The Ultimate Techno-Watch Review

Francis Vale

Casio Atomic Solar G-Shock


Next up on our wrist is Casio's new $350 (MSRP) "Atomic Solar" timepiece, the GW1210A-9AV. This tough, good looking beast sports a stainless steel bezel and bracelet, enhanced by yellow colored enhancements around the bezel. And when I say tough, I mean tough. This Casio can take a whuppin'.  A member of Casio's Luxury Atomic Solar G-Shock line, this watch can go ocean diving with you down to 200 meters without gasping for breath. It can also be worn during any hard, in your face sports. But Casio advises not to allow the front glass to butt against any hard object, like against that ugly rugby player's head. It's so vibration proof that it can be worn during motocross, chain saw operation, and even rock drill operation.  When the Big One finally hits the West Coast, this thing may be the only piece of machinery still working.

The Casio has five daily alarms, so if you are caffeine addict, you can be reminded for everyone of your day's Starbucks outings. You can even time your frenzied sprint to the corner Starbucks's down to 1/100 of a second using the Casio's stopwatch feature. But if you need to be reminded to re-caffeinate on a more regular basis, you can also turn on the watch's hourly time signal. The countdown timer can also be set in case you want to practice some timed self-restraint before chugalugging your fifth triple latte of the day. You can also keep track of Starbucks Mega-Corp time in thirty world cities with the watch's World Time feature. The Casio also features a full auto calendar

The Casio GW1210A-9AV features analog minute and hour hands, and can also digitally display the time in 12/24-hour format in one of its two small LCDs. The two LCDs, although small, are very easy to read. Between the two, you can display hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, alarm number, a countdown in 1/10-second increments, and a stopwatch in 1/100-second increments, world time, and dual time zones, among other features. The watch's mode and display buttons are neatly integrated into the bezel, which sports two other function buttons, as well as a watch illumination button.

The Casio is solar powered, and has not one, but two rechargeable batteries. When the watch is fully charged, it will run for seven months without any further illumination, providing you don't incessantly hit the watch light button and you limit your alarm operations to ten seconds a day.  The watch has a sleep mode, and to get those full seven months you need to put it nighty-night six hours a day.  But if you go without any kind of light whatsoever for up to seven months, you either suffer from severe depression or you hibernate most of the year.  Either way, it's unlikely you really care what time of day it is.

The big feature touted with the Casio Atomic Solar G-Shock line is its ability to automatically receive an atomic time calibration signal, which will also auto-set your watch when going on and off Daylight Savings Time. In the Auto Receive mode, the watch automatically picks up the time calibration signal five times a day; once at midnight, then at 1:00 AM, 2:00 AM, 3:00 AM, and finally, at 4:00 AM.


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