The folks over at Seiko, apparently lamenting the fact that the company doesn't manufacture cars, are jumping on the hybrid bandwagon nonetheless. In late August two hybrid clocks will be released in Japan. Seiko's new timepieces will combine both solar and battery power so as to reduce the frequency at which you need to replace the batteries.
When the clock is in a well-lit environment, it relies on solar power to supply the juice. But when in a dark setting it switches over to auxiliary battery power in order to keep on ticking. While this is not the first solar-battery hybrid clock that we've seen, the longevity of Seiko's clock is noteworthy. When used regularly in a bright interior space (for about 8 hours per day), it can go on for about 4 years as opposed to 2.5 on battery power alone.
Seiko is releasing two versions of their hybrid clock: the SQ245S (measuring 6.6 x 9.7 x 1.1 inches) and the smaller SQ751W (4.7 x 5.5 x 2.6 inches). Both display time and date on an LCD screen, with the large top section capable of displaying either one according to your preference. The clocks also display temperature and humidity as well, which will certainly come in handy during hot Tokyo summers. They both keep time using radio-corrected quartz movement, so you always can be sure of accuracy.
The SQ425S and SQ751W will sell for 7,350 and 5,250 yen respectively (approx. US$86 and $61) when they are released at the end of the month. That might seem a little steep for even a hybrid clock, but for individuals who require a reliable clock that can go for years without a battery change, Seiko's clocks can likely fill that need. No word yet on whether or not Seiko intends to sell it outside Japan.