Top positive review
53 people found this helpful
Good, rugged and comfortable watch
on March 11, 2014
I love reading reviews on the web. So entertaining.
Folks, this is a $42 wrist watch. And I think it is an incredible value for $42. So here are some thoughts and comments:
First, the nylon band is quite comfortable, much more comfortable than the resin bands found on most of the Casio G-Shock watches. The band seems stiff at first, but in short order it will soften up and contour to your wrist. The best part is the nice tight spacing between the adjustment holes, allowing much finer adjustment than the resin bands. My wrists swell slightly when I am working hard, when it is hot, or by the end of a long day, and I can loosen the band just a teensy bit so it isn't tight. The nylon band will get dirty, especially if you sweat a lot, but it cleans nicely with a little liquid hand soap and an old toothbrush or a bristle brush. The leather ends attaching the band to the watch itself hold up pretty well, much better than the resin band ends.
The face of the watch is easy to read. The main screen shows the time, day and date. The backlight is sufficient to read all the info on the screen. There are some reviews that gripe about the short duration of the illumination, but having it short saves battery life. And yes, this is a battery powered watch, not a solar powered model.
The crystal is pretty tough. Much better than a plastic crystal. I beat the crap out of mine, but have yet to put a significant scratch or ding in it. Welding splatter will definitely damage the crystal, but that is the case with virtually any crystal available.
The watch is fairly large, but not as thick or bulky as an older (original) G-Shock model I had 10 years ago. The watch is nice and light, lighter than you might guess from its appearance. Compared to many of the "Wrist-Clocks" that seem to be in vogue these days the watch isn't over-sized.
I find the buttons quite easy to use. They are protected from accidental bumping and activation by the side sensor housings and the screw housings, and you definitely have to want to push them to activate their functions, but I see that as a plus. I use my timer regularly which requires pushing all of the buttons (getting to the timer function, starting, stopping and resetting the timer etc) and I find it easy to use. Several reviewers have commented on the buttons being difficult, especially when wearing gloves. OK, I guess the buttons would be difficult if I was wearing heavy gloves, but I don't think I've ever seen a wrist-watch that was glove friendly.
The Barometer/altimeter function seems to be generally misunderstood by many reviewers. I've found the barometer to be fairly accurate when compared to a calibrated unit. I've checked mine numerous times against the Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS) at the airport that I fly out of as well as other airports, and it generally within a few percent of the indicated current pressure. The altimeter is only as accurate as the watches calibration to the current atmospheric pressure, and folks, the atmospheric pressure changes constantly, and often by quite a bit. The watch has no automatic way to adjust for the constantly varying pressure, hence the indicated altimeter reading is often inaccurate. If you care to learn the process, you can calibrate the watch using a known altitude for you exact location, and then keep track of your elevation changes for a short while, but the calibration will only be accurate until the pressure changes. Too much work for my purposes. I find that the altimeter is nice to get a general idea of what your elevation is, not for navigating using the contour lines on a topo map to determine an exact location.
The alarm on both of the units that I have had is very sufficient as a wake-up alarm. I don't have the best hearing, and have no problem hearing it in normal noise level environments. If you get one that is hard to hear, or seem muted, send it back and get a different one. Ya gotta remember, this is a $42 watch made over-seas, packaged, shipped across the ocean to a distributor, then shipped again to your house all for the cost of a couple of movie tickets, sodas and some popcorn.
The cons? For one, the watch will out-last the watch-band and the battery. My bands seem to last about 3 years until the leather ends are shot. The nylon part appears to be indestructible. The only replacement band I can find is $29. A battery is $10 to $15 at the cheap watch-shop in the mall, and that does not include a replacement gasket for the watch-back. So, when the band wears out it is cheaper to order a new watch from Amazon that to get a new band and battery. Hopefully I'll find a more reasonable replacement band one day. For now I can put a $5 resin-band on my old unit and keep it as a backup (18mm band width at the pins).
The thermometer is affected by the heat from your body, and really does not give you any idea of the outside temp. As others have noted, you can take the watch off and set it in the shade for 10 or 15 minutes and it will give a fairly accurate ambient temperature. Nice if you are asleep inside your tent and wake up wondering just how cold it really is, but not really useful for taking a quick check of the temperature. But......I've never heard of a wrist-watch that was any different.
Bottom line? This is a very nice, accurate, rugged, and feature filled watch for $42. You can get one, wear it, beat it like a kid's Christmas drum, swim with it, stick it in the dish sink and not worry about ruining a heirloom-grade time-piece. Like all Casio's and most digital watches, it will keep accurate time, remember what day and date it is (programmed for longer than I'll live), wake you up when you need it to, time your bread in the oven, workout or flight time and more.