Top critical review
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Nice watch but my old ironman was better
on September 6, 2012
I bought this watch to replace a 16-year old ironman triathlon which kept time very precisely, had a remarkably long battery life, and survived thick and thin. I dropped it countless times, and even put it through the laundry once when I forgot it in my pocket. It kept working, even though one of the screws securing the back plate was missing! The last time I dropped it the battery was dislodged. Once I slid the battery back it started working again, but I seemed to have erred in the reassembly because the two front buttons don't work now, which means I can't *set* the watch without disassembling it. It probably would have lasted another 16 years if I hadn't been more careful while trying to service it.
I am hoping the new watch will last at least as long as the old one.
== PROS ==
1. One difference between this and the old watch that I really like is that setting the watch is much easier, as noted by other reviewers. When setting the watch, additional display elements appear which literally guide you through the process. Also the ability to go backwards is especially nice, although I recall my older one let me set the tens digit and the ones digit of the minutes separately, which IMO is at least as good.
2. You can set two different times on this watch and switch between them. The maker calls this a 'second time zone,' although in truth you can set a completely different date as well, which in my case turns out to be very useful.
3. The display is very legible. The LCD contrast is noticeably higher than on my old watch.
== INTERESTING ==
1. The indiglo feature, when viewed in low-light conditions, is light-on-black. It may be slightly more legible in the dark than the old watch, but in normal lighting it makes the display more difficult to read.
2. The indiglo lights up automatically when the alarm sounds, making it possible to read the display in the dark without even pushing a button (apparently timex engineers think people use the watch as an alarm clock, see more below), but as already noted more difficult to read in normal light.
3. There are weekday only/weekend only alarm options.
4. You can choose between MM-DD and DD.MM displays
5. The loose end of the strap clicks in very securely to the sliding loop. It's very snug and getting it in is a little more work than I'm used to, but it's nice to know that it won't be slipping around, which is a problem I've had with other watch bands. (I replaced the band for a different reason, noted below.)
== CONS ==
1. Size. This watch is a monster compared to my old one, and I hesitated before ordering it on account of the size. It is at least 30% wider, almost twice as thick, and quite a bit heavier! I don't understand why anyone would want a watch so large and heavy.
2. The band is molded into a form which curves down around the top of the wrist, so it isn't possible to take the watch off and lay it down flat on a table. That's a common use case for me. Fortunately, I was able to have a different band put on it.
3. Start/stop are two different buttons. This makes using the timer and chronograph features more awkward with this watch than the old one, and I end up fumbling to find the right button to stop it. Not useful at all for timing very short intervals.
4. Automatic 'snooze' alarm. If you don't push a button to stop the alarm *while it is beeping*, it will beep again after five minutes. If you let the watch beep for the full 20 seconds, then the only way to prevent it from beeping again is to turn off the alarm. I consider this an annoyance. I don't always have a hand free to push a button on the watch, and I don't appreciate the fact that it's going to beep again. Snooze might make sense on an alarm clock, but IMO not on a wrist watch.
5. It's difficult to turn the 'chime' feature on/off. Apparently this can only be done while going through the sequence of actually setting the time. On the old watch, turning the chime and the alarm off and on was done with a single button while in 'alarm' mode.
6. The old watch would show the current time in the top half of the display while setting the alarm. This was a particularly handy feature which always impressed me. The new watch doesn't do that.
7. When setting the time, timer, and alarm, there is a noticeable delay during which the next, done, +, - indicators flash but it is not possible to actually do anything. I find this somewhat annoying.
To sum, I'm glad the ironman triathalon watches are still around. I'm happy with this watch. Nonetheless, I liked the older model better. IMO this is another example of the adage 'newer is not necessarily better.'