Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
Great value for money yachting watch
on October 14, 2007
I decided I wanted a decent-sized yachting watch with the tide shown on it as I thought it would be handy for sailing. I looked around and discovered there are huge differences in prices for watches and as I couldn't justify spending much, after some study I ended up choosing the Casio Sea Pathfinder. Now I don't know much about brands but I do know that Casio isn't a cool brand but, hey, getting this much watch for less than twenty pounds, I couldn't complain. The Amazon price was significantly cheaper than prices in the various chandlery mail order catalogues (now there's a surprise!). Please note there is a blue strap version (the one I chose) and black strap or silver strap versions which I think are the same watch (at least the same innards) but slightly different visually.
So, what's the watch like? Firstly, I'm a woman (albeit a large one!) and some men's watches look ridiculous. This one is fine, it's got a large face but not enormously so and a curved glass top so it feels smooth. There are four large buttons, two either side, which are easy to press. The main display (usually the time) is easy to see and very clear, the tidal and lunar displays less so, although you get used to reading the watch face.
There are a number of different modes including time, dual time (i.e. two different time zones), moon (how many days into the moon), 5 alarms, stopwatch and countdown timer. Interestingly I've found myself using the countdown timer when cooking (rather than a normal cooking pinger) because it's very easy to set. In fact all of the options on the watch are easy to set - once you've found out your lunitudinal interval. This mystery number helps the watch know the tidal states but the little instruction book that comes with the watch only gives general lunitudinal interval locations, such as 'London'. Armed with a set of tide tables and the watch, I discovered that London is significantly different to Eastbourne (Sovereign Harbour) tidal times. The thing I hadn't realised before buying this watch is that you can dial in the date and time and it will tell you the tide at that point, it doesn't just tell you the tide right now, so I was able to check the calculations up till December this year. Eventually, after some googling, I found a table of lunitudinal intervals along the South Coast of England. It didn't include Eastbourne but did have some other locations and, with a little trial and error, I managed to find the best lunitudinal interval which meant my watch tides agreed mostly with the Tide Table tides. And so far the tidal display seems reasonably accurate - it's nowhere near good enough to use for sailing planning but is a helpful quick check when you're thinking about walking on the beach (will the dog be able to play in the rock pools or will they be covered up?) and for general interest.
Being a digital watch it does have the unfortunate problem that when wearing polarising sunglasses (as I do when sailing) it's hard to make out the LCD display, but this is also true for the log, depth display, radar etc on the boat and isn't the fault of the watchmaker, just something to bear in mind.
Battery life is supposedly 10 years but most people will be bored with the watch by then and have moved onto the next one. The light lights up the face in the dark (what more do you need), the beeps for the alarms are loud enough to wake me, the watch overall seems perfectly adequate and it looks good. I think if I'd paid fifty pound I would have been very happy, for less than twenty it's a complete bargain. Go for it!