I've had this watch almost 5 years now, so I thought I should sit down and write a quick review of it. I'm the kind of person that tends to break a lot of watches, so it's amazing to me that this watch has lasted this long at all - although the buttons and part of the front bezel have been beat up pretty good.
First, the things I really like about this watch are:
1) Because it sets itself off of the atomic clock in Denver every night, it is completely accurate - the longer I wear it, the more I find myself setting all the other clocks I use by this watch. As a reference, I live in Austin, TX and have never had a problem getting a signal - it also picked up the change in daylight savings when congress decided it needed to change the dates (thanks to the atomic clock).
2) The solar power is also a great feature, I've found that it sits on full power from about March through November each year. Once the days get noticeably shorter, it tends to settle on the second highest battery setting until spring. This doesn't impact the performance at all, but it does give me an idea how much sunlight I'm getting.
3) This thing is completely waterproof and very tough. Believe it or not, I actually throw it in the dishwasher when it gets dirty and it comes out sparkly clean. It's been through some beatings that would have completely destroyed pretty much any other watch and it still works perfectly.
4) I really love the auto-backlight feature. It's very convenient not to have to push any buttons to see the time at night.
5) I also like how easy it is to adjust the time by just changing the timezone whenever I travel.
This wouldn't be complete without a list of things I don't like, so here they are:
1) I really wish this watch had a countdown timer instead of the databank feature. I've found the databank to be pretty useless, but I think I would use a countdown timer quite a bit.
2) Going back to the dishwasher theme, this watch does tend to get pretty dirty since it has some large recessed areas. The reason I even tried the dishwasher in the first place was because it was kind of a pain to clean any other way.
Overall, I really like this watch and would recommend it to anyone. If I ever do manage to break it I will definitely be replacing it with another one of the Atomic-Solar G-Shock models.
on February 8, 2007
I surveyed vast field of digital choices before getting the watch a month ago, and I'm well satisfied. Most digital watches (as opposed to analog with hour and minute hands) are ugly, IMO, so my surveying has mainly been frustrating. I found a nice line of digital Casio Edifices, with big digits and glimmering colorful faces, which served for a while, but has apparently been discontinued a year or two ago, and my last one quit working two months ago.
I bought this watch, grimacing at the price, just because it wasn't particularly ugly and had big digits, but it exceeded my meager expectations. The manual was a bit of a slog - it took about 20 minutes to read, but well worth it.
The features are outstanding - about 5 alarms, one of which can be set for snooze alarms, the expected stop watch, easy access to Greenwich Meridian Time, markers for noting times, a backlight, waterproof enough for scuba diving (not that I dive).
The special features include checking with a radio signal daily so the time is always correct (important for catching my buses and winning arguments about what time it really is), solar power (so run-down batteries should never be a problem), and backlighting that turns on when one turns one's wrist (surprisingly convenient). A nice touch is when one cycles back to the time, the watch gives a different unobtrusive beep.
There are other features available on other watches - tape recorders, flash drives, altimeters, compasses, but none that sound remotely useful in the long run.
I had to shorten the well-built wriststrap by 5 or 6 links, a little tricky, but any watch shop could do it in 5 minutes.
If you want a big, full-featured, easy-to-read and operate digital watch, this is the one, and I've surveyed most of them.
Post originally written mid-January, this added 2-25-07: I've found there might be problems with battery life, or maybe it is just the Seattle winter. I've had to leave my watch sometimes under a light when the power get low, and changing the battery can only be done by Casio, according to one watch shop. Also, the price on the watch is coming down quickly to more reasonable levels. I still like it a lot, despite having to juice it up from time to time.
on August 5, 2008
I bought my Casio MTG900DA-8V over four years ago, and I was surprised to find it still being produced and sold by Casio as I browsed Amazon's watch selection.
Overall, I think it is a great timepiece, and I have never regretted buying mine. But, you will notice that I only gave it four stars, because like anything made by man, it isn't perfect. Here's the scoop:
1. Superb accuracy. I live near Atlanta, Georgia, which is probably close to the limit of this watch's radio reception range. But even here, my watch will sync with the atomic time station over 99% of the time. But as another reviewer said, you will probably have to experiment with locations within your house where you leave the watch for its overnight radio sync process.
2. Not just water-resistant, this thing is waterproof. I have worn mine while doing all kinds of nasty chores, including mowing, weeding and related dirty jobs. And when I get in the shower afterward, I just leave the watch on so that it gets a good clean-up, too. Never a problem.
3. Very tough. Again, I've worn mine doing some pretty harsh work, including using a chain-saw, axe and hammer. Never a problem.
4. The solar power is great. Some people may think that solar power is a gimmick, but here's the deal: since you should never have to replace a battery, your water-resistant (or waterproof) watch will stay that way. All my previous watches, including some pretty expensive ones, lost their water-resistance after they had a battery change. (Casio does say that their rechargeable batteries may need replacing some day, but mine are still going strong after more than four years.)
1. This watch is BIG. It is about 15mm thick and is about as big around as the old-style silver dollars. If you have a small wrist, this watch may not be for you.
2. The band and SOME of the bezel appear to be stainless steel. After four years, the stainless steel parts of my watch still look OK, even after the hard life my watch has had. But, the stainless steel band is connected to the watch with a big final link that appears to be made of some type of plastic (or "resin" as Casio likes to call it). This plastic has held up well, but it has faded in color somewhat. Also, there are what appear to be anodized aluminum parts decorating the four corners of the bezel. The anodized surface of the aluminum has begun to wear off, leaving these aluminum parts looking somewhat mottled.
1. My Casio MTG900DA-8V has had four years of very hard use. It is as accurate as ever, all the features work as advertized and I am still wearing it every day.
2. But keep in mind, if you give it the kind of rough use that I have, it will probably develop some cosmetic issues.
3. If you are looking for a rugged, super accurate digital timepiece, look no further. This is the one.
on October 19, 2005
I bought this watch 2 years ago, and it has been working flawlessly since then. I have many watches, some automatics - they look great but have very few functions and require attention. The great thing about this G-Shock is that it is totally maintenance-free: you just put it on and forget about it.
PROS: No need to replace battery, perfect accuracy, no need to set time & date ever (even for Daylight Saving Time or leap years), no need to take it off (WR200 meters, indestructible), can wear with any clothes (Stainless steel bracelet), auto night-light, handy functions (alarms, GMT, chrono).
CONS: Huge watch - not heavy but reaaaaally large. No countdown timer (one of the most useful functions IMO).
on July 31, 2006
I've had the G-Shock MTG900DA8 for a few weeks now. I've never worn watches before but the lack of an exterior clock on my latest cell phone forced me to get one. After doing some research on watches I decided that a G-Shock would give me the right combination of function, toughness, and looks. I don't think I could've picked a better watch.
Solar Power: There are 3 charge indicators: high, medium, and low. When I got the watch it was on medium. I put it on the dash in my car for about an hour and it moved to hi. I haven't had to do that again and it has never moved from hi. The solar power actually works. It's pretty cool. Makes me wish my car worked that way.
Atomic Time Keeping: Yep, it's atomic, and yep, it works. I think by default it tries to connect to the atomic clock in Colorado 3 or 4 times a day. My watch always manages to sync while I'm sleeping at around 5 in the morning. I've been on a couple of trips and no matter where I've gone (in Texas) it has been able to sync itself at least once everyday. It's cool knowing that no matter what that the time is exactly right. I've even compared it to other atomic clocks (and our servers at work which are synced to atomic clocks). Not only do they all have the same time but they are the exact same down to the seconds. Pretty cool.
Tough: I do computer work in a manufacturing plant and, unfortunately, I've beat the heck out of this watch in the few weeks I've had it. But you couldn't tell by looking at it. This thing is tough. It still looks brand new and shiny. It really lives up to it's name.
Looks: This watch looks great on my wrist. I was afraid it would be too big or too heavy but it's neither. I don't think I have particularly big arms either. Plus it's a nice combination between tough and functional and classy looking.
It's easy to remove links from this thing when you get the hang of it (you just need a teeny, tiny, flat head screwdriver).
The Indiglo light is just bright enough and being able to flip your wrist toward yourself in a dark area and have the light come on is neat.
The display on the watch (even in bright noonday Texas sun) is easy to see. I've never had to struggle to read what time it is.
It's is very light for it's size. I was afraid it was going to be real heavy but that hasn't been the case. It's surprisingly light.
The clasp is very easy to do and undo but I've also never had it get undone when I didn't want it to.
Being able to hit a button and set the watch to different time zones works great. I haven't needed to use it yet but I'm sure I will and knowing that I can is cool.
When - wait, IF this watch ever dies (and I could see it lasting for 10 years or more) I will definitely get another G-Shock. Good game, Casio.
on April 5, 2008
Allow me to start off by saying that the version of this watch I own is all black, not the shinny silver/metallic one pictured. Besides the color difference the watch is the same so I feel I have some comments that may help you decide if this watch is for you.
I bought this G-Shock in January of 2007 and as of April 2008 it is still going strong. While that may not sound like much, as most watches should survive at least a year, I have put my G-Shock through a lot. I was deployed to Iraq in Feb 07 and needed a watch I could count on as I knew it would difficult to find a repairer overseas.
I was first attracted to this particular model because of the metal band. I needed a heavy duty watch but I cannot stand the plastic bands the majority of G-Shocks have. The metal band has not disappointed either. I have never had a problem with it. No breaks, no joints sticking together and the release mechanism as always been flawless.
The display is easy to read, with so many features available I am still figuring them out. One of my favorite is the ability to set the back light to automatically come on if you tilt the watch (while on you wrist) towards your face. This particular feature is very easily turned on and off.
I have had no problems with the solar battery. There is a battery meter in the upper left hand corner so if it gets below "H" for High it is time to charge it with light. I am outside in the sun so much that I have only had to charge it once. And if the watch is not being used it puts itself into a "sleep" mode. Just hit any button and it turns back on in a millisecond.
The face plate has a few scratches on it but they are impossible to see unless held up directly in the light. In other words it is near impossible to put a deep scratch on the lens by accident.
The only complaint I have with my watch is that a majority of the black finish has rubbed off, especially on the band. However seeing everything this watch has been though I am not really surprised. (Please remember that my watch had a black finish on it and I do not think the silver one shown would wear as easily as mine did.)
So if you are looking for a heavy duty watch, this is where your search ends. Not only does it look great, it is indestructible as well(I could probably run it over with my gun truck and it wouldn't look any different).
on October 3, 2005
This watch has everything you could want in an everyday-wear digital. It's recharged by solar power, so no need to worry about batteries, and the time is synched with the atomic clock so there's no need to worry about it being accurate.
I bought this watch without having ever seen one (except for pictures on the web) because it had all the features I wanted and it looked nice enough to be able to wear it to business meetings and dressier places. I was surprised at the size and weight - it's a big heavy watch - but I've gotten used to that pretty quickly. It feels solid, that's for sure. The G-Shocks have a great reputation for handling a beating, and I don't doubt the toughness of this one.
The instructions seem to be overly cautious about a few things, like the fact that the atomic clock signal might not be available at all times or that the battery might take a long time to charge, but I've had no problems with either. I get a perfect signal every day from the atomic clock, and I've never had the battery go down to medium.
If the size and weight don't bother you and you don't need anything extraordinary like a dive computer or a digital compass, you'll be happy with this purchase.
on April 15, 2009
Reliable, easy to read day or night. After 4-years of abusing my Casio MTG900 on/under water, clearing land, etc. on the east coast of FL, plus timing food on my grill, here is what I think a prospective buyer should know. (1) When EST & DST change, I leave my Casio out in our screenroom to make sure the WWV time signal from CO activates a change; aways works. Small time updates are received regularly while I'm wearing it outside. (2) Be sure to carefully save the instruction booklet; you'll want to utilize other functions sometime. (3) Most important, when you initially remove excess band links & pins, carefully preserve them with your booklet. Nobody sells those spring-pins and it is just a matter of time before you will catch the band on something, bend a link pin, and urgently need one of your saved pins and/or links. Easy to fix using a tiny eye-glass screwdriver to retract the pin's spring, and a magnifier to spot the etched pin orientation arrow.
on September 7, 2006
I really like this watch. This is my second atomic watch, but the first one was cheap and scratched easily. This one is much more solid and has all necessary features, e.g. alarms and stopwatch. The only difficulty I had with shortening the bracelet. However, after some effort I figured out that you need a safety pin or a needle and a sharp knife with a pointed end. On step one you locate the pins which have opening to the side of the bracelet via holes, and push a needle in there and disconnect the bracelet. On step two other pins have to be disconnected by using a knife, and this is kind of tricky at first, but once you figure out how to do it, it is easy. You stick the knife in the opening of the bracelet, from the inside of the bracelet, sharp side of the blade towards the pin, and push it in there slightly and then twist it and pull the bracelet at the same time so the tracks get disconnected. Concerning the solar element, weather was rainy when I bought it for several days, so I stuck it under the fluorescent lamp at about 1 inch from it, and after half-a-day the battery indicator went from medium to high. Your mileage might vary. The watch gets the synchronization radio signal in Connecticut without any problems. Highly recommend.
on January 19, 2006
In general I agree with just about everything the other users have said.
I replaced a twenty year old Casio with this watch just over one year ago.
I wanted the SS band, not a flimsy plastic one. I like all the functions. I agree with the other users who wish it had a countdown timer - my old Casio did. One other minor thing - my old watch would beep once on the half-hour and twice on the hour, I wish this one could do that also.
Initially I thought there were problems with this watch. As it turned out, I had misinterpreted the instructions.
One WARNING: This watch takes a long time to store up a full battery charge - especially in November when the sky is always overcast. I charged mine up under a 100W compact fluorescent bulb - six inches away for two nights. Once that was done, it has maintained a full charge from just normal light. Furthermore, the automatic (motion activated) back-light eats a lot of power - I turned it off and just use the button.
This price seems excellent - When I bought mine in October of 2004 the best price I could find was $120.