My name is Racer88 and I’m a G-SHOCK junkie. Until recently, I had two watches: a Breitling Colt Ocean Automatic and a Rolex Yachtmaster. The Breitling quit working years ago. The Rolex was my everyday watch. And then it stopped working. Again. I stuck the Rolex in the safe next to the Breitling and wore . . .
nothing. [ED: in terms of watches.] I quickly grew tired of digging out my phone to check the time/date. So a month ago I put my snobbery aside and looked for a “cheap Casio.” Something to tide me over until I decided on a “proper watch.”
During my research, I discovered that I didn’t like a single G-SHOCK. I liked a lot of them. In the span of a month, I acquired “several” and dove into G-WORLD with gay abandon. I’m not a G-MASTER, but gained much knowledge of G-SHOCKS, I have.
Here are the three models G-SHOCK junkies consider essential. The Power Trio presented here costs less – combined – than the price of one Rolex service. I really should get around to that. Meanwhile . . .
The GWM5610-1 has all the standard Casio G-SHOCK watch functions and features: time, day / date, 12/24-hour format, hourly chime / signal, stopwatch, countdown timer, alarm and 200-meter water resistance.
To which it adds upgraded features, including power-saving option (display turns off when left stored in the dark), world time, auto daylight saving time (DST), backlight with auto-on option, solar battery charging (“Tough Solar”), and atomic clock synchronization (“Multi-Band 6”).
The last two features turn the GWM5610-1 into a “set and forget” watch. Once you set your home time zone, DST (Daylight Savings Time) mode to auto, time, and date, the G-SHOCK automatically updates every night, synchronizing with the nearest atomic clock via radio. Unless you live in a cave, the solar battery charged watch will keep the exact time until yours is up.
The GWM5610-1 isn’t what you (or anyone else) would call a “dress watch.” But in the spectrum of Casio G-SHOCKs, it’s relatively subdued and svelte. It will fit under a dress shirt cuff. More importantly, it’s light on the wrist, comfortable and supremely functional. Rehearse that last bit for explaining why you wear a watch that costs less than one of your shoes.
The GWM5610-1 retails for $140, recently available on Amazon for $94. But think before you hit ATC (Add To Cart). To paraphrase that old potato chip commercial, you can’t just buy one G-SHOCK. You have been warned.
The 6900 series is the second iconic G-Shock model line. First offered in 1995, it’s popular among military, law enforcement, firefighters and other professionals who need a watch impervious to tough environments. Of course, that’s also made the 6900 a hit among tacticool-seeking citizens.
The 6900’s easily recognized by its round shape flattened at the bottom, the “three eyes” (a.k.a., “triple graph”) and the light activation button located front and center on the bottom of the face.
The lower rectangular LCD area displays the usual time, day / date, and other chronograph functions. One unique function: the ability to toggle the day / date display with the World Time (city / time zone of your choice).
The DW6900 series offers the same standard Casio G-Shock features mentioned previously. It’s available in a variety of colors, trims and special editions. The GW6900-1 adds solar, atomic, world time and auto-DST (Daylight Savings Time). Another set-and-forget watch.
The “three eyes” at the top of the watch face are LCD pie-graphs. The first two graphs indicate the condition or activation of various functions, such as power-saving mode, hourly signal, alarm, auto-backlight and battery charge condition (charge, low, medium, high).
The third circular graph is mostly eye candy, divided into ten segments which turn on / off sequentially as an ersatz second-hand during the default time mode, making a 360-degree “sweep” every ten seconds. In stopwatch mode, the pie graph segments represent 1/10th of a second and cycle on and off accordingly, making a 360-degree sweep every second.
It’s a redundant visual gimmick, considering that seconds (or tenths) are indicated in the digital display below. I guess they needed to do something with that piece of real estate. A little razzle-dazzle doesn’t hurt. Perhaps they could add an alarm with a “Danger Will Robinson” tone?
The GW6900-1 is a tough watch that looks the part. It’s a relatively large quintessential G-SHOCK that belongs in every Casio collection. Whether you’re jumping out of planes (on purpose), kayaking rapids, or mowing the lawn, the 6900 is a perfect companion. Depending on availability, the price hovers around $80 – $100.
The Rangeman is part of G-SHOCK’s “Master of G” line, specifically designed for “professional use.” The Master of G line includes the Mudman, Mudmaster, Frogman, Gravitymaster, Gulfman and Gulfmaster. Many aficionados agree: if they could only have one G-Shock, it would be the Rangeman. (As if.)
Along with the previously discussed G-SHOCK standard package of chronograph functions plus solar and atomic, the Rangeman includes the Triple Sensor: a barometer / altimeter, thermometer and compass.
The Triple Sensor is not a professional-level instrument. If your life depends on a good compass, get a good compass. Same for the altimeter. Due to body heat, the thermometer is only accurate off your wrist.
The Triple Sensor works well as a general reference. The barometer is the most useful of the functions; it includes a barometric pressure trend graph. The trend graph can be toggled on to replace the weekday at the top of the LCD (displaying constantly in the Time Mode).
Got it? Try this . . .
If the trend’s up, there’s better weather ahead. If the trend’s down, expect inclement weather. The barometer is remarkably accurate – usually within 0.05 inches of mercury compared to the local weather station’s webpage data.
One of the Rangeman’s unique features: one-touch instant start for the stopwatch. If you’re in the normal Time Mode, a single press of the lower right button will instantly switch modes and start the stopwatch. You can also get to Stopwatch Mode by cycling the lower left mode button.
The Rangeman buttons are large, with a cross-cut texture. They’re easy to find and press, even with gloves. That’s because the Rangeman 9400 is a BIG watch (55.2 x 53.5 x 18.2-mm). It’s also a BOLD watch.
When I ordered the Rangeman, I was a bit concerned about its presence on my 7″ wrist. I was surprised and relieved at how comfortable it felt; I acclimated to its size quickly.
At around $200 and change, the Rangeman 9400 is a bit heavier on the wallet than the other two models. But when the zombie apocalypse comes, it’s time to don your G-SHOCK Rangeman 9400.
The Power Trio
There you have it: the 3-watch G-SHOCK Starter Set that will gain you instant admission to the cadre of G-SHOCK-erati. Again, be warned: the G-SHOCK ownership experience is a bottomless rabbit hole. Casio offers over 300 models in the G-SHOCK line. You could wear a different zero-maintenance Casio each day of the month. I can’t. Not yet. But soon . . .
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