Top positive review
46 people found this helpful
on 30 June 2012
I bought this watch as an analogue alternative to the GW-M5600 that I normally wear for work. From what I was able to see and price point of view, this model seemed to be the best option. It shows all the Timekeeping, Reception and Battery Status parameters the other watch has apart from the Alarm's Snooze option, which is of no consequence to me as I only use the hourly beeper function anyway.
When the watch arrived 2 days later I was very impressed as it has quite a few extra and useful features which, considering the cost, I didn't expect it to have. For example it scrolls the full city name as well as the usual 3 letter code when going through the World Time or Home City settings. You can also swap instantly between the World Time and the Home City time zones and the watch also has GMT (UTC) time in the Set City and World Time settings.
The solar power facility is excellent as is the 6 band radio controlled timekeeping. One thing this watch does very well is to keep almost perfect time in between updates, the accuracy of the quartz time base alone without Time Signal calibration seems to be no greater than a few seconds per Month.
The watch is lightweight and very comfortable to wear, but its 15mm or so case depth can get in the way a bit. The watch has no Seconds Hand, but the lower sub dial permanently shows the seconds in digital format as well as the battery / alarm status when in a timekeeping mode. The left Sub Dial shows either Date - Month or digital time in 12 or 24 hour format and the day of week is on the right.
The watch dial is clear enough to be read at a glance even in low light. The digits in the left Sub Dial are rather small though and the hands can obstruct reading them properly, but there is an option to temporarily park them away from the Sub Dials if need be by pressing and holding the "mode" button. But don't forget to move the hands back again! The hands will temporarily move out the way of the sub dials automatically when in some setting modes as well.
The Minute Hand nudges around the dial in 20 second steps, this allowing for its accurate alignment to the minute markers on the watch dial via the H-SET menu if need be. The hand alignment was perfect when the watch was bought so it is unlikely that this will ever need further adjustment anyway. They can also move backwards when in an adjustment mode, meaning quicker relocation if adjusting the watch to different time zones when going abroad for example.
An orange LED backlight is located at the bottom of the dial. This is sufficient to illuminate the dial and hands, but not the recessed LCD panels within the Sub Dials. This is a shame, as the hands and dial numeral markers are to some extent luminous anyway so it would have been more practical to light up the LCD's as well, as they do contain relevant timekeeping information.
All in all, this is a very practical and functional analogue / digital watch with G-Shock, 200M water resistance, Solar Power and Radio Controlled timekeeping as standard. Its menu structure is very similar to my other watch so it was a doddle to set up to the right time. This watch also has 5 alarms, Stopwatch and Countdown Timer functions which are all displayed via the Sub Dial LCD's. The alarm volume isn't that loud but is OK for the Hourly beeper.
In conclusion and besides its minor criticisms, this is a highly recommended timepiece at a very reasonable price!