Q&Q SmileSolar R-01A Review - Why do I even try to collect anymore ?

For more than a year now, I discovered this nice Citizen subbrand called Q&Q, and their specific line called Smilesolar.

The concept is pretty simple yet ambitious : To offer affordable solar watches, made with plastic from the oceans. I find this approach cool, the watch being solar means that no battery is used and the sustainable concept goes further than with, for example, the Moonswatch that miss (for me at least) the major point of it's CSR purpose. 

I already own 4 SmileSolar, because I love the concept, and because it's cheap. This particular one was released around a year ago, and is part of a more "high-end" collection, the Series 003. Long story short on the backstory, Q&Q is not officially imported in my country (France), but it's easy to get some models on Amazon. The Series 003 is not, and I spent the last 365 days looking regularly on Amazon if a drop arrived, but not. So in a cold morning last week, I decided to go on Amazon.jp and find all the collection online, and shipping to France !

After conversion and fees calculated, total was 57€, shipping and tax included. It's the kind of gift I can afford so I pulled the trigger and here it is to bright my end of week.

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The specs are the same than my first Q&Q I reviewed here

36mm, 12mm thick including the domed glass, 41mm lug to lug, 18mm lug width. The Wate Resistance is 10ATM and packed in a 20gr case & canvas strap. That dimensions are perfect for me, my wrist is only 16.5cm (6.5 inch). The fluidity of the case + glass is one of my favourite thing on this watch. Look :

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The crown is sigled with the Q&Q logo. Dope !

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Everything is in curves and round shapes, no sharp angle, no cutted bezel. Smooth. Calm. Friendly. Adorable.

So, apart from just collecting these cool babies, why buying another one, and this collection in particular ? Because I felt there was more to see, more to offer. And you know what ? I was right.

My concerns about my RP26 were mainly on the hands and the dial, too basics in my opinion. These hands are beautifully shaped, and the dial has some granular aspect in the sand color. The numerals are textured and shiny in the light. What a jump in quality ! 

Here is the RP26

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And here is the R01A :

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I didn't know, but Q&Q has even put some lume on the hands ! Yeah, in the black part, there is some f****ng lume ! You call me a liar ?

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So, in terms of dial and handset, I'm happier than a could expect. The second hand still has the "Q" as a counterweight, I love that kind of attention to details.

The other thing I was a little bored about was the strap. The OEM strap was very confortable and soft, that's a fact, but there was only one keeper. It was really annoying to see the strap moving and being not hold tied. Q&Q has you covered :

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There is now two keepers (one fixed and one moving, as on leather strap), and the inner side is in a sort of suede that is incredibly comfortable. I'm just pissed that my wrist is between two sizes, but it's on me.

Being mainly an automatic watch guy, I'm always amazed when one of my watch is accurate within 30 seconds a day. The SmileSolar line  is equiped with a basic but reliable Miyota 2085, which is given to a +/-25s per month accuracy but in the reality is more in the +/-1 sec per 3 months (🎯). 

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sunbathing 😎

It's a solar movement, meaning it is powered by light from the sun or a sufficient artificial light. The autonomy from full to empty is given for 3.5 months, but I advise you to put it under the light for few hours at least once a month, because if the battery drops in deep discharge, it can cause serious damages and ruin the movement. Better be cautious than sad.

The only other warning to have in mind is that the acrylic glass is really easy to scratch. It's part of a watch's life, but better be aware that it will be scratched soon or late.

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10:10am let the window glow

In conclusion, you may be shocked by my 5 stars notation, but regarding the price tag, the amount of love and fun of this watch, and the serious jump in terms of quality regarding the previous collection, it's well deserved and not so outrageous. Once again this Q&Q is one of my best 50€ spent in my watch journey💸. 

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Cheers fellow crunchers !

Q&Q SmileSolar R-01A Review - Why do I even try to collect anymore ?

5.0
Yes No
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
  • handset and dial have been seriously improved
  • comfort on the wrist
  • slightly domed glass
  • case dimensions are perfect
  • strap is comfortable and good quality
  • "set & forget", no battery, no wrist move needed
  • drilled lugs, 18mm width
  • lightweight
  • 100m WR
  • atomic precision
  • the glass is fragile

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Why does Citizen limit that to Japan? I don't understand why companies self-sabotage. 

Oh, and it has a battery. There is no getting around heavy metal mining. I am all for clearing the oceans of plastics, but we must keep one eye on what China is doing to its environment.

Forgot to mention that I like the looks of it.

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Aurelian

Why does Citizen limit that to Japan? I don't understand why companies self-sabotage. 

Oh, and it has a battery. There is no getting around heavy metal mining. I am all for clearing the oceans of plastics, but we must keep one eye on what China is doing to its environment.

Forgot to mention that I like the looks of it.

I agree, why making that JDM thing, especially when you're an international company.

Yes it has battery, but being limited in my words cause i'm not fluent in english, i made a mistake. It has accus, powered by light and being theorically lasting at least 15 years (more or less is correctly used). I was putting it in opposition with a battery you have to replace every 2-3 years. 

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Thank you for sharing this. Looks amazing!

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I'd never heard of this, I'll have to look these up! Thanks!

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ljl203

Thank you for sharing this. Looks amazing!

Thank you, it does looks and feels amazing on the wrist !

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tiberisnatator

I'd never heard of this, I'll have to look these up! Thanks!

They offer quite much for the price ! Cheers