Casio Men's GWA1000D-1A G-Aviation G-Shock Watch
The GW-A1000 is a purely analogue watch, timekeeping is regular G-Shock quartz. It has the typical accuracy of a quartz watch, mine appears to be less than two seconds fast, in a rather stable environment though, ie boxed. The watch synchronzies to the standard time signals of five countries 'Multiband 6' sometimes confusingly called 'atomic'.* While the signals are localy restricted, they cover roughly half of
the world population.
The movement is also of the so called 'tough movement' type, which Casio claims would greatly increase its resilience towards high G-Forces. Equally important the movement is self adjusting, useful in case the hands are missaligned.
There are various model versions available, but as mostly with G-Shock the differences are only cosmetic -- superficial and not worth to mention in a review.
Remarkable in this model are two aspects: Casio introduced their independently movinghour and minute hands and it is the first watch with their new 'smart crown'. I'm afraid it is alos quite noticeable that this is the first model with these features:
The independently moving hour hand is quite an important improvemnt that addresses one of the most important disadvantages in its predecessor the GW-2000, namely the tedium
of changing time zones. When doing so, the minute hand would unhurredly spin for up to six rotations. It also means stopwatch and timer functions can be moved to the large dial. Previously a combination of the second hand and use of the subdials provided these functions.
While this was realized in a rather satisfactory way in the old GW-2000, it was insufferable in the GW-3000 and GW-4000, where the minutes were shown on the 24 hour dial and the stop and timing functions were limited to 24 minutes.
The new crown provides an easier way to set timer and alarm, and when necessary the time as well. In principle it works quite well. In details it shows firstly it is a prototype feature and secondly a conceptual shortcomming. The crown is locked, in a way that appears to be similar to the operaion of a bayonet-lug. While it is easy to grip the crown from its sides and un-lock it when one holds the watch, this is awkward to do when wearing it. A more practical way to un-lock it is to push on its top and turn it through friction. The very finely lathed finish of the steel crown's surface is rather inconvenient when doing so.
The extended crown can be rotatet to fine adjust the active setting by twisting. This works rather well, even when only one side of the crown is accessible. Coarse adjustements are done by quickly twisting it three times in the forward direction. The hand continues its movement until stopped. Repeating the three quick twists speeds up this movement. Unfortunately this works only in the forward direction, reverse can only be done by turning the crown.
Combined with a conceptual shortcomming, the crown has only one extended position, this is very inconvenient when setting alarms. In order to change the time of the alarm by several hours, the minute hand has to rotate, in a similar way as in the old GW-2000 (fig. 3) and the hour hand follows, one hour for each turn of the minute hand. This makes it a slow process setting an alarm that is later than the previous one. However to set an alarm from say 13h to 11h one either has to manually turn back 120 minutes, or forward 22 hours.
An indication that the former issues are childing pains of the new interface are that they have been splendidly addressed in Casios newer GW-A1100 model. The crown has a surface structure milled on its top that provides more grip. It appears easier to turn, and the fast mode is available in both directions.
The conceptual problem remains however, it would be preferable if either one of the buttons would switch between operating the hour and the minute hand, or if the crown had two positions to do this. Such would also remedy the most important shortcomming of the countdown timer:
It only allows to set full minutes, i should very much like to set timers to the second (I should very much like to use it as a tea timer!)