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Customer Review

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ABC watch - Updated 2/26/12 re pricing, February 15, 2012
This review is from: Casio Men's PAW5000-1 Pathfinder Solar Power Blue Dial Watch (Watch)
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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 7, 2012 7:34:40 AM PDT
hyou says:
How did you remove the plastic thing? I just got the watch yesterday and it is as uncomfortable as you described (thanks for the review!) Do I just get a right screwdriver to screw out it? Or are there other things I need to do? Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 1:48:02 PM PDT
RH says:
You just need two slotted head jewelers screw drivers (one on each end of the pin) and a steady hand. Once you remove the plastic piece the band will be a really sloppy fit since the plastic piece also acts as a spacer between the "ears" on the watch body and the smaller band. I have a rubber "O" ring kit I got from Harbor Freight for a few bucks and I put a small "O" ring on either side of the band to fill the space.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 3:27:25 PM PDT
hyou says:
Thanks RH for the detailed explanation! I was wondering about the gap too. Will try to get some tools and give it a try - the plastic junk is really stupid.

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 11:08:58 AM PST
I'm returning mine because the band is uncomfortable! I don't want to mess with modifying it because I don't like the band that much anyway.
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