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Casio Men's PRW2500-1 Pathfinder
on June 11, 2013
Although an incredibly advanced piece of instrumentation at the end of the day it is still a watch and one requirement of being a watch is that it keeps consistently accurate time, since this watch has a 6-band atomic receiver it does just that as long as it is capable of receiving the calibration signal. I am physically located two hours from the east coast and have experience some difficulty with "manually" receiving the signal during the daytime but the watch easily synchronizes after midnight every night as long as I place the watch near a window. I have owned other triple sensors (older models), Suunto Vector & Core, Citizen, and other "ABC" watches but I have to say that I am most satisfied with the PRW-2500 for several reasons. First if you plan to use ANY "sensor" watch for accurate navigation, weather prediction, or environmental awareness be very prepared to be disappointed. ABC watches are NOT precision instruments to be used in that capacity but they are designed to provide the user consistent approximations of those features so equipped. I have found the ABC sensors on this particular watch to be very accurate, of particular note is the compass and baro, including thermometer. Reading other reviews several customers remark that the thermometer is not accurate while attached to the users arm...all I can say is "DUH"! It takes this watch approximately 20 minutes to acclimate itself (while removed from the users wrist) to the ambient temperature and provide the user with a very accurate temperature. The baro measures in both Hecto-Pascals and inches of mercury depending on user selection, both readings have been extremely accurate; it also provides a trend graphic on the home screen and provides "extreme" baro indicators for a rapidly falling/rising baro should the situation arise. The altimeter feature is where most folks get hung-up despite the model of watch and it's simply because their expectations are too high. ABC watch altimeters all require you to set the reference altitude because the sensor works off of barometric pressure, so if the pressure changes frequently due to weather variations then your altimeter is also going to change despite whether or not you changed geographic locations. This particular watch measures altitude in 20 foot increments, which makes this watch altimeter unique by today's standards as most log in 10 foot increments (you do have the ability to choose metric measurement if desired). I have found the altimeter to be very accurate for my purposes as long as the reference altitude is set before beginning my hike. If your preference is for a more accurate altimeter feature and you are willing to sacrifice many other great features you may want to look at the Suunto Core since it uses independent sensors for the baro and altimeter allowing it to be more precise and measure in shorter increments allowing for a better "fix" for those navigating by topographic maps. As it pertains to the PRW-2500 besides the world time feature (48 cities), five daily alarms (with a no kidding working alarm), stopwatch to 1/100th second, and countdown timer this watch also provides moon phase and tide prediction. Keep in mind that the user must set the "home city" in order for the watch to calculate the tides and it is just that, a calculation and I suspect depending on where you are located on the globe that the reading could be relatively inaccurate but where I live it is actually very, very accurate and I am located 10 hours from my programmed home city. The moon phase reading appears to be on the mark when I compare the watch reading with several websites, it also shows the "age" of the moon phase when selecting the "tide" screen. The EL backlight works great and is adjustable for a 1.5S or 3S duration, this watch also has the "wrist tilt" illumination option where the user can set the light to automatically illuminate when the user tilts their wrist towards them. The only options that would make this watch absolutely complete for the outdoorsman or military person would be to incorporate sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times, but that is a feature of another Casio watch but then that chronometer doesn't have tides and moon phase.
Other features include a rotating bezel that appears to be machined from aluminum and etched with cardinal directions and basic bearing degrees, a latex/PVC wrist band with etched aluminum emblems on both sides of the watch face (purely for aesthetics), it also has a band retainer located at the end of the tag end of the wrist band -- this prevents the band from constantly coming undone from the band keep. This watch has a stainless steel back and a brushed metal hasp for retention. Because this watch is solar it doesn't have a need for battery replacement but should the battery eventually not hold a charge it is user replaceable by removing the back (however, removal of the back by the user could void the 20 bar water resistant feature of this watch). Four stars only because it doesn't have the sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset feature integrated into an already feature packed watch. OBTW, for those concerned about the 51mm size of the watch face I can tell you that it is actually average in size for an ABC watch and fits nicely under a long sleeved shirt, other triple sensors I have owned were much thicker with a larger circumference.