Top positive review
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Superb deal for an altimeter-barometer watch
on August 14, 2011
PROS: Rugged, retro styling, current time shown in every mode, accurate barometer, great feature set for the price
CONS: Digital display has modest viewing angles, resin band is thin, altimeter is pressure-based
Overall, this SGW300 series represents a terrific bang for the buck. I was debating between this watch and the G-Shock Riseman (which I may still end up getting one day). At 1/3 the price, this SGW300 possesses an accurate barometer with trend arrow, a world clock (more cities than the Riseman!), and good toughness (100M water resistance, works in both temperature extremes). Since purchasing the SGW300, I haven't been disappointed.
Three styles are available for the SGW300: black resin band, green cloth band, and stainless steel (folded link) bracelet. I chose the black resin for aesthetics and functionality. The black looked stylish and uniform on the case (the green one has light gray buttons and a dark gray sensor on the left, which I didn't like) and the green window on top reminded me of some old-school Casio's. Plus I didn't want to deal with odor/sweat issues with the cloth band. On the negative side, the resin band does get thin and the buckle is plastic. The SGW300 does have 18mm lugs, however, suggesting that the band can be replaced should the original wear out. The buttons on the side of the case are easy and pleasant to press.
It's a sizeable watch, but on my 6.5" wrist, the SGW300 looks and wears fine. [EDIT 11/2011- I ended up trimming 0.25" off the end of the band because it protruded a bit too much. I smoothed it down with an emery board. The overall look is much improved.)
I love how time is displayed on EVERY mode. And the alarm tones are reasonably loud. The display, on the other hand, is merely decent. At some angles, the uncluttered display shows thick, dark digits quite clearly. Yet many other angles cause the LCD digits to fade quickly -- I've seen better (the Casio Fishing Watch comes to mind). Illumination of the display is produced by two amber LEDs, which work well. One can customize the duration of the illumination, a feature that more expensive models often lack.
Like other Casio's, this altimeter is pressure based and can be unreliable if the weather changes. There is no trend guide for the altimeter, nor is there any memory mode. The thermometer, as mentioned in other reviews, needs to be off the wrist for at least 15+ minutes before correctly registering ambient temperature.
The SGW300 is a hidden gem in the Casio world. It shares and sometimes surpasses the features of more expensive models. It lacks the frills of atomic clock synchronization and solar battery power (the SGW300 battery is rated to last at least 3 yrs). In the process, the SGW300 emerges as an affordable watch for its extensive feature set, handsome retro looks, and good durability. Highly recommended.