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on February 15, 2012
I've owned quite a few multi-function watches (ABC-Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) including many Casio's. So far the most elegant design implementation of the ABC functions is the Suunto Core line - but see my comments below and my reviews elsewhere on that. For a comparison of features between the Casio 5000, Suunto Core, and Suunto Elementum, see my review of the Suunto Elementum Terra.

As for this watch - Casio 5000-1 - it is the coolest looking ABC watch I've seen in a long time, however it is the most uncomfortable watch I've ever owned - until I performed minor surgery on it (see below).

First of all the design. I really like it and would wear it many places, but unlike some who have posted, I wouldn't wear it to "black tie" affairs...or even close. However, I think it is an excellent balance between functional and fashionable.

Functions are easy to access and somewhat intuitive, actually more so than previous Casio's I've owned, but still not as good as the menu driven Suunto Core line. I've been able to access and adjust all functions so far, however, I've not been able to activate the "luminous indices at all hour positions"; in fact, there seems to be no luminous indicators at all under any condition including, as set forth in the description, "The skeleton hour and minute hands are luminous". Maybe my eyes have to get used to the dark...

The advantages of the solar power and atomic timekeeping are a must for me and need no further explanation.

A BIG CON: No automatic or manual Baro/Alti setting!! This is something I've always dinged Casio ABC watches for. Casio continues to ignore the issue of "close-coupling" of the pressure sensor to the barometer and altimeter. The Suunto Core line has this feature - it is fabulous and works really well. You can set the Alti-Baro mode to "Alti" if you're climbing and only the altitude changes or you can set it to "Baro" if you're in one place and only the barometric pressure changes. OR, you can set it to "Auto" and it then interprets rapid/large changes in pressure to be altitude changes and slow/small changes to be weather changes. It then switches modes to lock one or the other accordingly - really neat feature and the built-in algorithms work great. With this Casio, as all others, air pressure changes affect the barometer and altimeter simultaneously - resulting in misleading readings and not a good thing overall.

A SMALL CON: No sea level barometric pressure reading, only absolute. In a way this makes sense because of the "close-coupling" mentioned above - a sea level reading would just get even more inaccurate as altitude changes occur. I don't consider this a big deal because it's changes in pressure that we're concerned with when monitoring it for weather purposes, not absolute measurements. Still, if you're in one place at the same altitude, it would be nice to have...

A BIG PRO: The second hand actually has other USEFUL functions! In the altimeter & barometer modes it indicates changes since last readings. I know some of the earlier Casio digital watches (I still have one) do this with the outer ring on the LCD display, but it's just not compelling. AND, in this watch in the compass mode, the second hand is the compass needle - in addition to actual bearing readings on the digital display. Again, the older digital display Casio's performed essentially the same functions digitally, but seeing it via the second hand is really cool - a big pro.

As to comfort, I have thin wrists and wear my watch close to the end of the wrist at the place where the hand starts and widens. This watch has two plastic things under the band attached to the watchband pins that are apparently supposed to do something - keep the watch centered on the wrist? Anyway, the one at the 12 o'clock position really jams into my wrist bone and makes it quite sore. So, I loosened the strap one notch and it was a bit better, but not 100% and the watch flopped around on my wrist. I read a review elsewhere saying they returned the watch because one notch on the band was too tight and one was too loose - I wonder if they had the same problem? I was debating whether to send the watch back when I decided to see if I could fix the problem. I removed the plastic piece (mentioned above) at the 12 o'clock position and - Wala - it was MUCH more comfortable! Problem solved. Well, almost. It still wasn't fitting quite right. So I decided to remove the superfluous plastic piece at the 6 o'clock position - even better! Now the watch fits perfectly, is comfortable, and looks good. What the heck are those plastic things supposed to do???

As to pricing, the watch has a MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) - a price that almost nothing is ever sold at and is mostly used for discounting purposes only - of $450. It is interesting to note that this watch can be bought from a very reliable on-line retailer for $299.95, but many are selling it AT or OVER the MSRP of $450! It's amazing to observe the laws of supply and demand - this watch is apparently a very hot product and in high demand, so resellers are taking advantage and raising the price as high as possible. Go figure.

UPDATE 2/26/12: Apparently even the retailer mentioned above is getting in on the feeding frenzy; they just upped their selling price to $375...
COMPARISON: For a detailed comparison of this Casio, the Suunto Core, and the Suunto Elementum Terra, pls. see my review on Amazon of the Suunto Elementum Terra.

Having said all that, I really like this watch overall and am keeping it - it looks really good and does what it's intended to do quite well.
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on December 12, 2012
I bought this watch as a general outdoor activity watch. Also, I was planning a major hiking trip through high alpine territory,and I thought some of this watch's features would prove useful. I am by no means an electronics geek. But, I am a bit of a watch freak. Here are my pros and cons.

PROS
- Looks very cool. I have caught people staring at it several times, and often people ask me about it.
- Light as a feather. Made from Titanium. Feels like air on your wrist.
- Nice, easy to read, analog hands (which I prefer over digital), including the second hand.
- Keeps absolute perfect time, 24 x 365. This watch receives a satellite signal from the US Atomic Clock 6 times/day. Electronic watches are typically very accurate, but this one resets itself to perfect time automatically. I have checked it numerous times against the on-line Atomic clock, and it is always perfect, up to the exact second. ALWAYS
- Waterproof to 100m. Not sure is I would trust this for a deep dive, but swimming with it should be no problem.
- Amazing array of features. This watch will do everything but shine your shoes. Dual time zone, analog clock. Stop watch. Elapsed time clock. Altimeter, barometer, thermometer (F or C), compass. Also has a recording feature, so you can log your altitude, BM pressure, temp, etc at various intervals throughout a trip.
- Never needs winding or batteries. Powered by light. Any light will do. It doesn't have to be sunlight. If the watch lies still for a certain amount of time, it goes to sleep. The hands stops working, and the screen goes blank (to save energy), but it continues to keep time internally. When you pick the watch up, it comes back to life, with accurate time. I have not tested this, but the watch is expected to maintain time, in total darkness, for up to 6 months.

CONS
- Some of the functions are not very accurate. The compass is spot-on. The barometer is pretty close to readings from other barometers. The thermometer is not very accurate, especially if it's on your wrist, since the sensor picks up body heat. Even when I take it off and attach it to my pack, it seems to be a little off. The altimeter is way off. I have used it at altitudes from sea level to 15,250'. Even after recalibrating, it never seems to be accurate. For example, at 12,000', it might read anywhere from 11,600 to 12,500. At 1,500 feet, it might read anywhere from 1,300 to 1,700. Standing by the ocean's edge, it might read 20m. It almost never gives an accurate reading.

- Very difficult to learn how to use. The owners manual is small and thick. With my 53 year old eyes, I can only read it in optimum light. It took me a long time and plenty of trial and error to learn many of the functions beyond the very basic. It's not terribly intuitive either. Most tasks will require that you get out your maginifying glass and study the manual. If it's not a task that you perform all the time, you won't remember how to do it, the next time you need to. For example, the task of flip-flopping your current and secondary time zones. Not difficult to figure out with the manual in front of you, but impossible to figure out without the manual, unless you do it often enough not to forget. Most people don't change time zones that often.

- Some of the screen images (graphs) and items on the dial are so small, that it's impossible to see them. I realize that the small size allows more functions, but if I need a magnifying glass to see them, they're not very useful to me.

If you're looking for a comfortable, cool looking, waterproof chronograph that keeps great time and will never stop, you might like this watch. If you're buying it for some of the more advanced features, and if the temp and alt functions are really important to you, you may find this watch frustrating.
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on January 2, 2011
Casio

I was intrigued by a new watch by Casio the Pathfinder 5000-1.
My disclaimer I used a Casio G-Shock Watch while stationed with the Army in Iraq. The watch held up to harsh conditions. My only concern was if the watch batteries die I will be without a watch. Casio has taken away that worry with what they call Tough Solar. You do not have to worry about batteries anymore.

Pathfinder 5000-1 has a analog face and along with a digital readout, It packs a lot of technology in a small package. Features such as timer, alarm, stop watch mode are standard on most watches but the Pathfinder 5000-1 has much more. It is a rugged but sharp looking watch which gets the time by Atomic Clock and has a daylight saving time override. The watch has a built in compass, attitude, and barometer. There are three buttons on the side that have those functions. I never get tired of holding the compass button down and watching the second hand point to North. The digital readout has an arrow and tell you the direction you are facing. The barometer is quite useful in seeing if the weather is going to change. The watch module is very fast and you can easily switch modes. The light button is a white light so you can see your watch face at night.
The Pathfinder 5000-1 is Casio is top of the line Pathfinder watch. It is a not a small watch but then again it is packed with a lot of features. This watch you can wear out to dinner or take out on combat mission. It is light and has a rubber watch band which will last the user a long time and is easy to clean.
It cost more than the other Pathfinder watches. But the old saying is you get watch you pay for holds true with this watch. The watch retails for $ 550.00 .

Eric Shuler
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on March 9, 2013
I would rather give this 4.5 stars, but the option is not available...I will explain.

First of all, I am in the military and travel a lot (most of the time not in the U.S.) and past watches were a pain to keep correct time, especially jumping time zones. I've had several Casio watches, mostly some type of G-Shock, and they are extremely tough. The biggest problem that i have had with previous atomic watches offered by them was that the atomic signal was pretty much confined to the U.S. and didn't utilize the Europe and Japanese signals, so accurate automatic timekeeping over extended amounts of time outside the U.S. was poor.

Second, the manual/instructions for anything other than basic functions is pretty intense...but I was up to the challenge! (Reason for wanting to give less than 5 stars)

Last, I was hesitant to spend $300.00 on a watch with a plastic/rubber band instead of metal. I prefer the included band over metal because I spend a lot of time outside and most metal bands get so scratched and dinged up from abuse that they look like crap after a few months. I've had to replace most of my past watch bands after a year or less because sweat and dirt tend to make key flex points very brittle, causing them to crack. I have had this watch for almost 2 years and have: been in slatwater for exteded amounts of time, chlorine water for extended times, extreme heat and cold weather, and pretty much abused it, but the band and watch keep working like a champ.

PROS:
- outstanding time keeping
- lots of functions
- easy to press function buttons (even with medium gloves)
- easy to read analog dial; large face, but would really love self illuminating hands and "tick" marks
- after a few hours outside in the sun, battery charge is good for a long, long time
- the best non-metal bands I have ever worn; beefed up in all the right places and comfortable to wear
- although I experienced initial sticker shock, well worth the money!

CONS:
- intense instruction manual that needs plenty of familiarization to use all of the watches functions
- altimeter is a little off, but not by as much as other reviewers have stated
- watch band adjustment slots may not fit everyone's wrist correctly
- although the watch face is large, may be too large for smaller wrists.
- digital window is small and hard to read in some lighting
- probably the worst lighting function of any watch I have owned. Light originates from the bottom of the watch face after pressing the "light" button. It is more of an angular illumination with a hotspot directly under the digital display, but does not extend across the whole watch face. This leaves the top half of the watch face considerably darker then the rest. Not an issue for me, but it does require a free hand to tell time in the dark.

- UPDATE -
Additional CON:
- For those who need a watch with a good alarm function, this is not the watch for you. Didn't realize exactly how bad the alarm volume was until I had to rely on it soley while I was traveling and I slept like crap just because I was wondering if I would oversleep because I wouldn't hear it. May seem insignificant, but thought it was worth an update.
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on July 20, 2012
I bought this watch after much debate and research. I am a Casio G-Shock lover first and foremost. I have a collection of almost 50 of them! When I first saw this particular model I thought it was a G-Shock. It was a surprise to see that it was a Pathfinder. I usually don't like them, I think the faces are too large and plain. I'm very glad I got this watch, although there is a bit of a learning curve. It's also good to know metric, so you can convert on the fly. Get those glasses out and read up. The manual is just too small, I had a better time reading the online version. On this watch, the seconds hand does a bit of work. It doubles as the compass. It also checks the hands and makes sure they are in alignment, a very nifty feature I wish some of my analog G-Shocks had. I've also noticed it is more sensitive and accurate with barometer and temperature readings than my G's. Went on a serious hiking trip the other day and this watch did not disappoint. Atomic timekeeping is icing on the cake. The last and most important feature for me is the styling. It's a very handsome piece, I'll wear it out at a black tie event definitely. I like the metal accents also, it gives it some flair. My only quip is: I hope they come out with a smoky grey one, I'd be all over that one too!
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on March 1, 2013
I read other remarks about the sensors not being accurate. This may be true for the Altimeter, but I would never jump out of a plane. I purchased this watch because of the looks and the features available. This is a rugged design that fits my wrist perfectly. I saw a review that the person stated they didn't understand why Casio put the plastic tabs under each of the bands where they connect to the watch. This does two things: 1) Keeps the band in the correct angle coming out of the watch, 2) It has a molded feel on my arm. It is not abnormally lose on my arm and I don't have huge arms. It fits perfect. The watch comes with a novel full of information. This watch had no problems charging up to the highest level. I love this color. I recommend this watch.
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on January 8, 2013
Like it a lot. This is my 5th G-Shock and it rides lower on the wrist than all others before, don't feel the band wings, very comfortable. No problem with the initial set up and it's pretty hi-tech as advertised. I found it much easier to read the analog dial than the military watches I have owned. I was also pleasantly surprised that it was 10 BAR water resistant. Keep the user's guide with you at first, it's pretty specific and all ABC features have to be initiated in a specific way or you won't get a correct reading. Read the book first.
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on May 7, 2011
My gf told me I should find a 1 thousand dollar watch as a symbol to show my class and status.

Well, I am a geek and this watch fits the bill very nicely at less than half the budget.

A Tag Heu** was what my gf wanted me to get; but to show my class and status, I had other criteria in mind. Because I travel a lot in addition to hiking and working out, I wanted a watch with gps functionality and a heart rate monitor. No such device exists that I know of. Casio's Pathfinder series with the standard ABC functions however piqued my interests. What really geeked me out about this watch is that it's pretty much self-sufficient. It is almost always accurate (self correcting tough movement and 6 channel atomic clock radio) and never needs rewinding (solar powered). Ok, it's not the only watch in existance that calibrates itself to the nearest atomic clock, but how many of those watches can tell you the elevation you're at, the temperature, barometric pressure, or where north lies? Granted even when I'm hiking I don't need all that information, but it is cool to have. What makes the difference between this and other pathfinder watches, is that this is the only one with analogue hands. Except for the redundant text all over the face of this thing, it has enough class that even my gf approves of my wearing this at dressed up occasions.
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on July 4, 2012
The Casio PAW5000-1 is far from those Casios of old. It is a sofisticated useable tool plus it tells time extremely acurrately. Is the watch perfect in its mesaurements of altitude and temperature and its compass readings? accurate enough for most people who will never be lost enough to need it. The watch is large but very light weight. It will fit most mens wrists , but make sure you know your wrist size if in doubt. While the berometer scale is small in the window at 6:00 pm , you can still read pressure and temp readings easily. The watch is expensive but then again you get what you pay for in this world and it seems tough enough for those guys not gentle with their watches and yet dressy enough for the office or boardroom. The tough movement seems fine although I dont abuse the things I buy so I cannot attest to this feature. One thing you will know for sure and that is the correct time always. This watch will recieve the time signal from most locations in the USA and I can recieve them in Mexico just fine. While in Florida my watch didnt seem to be able to get the Colorado signal but then I only tried it in one location. Buy this watch if you like gagets that are quality and functional instruments of time. I know any husband or son will love recieving this watch.
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on June 13, 2014
I returned this watch, I debated on buying it for quite some time. So I watched every review on YouTube. However when it arrived I couldn't let go of my Casio 2000 which I have been wearing for the past four years. The comparison between the two showed me that I much prefer the digital read out over the analog. The digital screen on this watch is obstructed by the hands and I felt the led light was terrible. So I ended up getting the Casio 2500 instead, easier to read all of the same functions and more durable than my 2000. The 5000 is a beautiful watch no doubt about it, it just seemed out f place on my wrist. I look forward to buying the Casio 6000 when the price goes down.
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