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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Casio G-Shock G1200 Review






If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that most gadget freaks are also watch lovers. It stands to reason that the watch is a wearable gadget. From this statement you can tell that I love watches. While it would be nice to collect high-end mechanical watches such as Pateks, Omegas and Rolexes, I am what you may call a practical collector, it all started with Swatch watches back in the eighties. The ability to cram as much technology into such a small device really fascinated me. When talking about these type of watches, there are really just three major brands that come to mind, Citizen, Seiko and Casio.

There are many styles of watches such as divers, pocket, dress, etc., but anything pilot or aviation related really catches my eye. So when Casio decided to make an aviation style G-Shock watch I couldn’t help but get excited.  The first time I saw this watch, I immediately said “I want one”. When they finally announced the pricing, I found it high for a G-Shock. Staring at $250, all the way up to $450 for the limited models. So, I put off buying one for a while. Few months ago, I was walking in the mall and found it on display at Time Depot, I asked the sales lady how much it was. “Sir, on sale for 12T, 12 months zero interest and last unit na yan” She said the three words I did not want to hear, sale, zero interest and last unit. I said nothing and just handed her my credit card.

The last unit they had was the orange model. Since the metal ones where more expensive I was glad they only had this one. The design of this watch is great, perfect as an everyday watch. It’s a "set and forget” watch since it has an atomic solar movement. You never need to change the batteries and never have to worry about setting the time. More on that later.

Here are the specs of the watch:

- Shock Resistant, up to 12G
- 200M Water Resistant
- Touch Solar Power
- Luminous Hands/Markers
- 1/100 Second Chronograph
- Day and Date
- World Time

After using it as an everyday watch for the past few months, I can say, that I never get tired looking at it. The main dial shows you the time, upper right is your second time zone, bottom dial is your 24Hr time and the left dial is for date and mode functions. The main glass is dome shaped and gives it a magnifying effect, which makes reading the small dials a bit more manageable. I wish they had made the second time zone dial bigger. Thankfully, you can easily swap the time between the main and second time zone dials. Setting the 2nd time zone is easy and it’s fun to watch the dials move back and forth. This is the type of watch where you really need to read the manual if you want to use all the other functions. I like that it has no LCD display, like most G-Shock models, it gives it just a little bit more of a formal style. While the dials are bright, it would have been nice if Casio included a backlight, as it is hard to see the smaller dials at night. The strap is nice and wide but for some reason my older and much cheaper G-Shock GW500 has more premium feeling strap.



What I did not know was that Casio sells two versions of the same watch, the GW3000 and the G1200. They look exactly the same except that the latter does not have the multi-band atomic clock feature. This means, it syncs with atomic clocks around the world. Unfortunately, if you look at Casio's website, the range of the atomic clock signal does not reach the Philippines. I was wondering why I couldn’t find any indicator if the update works or not. The only physical difference I could spot was that one had “Multi Band 6” and the other just says “G-Shock” on the top portion of the watch. I’m guessing Casio makes a different version for markets where there is no atomic clock signal, and to be fair I have not been able to update my two other watches here in the Philippines, It does however work when I'm in Japan and in the US. What’s even more strange is that if you do a quick price check on the web, the cost is almost the same for both models. WTF Casio! Why not just sell the same watch? People travel, you know.

Can you spot the difference? GW3000 vs G1200 (taken from Casio's website)



Will I still recommend this watch? Yes, if you don’t need the atomic clock feature buy the G1200. But if you have the means, get the GW3000. If you're looking for an everyday, no fuss “set and forget” watch that you can use at work and also take to the gym, this is it. It's design, function and style is great and will still look good even after years of use.

The Good:

- Design and Function
- Solar Movement
- World Time
- Easy to read day and date

The Bad:

- No backlight
- Strap
- Chronograph indication limited to 24mins
- No Multi-Band Atomic feature if you buy the G1200

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