on December 6, 2009
This is my first Casio watch and up until the time of purchase, I had been one of those "$5-$20 cheap-o sport watch" buyers. So if I were going to spend anything around $90 for a sport watch I would need to make sure it was worth the cost. After reading an article on a men's health/lifestyle website about fashion ([...], I think), they recommended the g-shock series by Casio since they offer a lot of functions and good quality for around $90. I found the GW6900-1 on sale for around $70 and I decided to buy it figuring I could always return it later if it didn't work out. Here are my observations on the two main selling points...
Design: The GW6900-1 is very basic. It's modeled off of the original DW6900 (Casio Men's G-Shock Classic Digital Watch #DW6900-1V) which is apparently G-Shock's best-selling case design. Personally, I feel that the numbers on the display are a little small. But I really like how it's not too crowded or junked up by unnecessary frills. The three circular dials above the time/day/date display are quite simple and indicate 1) the battery strength, 2) which functions are enabled (alarm, snooze alarm, hour signal beep, auto EL and button mute) and 3) a 10-second count indicator. The case/band isn't the sleekest looking - there are more modern styles out there - but it's not ugly by any means. Also, it's a little on the bulky side (doesn't exactly fit under a shirt cuff), but I don't feel it eats up my entire wrist. The 4 function buttons are easy to press and their labels are nice and straight-forward with alternate operations shown just inside the frame. Very easy to follow and operate.
Functions: The product description above pretty much lays out all the cool stuff this watch has going on for it, so I'll try not to be redundant here. I do want to highlight some of the operations that make this worth the price tag.
- Auto-EL (electro-luminescent): One thing that impressed me about this watch even before I put it on was the "smart" back-light. As I removed it from the box, I noticed the back-light come on. I thought something was wrong with it at first, but as I read through the manual I learned that this nifty function is *supposed* to happen. The watch's light turns on for about 1.5 seconds (or 3, your choice) in a dark room when you tilt your wrist towards your eyes without the need to press the button. How cool is that?! You can disable this to save on battery life if you want, but I doubt it's all that necessary. Which brings me to...
- Battery Life: This sucker is equipped with a solar powered battery that lasts up to 10 months on a full charge. Further exposure to light will keep it going and that goes for everything from direct sunlight, to light filtered through windows even to fluorescent lighting found in most buildings. Chances are good that given the amount of interaction most humans have with the sun or other light sources, you won't need to worry about this dying on you anytime soon. (That is unless you're a vampire or really into the goth scene.) Also, it has a power-saving mode you can apply that causes the watch to go into "sleep" mode during the hours of 11pm and 6am.
- Atomic Timekeeping: Like pretty much every cell phone, this watch calibrates time automatically. But it does it in 48 cities across 31 times zones all while taking daylight saving into account. And it runs about 5-6 times in the wee hours of morning just to make sure. (You can set time yourself too if you'd like.) Also, it's classified as multi-band 6 which means it automatically receives signals from pretty much every main radio point around the world (U.S., England, Germany, China and Japan).
- Waterproofing: This is probably a moot point, but I found it neat to learn that with a 20BAR/200M rating, you can pretty much use this while scuba diving.
- The rest: It's got 4 regular alarms and one snooze ("persistent") alarm. A stopwatch that lets you measure elapsed time, split time and two finishes. A countdown timer (which is a non-negotiable for me given that it comes in handy whether your cooking something or doing laundry). Full auto-calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099) and optional 12/24 hour formats.
That's about all I can really think of. I'm *extremely* pleased with my purchase and intend to have long, happy relationship with this watch!
*** REVIEW UPDATE ***
11/8/10 - A few months ago, I noticed that my watch was not holding a charge as well as it had during the first, several months of ownership. I was especially concerned when I encountered the flashing "LOW" battery indicator several times. Since there's no ideal place in my home to place the watch in sunlight to charge (lots of trees and bushes blocking windows), I would resort to setting it on my car dashboard when I went shopping or under a fluorescent lamp at work or home. Usually, this would bring the meter back up to (at least) medium strength. But the process would need to be repeated in 2-3 days. Frustrated, and thinking I picked the watch with a bad battery, I contacted Casio G-shock customer support and explained my predicament. Here is part of the response I received:
"...Solar G-Shocks must be charged, preferably using sun light rather than fluorescent lighting. You would have to leave it under the light for 73 hrs before it even reaches level one. The sun can charge it in about 17-23 hrs total. A watch that isn't charged will last about 9 months before flashing recovery. You can try letting it charge for 2-3 days, it is normal for the watch to stay on Med. If its on High and quickly goes to Low or flashes recovery, you may need to have the solar cell replaced...."
So apparently I was under the impression that charge times were far shorter than what the customer service rep told me (the result of a gross underestimation found in the instruction manual that comes with the watch). Thankfully and happily, I can report that after 3-4 days of leaving my watch in my car to charge during an 8-hour workday, the battery level indicator is once again showing a level 3 (high) charge.
I felt the need to share this update since there may be other users/potential customers who find themselves in a similar situation. (I noticed at least one very negative review which may have been prompted as such). Bottom line, you may need to be patient to get the results you expect from this timepiece.
on October 21, 2009
If you are new to G Shock watches then this is where you should probably start. I just got this watch (shipping was extremely quick) but have always been a fan of G's. It is a Solar Atomic, Matte Black watch with dozens of timezones pre-programmed in. The look and feel of this watch is enough to sell me but the idea of a somewhat endless battery (solar powered) and automatic sync every night is what really made me get this one. I am going into the military and will be traveling all around the world and the peace of mind knowing that I won't have to do much of anything but look down at my watch for the time is going to be nice.
Pros: great design, comfort, layout, simplicity, all black, solar, automatic sync, indestructable, 80 bucks is a steal for this watch
Cons: the indigo is bright, but it only lights up the time box & indicator spheres; not the entire face much like a dual illuminator would
on December 19, 2009
Have worn Nike watches for years for working out. They look nice but are pricey, don't have tons of useful features, aren't the most durable, and show their age very quickly. The glass face on my latest one cracked (the watch actually lasted for six years, not too bad for Nike), and rather than stick with the same brand, I decided to check out what was out there that might be a better value. I came upon the Casio G-Shock series, did some googling and other research and found that there's quite a following for these watches. Decided to order this watch and give it a test run, it has all of the features I'd actually utilize, and at a phenomenal price. I've now had it for a month and have put it thru the ringer, so to speak. Swimming, running, biking, dish-washing, etc etc - Love it so far. I've also decided to make it my official travel watch (travel for work quite a bit) and love the auto sync feature, multi-alarms are great as well. The solar power is also a great feature, the battery has yet to go below the "full" setting. It's a big watch, but light and has a relatively low profile so it doesn't constantly snag shirt sleeves. And I've received quite a few comments on the watch's looks as well. Good find - I'm now hooked on the G-Shocks.
on April 6, 2011
So, here goes. I have about 20 analog watches. Some are automatic, some kinetic, some solar. Finally realized why I don't wear them. I don't want to damage them, considering I paid well over two hundred bucks apiece for them. I am transplanted white collar to blue collar worker, and I would have to say that this by far is the most durable, easiest to set, and easiest to use watch I have ever owned.
First off, shipping was amazing. I had super saver shipping, free cause I am a cheapskate, and this took all of 3 days to get to me. Placed order on thursday night, about 2 am, had watch in hand on Saturday morning. It came packaged very well, bubble wrap in a huge steel case. The manual was about an inch thick, and the size of three stamps, so I pitched it to the side and gave it a whirl.
The display was blank, so I pushed a button, and wala. I had display. I then set it to my time zone, strapped it to the fence, and it was charged and ready to go.
It has an instant light feature, but you wouldnt believe how many times a day that little light comes on, so I don't use it. The several alarms are great, loud enough to wake me up, but not alarm clock buzzer loud, which wakes up my whole house.
There is no second guessing what time it is, just a one second glance, and you have it. I have smacked this watch around, stepped on it, dropped it, left it outside in two days of rain, and not a scratch on it.
The price was terrific, I saved more than fif tee bucks on it, amazon had it for atey fife after taxes and all, even wally world it was in excess of wunhun dred tirty befor taxes.
I am extremly pleased with this watch, I had ordered the simpler model of this without the atomic and solar feature, but changed my mind just in time to get this. I never have to set it nor change the battery. Well worth the extra few bucks to get this model.
The last thing I can say, two things. This is a LARGE watch. The band has a great design, where it sits in such a way that you dont get stinky watch, air seems to get through very well. Also, the word G shock at the top is not so bright as the photo, it is more of a gray color, which seems to blend in.
My advice is to buy it, strap it on, and get used to it. I have not gone a day without wearing it and I love it.
""""""@@@@@@update many years later...it is 2015, and this is still going strong. No problems, works great
on May 29, 2015
I got this recently and I love it! I can't say too much about reliability since I got it a week ago but people seem to say the watch holds up nice.
-The watch is the classic/original gshock with a little bit of variation.
-solar function works perfectly. I also got this so that the watch would last longer. Regular gshocks promise about a 2 year life battery but when you change it, the water resist feature no longer holds up or so a lot of reviews say. So this ensures a longer lifespan without having to open and ruin the watch
-atomic function works well. It took some time to get it right because of reception issues but it finally works and its great! It calibrates your watch to the atomic clock of a few countries.
-has all the basic gshock functions: timer, stopwatch, illumination and alarm. This watch also features different time zones.
-I'm not sure the GW6900 is NASA certified but the DW6900 is which is essentially the same model. So it helps the coolness factor
-its different from the DW6900 model in that for the GW, there are 3 letters for the day instead of 2 (example FRI instead of FR)
- bolder digits than the DW6900
-illumination function works great! You have the option of having it turn on automatically when you look at it while its on your wrist. Also, you can have it last for 1.5 seconds or 3.
-option of a power saving function, which turns off automatically when the watch is off and in the dark and not in use.
-feels very light and reliable. The band is replaceable.
-it's shock and water resistant, which is a given(according to manual, you can wash your hands with this model, go under rain, swim or surf) make sure not to press the buttons while under water!
-it's around $70, which is the lowest price among the solar gshock watches. The price is similar to the mudman but you get the solar function! It's a steel!
-buttons are easy to press unlike other gshocks, and they are situated in a way that helps avoid accidental pressing
-display is not negative so you can actually see the time without having to use the light constantly.
-easy to read
-thickness and size is about the same as a military wenger or a fossil townsman
-it looks cool and tough
-perfect for the gym, for athletes or for people who need fast readability
-great for everyday use if you know you're gonna bang the watch against something.
-the watch looks way nicer in person with its black finish and silver and white accents. I like that there isn't any red.
-for those concerned about the machismo factor... well it certainly won't repel women.
Overall this is a great watch. I've been needing something like this for everyday use. It's casual, not too flashy, easy to use and simple. I would say don't use this as a dress watch. I just go back to my swiss analog leather watch for formal occasions. The GW6900 looks like it'll hold up nice and so far I love it and would recommend it!
As a side note, I'd probably go for a timex ironman next time, maybe the shock models just because the digits are much larger and readable. This isn't really a con for the gshock unless they're compared or you have poor eyesight. But I'm happy I went with the gshock for now.
One thing Im not too keen on are the three dials on the display. I know they each have a function, but they're not necessary. Casio could have used the space in a more wise manner and made the digits larger. This isn't a deal breaker but it would have made this watch perfect.
For those who want to know what the dials are for:
The left one is to tell you the battery power level and if the power save function is on/off
The middle is to tell you if the key tone, alarm, etc is on/off
The right dial tells you the seconds in a 10 sec interval
The manual for this watch is nuts in that its so detailed that there's 80pgs worth of info. But it helps.
on March 11, 2015
Great watch! A lot of watch for the money. If you're thinking about buying this watch, do it. You won't regret it. I have a 7 inch wrist and I think it fits great.
on September 13, 2015
This watch is based on the original DW-6900 model, G-Shock's best-selling case design. However, unlike the DW-6900, it is solar powered with multi-band 6 atomic timekeeping.
I bought this watch for its great all around functionality and durability. You just cannot beat it for the price. With that being said, and if price is not so much of a concern to you, and you want a thicker watch with some additional features such as a thermometer and a compass, you might want to look at the G-Shock Mudman models. However, while all Mudmans are solar powered, not all of them feature multi-band 6 atomic timekeeping like this one.
SOLAR BATTERY CHARGE
Do not get frustrated if at first you receive this watch and the Battery Power Indicator will not go to high while indoors and exposed to light. That is what happened to me the first 2 or 3 days trying to raise the charge from medium to high near an indoor window. My advice is to keep a positive attitude about it. There is nothing wrong with the solar battery. Simply get the watch into outdoor sunlight for a few hours. I finally wisened up and did that on the third day, and the Battery Power Indicator went to high. That was 34 days ago, and It has been on high ever since.
This watch is extremely simple to operate. It has no unnecessary thermometer or compass which, to the average person, are not worth the hassle of setting up, especially since the accuracy of those features is always in question.
I like the front button for illumination of the light. Many G-Shock models have no front button instead utilizing the upper right side button for light illumination.
Further, I like the ability to scroll both east and west through the 48 city codes this watch offers. Not all G-Shocks can scroll in both directions. Sometimes they are limited to eastward scrolling due to configuration of the module with the style. But the capability of both east and west scrolling is far less clumsy.
If you want to further check out operation, I suggest researching the online Operation Guide where you will find very clear and concise product information.
Important Tip: The times displayed in the Timekeeping Mode and World Time mode are linked. Because of this, be sure you select a Home City (the city where you normally will use the watch) BEFORE you set the time and the date. Sometimes people do not read the Operation Guide and initially get hung up on operation not realizing this.
on Stainless Steel Back
ST. STEEL BACK - MADE IN THAILAND - Y - WATER RESIST 20 BAR - CASIO - 3179 - GW-6900 - SHOCK RESIST - SHOCK ABSORBING STRUCTURE
Also on the stainless steel back is an alphanumeric inscription or stamp which I believe to be a serial number.
on Watchband Clasp
The watch is programmed to automatically adjust the date of the month for the varying lengths of months as well as leap years to the year 2099.
This watch has a MINERAL crystal which is one of 3 crystal types commonly used in watches. For comparison of those types, I have described each of them below:
1. Acrylic crystal is an inexpensive plastic that allows shallow scratches to be buffed out.
2. MINERAL crystal (this watch) is composed of several elements that are heat-treated to create an unusual hardness that helps resist scratches.
3. Sapphire is the most expensive and durable crystal, approximately 3 times harder than mineral crystals and 20 times harder than acrylic crystals.
The 5 photos included with this review are not mine.
on June 23, 2015
Two days after purchasing this, I was wearing it while trimming trees. The extension ladder rope slipped from my hand with the entire weight of the top portion of the ladder sliding into my wrist, hitting the watch. Watch is still in excellent condition and works flawlessly. Although bruised, my wrist isn't broken, which I attribute to the watch. Two thumbs up! I also love the size, not too big, not too small! Main reason for purchase was hunting and outdoor activity/work. Works great! Very happy!
on November 9, 2009
This is my 3rd G-Shock and first in the tough solar/atomic series. I bought this model because of looks and features. Has just what I need and no useless features. The watch is large but light and wears well. The solar and atomic feature work perfectly. It came with the wrong time zone for my area and I was able to manually sync the watch according to instructions with no problems. There are really no cons to the watch thus far and I'd recommend this model to those who like the bigger style and are thinking about the solar/atomic features. It's classic G-Shock all the way!
*Update It's been nearly 2 years since getting this watch and it deserves a long term review. The watch has been perfect. It has always stayed fully charged with minimal direct exposure to sunlight. I haven't had the slightest desire to purchase another watch after getting this. The only modification I have made is a nice Maritac 3 ring nylon watch band. You simply can't go wrong with this watch.
on February 12, 2015
I am very happy with this watch. This is my first Casio G-Shock and so far, I love it. I think the size and shape are just right and I like the functionality. I was a little worried that it might be a little big and bulky on my wrist but I think it fits just right. I have an average size wrist and the watch doesn't look abnormally big on me.
I really like the solar function. I wore Timex Ironman watches for years but changing the batteries was such a hassle due to the difficulty in getting the back off with the wrist band in the way. And I had to replace a couple of watches when I didn't get the back sealed properly and water got inside. I'm hoping that with this solar powered one, battery replacement is a thing of the past! It really doesn't take much effort to keep the battery fully charged. When I got the watch in the mail the battery level was at the third level (of four), or the level just below full charge. Initially it took a little bit to get the charge up to full and it went back and forth from full charge to down a level a few times over the first few days. I'm assuming the watch had been sitting in a warehouse out of the light for who knows how long so it probably needed some extended light exposure to fully charge. After a few days I was careful the expose the watch to direct sunlight for longer periods and that brought the charge up to full and it stayed there. Since then I haven't made any special effort to expose the watch face to light (sun or electric), just the exposure it gets through normal everyday use, and it has stayed fully charged.
I've been really happy with the atomic timekeeping as well. The instructions go to great lengths to explain how you need to position the watch a certain way on a window sill at night so that the watch can receive the time keeping radio signals. It sounded like it was going to be a real pain since I prefer to sleep with my watch on. So far my watch hasn't missed the signal once even though it stays on my wrist in bed at night. I imagine that results might vary depending on where in the country (or world) you live and what the surrounding terrain is like. I live in the northeast US and in pretty hilly terrain but so far, no problems with reception.
Other than those specifics, I like the overall look and function of the watch. I was concerned the numbers might be a little small but so far that has been fine. Figuring out the controls was not difficult. I did read the instruction manual to find out about some of the specific functions but overall I just played with the buttons a little bit and most of it is pretty intuitive.
I've only had the watch for a few weeks so I can't speak toward it's long term durability but it definitely seems very well constructed and I look forward to many years of service. It looks like the band is relatively easy to replace should the need arise. Overall I think it is a great watch. If you are looking for something that is functional and durable, I highly recommend the G-Shock GW6900-1!