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Still a fan after all these years - and it's still the same!
on January 4, 2017
I had a last-minute revelation that the cost of a new one would be about the same as a new (original Casio) band and the cost of the additional outer shield (which says "G-Shock) and a jeweler's labor. So I decided on simply getting a new watch, complete with strap, for just a tiny bit more.. I read the reviews first, some pretty scary in talking about non-stainless steel cheapening, or non-functioning ("overly recessed") buttons or faulty light.
I'd say this under oath (and have no vested interest in Casio!) - I've had at least 3 of this exact same model over the past 3 decades or so. All the watches still work, even if a few pins and casings got beat up eventually. Two have had the batteries changed every few years and a new strap once a decade.
This watch is virtually the same exact watch in terms of appearance and function. I was concerned if the calendar included the 2010's, but no worries there. Set it right up, tested that buttons and light-feature are working (they are) and the countdown timer too. Just now I set an alarm and it also worked fine, as always. So that is my experience - an exact-same watch, my "old friend" for snorkeling and day-to-day work - with stopwatch, countdown, and clock all working just fine.
As for manufacture, my last one (whose strap and front harness finally broke) was manufactured in Malaysia, and the one before that in Japan. All are marked with the same model # (different factory codes) and this Chinese incarnation is marked "St. Steel" rather than "stainless" and a few other minor shifts in the back engraving (adding info on the shock casing too). But, so far, wherever it was pieced together or however the parts are procured, this is a standard-issue G-Shock Casio watch, so far exactly the same in appearance and function as my others.
The last thing I'd add is about the comments on skin irritation. Well, I've at times ended up with a red or dry patch on my wrist (especially underneath, as I'll flip the watch to see the front when snorkeling/diving underwater). It's a big piece of steel which may get warm (not from battery; from sun or activity), and the steel back and/or buckle is what has sometimes done a number on my skin too. So I give it a brief rest. For the moment (two days constant wear), no irritation, no difference than any other Casio G-Shock. It's true (but no doubt individual) that the watch and band (bulky and metallic as they are) can cause a rash or dryness, "for some of the people some of the time", but I'm only one person. I don't think it's that common or so big a risk for most people. I wear this watch 24/7 (as it can shower or swim with me and I'm not connected to a phone). Love it still. Time will tell, but so far, so good!