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on March 17, 2016
I bought this Casio GWM530A-1 to replace an old Timex Ironman. This review is based on my first few days of use.

GENERAL: this model uses the Casio 3405 module, which it shares with other G-Shock models. English instructions came with my watch, others have said they needed to download the English instructions, which you can find here: [...]

Key features are solar charging, atomic clock sync, G-Shock build, and 200M/20Bar water resistance (good enough for professional marine activity, surface water sports; not good enough to dive with). This is NOT ISO 6425 certified as a "dive" watch. Some reviews suggest this is not as waterproof as the marketing suggests. To be safe, consider not pressing buttons underwater.

BUILD: solid - built like a tank. It has more heft than the Ironman. My Ironman had a 38mm diameter case, the GWM530A is about 46mm. As G-Shock watches go, this is actually on the smaller side (I looked at another model that had multiband WaveCeptor / Tough Solar and it was a whopping 53mm). This watch is about a centimeter thick - don't expect to slide this under fitted dress-shirt cuffs. This is the largest watch I own, and probably the largest I can pull off without looking ridiculous. For comparison, my daily dress watch is a 42mm automatic on a NATO strap. The case is chunky, dense. I like the aesthetic and the three mini-indicator circles. Not quite as retro as some of the other G-Shock watches. The indicators are, from left to right, a seconds counter, a solar charge indicator, and a multi-purpose indicator with six segments:

1) SIG - tells you if the hourly time signal is on or off
2) ALM - tells you if any of the 4 one-time alarms is currently on
3) SNZ - tells you if the 5th "snooze" alarm is on (an alarm that can be suppressed for 5 minutes at a time)
4) AutoEL - feature to automatically illuminate the face when you tilt the watch face to 40 degrees from level to view it in the dark
5) MUTE - tells you if button press "mute" is on - when off, there's a chirp when you switch modes (bottom left button).
6) DST - tells you if daylight savings time is on / off

The strap is dense, premolded (the watch won't lie flat on a table) and appears to have strong mounts/screws to the lugs. Two slightly-recessed buttons per side that sit just below the edge of the case. I really like that they're recessed by about 1mm - it avoids accidental button-presses, which was a problem I had with my Timex whenever I extended my wrist.

FEATURES:
ToughSolar - the watch arrived partially charged. Needs a day in bright sunlight to get to "high", but once there will typically keep the charge. It will charge in cloudy light / incandescent / fluorescent bulb light, but more slowly. Charge can be assessed at a glance by looking at the middle circular indicator, which is divided into 3 zones (high, med, low). The watch has a power saving mode that you can turn on/off. In PS mode, the display will turn off when it's dark and the radio for atomic clock syncing will also turn off. I keep PS turned on, but it's never kicked in since my charge has never fallen below "medium".

WaveCeptor - Casio's name for atomic clock time syncing. There are 6 atomic clock signals across the world that this will sync with. These clocks are accurate to within 1 second every million years. So, you know, probably good enough for whatever you're doing. The one for US / North America is in Fort Collins, Colorado. There's one in China, two in Japan, one in Germany, one in the UK. As long as you're within 1500km (about 900 miles) from the European or Asian clocks, or within 3000km (about 1900 miles) from the US clock, it should sync. I am in the mid-atlantic / Delaware Valley on the east cost of the US, and it will sync fine when I put the watch by the window overnight. The watch shows the strength of the signal (L1 = weak, L2 = med, L3 = strong). I get L3 if I position it just right. You can either set the time manually or have it automatically fetch from the atomic clock. You can also manually fetch the atomic time (like, when you first get the watch). It will automatically poll the atomic clock up to 5 times at night, until its successful. The scheduled times for N. America are between 12am and 5am. Lots of reviews indicate people have issues with syncing, but Casio is very clear about why syncing works better in some circumstances than others. All I can recommend is that, if you're having trouble, you systematically go through the steps in the manual.

EL and AutoEL - the "G" button at the bottom of the face turns on the electroluminescent backlight for either 1 or 3 seconds (you choose the duration). In addition, there's an autoEL mode where, when it's dark, the gesture of moving the watch face from level to tilted by 40 degrees (basically, the gesture of tilting your wrist to see the face) will turn on the backlight. This is a very intuitive and useful feature!

Timekeeping Mode - it's a watch with AM/PM, h/m/s, month, date, and day indicator. Because of the atomic clock function, it automatically deals with leap year as well as daylight savings time (which you can also manually override). First step when you get the watch is to specify your home time zone. Also recall that the time syncs to atomic clocks between midnight and 5am. That means if the set time is way off when you get the watch, it won't sync (it will poll the atomic clock at the wrong times of day, when signal is weakest). That means you may have to manually set the time when you first get the watch, just to get it to poll the atomic clock correctly. Pressing the bottom right button toggles between either showing the date/day or a secondary time zone (world time) at the bottom of the display. Left circular indicator is a seconds indicator with 10 segments. The circle counts up 10 seconds then counts down 10 seconds. So it's a relatively easy way to visually divide a minute in multiples of 10 or 20 seconds. That being said, I don't use this indicator much.

World Time Mode - great feature. With one button press, you can switch to world time mode. The right 2 buttons move you from timezone to timezone. Up is westward, down is eastward. You can also manually set/override daylight savings time in world time mode.

Alarm Mode - individually set up to 5 alarms per day: four one-time alarms, and one "snooze" alarm. The alarm isn't super loud - don't count on this to wake you from a deep sleep.

Stopwatch mode - standard stopwatch with start, stop, split, restart, and clear.

Timer / Countdown - set a countdown timer in hours/ minutes up to 24hrs. You can't set a timer for less than a minute, in case that's an important feature you need.

SUMMARY:
This is my first G-Shock. I got this for less than $90, about twice what I paid for my Timex Ironman. But it's an amazing value - you never have to change the battery (eventually, you might have to replace the rechargeable battery), you never have to set the time/date/DST, you don't even have to press a button to view the time in the dark. Very high quality build and feels more solid/hefty than the Ironman. I think it's at the sweet spot for size at 46mm diameter - totally useable as a daily beater, not too flashy, looks dressy enough for work. If you're looking for a full-featured, shockproof, waterproof watch with solar charging / atomic syncing, consider this one.
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on December 25, 2017
My 6th G-Shock, which I've been wearing for many years. This is unquestionably the best so far (though I do have a Rangeman on order, due to arrive next week, that could take the lead). The Atomic Timekeeping function is sweet, it will keep your watch accurate literally to the second. I just prop on the windowsill at night while I sleep, and it synchs with the satellite in my area. Also love the solar battery, my 2nd solar Casio watch. Tired of changing batteries, which generally breaks the waterproof seal (have wrecked a few watches that way). Just be sure to keep it exposed to light as often as possible (indoor lighting will work, but direct sunlight better). Automatically powers off at night, display goes blank until exposed to light. Great energy saver. Easy to program, it came with a manual (tiny print) that explained everything thoroughly. Band is very comfortable for my medium sized wrists. Numbers are easy to read, larger than my other Casio watches, good background contrast. The alarm is very soft, if you need this to wake you in the morning, you will be late for work :-) Other than that, perfect. Love this watch!
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I received this in the mail today from Amazon
I have the gwm 500a-1 gshock. But l wanted the gwm530a-1 gshock. I Love both of these watches. The watch is perfect for anyone who Love's to ride bikes work out, swimming or Diving .l know a lot of people in the Military wear this watch. Be the watch is very durable and perfect size. I am a big gshock collector. I have 35 gshock watches. 5 Protrek watches. The Rangeman gw9400-1cr gshock is one of my favorite watches. That is if you want a watch that has Altimeter, Barometer and Compass. I purchase that from Amazon a little over a year ago. I have 4 Mudman gshocks 2 Gulfman gshocks. I have the King GXW56-1BJF gshock. I have the Aviation GA 1000-1a gshock. I have the gwm5610-1 gshock and the gw5000-1jf gshock Made in Japan. I have way to many more to mention. l have 4 Protreks which l Love to. I Love all gshocks Big or small. This is a great watch for $90.00. I have a 7 inch wrist size. The watch fits perfect. This is a great watch for any size wrist. I Have been collecting Gshocks for almost 34 years since the first one came out in 1983. So have a lot of experience in Casio gshock watches. So if you want a good looking Solar power Atomic Watch that won't break the bank. Then this watch is for you. Thanks and good luck on any Gshock watch you buy. Remember the best watch is the one on your Wrist.
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on July 27, 2016
I bought this G-shock after I broke my other one while trying to change the battery. What sucks is I didn't even buy the right battery! Anyways, screw battery changing. That's why I bought this solar-powered version. I also love atomic watches, and all of my Casio's have been on point with my computer time. This one always seems to get a pretty good signal, too, unlike the last one I had. It was even able to get a signal in the prison I used to work at. That being said, I've had this watch a few years now, and it's been through my correctional officer days, all through nursing school, and now as a RN. I'm not sure I could recommend a better watch for the price. It's probably even better than my $400 Seiko. $90 may seem like a lot for a watch for many people (I think I got it for $60 here on Amazon), but I have put this watch through a beating and have never had anything that has held up like this has.
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on January 13, 2018
This is the best watch made by Casio. This watch is called the Mudmens. It's for people who need a watch to survive. The mudman is Atomic powered solar needs no battery and is tough. This watch keeps time like nothing other out there. I own many watches. Orient. Invicta(not that good)) Tissots (outstanding) .. Timex (I hand a hands watch play in a Ice hockey game got hit and the watch face panel shifted) I know enough that if the letters on you watch don't say Swiss made at the bottom of the face it's probably not a better watch. Don't get me wrong , The Orient watches being mage in Japan are learning. Sorry to Orient your watches are beautiful and automatic but you time is off 3 minutes everyday. THIS BEING SAID IS NOT ABOUT WATCHES. This is about the delivery. I was told I would have this by Jan 2 by the United States Unionized Post office.. I did Incredible job they are doing for Amazon.. This was a present for someone who made it back from war... Thank You
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on November 28, 2017
The G-shock line is absolutely amazing. However, I have to point out that the metallic grey color on this model is significantly darker than shown in the advertised image. It is dark charcoal, approaching black. Under most lighting conditions, it looks black. I have several G-shocks already and know their great quality, so I chose this watch for its color scheme. I was quite taken back with such a huge difference between the advertised photo and the actual unit I received. Also, the background is very orange. Compared to the version with grey background, it offers much less contrast and it hard to discern digits under certain angles. I am not very fond of this particular feature. The back light is greenish, like on most G-shocks.
The watch arrived with low battery, but it took only a few hours under a light source to reach the medium level. It has not been able to receive updates yet, despite being beside a window all day. Hopefully, it will over the next few days.
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on September 30, 2016
It's a really nice watch overall. The band is comfortable, the backlight works well (it's a green color), the solar panel charged up the battery right away, and it updates the time with the atomic clock nearly every night.

One drawback is circles on the face, which are minimally useful, and can cast a small shadow on the time digits depending on the angle. This can be an issue when combined with the design of the digits; the "7" digit has a very short top line and it can run into the shadow. Let me be clear, this is not a major problem, and I can't think of many situations when you'd confuse 7:00 with 1:00, but it's still not optimal in my opinion.

Overall though it's a quality watch!
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on January 24, 2018
This is the best watch I've ever owned. I wear it with dress clothes (business casual obviously) and it looks fine with it. If you're looking for a great watch that is ALWAYS on time, go with this one. Every night at midnight the watch receives it's signal from Colorado. If it can't receive it at midnight, it will try again at 0100, then 0200, then 0300, so on and so forth until it gets it. The digital display is clear and easy to read, and as a pilot it's useful for me to easily view the Zulu - or UTC for you ground-pounders - time. Just hit the top right "reverse" button and it'll appear where the date usually is. Really great for copying down when you're taking off or landing (if you're a pilot)- if not it's still helpful to view other time zones.
GET. THIS. WATCH!! You'll be very happy.
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on January 9, 2017
Nice looking watch. Love the solar power function. I simply set the watch in window for an afternoon and the watch went to "high". Received the watch unbelievably fast, and it was already charged to medium and was set to my city. Great service Amazon!
Have not yet figured out how to set correct mode to receive an atomic setting. Oh well.
One issue is the 3 small displays at top of watch face are incredibly difficult to see
EDIT: 1/19/17 I had set the watch to auto receive the atomic time. Just checked it this evening, and found that it had auto updated today. It was the first time I had checked to determine if auto reception worked. I was both delighted and surprised that it had worked. I live in southeastern Pennsylvania, so I didn't expect that function to work. It was just setting on my bed all night, not even in a window, and it was a cloudy night. Cool Beans!
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on February 1, 2018
I have had several of the G-Shock Solar Atomic watches, and I have never had to replace one due to breakage or failure. The last one was 7 years old...and I lost it. Lol. This one is the replacement.
I work in the oil field on a drilling rig. These can take a serious amount of abuse. Mud, dirt, impact, water, and even chemical exposure. When it gets dirtied up, brush with a fingernail brush to get the stuck stuff out, then throw it in the washer with your clothes. (no dryer. lol) Epic build, and every tool you commonly need. Easy to change time zones for travel back and forth, and I travel a lot.
The watch face is just the right size. Not too big, and not too small. It's a comfortable forget-you-have-it-on tool

Absolutely wonderful watch. I am a loyalist for life due to the durability, style and function. Just Awesome.
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