on June 5, 2009
I received this watch as a gift from my Amazon Wish List and I could not be happier. As a Backpacker and Pilot, this watch ahs the functions that I want and I never have to worry about batteries, winding, or if it is accurate. Although the manual is large, once the watch is set up it is easy to operate and I have not had to refer back to the manual since the first day.
The watch is a bit bulky, but very light. The numbers are very easy to read on the main face for those of us that have passed into our 40's and need the support of reading glasses, though the text around the face is very small and I can not read it without the assistance of my reading glasses.
One note is that the watch does not do a continuous compass function. It takes a reading and then locks. I guess the point is to take a heading reading on a fixed point. It would be a nice feature if you could choose between continuous compass readings and a read and lock.
on January 9, 2011
I got this watch for three main features: the atomic time-keeping, solar power, and the light. It gets a full 5 stars for those things I wanted most. It has an uber-techy look that seems to be popular style with many men who still bother wearing a watch at all. (Phones have become the new "pocket watch" for the youngest generation.) I can read the digital display without glasses. The markings around the dial are a different story -- too small for even my regular reading glasses. The zoomed pictures on the website can fool you in that regard. It came with a manual that is even thicker than the watch! Maybe heavier too. I have yet to use it to figure out how to change the default altitude reading from meters to feet. The default barometer reading is also metric. I was able to change that, but a similar sequence of button presses didn't seem to work for altitude. Kinda strange. The compass seems to show magnetic North as a 5-7 degrees too far East compared to a regular compass. Perhaps that is something else that is adjustable (if I get around to reading the manual :) ). The matching metal band feels good on the wrist, with an easy 2-snap release to remove the watch. But even though my wrist is a little thicker than average, I still had to take it to a jeweler to remove 2 links before it would fit.
UPDATE AFTER ONLY 2 YEARS: The battery died! Whats the point of a rechargeable solar battery if it doesn't last any longer than a simple thumbnail watch battery in a quartz movement? I'm downgrading my rating from 4 to 3 stars.
on April 24, 2014
If you are considering purchasing the PAW1100T-7V (Casio Module 3043):
1. You will almost certainly have to adjust the watchband to make it smaller by removing links or taking it to a jewelry store to have this done. If you do it yourself, you need the ability to work with very small parts.
2. The watch will not simultaneously display both date and day of the week. It takes a button press in order to see both.
3. The watch is aware of the year, but this is not normally displayed. (It can be set manually.)
4. (Manual page E-95): "This watch uses a special rechargeable battery to store power produced by the solar cell, so regular battery replacement is not required. However, after very long use, the rechargeable battery may lose its ability to achieve a full charge. If you experience problems getting the special rechargeable battery to charge fully, contact your dealer or CASIO distributor about having it replaced."
5. (Manual page E-144) "You should have the rubber seal that keeps out water and dust replaced every 2 to 3 years"
6. To keep the unit charged, it needs light. This requirement will be easy for some people and difficult for others. The manual, for example, suggests that the watch not be partially covered by a sleeve.
7. The watch has a nice power save feature that turns off the display and some of the functions based on certain factors such as the time of day and whether the watch detects light. This feature can be disabled if you don't like it.
8. I encountered an issue with water condensing under the crystal when the weather got colder. At one point there was so much condensation that I could not read the time. The service contact at Casio initially said this was "normal" but allowed that I could send the watch back for repairs, which I did. I had to pay for the postage to get the watch to N.J. but they paid to have the watch shipped back to me and I did not incur any other charges. However, I received no indication as to whether or not the seal was defective and I still have concerns that the watch's internal components may have been damaged by the water. Any problems might show up only after the warrantee expires. When I ran in very cold weather recently (single digits Fahrenheit), I noticed there is still a small amount of condensation under the crystal. The amount is small enough so that I can still read the time. I don't know if this should be considered a problem. This is my first solar watch and I naturally have it exposed to the cold air so that it will charge in the sunshine. I never treated my other watches that way, so I don't know if they would have done the same thing in cold weather if the crystal was constantly exposed to the cold air. However, since solar watches will be used this way, I think Casio should assemble the watches in a very dry environment so this is never an issue. Apparently this is not being done. (list item added 8JAN2015)
If you have already purchased the PAW1100T-7V (Casio Module 3043) and need to adjust the wristband:
You can remove links from the wristband using a small paper clip to push out some of the pins that hold the links in place. There are arrows on some of the link indicating which pins can be removed and the direction to push in order to remove them. You may need pliers to manipulate the paper clip. Be aware that there is a very small metal sleeve that goes into one side of the smaller links. When you take the links apart, that sleeve is likely to fall out. You will need to put the sleeve back into one of the links in order to properly reassemble the wristband.
on January 18, 2013
FEB 04, 2013 UPDATE:
Over the weekend I had to get my original watch exchanged due to what I thought to be a factory defect (a black spot on the lcd).
To my surprise the replacement watch I got is MUCH BETTER! The LCD Crystal is clearer and sharper (I don't think it is the same mineral crystal like before. Could it be Hardlex or Sapphire?) and the Backlight is now a bright Blue-green and not the dim Green like the original PAW1100T that I originally reviewed. I assume this is a changed or improved 2013 edition to the PAW1100T.
So I'm wondering if Casio updated the PAW1100T recently? I added a lot of hi-res pictures to the product gallery and you can clearly see that it is a different watch than the one I originally reviewed!
That said, I would have changed my 4.5 stars to 5 stars but I still have my issues with the atomic update feature and half the screen being empty space in the time keeping display mode. However most customers new to Casio Pathfinder or A B C watches will easily find te PAW1100T to be a 5 star watch
If this PAW1100 will be your first Casio Protek Pathfinder then you will be very pleased with it since in my opinion it is the best looking, most useful and easiest to wear of all the current PAW/PRG Casio Protrek Pathfinders.
However this review will compare the PAW1100T against other Casio Protrek Pathfinders (mostly the PRG40T which this watch descended from) and we will see how it stacks up
I previously owned the PRG-40T since December 2002 that I sold last month Dec(2012) after 10 solid years of great service. I only got rid of it because I was tired of replacing the four very expensive pacemaker/hearing aid batteries ($40 with new seal) that my PRG40T was devouring every 2 to 3 years.
Coming from the PRG-40T, the PAW1100T seemed the best replacement in terms of appearance, functions and maintenance (free solar power and atomic updates).
Below is my take on the PAW1100T-7V:
1-Great Size, Fit and Superb Build Quality- The PAW1100T 'feels' smaller on my wrist than my old PRG40T even though on paper it is a bigger watch. The PAW1100 is sleeker due to the flat thin aerodynamic design and most of my jacket and shirt cuffs can fit over the face unlike the PRG40T. However, with this being solar powered watch, Casio recommends the watch is worn outside the cuff and NOT under it. I've found this watch to lose power very quickly if it does not get a daily dose of Vitamin D compared to my Citizen Eco Drive watches.
The buttons are all firm and solid on the PAW110T with no looseness or play in them. You push them in firmly and they do what they are assigned to do. By comparison my PRG40T and lesser watches the buttons around the bezel would have a little play in them. On the PAW1100T this is not an issue. Also the resin plastic on the body and crystal glass are very durable.
The only thing that seems to be susceptible to any type of scuffing is the shiny bezel ring-which is not a rotating ring but a fixed frame around the glass display. However, this seems to be a replaceable thing on this watch. Other than that everything is solid on this watch. I'm sure you can drop it off the top of a 5 story building onto concrete pavement and it will still work fine.
Casio used the titanium very well and the band runs all the way up to the bezel where it offers more protection around the face than the PRG40T.
The downside of this is the lugs are very stiff compared to the jointed and loose lugs of the PRG40T. For the first couple of days the knuckle on my wrist was sore from the stiff lug rubbing against it. It does `seem' loosen up overtime (or rather my wrist got use to it). If your wrists are smaller than 6.5 inch circumference then expect the lugs and watch body to over hang around your wrist. It is NOT a heavy watch and that makes all the difference. The paradox in this is the PAW1100T will be both the biggest/bulkiest watch and also the lightest watch in your collection!
2- No Demo Function on the PAW1100- One of my favorite features of the PRG40T was the Demo 'screen saver' Function that scrolls thru all the A, B and C displays while showing accurate readings of temperature and some static A and B readings in the screensaver. It also looked really cool with overlay of the compass sweep.
3- Issues with the Back-light on the PAW1100- First issue on this watch is when you attempt to look at the watch in the dark while taking one of the A B or C readings the effect of the back light turning ON stops the A B or C reading that you are taking. It not only stops your reading but you may have to start the reading all over again and wait until it is done reading before turning on the back light to see the screen in the dark. The back-light also stops the atomic time update as well. My PRG40T watch did not have this shortcoming and all the A B and C functions worked with the back light on.
Second issue with the PAW1100 back-light is I didn't realize how nicer and brighter the ice blue back-light of the PRG40T was until I got this PAW1100 (see pictures I put up in the gallery). The green back-light of the PAW1100 is dimmer and the effect looks like a $10 drugstore Timex. I don't too much care for it but most users new to the PAW1100 won't even notice or care. Former PRG40 owners brace yourselves because the green ain't pretty.
4- Lots of blank real estate on the display when watch is in basic Time Display Mode- My PRG40T used every square micrometer of its display to show all types of information in the Time Display Mode. In contrast, the PAW1100 has a lot of empty space on the display particularly the left side. I assume this space reserved for the 24 hour format and extra on screen characters for the A B and C modes. In Time Display Mode, which is what will be on the display 99% of the time for most of us, it just looks like empty space that could be better used to show BOTH the day of the week and the calendar date - month/day (even the year would fit). Currently the PAW1100 can ONLY show either the day of the week OR the calender date but not both.
5-The Atomic Update Feature on this watch is more hassle than gimmick and more gimmick than useful- First surprise is the 3043 module booklet says for North America the signal updates are ONLY guaranteed within 600 miles of the signal source at Fort Collins, Colorado. Once outside the 600 mile radius from the source the watch is NOT guaranteed to receive a signal and 'may' only receive updates after midnight and before 5.00 am. Once you go beyond 2,000 miles from the signal source then the watch will NOT receive updates. This 600/2000 mile limit is also true for signal sources in Asia and Europe.
The watch will ONLY update outside the house or on a large open window sill. It will NOT update inside a car, inside a high rise office/apartment building, at the base of a mountain range, near power lines, if you have a cell phone nearby, if there is a turned on TV/Microwave oven/Computer in the same room or nearby anything metal. It will also not update in bad weather. That right there is about 90% of the daily environment for 99% of the population in the USA. I've had other radio watches that have way better receiving prowess. So if you are craving the PAW1100 thinking atomic updates are as simple as pushing a button anytime anywhere and it simply updates itself in seconds then you need to look elsewhere.
Second issue is the Atomic Auto Update turns itself OFF (without letting you know) when the time or time zone are manually set something we ALL do when we take it out of the box for the first time. This gets confusing because the watch will still show Auto Update is ON but it will NOT update and the receiving indicator bars will remain blank (meaning the radio is not receiving a signal). This is not explained well in the booklet but what is clear is the ONLY way to get the Auto Update to turn back ON and the receiving bars to reappear is to do a Manual Update. In my experience Manual Updates are tedious requiring many trials and errors before working. You MUST take the watch off and put it down on a window sill or put it down on the ground outside away from metal. Once your Manual Update is successful the bars come back and Auto Update turns ON. This mandatory process defeats the purpose of having an user adjust option for turning Auto Update OFF or ON.
A final note about Auto Updates, especially the first time you take it out the box, you will noticed the watch may have 10% to 50% power left or L to M on the power scale. If you fail to charge the watch fully during the first day of wearing it and the Auto Update attempts to update that night then there is a good chance it will drain the battery. When an Auto Update fails it reattempts the updates thru out the night. If you are like most people and forget to put it on the window sill then you will wake up to find a blank screen. That said, I set Auto Update to OFF and do a Manual Update once a month if need be.
The PAW1100T is a digital watch after all and daily Atomic Time Updates are way more useful for day/date analogue watches that usually lose or gain a month day (31st or 30th) at the end of each month. After the novelty wears off it is more of a hassle than something I need on this watch. There is the cheaper PRG80T which is the same watch as the PAW1100T sans the atomic radio feature.
6-The Solar Power Feature is Average- The first time taken out the box the power will be L to M. Even if the meter says H it will certainly be a low H. What I find is when not fully charged this watch will go from H to M quickly and M to L to 0% power in one night especially if an alarm is set and/or atomic update is turned ON but not receiving so it spends the night doing multiple reattempts. I think Casio says it takes a day of full exposure to sunlight for this watch to get a full H but in my experience it was more like a week of full days with this watch exposed to daylight to get a solid H.
7-Lifetime Longevity Expected - Without batteries to replace and daily automatic time updates (thru 1/1/2099) this watch is virtually a perpetual beast that will outlive your great great great Grand-kids.
8-A(altimeter) , B(barometer) and C(compass) Functions are actually Very Good!- It has been said that the Casio Pathfinders are not as accurate on the A and B as other watch brands but out of all the Pathfinders the PAW1100T/PRG80T is said to be the most accurate in the family. So far I've found the Compass, Barometer and Temperature to be all SPOT ON accurate. The Compass does take about 3 to 5 seconds to show a reading (see my review videos). On my PRG40T watch, and from what I seen on many other Pathfinders, the compass starts displaying readings within 1-2 seconds.
Another gripe on the PAW1100 is the A B C functions all turn off after a minute and return to the Time Display Mode. My PRG40T did not do this and kept the A B C readings on screen until you decided to return to the Time Display Mode. This isn't bothering me as yet but I can see how it would be annoying during a long backpacking trip where keeping tabs on A and C readings are important. That said, I don't usually use Altimeter or Barometer functions much. If I need to rely on those functions in a life or death situation then I bring a proper Garmin Trail GPS unit.
VERDICT: Overall this is STILL a great watch! But in retrospect most of us buying the PAW1100 could totally do without the Atomic Update Feature especially if you live outside the 600 mile radius of Fort Collins Colorado! The PRG80T which does not have the Atomic Update Feature is the identical lower priced version of the PAW1100T. So those of us outside the 600 mile radius of a signal source may find the PRG80T to be a much better value.
on August 1, 2008
I haven't read any other reviews before the one listed here and I sure didn't before I bought it and I paid a helluva lot more than the price listed here at Amazon. I bought this very same watch before it was available to the general public when I was working in Hawaii, I had always wanted an attractive not too bulky watch with all the features for a true get away from society explorer's wet dream. This watch is definitely the answer, if you figure out electronics even ones with a complex set of multi functions like this one then you won't need it's nearly 300 page mini manual yes nearly three hundred pages. While it is true that it dosen't wipe your butt for you like some people think expensive, brainy electronics should do. If you are an avid explorer and aren't afraid of pushing a few buttons sometimes more than once then you could find no better watch but if you don't like depending on technology to do it's job and would rather use a stick then by all means do so. Just don't pick the wrong kind of plant when using the bathroom. The compass feature does stop reading after 20 seconds but guess what you can always press the compass button again. The point behind getting a compass reading is that you can check and recheck your headings, Factually, I wouldn't trust a compass who told me only one way to go as it actuates. Now, Moving on to a couple of the other features, like altimeter, have you ever wondered how many meters above the ground you were in an airplane, yeah I did too, found out too, it's really freaky to watch how fast a plane drops when descending. Barometer function does take a little bit of explaining I would suggest reading the manual if only for this caveat, Thermometer I would like to say this was really acurate while being worn but alas I don't think there is a skin liked device that can give you an accurate room temp without taking into account body temp. However if you take it off and let it naturalize you can get a realistic reading in either celsius or farenheit. The five different alarms are great if you are one of those whom need constant waking up in order to get going. Or for setting alarms for different time zones, another cool feature is the world clock, ever wondered what time it is in Tokyo, when you are having your tea and crumpets in South London. All in all it is a great watch, get it at this much cheaper retail price if you like it.
on March 18, 2014
I got this watch on a lightning deal and couldn't turn it down at the price. The atomic clock updating feature is great if you are within range of the Fort Collins transmitter, which Hawaii is not. I had a chance to try the automatic updating on a recent trip to San Francisco, and it worked great, even while wearing the watch to bed (It tries to update starting at midnight when there is less radio interference.) The manual tells you to place the watch face-up on a window sill to get the strongest signal, but that is not always necessary.
The thermometer feature is not very accurate, especially while wearing the watch because it is not insulated from body heat, but it does not seem very accurate even after sitting on a shelf for some time. The altimeter feature is my favorite, but it can be wildly inaccurate because of swings in barometric pressure that occur all the time with changes in the weather. You have to calibrate it against a known altitude, but that calibration is effective only while the barometric pressure is static. During my stay in Redwood City, the altitude varied between 140 and 700 feet in the same house within a 24 hour period. In San Francisco, I found myself at minus 140 feet on one occasion.
This is a very large watch, but thanks to the lightweight materials, it is comfortable to wear. The display is also large and clear, although I prefer not to have to toggle between the date and the day of the week. I subsequently bought a Casio Pro Trek PAW1300T-7 on another lightning deal and I prefer to wear it because of its smaller size, but its display is also smaller.
It is easy to remove the band links to fit your wrist so you do not have to take it to a jeweler. I got a tool (on Amazon) which makes it simple to push out the retaining pins, then use needle-nose pliers to pull the pins all the way out. Just make sure not to lose the tiny locking collar which may also drop out. You can find videos on YouTube to make the process clearer.
on March 7, 2009
As a previous Pathfinder owner, I passed my original Pathfinder on to a relative and purchased this new model. Everything was as expected with one MAJOR PROBLEM. I like using the hourly signal and the alarm setting. YOU CAN NOT HEAR EITHER CHIME TONE, NOT THE HOURLY OR ALARM. Granted, it does work, if you are holding it to your ear. I called Casio support and they told me that there was no volume adjust. My previous Pathfinder, even with the watch under my jacket sleeve, the hourly signal and alarm chime could be heard. The chime on this model is useless. I am very disappointed. If the volume can be adjusted on other models, why not on this one??
on June 8, 2014
This watch is great. Reasons I say that: (1) syncs up to the atomic clock every night - I have exact time all the time (2) the light can be set to come on when you twist your wrist to look at the time and it is dark (3) the watch is very light - feels great on my wrist (4) the alternative time button means I don't have to reset my watch when traveling to Europe - just change which city I am in (5) the barometer function is fun (6) I do use the temperature function but have to take it off my wrist to use - that just makes sense since body heat has to have an effect (7) compass function keeps me oriented when on my motorcycle since all our streets run E/W and N/S (8) multiple stop watch functions are fun and useful (9) solar power means never needing to buy batteries. I had watched this watch (bad pun) for a couple of years and when it went on sale I grabbed it - no regrets. One problem - I tried to adjust band myself and screwed it up - took it to the mall and they adjusted it perfectly for under $10.
on December 24, 2010
another military guy, got this watch for upcoming missions, the first of which will be a few weeks in alaska. right now i'm still getting to know all the features, but the watch hasn't failed me yet. there are sleeves in the links that the pins slide into, so make sure if you have links taken out the place does it correctly or the pins will fall out. not the watch's fault, but the watch tech. like i said, good watch. does its job if you can read the instruction manual, and you are buying it for function not because you're an idiot.
on April 20, 2014
This watch is incredibly big. Unless you have a very thick wrist this watch is going to look comical on your wrist. While for the most part the watch functions fine, I find that the thermometer reading are not all that accurate and tend to vary widely. Also I don't understand why a digital watch can't display both the day and date simultaneously. I think it's because despite the watch being large, the real estate for the actual dial isn't as large. Overall though it is a very solid atomic solar digital watch and the barometer and compass are pretty neat. Light weight is a plus. I didn't keep it though as it looked hilarious on my wrist.