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Digital watch with best date/time display

Discussion in 'Watches' started by kirbysdl, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. kirbysdl
    • In Omnia Paratus

    kirbysdl Loaded Pockets

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    In short, I'd like the best digital timepiece, focusing on presenting the date and time in the best, most readable way.

    Must have:

    - Large digits
    - Large, readable display
    - Sensible display element layout
    - Good backlight
    - HH:MM:SS and Day, MM/DD all visible at once
    - <$200 bottom line "shipped" price

    Would be nice:

    - Atomic synch
    - Durable
    - Key lock function or shrouded keys to prevent accidental presses
    - Countdown timer
    - Key tone silencer

    One more wrinkle: it has to fit on a "one-piece" watch strap like this. I don't like the feel of watches on my wrist, so I actually carry my watch using one of thesewhich attaches like a one-piece strap by threading through the watch strap pins. Wearing it on my hip means it must be durable, protect against accidental keypresses, and have a display visible from further away (I can't easily bring it within a foot of my eyes like with a wristwatch).

    For an idea of what I'm talking about, I currently use an Origo Rendezvous Peak. I love the keylock feature (disable using a two key combo). The best thing are the HHMMSS digits, which are a full 1cm high, almost a full third of a the 32mm window and a quarter of the case diameter.

    So what's wrong with the Origo? Design and build quality remind me more of stereotypical Chinese construction rather than the style and precision that Casio and other brands offer. I paid ~$10 for it at a REI scratch and dent sale so I'm not upset, but I'd like to upgrade to something better. It's chock full of features like ABC/T which are fancy but I never use them and they probaby detract from battery life and add to size/weight. Also, battery life is rather poor. I'm lucky to get a year on a CR2032 with minimal light use and zero use of the ABC features. It shows day and date, but not month. There's a bug where the seconds display may be off from its actual internal timekeeping (which is decent). In other words, if you switch modes and go back to the time display, it will suddenly be much different than it just was. Bizarre. Lastly, the huge seconds digits right next to the minutes digits make it a little harder to identify the minutes than should be necessary, but that's getting into minor nitpicks.

    My eye was caught by the Casio MTG910. For a G-Shock, it has relatively large digits, and gives full calendar info. It's missing a countdown timer. It's solar which is a mixed blessing, but the recharging times are good. It only does US atomic time signal reception, but that's where I am for a vast majority of the time. I'm not sure if the strap attachment will be compatible with a "one piece" threaded strap. $130 street price seems a bit steep for the reduced functionality, but it's a solid contender.

    Casio GW-5000 looks like an awesome watch, but it's way beyond my budget and the digits are probably much smaller than I'd like. There are cheaper variants on the design, but that doesn't fix the font size issue.

    Origo has a series of hunting/fishing watches that look like they might fit the bill. No atomic sync and low battery life are still issues.

    http://www.amazon.com/Casio-WV58A-1AV-Waveceptor-Atomic-Digital/dp/B001A5LKAS/ Looks perfect, except for the cheap construction (e.g. plastic window). I'd pay more for this exact watch in a higher end case.

    I'm not a watch geek so I'm betting I've missed many options. Any suggestions or arguments for or against the models mentioned above? Thanks!
     
  2. photomic

    photomic Loaded Pockets

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    The problem with many g-shocks is that they don't accept regular straps.
    The MTG-910 has an integrated bracelet design, so forget to attach it to anything different than a dedicated strap/bracelet.

    The GW5000 probably needs an adaptor as its lug size is only 16mm (common size for many Gshock)


    As for suggestion try to give a look to these casio with regular sized lugs:
    WV59: meets many or your requests plus it has Count Down Timer; Atomic time; EL-light(battery should last 2 years)
    DB36 or DB360: meets many or your requests, Count Down Timer and led-light (10 year battery)
    or these three who don't have the CDT
    W96
    W800
    A178
    All of these are ultra-cheap.

    Probably Timex has something similar or maybe better but I don't know any specific model to recommend
     
  3. mr.hauser

    mr.hauser Loaded Pockets

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  4. kirbysdl
    • In Omnia Paratus

    kirbysdl Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, folks. I was afraid that the GShocks might give me fits after looking at the watch bands. Are the Pathfinders in general more compatible with single piece Nato/Zulu bands?
     
  5. TrickyVic

    TrickyVic Loaded Pockets

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    What about a Solar/Atomic 5600 on a Zulu?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. kirbysdl
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    kirbysdl Loaded Pockets

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    I mentioned this series in the OP. I thought that the main digits would be too small, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. =) Do you have one? How tall are the main digits where HH:MM time is displayed? Thanks!
     
  7. TrickyVic

    TrickyVic Loaded Pockets

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    I have the GLX version, same size case and roughly same size digits I believe. The main time digits on mine measure just a hair under 1/4".

    [​IMG]