on September 22, 2013
Well, I've had this watch since Christmas, and I decided it was time to write a review on it. In my opinion, the watch is great. The quality is there and I use it every single day. Here are some key points I would like to make.
Design/Case-You can tell from the pictures if you like the look of the watch. I personally really like the design, and it has worked well for me. I looked at all of the Pathfinders and I thought this one looked the best. The duplex screen works really well. Navigating all of the functions is tricky, as you must memorize how to do everything. I read the user manual, and downloaded a copy for my I-Pad so I could look up something on the go. After a few uses, you can easily remember how it works. There are just so many functions this watch can do that you must read the manual. I have worn this watch in the shower every night for months, in the pool, I have even worn it in the ocean (I did wash it off afterwards, just in case :),pretty much everywhere. There isn't a single sign of rust. In fact, except for a little grime under those "wings" under the watch, it looks the same as when I got it. And as a side note, this watch has been completely waterproof. I push the buttons in the shower and it isn't hurt at all. If you are worried about your two-hundred dollar watch getting wet, don't be. I also read a review which said that the watch is uncomfortable. I'm not saying he was lying, but I have never found that to be the case.
Atomic Timekeeping-For me, this is one of the features of these watches that really stand out. Now, I don't have much experience with watches, (I used to own a Timex Ironman watch, until the strap broke.) but the Atomic Calibration is spot on. I checked it with NIST time, and it was right on to the second. There are two ways to calibrate. You can turn it so it automatically adjusts every night, or you can perform a calibration on command. I found that it almost always calibrates at night with the automatic calibration. The on command one is rather hit and miss. I sometimes get it to connect, maybe 30% of the time. I found it much easier to just let it do its thing every night. If you are like me, and you want your watch to be right, then this really works. One reviewer mentioned that when he traveled from L.A. to New York, that night it didn't sync to New York Time. This is true because there is no way for the watch to know where you are, it doesn't have a GPS. You can change your timezone in the settings, which is the only way to change your "home time".
Timer-The timer is pretty much just that, a timer. It could be a little louder, but it works.
Alarm-This is probably the biggest area Casio could work on. When you are awake, this alarm is fine. You can set five different alarms at one time.(Not sure who would need that many, but if you did, they are there) Do not hope to use this to wake you at night. Maybe this works on people that sleep really lightly, but it has never woken me. When I first got it, I set the alarm and wore it to bed. Since I sleep with that arm under a pillow, I didn't hear it at all. The next night, I set it on an end table, and it still didn't wake me. Also, after about ten seconds, the alarm shuts off. Not like a snooze button, but truly off. Nothing more than a warning to you, don't get a false hope that you will never need an alarm clock again.
Barometer-The barometer seems to work. What I mean is that I have never tested it against a dedicated barometer, but it has a graph where it shows trends of pressure, and when a storm comes the pressure dips. When the storm gets worse, the pressure sinks even further. It is sort of useful for predicting weather, but looking outside works as well. Maybe I just don't use it as much as other people. You may find a good use for this, but I rarely use it, so I can't say much on it, although it is nice just to have it.
Thermometer-Now I go camping a good bit, maybe once every one to two months. When I decided to get this watch, I thought it would be nice to know how warm or cold it was outside. This watch does measure the temperature, very accurately I might add. However, if you want to get any accuracy in your temperature reading, you must take the watch off and leave it sitting for twenty to thirty minutes. The watch must cool/warm to be the same temperature as the surrounding air to work. I guess I didn't think about it because it makes sense that it would affect it, but I was a little disappointed to find this out. Again nothing really to worry about, but it is nice to know about it ahead of time, before you buy.
Altimeter-I use this less than any other feature. I am sure there are better reviews of the altimeter out there from people who actually use it, but I am not one of those people. That being said, here is what I have noticed about it. The altimeter works on air pressure. When the air pressure increases, the altimeter reads that you are descending. You may be saying, "Well that makes sense, it must work then!" Well, sort of. If a storm comes, or any other low pressure system, the air pressure will drop. So the watch reads that you are ascending. You must calibrate the watch before your hike or whatever to get good results. If you just want a ballpark figure, then you don't need to calibrate. However, from my house, the altitude can vary 300 feet.
Compass-I can't give you a very good description of the compass, because I don't use it. Other reviews will, though It seems to point in the general direction, but I haven't ever tested it. One thing I noticed is that it stays in the compass screen for maybe 20 seconds, then stops reading measurements. With a simple button press it's fixed for another 20 seconds. Not a big deal, but it can be annoying to have to keep resetting. If someone knows how to fix this, I would love to hear! Maybe it's for battery preservation?
Sunrise/Sunset Times-The times the watch gives are exactly like the ones on weather.com. Absolutely exact. Personally, I find these as a little misleading since I use when its dark, not when the sun sets. Just keep in mind, there is a difference between when the sun sets, and when it gets dark. :)
Stopwatch- Pretty similar to every other watch on the market. Precise to milliseconds.(Which are really centiseconds if you think about it, just everyone mistakes them on stopwatches for milliseconds:)
World Time- There is a feature where you can look up the time in any of the time zones around the world using the main city. For instance, for Eastern Time Zone, New York is the city. It is helpful because that screen shows both your home time and the different time zone, so on short trips you can just leave it on that screen so you don't have to mess with the settings.
Solar Charging/Battery Life-Through the couple months I have had this watch, the battery has been really good. During the winter, I had it calibrating every night, and I didn't go outside much because it was cold. This didn't give it much opportunity to charge up. The battery level went to medium after about a week and I turned the automatic calibration off. The battery level went back to high and has stayed there ever since. This summer I turned the calibration feature on and the battery has stayed at high. Maybe it's because I have been outside more, but I couldn't tell you. It has worked great for me always knowing my watch is charged.
In conclusion, this watch may not be for everyone, but it has certainly worked for me. Before you buy a watch you should ask yourself what you want in it. For me, I wanted a watch that could calibrate itself, be solar charging, and looked great. This watch does all those things, had great reviews, and some awesome features, even if you don't use them very often. The only downsides that bothered me at all of this watch was the alarm. I really wished it was louder. It's price is also on the higher side as well. Now, that being said, I love this watch, and would recommend it to anyone, just be aware of some of the things before you decide to buy. When I was shopping around, I found this guy's review of the watch, and it was really good and helped me make my decision. I highly recommend you go and check it out.
Hope this helps