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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 2 November 2011
Going on a family beach / light activities holiday at the end of summer 2011 I wanted a watch that I wouldn't have to worry about. I also wanted to buy something that wwould bee useful after we got back, being an outdoor and indoor sports enthusiast, something that again I wouldn't have to worrry about but that also had some useful functions.

I looked at the Suunto Vector and some of the Casio Protrek range, that all come with a price tag of over £100. I liked the Vector but tried it on in a shop and didn't really like the materials it was constructed from and then ffound out it wasn't waterproof, hence no good for swimming.
I came across this SWG-100-1VEF on Amazon at a fraction of the price, and in honesty it seemed to offer a lot at a small price tag so I took a bit of a chance and ordered it.

It arrived very promptly andd well packaged.

The first thing I noticed unpacking it was that it actually looked even better than it had in the product images on Amazon. In fact when i tried it on for the first time my wife said that she thought it looked better than my much more expensive titanium watch.

The size of the watch casee is perfect, not overly large although it is very substantial, with a large mixeed material bezel protecting the the smallish counter-sunk LCD screen. Beecuase the bezel is made of several materials andd tapered it makes the watch case feel smaller than it actually is.
The watch itself feels well constructed andd the materials feel very solid, and infact high-quality, with the philips head screws on the top of the bezel addding to this and making it feeel like it could take a lot of punishment.

Thee only thing regarding the construction that I didn't expect was the material of the strap. I had imagined it to be rubber whereas it's a hard plastic resin - but thinking back to the last Casio watch I owned as a teenager this too was made of a hard plastic resin. In all honesty the strap is very comfortable, the double crimp in it holdds the watch still on your wrist even during activities and swimmming / diving.

The LCD display at first seeemed a little small but the information is displayed so clearly it is easier to read than most other watches I have owned.
the default time setting shows digital time (inclduing seconds), day, month and date. It also has a DST mode too.

The next screen, which is displayed by touching the mode button, shows a second time zone of your choice - which has proved extremely useful to me when I have repeatedly been abroad on busniness - not only does this show the time in your current zone but it similtaneously displays (at thee top of the screen in a smaller font size) the time in your home zone (GMT in my case) so that if you are making calls etc. back home you always know what time they're on.

Thee next mode is the stop watch - does what you'd expect and features split times. I found that trail running even in wet conditions the large grippy buttons used to start/stop the timer are always reliable.

The next mode is a countdown timer, again I have made good use of this multi-tasking etc. and is again very simple to use and set up.

The next mode is the multiple alarm section which has 5 alarms, a snooze function and an 'on-the-hour' beep function. Once again being abroad on different time zones I have made good use of all 5 different alarms at one - though it is worth noting that the alarms are set from your default home time, not your second time zone - so you need to do some calculations if you're using them in a different time zone. The alarms are just the correct volumee to wake me if the watch is being worn or on a bedside table without putting you in to a panic. I have not discovered how to use the snooze function though, since it's not important to me.

Another press of the mode button takes you back to the normal time display screeen. It's also worth noting that every time you press the mode button the watch beeps, however when returning to the normal home time screen the beep is higher pitched - this is acually really useful since you don't always need to be viewing the watch when you want to return to time mode, for instance in the middle of an activity.

Thee last function of the watch is obvioulsy the compass and thermometer - accessed from the home screen using a dedicated button. One press andd you're into similtaneous compass and temp mode. When you first get the watch you have to calibrate the compass - this involvees followwing on screen prompts and rootating the watch 360 degrees a few times whilst holding it horizontally flat. Easily and quickly done. The compasss seems relatively accurate, though I would not rely on it to navigate - it is very useful in getting loose bearings - i.e. if you know roughly wheere you are headed with way points / landmarks, or in an unknown city where a compass bearing is going to help you to get to a landmark / destination you roughly know is in a given direction.

Thee thermometer of the other hand is limited in use when the watch is worn - it usually reads around the low 30 degrees cent which is inkeeping with the surface skin temperature of your arm itself. In order to get a decent environmental temp reading you really neeed to takee the watch off your wrist and leave it ffor a while to settlee down. This howwever I would say is useful if you're camping for example - you can takee thee watch off leaving beeside your sleeping bag and check the temperature before you get out in to the cold to know what you're dealing with.

The only thing that surprised me about the compasss mode when I first got the watch (in fact I thought it was faulty) was that I expected the mode to permananetly display compasss bearing and temp as long as the mode was activated. It doesn't. When the mode is entered it displays both for around 7 secs and then goees blank. Non of the literature really explains this, but once I realised this was the way it worked (probably to help reserve battery life) actually using the compass is still easy - which gives you a bearing in degrees and a small cursor indicating north. Incidentally the time is still displayed in this mode in the small ffont at the top of the screen.

The watch also feature an eleectro-luminscent back light, which again is extremely useful making it easy to view the screen in low level light to pitch black, although it does only stay light for 1.5-2 secs so you need to be quick to read it!

All of the adjustments and settings and menu's are a doddle to use and I wouldn't expect you need anything more than a 5 min scan of the manual in order to understand exactly how to use the watch (and never need to refer to the manual again).

In summary

I would give the watch 4/5 as it's great but if you pay hundreds of pounds there are better units out there that do more. If it was value for money I would give it 5 stars without hesitation. My ony single criticism of the watch itself is that it wwould benefit from a rotating bezel for compass bearings.

Thee watch though really is magnificent - for less than £50 thee design, quality, function, style, usefulness and ease of use I don't believe can be beaten.
In fact in all these areas I would say to some extent it is better than some of it's much more expensive competiion, offered either by Suunto or Casio (in the form of ProTrek) themselves. Go ahead and buy one - you will not regret it!!!

P.S. Apologiees for all the typo's - using a floating key stlye keyboard that makes spelling very diffficult!
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2009
It's not scuba diver's watch but it's as waterproof I need (out in the rain, swimming etc).
Large display so I don't need my reading glasses!
Back-light so I can check the time in the dark.
Useful set of alarms, stopwatch, countdown timer and full date display.
With the number of functions available the instruction book is necessary but once read, it's all pretty obvious.

And the "Plus a bit" - it has compass and temperature sensor. Temperature is only accurate if you leave the watch off for 30 mins, otherwise the reading is bound to be influenced by body heat/clothing. Compass calibration is best regarded as a game, I don't think it's possible to complete succesfully! You have to rotate the watch tracking movements of the pointer at one second intervals, it's just not possible!

Once calibrated the claimed compass accuracy is plus or minus about 5 degrees, so if you're in the wilderness you'll still need a proper compass but otherwise: good enough.
As far as I can see the very expensive watches with a compass feature don't claim to be any more accurate than this so if you want a compass watch, no point in spending more, this will do, you'll have to accept that for real navigation you need a proper compass. Apart from that - it's a gadget freak's gimmick. (Guilty as charged!)

Overall it's comfortable, looks good, affordable, provides the functions I need well and, as a Casio, I'm sure I can look forward to at least 10 years reliable operation.

Did hit one problem - how on earth do you calibrate the compass? Carefully followed the instructions a few times, no good. It's like playing a video game but the computer is so much better than you that you have no chance of completeing all the steps in the limited time available. Lucky then, that the compass feature was not a key feature for me. So basically the "plus a bit" compass and temperature sensor are a fail. Nevertheless I'm still very pleased with the purchase many months later.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2009
I really enjoyed this watch on a recent sailing ship. The compass function proved suprisingly accurate giving almost similar readings to the professional floating compass of a 40 feet sailboat. As far as the temperature readings, they are not accurate when the watch is worn around the wrist. It proved that my body temperature affects its readings, but once away from the body the thermometer gives excellent readings.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2011
Let's start with the fact that this is a budget watch.So do not expect looks and features that the G-Shock or Pro Trek series have,which kind of reflects on their price naturally.
Having stated that,the watch is very good looking(looks like one of the Pro Trek series),has a resin case which makes it light but also robust and compact.It has also a resin strap which is comfortable but it is not the best of quality.I would prefer a thicker one or,in alternative you could buy the canvas one,which makes more attractive.
The display is very large and easy to read in all lighting conditions(nice backlight for when it's dark).
As for the functions of this watch,it has a stopwatch,5 alarms(with snooze function),timer,world time function,automatic calendar,compass,thermometer and has a water resistance classification of 20 bar(200mt,but not to be confused with diving depth).
I use it in many occasions such as running and cycling,or even for when i go swimming as it is waterproof,but it is adeguate also for everyday use.
The thermometer and the compass need to be calibrated so you have to read the manual to do so(by the way once you read it you will understand easily all of it's functions).
The thermometer is influenced by the body temperature,so if you want to have an accurate reading you must remove it from your wrist for about 20 min.
The compass needs to be calibrated about 2-3 times a year and to be honest it is a little difficult to calibrate it properly.That is because you cannot really keep up with the changes of the direction(you have to follow an arrow indicator that changes direction every second),but you could get a reading close enough to the true one.I don't really consider this as a negative,because i think that if someone is really on to mountain or desert trips that need orientation already has a compass or a GPS.
So,the thermometer and the compass are nice added functions(not perfect though) to a regular digital watch.
Given the price i believe i couldn't ask for more.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2009
I was bought this watch for Christmas as a bit of a joke, as I am a bit too keen on my gadgets and map reading and navigation.

I found it to be excellent. It has been robust, despite hours being played with by my son believing it was Ben 10's magic watch, the Omnitrix.

The compass is not terribly accurate but is very useful as a quick guide and when held steady and used correctly is not far from the reading given by "proper" compass.

This does not replace a map and compass for the more adventurous but is a good solid watch with a handy navigational function and thermometer built in. At this price a bargain.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2011
...but doesn't quite succeed. Given how happy everyone else is with theirs, perhaps i got a gammy one?

Pro: It is accurate to within 5 degrees, so as another reviewer said, you'll still need a proper compass, but for emergencies it's very good. It's also simple enough to set up, if a bit tricky to follow the flashing cursor precisely.

Con: mine wants to be recalibrated at least once a month, which is a little frustrating.

Pro: Easy to set, easy to switch on/off

Con: It runs for a miserly, unalterable 10 beeps (10 seconds), then switches off. This is not good after a particularly hard day when you're completely zonked out in your sleeping bag. Admittedly, the 60 seconds i got with the old Casio was probably too long, but 10 seconds is definitely not enough. Yes, you can use the snooze function (repeats every 5 minutes, up to 7 times) but then you always have to use the snooze function if you want a long alarm, which makes the other 4 a bit pointless. (although, yes, you may well use the others for something other than waking up to. Again, though, a ten second window is very easy to miss, and it's not the loudest watch alarm in the world, either.) And, having to wait for the snooze to go off again gives you 4 minutes and 50 seconds to fall back asleep, which is very easy to do if it barely tickled your senses in the first place.

I have also found that if you use the secondary time-zone function (Mode 2) (rather than setting the main time to a different zone) the alarm still registers in UK time (I assume because the primary time is still set to UK, and this is what the alarm feeds from). Unavoidable, i guess, but i certainly won't make that mistake again. It does make one wonder whether it's worth having the mode 2 time-zone function. It's confusing/frustrating. Admittedly, this could be me doing something wrong. Er, i may not have really read this section...

Water Resistancy
Pro: Can dive with it. i've been down to just over 20 meters, no problem. Super for fun/recreational diving

Con: Nope, none. Happy with this function

Pro: Does what it says on the tin

Con: not as bright as my previous (15 year old) Casio, which sucks. I could literally use that one to see where i was going. darn thing could light up a room. I miss that...

Also, backlight switches off as soon as you press another button. Picture: you're in ya tent. It's dark. You realise you haven't turned on your alarm. You hit backlight so you can see what you're doing. press the mode button- light goes off. Press light again, then press the mode button again to find the stop watch function...and the light goes off. Repeat, again. and again. Oh look! Alarm mode. Yay. Now, if you've already set the time, it's just a case of switching it on. if you still need to set the time, well, i wish you the best of luck. It's like pulling teeth, trust me. Some of you may say 'why not use your torch to see?' Good question. a) defeats the point of a backlight. b) completely obliterates your night vision, hence the backlight being green and not 'white'

Stop Watch
Pro: Easy to use. And let's face it, how can you screw up a stop watch?

Con: None

Pro: Actually, until i started writing this review, i hadn't used it. My bad. i have, right now, figured it out in under 15 seconds. Super easy to use/set/reset. As demonstrated. Cool

Con: None

Pro: does just what it's meant to. You just have to remember to take it off for a while, otherwise it reads your body heat.
Con: the above doesn't count as a con, it's logical.

Time/Date set.
Super easy. It's a wonderfully straight forward system. You simply activate the settings function by holding 'Adjust' while in mode 1 (standard time) and then scroll through the many settable options using the mode button till you find the one you want. 'Light' and 'Comp' then become your up/down adjust. Simples

I'll give you this, it's pretty robust. I've dropped it, dropped things on it (and no, my above listed 'cons' didn't start after the mishaps it's been through, it was like that out the box! I've had this watch nearly a year, so it's been round the mill, so to speak) trodden on it, kicked it, and it still works a charm. No signs of abrasion, no scratches on the perspex face, all the plastic and trim is still surprisingly good, despite one or two scuff marks. It's like an original Nokia- you all know the ones. You could drop kick them and you'd never know it coz they'd still work perfectly. Not that i've drop kicked my watch. That'd be silly.

This watch is incredibly easy to use. i would go as far as to saying the basic options, and the set up are idiot proof. It's a nice, beefy looking watch, and it's hard wearing. Mine's been up a mountain, 20-odd meters under the sea, camping more times than i can count, hot, cold, i've painted in it, tinkered in engines in it, doused it in petrol, thinners, etc, (not intentionally, mind), covered it in brick dust, used and abused it and the dear thing just keeps going. Honestly, in the event of a nuclear explosion, all that would be left of me would be my watch and my boots. And possibly my sunglasses...

Where it falls down, for me, is it's technical side, and that's a huge shame, coz this watch could be brilliant. I appreciate that, compared to a number of similar spec watches out there, it's reasonably cheap. But if you're gonna do a job, do it properly, please. It just feels so half baked

Of all the cons i've listed, i could put up with all of them and still think the watch was great if it wasn't for the 10-second-long alarm (as you may have gathered from the length of the con!) and the backlight. That's it. It sounds silly, doesn't it? But those two poorly designed functions really grate on me, and all the other niggles piled on top spoil what could be an amazing little package.

It won't put me off buying another Casio, far from it- they're brilliant watches. it's just a shame about this one. Still, i need something new and shiny to spend my money on! :D
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2010
I normally buy business like watches and I haven't had a digital watch for many years (over 20 or so). But I recently bought this watch and a G-Shock watch. This one being my favourite of the two. It is sufficiently stylish to be able to wear at work as it isn't super bulky like the g-shock. It does however feel sturdy and so far seems to cope well with physical activities and some punishing. So for hiking in the forest, playing golf and physical activities for normal people (I am not young enough to do extreme challenges anymore) this watch is definitely able to cope. It is super easy to read and the light function is very good (the kids love it and want to see the light on daddys watch all the time). The compass and temperature measurements are nice but as per other reviews cannot replace the real deal so don't go throwing your compass away. So for me this is a great watch - instead of forking out hundreds on a nice analogue business like watch I spent a reasonable sum on a watch that I can use for most everyday activity.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2010
I bought this watch mainly for the compass feature and all the rest are a bonus. The watch is chunky and all the buttons are easy to use especially if you have big fingers which I have. Setting the time and alarms are very straight forward, even world times for other countries re-adjusts itself automatically based on current GMT time. The five alarms are handy if you have to take medication at certain times of the day as I am always forgetting especially when you get wrapped up in work. The compass took some time to work out; you have to set it flat on a map with the 12 hour facing north and then following the instructions for re-calibration. Once this has been completed you point the 12 hour in the direction you want and press the compass feature button. The result is quick and accurate given in North South etc and degrees. As you rotate the dirction indicator adjusts accordingly but its needs to re-calibrate after ten seconds which can be annoying but it only requires you to press the compass button again for another reading which I have now got used to. The thermometer reading was a bit puzzling at first as it was showing higher than the room temperature. It you require to take a room temperature you need to take it off your wrist and place it in the area you want to record the temperature because if you wear on your wrist it will record your body temperature at that point. Overall it does what it says and its good value for the money with so many functions.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2009
I bought this watch duty-free in Glasgow en-route to Australia recently. I had been looking at the Casio Protrek range for sometime but decided that they are just too expensive. Then I saw this one, dual sensor, with compass and thermometer, the two features I particularly wanted, and for a good price.
While it is NOT one of the Protrek range (it is incorrectly titled), it is a good, solid attractive watch. My disappointment is due to the limited capability of the thermometer. You will not get an accurate reading while wearing it and thus need to remove it and let it adjust to the surroundings, which takes about 15 mins. The compass is also inaccurate, despite numerous recalibrations, comparing it to a stand-alone compass. Despite it's misgivings, it is a steal at this price - I paid about AUD89, and found it in shops in Oz for AUD199-249. For that reason alone, I am pleased :-)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2013
Awesome watch, had mine for 3 years and the only thing that has broken is the strap! and that's only very recently. The watch itself is great, some nice features including a compass which isn't by any means a proper compass but it will give you rough bearing where you point it, so long as take a little time to calibrate it properly. But by far my favorite feature is how tough it is, my watch has survived the Royal Marines brutal 'mud run', has dove down to 40m, has been ran over by a car, dropped/smashed/bumped/scraped more times than i remember, and the only thing that it has to show from it is abit of the paint coming off the plastic and a few tiny scratches on the screen (but they're hardly noticeable). If you want a tough watch, don't buy a bulky/heavy G-shock, get this watch it can take a hell of a beating!

Good work Casio, keep it up.
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