Mini-Review: Casio MRG-8100B-1AJF
Here are some impressions of the MRG-8100B-1AJF, which is (at least pricewise) the current flagship model of Casio (not counting limited editions of this watch). Since there are not too many of those around, and since most of you voted "yes" in the previous poll regarding another review of the watch, here are some impressions.
The case of and the bracelet of the MRG are made from DLC coated titanium. In contrast to many catalog pictures the watch does not appear black in person, it is more of a dark grey. The titanium has a slightly brushed finish, giving the watch a little bit different look than that found on other recent models with DLC finish (e.g., the DLC found on the GW-5000C appears smoother). The case is quite detailed, with many edges and ridges.
The crystal is a flat sapphire, I cannot say anything about its thickness, since I have not disassembled the watch. The AR coating, if there is any, must be on the inside of crystal. It is actually not better/or worse than that found on other G-Shocks. But there are for sure other watch manufactures who offer watches with far less glare.
The bracelet on the 8100B is quite interesting. Of course the clasp comes with a lock switch -- one of the signatures of the MRG line -- which disables the push buttons of the clasp. The clasp has three positions for micro adjustments, which is OK, but 5 positions would allow for more flexibility without the need to replace a link.
The links of the bracelet are quite detailed in finish and are widely spaced. This "skeleton" design allows for a lot of air reaching the wrist, which makes it very comfortable even if the watch is worn rather tight. The links are held together by pins and collars. Although there is nothing wrong with this system, other manufacturers offer bracelets with screws in this price range.
The single links of the bracelet, in particular the end links which are attached to the case, have quite some play along the axis of the pin (about 1mm in case of the end links). This gives the whole bracelet quite some "flex" into the pin direction. From an engineering standpoint this can be considered a flaw, but it actually makes the bracelet more comfortable on the wrist (I cannot say if this was a design decision made by Casio or just some lucky coincidence). Due to the low profile and the low weight of the single links, the bracelet wears more comfortable than, e.g., Casio´s composite bracelet (as found on lower priced G-Shock`s like the GW-M5600).
Picture showing the aforementioned flex:
Although the watch is definitely not on the small side, it wears very comfortable. The overall weight of the watch is around 100g, depending a little bit on how many links from the bracelet have to be removed, and is distributed very evenly. Compared to other G-Shocks with resin strap, the homogeneous distribution of mass on the 8100b is a big plus. The watch does not have the tendency to turn upside down on the wrist even though the DLC coating makes it quite slippery.
Here are some additional comparison shots:
Module & dial:
The 8100B features a Multiband 6 module and a though movement. As with other Casio´s syncing it not an issue (at least not in Germany), i.e. after the first adjustment of the timezone the watch syncs reliably every night. Other features are are also pretty standard: Stopwatch, worldtime, alarm.
Compared to other Casio chronos, the module of the 8100B has a countdown timer, which actually counts the elapsed time backwards. The different functions on the watch are easy to use, and I found it a little bit easier to operate and set than other Casio chronos (e.g. the 4777). I did not need a manual to set and operate the watch (but I have to admit that I already own -- ... cough .. let´s say ... cough ... -- a couple of other Casio´s).
The 8100B has as a rather deep dial, compared to the actual height of the watch, with many interesting details. There are fine textures on the dial which cause interesting reflections depending on the light situation. The subdials are easy to read, although no one would have complained if they would have enlarged the one on the right-hand side -- which is used in several different ways when operating the watch. One needs to focus when using the right dial, and it is definitely too small for people with an impaired vision. The five minute index markers, as well as the main hands are -- according to Casio -- Iridium coated and very legible, even in very low light situations.
Which brings us one of the downsides of the watch, i.e. the lack of a lightning system. The minute and our hand as well as the five minute indices have lume on them, but apart from this, there no other method of illumination on the watch. This basically means, that any other feature than standard time keeping is unusable as soon as there is no light source. The lume itself is a little bit better than the one found on other Casio models, but definitely not comparable to the one found on, e.g., many Seiko divers. As mentioned before it is still possible to tell the time in very low light conditions due to the shiny hands and indices, but after a couple of hours in absolute darkness the watch becomes unreadable.
On this site you can check out how the MRG sounds (if you are interested in how other watches sound you may also wanna check click around):
(Sorry I do not know how to embed sounds on WUS)
The case and the bracelet are unique. It is the best balanced and most comfortable watch on a bracelet which I came across so-far.
Although the module is feature rich I find it surprisingly easy to use. I would rate it better than the one found on other CASIO chrono models, e.g. the 4777 which is found on the Giez and also on MRG-7500B). The countdown timer on the 8100b is, at least for me, an important plus.
The overall finish is very good, but one also has to note that it is not on the level of that found on other high-end watches, e.g., Grand Seikos (entry level quartz GS models can be had for less than the MRG, but are of course completely different types of watches function- and stylewise).
I will not comment on the price of the watch, since this clearly is a collectors item and there is actually no reason to spend more than 20 USD on any watch if you are only interested in buying a device to tell the time reliably.
Thx for looking!