I've grown very fond of the ana-digi G-Shock. I owned an AWG100 but I had a few complaints about it that always had me wishing it were different. For the price point it was tough to beat though, so I just wore it and told myself someday things would be better... Well that day has come.
I've lusted after the GW3500 from the day I first saw it posted on here. I was always attracted to the GW3000 series, but I didn't want to lose the digital functionality that I already had so when the 3500 was introduced, I was ready to buy the minute I saw the first photo! Of course it took a little while longer to find one, but I finally found one on sale at Macy's after a day of phone calls. I still had to have a relative in a more robust retail market than my own to get it for me, but now it's mine!
For the record, most of my personal thoughts on the watch will come from my comparison to my other ana-digi since that's the only basis I have for comparison.
Some technical specs of the GW3500B:
- Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping (US, UK, Germany, Japan, China)
Receives time calibration radio signals which keep the displayed time accurate
Auto receive function (up to 6 times per day/up to 5 times per day for China)
Manual receive function
- Tough Solar Power
- Shock Resistant
- Tough Movement
- Auto hand home position correction
- 200M Water Resistant
- Full Auto LED Light w/Afterglow
- Neo-brite luminous hands and markers
- World Time
29 times zones (48 cities + UTC), city code display, daylight saving on/off, home city/world time swapping)
- 4 Daily Alarms and 1 Snooze Alarm
- Hourly Time Signal
- 1/100 second stopwatch
Measuring capacity: 23:59'59.99"
Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
- Countdown timer
Measuring unit: 1 second
Countdown range: 1 hour
Countdown start time setting range: 1 minute to 1 hour (1-minute increments)
- Full Auto Calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099)
- 12/24 Hour Formats
- Storage Battery: Solar Rechargeable Battery
- Battery Power Indicator
- Power Saving Function
After a few weeks of wearing it I can safely say it's everything I wanted my AWG100 to be and more. I love the set of functions this watch has and I can honestly say that it lacks nothing that I consider important to me personally. The face is large and easy to read at a glance and the digital windows are larger and much easier to see. The lume on the hands and face is much more robust than on my AWG100. The glowing surface area is much larger making it much easier to read quickly and the hands are significantly easier to identify because they are quite a bit thicker. The GW3500 wears much larger than my old one too. It's heavier, but not annoyingly so and it looks much larger on my wrist, which I like. I've never been into overly large watches, but I don't like them to look puny either. This one strikes a good balance for me.
The only minor criticisms I have are the reversed digital windows can be a little more difficult to read. It's not too bad, but it is worth mentioning. The other thing I've noticed is the lume, which I don't believe Casio is known for anyway, does seem to have a more limited glow time than some others. After some exposure to bright light it glows like crazy, but it doesn't seem to last throughout the night. Not terribly important since it has a good Auto LED, but I have an old Citizen watch that would be glowing almost as strong in the morning as it was the previous evening, and this watch doesn't really do that. It'll get you through several hours after midnight though, so it's not a major complaint.
A few other observations worth note: I was afraid the yellow wouldn't be all that attractive but it's actually pretty subtle and I like it very much. Also, on both the G-Shock and Casio website, no mention is made of the Hourly Time Signal function. When reading the specs, I just assumed the watch wasn't going to have this function, which is one I really like having. I was prepared to live without but as it turns out, I don't have to. The watch does have this function, it just isn't mentioned on either site. It is listed as a function in the instruction book, which is a must read since this watch isn't exactly simple to get set up.
The obligatory wrist shot