Pros: Terrific value, auto sets to precise time, beautiful appearance.
Cons: Convex face is more apt to get scratched, no countdown timer
I was looking for a new Casio watch with a metal bracelet watchband, and came across this item-
Main features it offers is the WaveCeptor feature, which enables auto synchronization with the radio signal transmission from the atomic clock in Colorado, combination analog and digital display, which mean it offers a host of features that are generally only available with digital watches.
The appearance of the watch is striking, with well delineated minute markers, red accents on the hands, and EL backlighting at a push of a button. The monochrome picture shown above doesn't really do it justice, because it looks much better with the red accents-
The band clasp is high quality stainless steel, with double push buttons on the sides to release it, and it latches in with a nice click. Very quick and easy to take the watch off and put it back on compared to regular straps-
The band comes sized large enough for me to wear on my ankles; it's that generously sized. However, it's easy enough to remove links to fit, using just a paper clip.
What I did was bend a small right angle in a regular paper clip to use as a driver to push out the pins. I secured the band on a rubber coated vise sideways, and put the paper clip tip in the hole, and gave it a few taps with my Leatherman, and the pin popped right out. (Observe the arrows on the back of the links to see which direction you need to tap the pin out from). Remove and reconnect the links as necessary, and you're set.
There's one small fine tune adjustment on the band clasp, but it's fairly limited; it allows you to tighten up the band just a smidgeon.
To figure out how many links I needed to remove on each side, I placed the watch against my wrist, and looked at the position of one of the links on the side, then pulled the watch up so that the clasp was against my wrist, in the desired position. Counted off the difference in the links to the same position, and determined the number of links that had to be removed. Then did the same for the other side.
Got it right on the first try that way- :)
The band has a natural contour at the ends of the watch, so it curves comfortably, and fits very well. It works much better than my Casio ProTrek watch, with a resin band, which closes up in more of a circle, requiring it to be cinched up tighter than I like, just to prevent the watch from rotating on my wrist. There are no pressure points with this band, so it isn't obtrusive on the wrist.
Measurement with a caliper showed the watch thickness to be 13.8 mm, some thickness added by the rounded crystal.
Width is about 41.5 mm.
Overall, it's not one of those paper thin elegant watches, but not wrist brickish like my G-Shocks either. Perfect size for me- :)
The case is a combination metal and resin, which hopefully won't prove to be a problem in the future (I've had some Casio resin watches which became brittle over time, and just fractured during normal wear).
The watch doesn't have a second hand, but the minute hand moves in 20 second increments, which should be more than adequate in normal use. It jumps 1/3 of the minute increment at 20 seconds, 40 seconds, and at the top of the minute. In any event, should you want to see the seconds, you can view it from the digital display at the bottom.
The watch offers three modes for the digital display in timekeeping mode:
: Month-date / Day of the week
: Time HH:MM / Seconds
: Month-date / Seconds
This allows you to choose whatever's most important for you to see, and is easily toggled between with the push of the top left button.
Another display function is for world time, which will show the time in the city of your choice, in the digital display (the analog time will remain at your home city setting).
Five alarms can be set, three normal, one snooze alarm, and an interesting Target Alarm, which you set the desired alarm time, and the digital display shows the time remaining until that alarm time is reached. For you clock watchers, this means you can set it for lunchtime, and you can see the hours and minutes counting down until you get to run out for lunch- :-)
The snooze alarm is for a wakeup alarm, where it will go off at regular intervals after you silence it.
There are five Date Alerts that you can set: this lets you set a specific date in the year, such as an important anniversary or birthday, and the display will flash the date with an exclamation on that date- Not an alarm, but assuming you look at your watch that day, it's an indication to jog your memory that you need to do something- "better go buy some flowers or a birthday card... or else!"
Yet another feature is a Time Marker function, which allows you to generate a timestamp of a specific date and time, storing up to 30 timestamps. Could come in handy for marking off occurrences of specific events, but you need to recall what each one corresponds to- I'm not sure what exactly this feature is intended for. It's more limited in usefulness because it doesn't allow a single timestamp to be deleted; you can only delete all at once. If you're playing around and enter a timestamp, it can't be deleted in order to just retain the important ones, so it'll just add to the confusion when you go back and review the data set.
And finally, a stopwatch function with split time readout; readout in 1/100th second increments, up to a maximum of 1 hour, before looping around to zero again.
The common function that seems to be lacking in this and a lot of Casio watches is the countdown timer; not sure why they opt not to include it. I'd venture to guess that most people would find it much more useful than the timestamp function they included, but it is what it is-
I have the black dial version of this watch (blue and white are also available), and I think the appearance is really impressive; very clean and functional high tech look, with all the markings providing a real purpose. I frequently find myself gazing upon it admiringly, 'cause it just looks so nice- :-)
I was looking for something with the Tough Solar feature, which this doesn't have, but the CR1620 battery is rated to operate for 2 years with daily alarm use and one daily backlighting operation, so it wouldn't be much hardship to change the battery every now and then. Could be better than the Tough Solar, in fact, as even the rechargeable battery in the Tough Solar watches will eventually die at some point, and replacements will not be simple as the CR1620 lithium this one uses.
The caseback is secured with four small screws, so it's a simple matter for a DIY battery replacement. If you want to maintain the maximum water resistance, you should take extra care to fully clean the sealing area and gasket before reinstalling. Casio's party line on battery replacement is to send it off to them to do, where they'd probably replace the o-ring seal, but I'd only consider it for the 200m watches used for diving. Don't plan to dive with this, so I'll do it myself for the 99c cost of a replacement battery. :D
The acrylic crystal on this watch is not recessed like on Casios of the G-Shock ilk, so it will be more apt to getting accidentally scratched if you brush up against something hard, so extra care is called for. It's not a rough and tumble kind of watch in that regard.
Because it's relatively soft, however, small scratches can be readily buffed out.
Water resistance is rated to 50 meters, again not G-Shock level, but adequate in normal use, carwashing and swimming included.
All in all, an excellent value in the Casio line, and highly recommended.