148 of 152 people found the following review helpful
SPECTACULAR timepiece...has everything you could want,
This review is from: Casio Men's GW6900-1 "G-Shock" Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch (Watch)
This is my first Casio watch and up until the time of purchase, I had been one of those "$5-$20 cheap-o sport watch" buyers. So if I were going to spend anything around $90 for a sport watch I would need to make sure it was worth the cost. After reading an article on a men's health/lifestyle website about fashion ([...], I think), they recommended the g-shock series by Casio since they offer a lot of functions and good quality for around $90. I found the GW6900-1 on sale for around $70 and I decided to buy it figuring I could always return it later if it didn't work out. Here are my observations on the two main selling points...
Design: The GW6900-1 is very basic. It's modeled off of the original DW6900 (Casio Men's G-Shock Classic Digital Watch #DW6900-1V) which is apparently G-Shock's best-selling case design. Personally, I feel that the numbers on the display are a little small. But I really like how it's not too crowded or junked up by unnecessary frills. The three circular dials above the time/day/date display are quite simple and indicate 1) the battery strength, 2) which functions are enabled (alarm, snooze alarm, hour signal beep, auto EL and button mute) and 3) a 10-second count indicator. The case/band isn't the sleekest looking - there are more modern styles out there - but it's not ugly by any means. Also, it's a little on the bulky side (doesn't exactly fit under a shirt cuff), but I don't feel it eats up my entire wrist. The 4 function buttons are easy to press and their labels are nice and straight-forward with alternate operations shown just inside the frame. Very easy to follow and operate.
Functions: The product description above pretty much lays out all the cool stuff this watch has going on for it, so I'll try not to be redundant here. I do want to highlight some of the operations that make this worth the price tag.
- Auto-EL (electro-luminescent): One thing that impressed me about this watch even before I put it on was the "smart" back-light. As I removed it from the box, I noticed the back-light come on. I thought something was wrong with it at first, but as I read through the manual I learned that this nifty function is *supposed* to happen. The watch's light turns on for about 1.5 seconds (or 3, your choice) in a dark room when you tilt your wrist towards your eyes without the need to press the button. How cool is that?! You can disable this to save on battery life if you want, but I doubt it's all that necessary. Which brings me to...
- Battery Life: This sucker is equipped with a solar powered battery that lasts up to 10 months on a full charge. Further exposure to light will keep it going and that goes for everything from direct sunlight, to light filtered through windows even to fluorescent lighting found in most buildings. Chances are good that given the amount of interaction most humans have with the sun or other light sources, you won't need to worry about this dying on you anytime soon. (That is unless you're a vampire or really into the goth scene.) Also, it has a power-saving mode you can apply that causes the watch to go into "sleep" mode during the hours of 11pm and 6am.
- Atomic Timekeeping: Like pretty much every cell phone, this watch calibrates time automatically. But it does it in 48 cities across 31 times zones all while taking daylight saving into account. And it runs about 5-6 times in the wee hours of morning just to make sure. (You can set time yourself too if you'd like.) Also, it's classified as multi-band 6 which means it automatically receives signals from pretty much every main radio point around the world (U.S., England, Germany, China and Japan).
- Waterproofing: This is probably a moot point, but I found it neat to learn that with a 20BAR/200M rating, you can pretty much use this while scuba diving.
- The rest: It's got 4 regular alarms and one snooze ("persistent") alarm. A stopwatch that lets you measure elapsed time, split time and two finishes. A countdown timer (which is a non-negotiable for me given that it comes in handy whether your cooking something or doing laundry). Full auto-calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099) and optional 12/24 hour formats.
That's about all I can really think of. I'm *extremely* pleased with my purchase and intend to have long, happy relationship with this watch!
*** REVIEW UPDATE ***
11/8/10 - A few months ago, I noticed that my watch was not holding a charge as well as it had during the first, several months of ownership. I was especially concerned when I encountered the flashing "LOW" battery indicator several times. Since there's no ideal place in my home to place the watch in sunlight to charge (lots of trees and bushes blocking windows), I would resort to setting it on my car dashboard when I went shopping or under a fluorescent lamp at work or home. Usually, this would bring the meter back up to (at least) medium strength. But the process would need to be repeated in 2-3 days. Frustrated, and thinking I picked the watch with a bad battery, I contacted Casio G-shock customer support and explained my predicament. Here is part of the response I received:
"...Solar G-Shocks must be charged, preferably using sun light rather than fluorescent lighting. You would have to leave it under the light for 73 hrs before it even reaches level one. The sun can charge it in about 17-23 hrs total. A watch that isn't charged will last about 9 months before flashing recovery. You can try letting it charge for 2-3 days, it is normal for the watch to stay on Med. If its on High and quickly goes to Low or flashes recovery, you may need to have the solar cell replaced...."
So apparently I was under the impression that charge times were far shorter than what the customer service rep told me (the result of a gross underestimation found in the instruction manual that comes with the watch). Thankfully and happily, I can report that after 3-4 days of leaving my watch in my car to charge during an 8-hour workday, the battery level indicator is once again showing a level 3 (high) charge.
I felt the need to share this update since there may be other users/potential customers who find themselves in a similar situation. (I noticed at least one very negative review which may have been prompted as such). Bottom line, you may need to be patient to get the results you expect from this timepiece.
Tracked by 5 customers
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 10, 2010 8:34:45 AM PDT
Your review of this watch is one of the most informative reviews that I have ever read on Amazon.com. So, thank you sincerely. But could you also tell me whether, among those 48 cities for which the time is automatically elicited, one is Honolulu Hawaii? (Because that 's where I live.) We're two hours behind Pacific Standard Time, in a time zone all of our own with respect to the rest of the USA. I mean, we are on Hawaii Standard Time. Thanks much!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2010 12:20:23 PM PDT
Thanks for the compliment! After scrolling through the different time zones on the watch, I saw one labeled "HNL" which I assume means Honolulu. So I think you'd be good to go!
Side note: With regards to selecting time zones, not all cities (in the world) are or can be listed in any one setting (watch, web site home page, PC clock, etc.). So you'll typically find listed one or two major cities in any given time zone. For instance, people in St. Louis, MO would most likely have to select Chicago, IL or Mexico City, Mexico for Central Standard Time. But it seems like the folks in Casio have taken into account Honolulu's unique situation.
Hope this helps!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2010 2:15:14 PM PDT
J. Hercik, you are welcome to the compliment, because it is one that you do deserve. And thank you so much for the prompt and thoughtful reply to my question. "HNL" is the airport code for Honolulu Hawaii international airport, so I suppose that is what Casio is referring to. Now I'm going to go ahead and buy the watch. Mahalo nui loa, as we say in Hawaii!
Posted on Aug 20, 2010 4:11:57 AM PDT
Abd Al Kareem Shehata says:
Thank you so much for providing this valuable information. Do you mind if I ask you a question?
I ordered this watch too, but I have no idea about how the battery works. Does a solar-powered watch mean that you will never need to replace the battery?? If this is not the case, how often will I have to replace the battery?
My question might seem naive, but if the battery in this watch needs to be replaced, say every 2 years, then what's the advantage of sloar-powered watches over normal watches??
Thank you in advance!!
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2010 1:02:12 PM PDT
To be honest, I don't feel qualified enough to comment on this topic. I'm sure that the battery is not intended to last forever (even rechargeable batteries - AA, AAA, D, etc. - poop out on you at some point), but it probably outlasts your typical watch battery enough to warrant a higher price tag.
Sorry I couldn't be more helpful! You might want to contact Casio customer service directly to get a better idea on this matter.
Posted on Oct 2, 2011 8:50:40 PM PDT
Martha Uroda says:
THX for your remarks. I was under the impression that direct sunlight would turn the screen to mush.
Posted on Jul 12, 2012 9:53:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 3:14:21 AM PST
Maybe you didn't notice, but there is a handy chart in the manual that gives exemples of charge times.
Charging from low to medium doesn't take too long. Charging from medium to high takes a LONG time, even in sunlight. It would take approximately forever in artificial light.
Also worth noting is that they don't charge very well when they're hot. (so be careful about leaving in the car) Maybe a better bet would be to get a cheap back-up watch to wear while you leave this one under an artificial light somewhere for a couple days. It doesn't have to be that bright. I put my solar G-Shock under a fluorescent desk lamp when it gets to medium, and just let it charge 8 hours a day at work, while I wear a back-up watch. This is only needed for me during the winter, when it doesn't see any daylight.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2014 9:43:24 AM PST
William E. Jones says:
I have a watch similar to this one (GW300 6 zones). I have had this watch over 10 years and have NOT had to replace the battery in that time. I see that your question is a few years old but thought it might be of interest to you anyway.
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