation for up to 40 minutes. Once the display fades away, there will remain sufficient energy to power the internal clock for a limited period of time. I doubt that this grace period will extend longer than a couple of hours.
I don’t feel the average customer will bother using this watch after the battery fails. It wouldn’t be practical. On the other hand, as far as I can determine, available solar power will augment the energy provided by the battery. This could very well extend the life of the SR2016 cell.
Skmei is a brand name of the Guangzhou SKMEI Watch co., Ltd. It is located in Guangdong, mainland China. Unlike most Chinese watch brands, Skmei actually designs and manufactures many of its watches.
The brand first appeared in 2010, featuring imitations of Casio’s G-Shock watches. Since then, Skmei has introduced a wide variety of inexpensive timepieces.
Umeishi is another brand owned by this company, specializing in automatic timepieces. They tend to be expensive when compared with Skmei watches. Quite possibly, these devices are manufactured by a different company and branded with the Umeishi name.
Additional information related to the Guangzhou SKMEI Watch Co. can be found in this excellent article, SKMEI Watches: Difficult to Ignore, by Always “watching” on The Watch Forum.
Manufacturer’s website: www.skmei.com
Condition: New with tag
Part number: Skmei 1064
Place of origin: Guangdong, China
Display: Analog plus digital
Battery life: One to two years
Features: Dual display, solar power, and back-light
Functions: Alarm, full calendar, and stopwatch
Band material: Rubber
Band width: 20 mm to 24 mm
Dial color: Gray
Dial window material: Hardex
Case material: Stainless steel
Case diameter: 4.7 cm
Case thickness: 1.3 cm
Weight: 99 grams (3.49 ounces)
Water resistance: Rated at 50 meters
Skmei 1064 Solar Powered Watch
The manufacturer has managed to jam an analog display, a digital readout, and a solar cell into the dial without noticeable clutter. It has even provided a wrist strap, which exhibits a degree of flair. For those who appreciate size and weight, the Skmei 1064 is an appealing watch.
I damaged the solar charging system while conducting my tests. If you refrain from messing around with the watch’s inner working, you will not experience this problem. The Skmei 1064 is solidly built and should provide yeoman service over a lifetime of one to two years. Then it can be replaced for less than $10. You can’t beat that.
Lately, watch manufacturers are producing a wide variety of dual movement timepieces. It seems a bit strange; why would anyone need a watch that displays the time using two different methods? Please take the time to fill in the survey provided below.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can you suggest a better option to Skemi 1064? I am looking for a solar powered watch, especially something that has a dual system like 1064.
Answer: I really like One Eleven's CMP0002. It, however, costs far more than the Skmei.
Walter Shillington (author) from Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada on January 07, 2020:
The batteries in this watch are not intended to be replaced and no manual is available (as far as I know).
firstname.lastname@example.org on January 07, 2020:
How can I replace both two batteries technically? please send the manual.
Allen Chen on November 09, 2018:
I have a 1064 SKMEI watch. I like to know how to adjust the date and time
TvD96 on October 13, 2018: