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I am an engineer. Hear me ROAR! [meow]
on October 21, 2010
I just turned 34 today. I had been surfing and apparently raving that I had to get one of these. I have wanted one since I was 7 years old. The slightly nerdy kid in my 2nd grade class had one, and I was green with envy. Every few years, I would notice Casio is still making this watch, and every time, I thought to myself: "Nah, not enough features." or "Nah, electronic watches are boring." (I'm a Watch Idiot Savant, or WIS for short. I normally like mechanical watches)
Anyway, I had a couple of beers last night and was raving to my wife that I need to get one of these. I had waited 27 years, and that is quite long enough. Back then, this watch was a relatively new design. It was only 3 years old. In those days, Casio didn't come out with new designs every week like they do now.
So today, she surprised me with this. When I look at it, I am transported back to 1983 in 2nd grade, and I remember how envious I was of Nicholas, who had this watch and was all stoked about going to see 'The Return of the Jedi'.
Enough of my sentimental rambling. That is not why you're reading this. (if indeed *anyone* is reading this...)
I will review this from the standpoint of an electrical engineer and owner of 4 other Casio watches. I've had countless others, but I'm down to 5 now. Ergonomically, this watch could not be any better. Looking at the black resin band, you might think that it sticks to the wrist. It does not, because Casio put cut-outs in the strap up near the watch body. The band is soft and pliable. Compared to modern Casio digital watches, it does not do much. The main screen includes time of day and the day of the week. The next screen is the calculator. The next screen is the alarm and hourly chime. The next screen is Dual Time. The next screen is stopwatch. Then, we go back to the main screen. No countdown timer, no moon phase, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, not even a micro-light. (micro lights are the tiny incandescent that were barely adequate to light up the display to read the time. Micro-lights predate ILLUMINATOR and ELECTRO-LUMINESCENCE.)
However, the result is that the screens are not cluttered with junk. There aren't weird symbols, the meaning of which one would need to consult the booklet.
You might look at the funky way the rubber buttons protrude up through the watch body. Don't laugh too hard. These are MUCH easier to press than those of later Casio calculator watches. Later models were made to be more water resistant, so they had to seal up the keypad and use membrane-type buttons. I have one such later model, a DBC-150. (Databank Calculator, 150 telememos) It has more features, including a nice backlight and a countdown timer. But the calculator buttons either require a fingernail or a VERY hard press with the tip of the finger. Not the trusty CA53W-1! A normal press with a fingertip is all it takes.
The CA53W-1 is also not bristling with buttons from the sides like later model Casios were. Just one metal button protrudes, and the recessed metal button for 'ADJUST'. Less buttons to catch on clothing and accidentally press. The time is set through the use of the numeric keypad. The stopwatch is also controlled by this keypad.
The face of the watch boldly advertises: 'WATER RESIST, ALARM CHRONO, WR'. A word more on 'WATER RESIST'. If a depth is not given, then this means it is resistant to splashes, such as one might encounter in a light rain or a random drop or two from washing one's hands. It is not designed to be submerged. Others reviewers have indicated that they've submerged their CA53W-1 with no ill effects, but I'm not going to risk it. I'll take my DW-5600E G-Shock for that kind of duty.
Also worth mentioning is that this watch is significantly thinner and shorter than later calculator watches. It is literally 30% smaller than my DBC-150. It is so light, one doesn't even realize one is wearing a watch.
The bottom line is that for someone who has the right kind of fashion sense, this is a better watch to have then a Rolex (I have one) or Movado. It makes a certain statement, and that statement is: "I am all about practicality. I am an unapologetic geek. Take your trendy, blocky-for-no-reason, Ashton Kutcher-esque Kenneth Cole watch and take a long walk on a short pier."
One last tidbit of info. When I set the date on my watch, the earliest year was 1980. Happy 35th birthday, Casio Calculator Watch.