Review of the Casio GW
This is a subtle feature that most Casios have these dayswhich I really like. The watch beeps as you cycle through different modes, andplays a beep of a different tone when you land back on the main time mode. Thatmeans rather than squinting at the tiny LCDs trying to determine which is themain time mode, you can just listen for the higher pitched beep, and in fact,don't even need to look at the watch at all. After wearing this watch for a fewdays, the audible cues become second nature.Big and bad. The size of this watch doesn't bother me. I like the mass, bulk,and sheer presence of this watch (especially the all-black resin model). Itmakes quite a statement, and seldom goes unnoticed among watch aficionados.What I Don't LikeThe band is not as well designed as the watch itself. In fact, it looks likeit was designed for sumo wrestlers. It's huge, and really needs to be trimmedto keep the unused portion from flopping around.I've tested this watch on both coasts of theUS, and found I was able to get a signal in both places. AvailabilityThe GW-1100 and related watches are not the easiest Casios to come by in thiscountry, unfortunately, but they're also not impossible to find. I had the all-backmodel shown here shipped from Kyoto, though I've seen plenty of the metal models(GW1000DJ-9, GW1200A-1AV, GW1200BA-1AV)both on Casio's website and in a few mall watch stores. If you have a store inyour local mall completely dedicated to watches (as opposed to a Sunglass Hut orsomething), they are likely to carry a limited selection. Retail for these watchesis between $350 and $400,but they can be had for less online or after some negotiating.What I Like About the Casio GW-1100Countdown timer! It hasn't been until relatively recently that solar atomicG-Shocks have started appearing with countdown timers which is a welcomed update.Large solar cells. I found that this watch recharges much faster and much moreeasily than the GW-300, perhaps due to the additional solar cell su***ce area.Nice buttons. The buttons are big, easily accessed, and don't require toomuch pressure. Decent feedback, too.Nice big hands. G-Shocks are built for activity which means they have to bereadable while doing things like running or playing sports. In the digital world,that means big numbers with enough contrast to make them stand out. In the analogword, that means wide, easily visible hands, which this G-Shock definitely has.Notice how the hour hand is a different color than the minute hand, as well.That makes them easier to distinguish, which means the watch is faster to read.Audible mode cues.