Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
Outdoor wrist instrument
on January 6, 2014
We live in an age where our smart phones and tables give us a lot of information, so a watch that tells us about our environment is not as novel as it once was. This watch is not a device like our phones, it is an instrument. Our phones receive information from towers and satellites and display it for us. This watch gathers information about air pressure, temperature, and the magnetic field of the earth and converts the data into useful information about our environment. Like all instruments, you need to set it up and calibrate it so that it will work properly for you. That being said, this watch is very cool. I found the set up to be very straight forward and intuitive. I am very familiar Casio watches so the initial process of telling the watch where it is was exactly like I expected it to be. It likely helped that I downloaded the user's guide from the Casio website (module 3415) prior to the watch arriving in the mail. The watch needs to know your timezone, latitude, longitude, altitude, and current barometric pressure in order to start making data for you.
The case measurements for this watch were pretty daunting to me. I have a pretty small wrist (just over 6") and usually am down to the last notch or two on my watches. Lately I have been wearing mostly automatic diver watches (Seiko SKX007 and Sea Urchin) or a small G-Shock (DW-5600). This watch wears exactly like they do, which is to say that it wears smaller than the measurements would suggest. I really enjoy wearing it. It is also quite light weight. It is by no means small, but it does not appear comically large on me either.
The negative display is going to take some getting used to. This is my first watch that features this type of display. It appears pretty dark in lower light conditions and it is difficult to see the smaller indicators for the battery, alarm and so fourth. However, when it catches the light just right, everything is visible. The backlight is wonderful and quite attractive. The display is very easy to read once the backlight is activated and since the watch is solar, you can activate that light as much as you want. I do like the cosmetic appearance of the negative display. It somehow makes the watch appear a little more formal and serious. Same goes for the light grey case material. The combination of blue lettering, charcoal band and light grey case make for an attractive package that does not scream "I am an outdoor hiking/camping watch" like the green on black with yellow buttons package does.
This watch does not feature atomic time synchronization and I am okay with that. A co-worker of mine has a couple of atomic/solar G-Shocks that he has a hard time keeping synced. Apparently the power reserve can go down to a point where the watch will stop looking for the signal every night. This is not a first hand experience of mine, so I cannot say for sure. My atomic Casio is battery powered and has synchronized every night, with out fail, for the last four years. Since adopting mechanical automatic watches I am not so concerned about having to re-zero my watch every couple of weeks. So if this is a feature you can live without you can save a few bucks with this model.
After dialing in the magnetic declination for my area and calibrating the compass I find this feature to be quite accurate. You should always carry an actual compass in the field, but this is a pretty handy and quick reference. Having the compass indices only around the outermost edge of the display is not as bad as I thought it would be. The last model or two of these watches featured a duplex display that would superimpose the compass over the entire display. I find the new way to be acceptable.
This is my first watch with an altimeter / barometer. I did the initial set up at work on the third floor. I engaged the altimeter as I walked down the stairs after work and was pleased to see the altitude falling as I descended. I was not sure how the buildings HVAC system would affect the pressure sensor in the watch, but it seemed to calculate a reasonable number for my decent. I will have to check it against the actual height of the building.
This is my second watch that features a thermometer. I calibrate the thermometer while I am wearing the watch. This means that when I put on a long sleeve shirt or jacket, the watch will not show the room temperature as accurately, but I know this and can live with it. You should also know that if it gets warm enough for you to start sweating the watch will not display an accurate ambient temperature reading. You can calibrate it "off the body" if you want a consistently accurate ambient temperature reading.
What else... five alarms, count down timer, stopwatch, world time, sunrise and sunset data, and a few data logging features for pressure, altitude and temp. Third gen ABC technology and you can let your kids play with it because they will never kill the battery. For the price this watch is hard to beat. You can drop a 50 to 100 more dollars for atomic time keeping, or just buy a $30.00 atomic watch (or a $10.00 atomic alarm clock) and check this thing once every couple of weeks.You can also spend $400.00 for a G-Shock Rangeman and get a very similar set of features, atomic time keeping albeit in a much tougher package.
I think this watch is a great value. It is also a stand alone instrument. It will most likely last for many, many, many years. It will never need to have the case opened and have its 100M water resistance compromised. It will never need a software update or faster towers to work. It will never loose reception. It does require you to know a little bit about where you are and what you are looking at. And if you cannot figure out why it thinks your elevation is changing while it sits for several hours on your desk, get your smart phone back out and Google air pressure.