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Casio Edifice vs Seiko WT Sportura
on 4 December 2014
Bought this watch after looking for while to give me an alternative to my trusty world time sportura Seiko. The Seiko model is SNJ005 circa 1995, so I will refer to it to pick out where the Seiko is superior and why therefore you pay more money.
The Edifice is first and foremost a Casio. If you like Casio functionality you will like this watch. The RRP is around £275 for this model but if you were lucky like me, getting it on Black Friday, you could pick it up at a shade above £200, so it was comparable to other online retailers.
Functionality wise, it has a very similar movement to most other similarly priced G Shock watches...world time, wave ceptor (atomic time synchronisation), multi alarms and a 100th sec stopwatch with timer. This edifice though had a stainless steel casing and band/clasp.
This model also has a countdown timer and the obligatory lighting system that everyone picks on as quite frankly inadequate for the price.
Setting up the watch is relatively straight forward once you download the manual online, as the provided one is again Casio typical...too small.
To get AT on a Seiko you will currently pay an extra £50-100 the same as Citizen. It is not worth the extra. Casio has this licked and it works well.
World time is again across far more cities and timezones than the Seiko, however my sportura uses the bezel and the second-hand to select whilst displaying it in the digital display. You therefore have full city names scrolling across the face rather than obscure three letter codes.
Whilst on that point, the digital functionality on the edifice again lives up to the Casio strategy of making it so small to read you need glasses. A shame and not a patch against my Seiko where it is twice as big yet takes up less space imo.
The Seiko doesn't have a light though, something that is useful after the fluorescent display has faded after a couple of hours in the dark. And no it is not a digital backlight but one to light briefly the whole dial to catch the analogue hands. You cannot read the digital displays as it wasn't designed to do this unfortunately. If you want that you need to buy a Timex...something that their watches excel in.
The wave ceptor tech work well as mentioned and combined with solar power (it's not tough solar) you will get at least 7-10 years until a battery service will be required, but to honest we will all be wearing different tech on our wrists by then.
The secondary mini dial on the right of the display is really a gimmick as it's only used for the stop watches first second, then ticks for another 60 seconds until remaining static... as akin to all the other usual functions, stopwatch, dual time, timer and alarms, they all work off the 3 digital displays. Same as the Seiko but The SNJ005 model I have uniquely has a stopwatch that measures to 1000th sec...great for motor racing and it displays gaps between splits, not just the split time.
Yes both watches displays get covered by the analogue dials but hey if you need glasses anyway to view the tiny numbers, you aren't going to worry about the digital elements too much.
From a world time and travellers pov swapping your home time with another preset zone is easy, however as far as the alarms are concerned, a trick is missed is that all alarms on the Casio caliper are based on your home city time...so what I hear you say...okay then...what if I want to set my alarm to get me up at 4pm Sydney time, when I am currently sitting in Europe..?
On the Casio/edifice you have to first work out the time difference and then either take this away from or add this to your local time to work out your local alarm time. All a little complicated but hey, Casio users are perhaps used to this.
On the other hand my Seiko, in setting the alarm, first asks you to select the city timezone before the hour and minute. Thetefor even if I am in Paris, when the correct time occurs in say Mexico, my alarm goes off and displays the city and flashes the time to let me know. That is useful, but perhaps copyrighted and you pay a little extra I suppose therefore.
In summary the Casio/edifice is nice but still too reliant on small digital displays. They sort of need to grow up a bit.
Finally the stainless steel case, band and glass...
Seiko uses high grade steel. Stainless of course and even uses it for the jointed clasp. Therefore even with links removed, it still weighs above 200grams. Significant weight but you forget this whilst wearing it. It does however feel like quality.
The Edifice watch uses the same weight steel however the clasp uses the usual thin tin plate that eventually bends out of shape in the end.
Therefore the watch is lighter overall but still looks like quality. The weight though tells the story imo.
The same is true of the bezel glass. Mineral glass is not as good as sapphire, but will still resist scratches if treated well. I have to say however, again that you pay more for sapphire and even after drops and bumps over the last 9 years it is spotless to this day.
In summary this is a good watch, with many short comings when spoilt by a better one, however for the money the style is good to look at, light on the wrist and has all the functionality you would want, so long as you can live with those nearly but not quite perfect elements.
One day Casio will catch up but are still making watches expected of them. Edifice, being the more upper class market away from plastic Casio G Shocks etc do have a more opulent look and design, but still rely on cheaper casio calipers. all dressed up, but no cigar...yet...I'm still recommending this model over other Edifices that are too gimmicky....
I'm also glad I didn't spend the RRP, but it's a good entry level AT solar watch until you an afford the Seiko equivalent.