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Customer Review

on April 27, 2014
I picked this watch up as a replacement for a beloved and well-worn Pathfinder that is no longer manufactured. That Pathfinder survived several years of hard, dedicated use, in a very austere and rugged setting, and it was finally defeated. Had it been repairable I would have had it fixed.
I begrudgingly began looking for a replacement. Since that iteration of the Pathfinder series I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new generation are battery-free and solar powered. As I had left my previous profession I was not in need of such a large, "masculine" design but as a recreational outdoorsman, wanted to have the features of an ABC watch, the robustness of the Pathfinder design, a water-proof case, and Casio's dependability. I was also interested in GPS watches and finally, had been eyeing the subdued features of "military"-style design.
I spent some time looking at Suunto GPS watches, and the new Garmin Tactix. From both the reviews I've read and reports I was getting from people using these products, the Garmin looked to be the better product but for my purposes it was overkill with a pretty big price tag. I already wear a Foretrex in the field and have been eyeing a Garmin Colorado or Montana so laying out 500 bones on another GPS device seemed excessive. I also loved the idea of not having to deal with batteries. Ever.
I settled on picking up another Pathfinder/Protech and then settled on this model for its low profile, light weight, solar charging and atomic timekeeping.
Pro's: Lightweight and streamlined. Unlike my old Pathfinder I don't even realize I have this one on half the time. It is also streamlined. Does not catch on clothing or gear like my old Pathfinder did. ABC functions and setup are identical to the older model so I took right to the unit and didn't have to learn a new programming setup. The black "subdued" aesthetic is very slick, very understated. The night illumination is positive, vivid, a tantalizing cobalt/violet and can be set for 1 or 3 second display. Full utility and function of my original Pathfinder. No batteries, no recharging and this watch picked up atomic radio reception from inside a reinforced, concrete building and synchronized without any problems right after I took it out of the box.
Cons: the black, subdued face is cool as hell but can be difficult to see, for real. I read some complaints about that and I feel it is an issue. I have about 20/20 vision and this thing can be hard to see, esp. in low light. If you are in a profession like EMS where you have to be able to see seconds or split seconds i.e. taking a pulse, this can be an issue.
For some reason Casio decided to use silver, bling-y, hash marks on the bezel which defeats the utility of having a low profile face. I have no idea why the did that.
The watch's band is polyurethane and feels a little insubstantial to me. My old Pathfinder's band was solid, heavy duty, plastic. I literally pulled my self over a wall with it on several occasions... It was that tough. I don't think this watch is up to that challenge.
Conclusion: with all that said this watch is perfect for me at my stage of life. I spend more time indoors now than out and this watch looks professional, performs all the functions of a Pathfinder, and doesn't beat up my wrist like the old unit did. As I still do a lot of hiking and camping this watch performs all the functions of my old one with greater accuracy and less weight.
My advice for the public safety/LE/military crowd is if you want a Pathfinder go with a PAG240 model & get a watch cover for tactical issues if reflectivity is a concern. You will be better served by a face you can read, larger, more tactile surfaces and a plastic band that you can trust. For Pathfinder loyalists who don't need the meaty dimensions of the PAG watches, this may be the watch for you.
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