Looking for a new ABC Watch
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  1. #1
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    Looking for a new ABC Watch

    Hi All,

    Iím in the market for a new ABC watch to be used for high altitude trekking & was really overwhelmed by the amount that are available. I thought this would be a great place to get some help / advice. Iíve listed out what I am looking for below & would be really grateful if I could get some recommendations.


    • Altimeter with altitude log that shows altitude gain etc. Should be reasonable accurate without large increments.
    • Barometer
    • Thermometer
    • Compass
    • Date & time
    • Solar powered
    • Extremely durable with a long life span
    • The above criteria is really all I want. I donít care about other fancy extras
    • Sunrise / sunset Ė would be nice but not essential
    • GPS not required
    • Phone / Bluetooth connectivity not required
    • Price Ė As cheap as possible. I donít want to spend more than £250 & donít even mind getting a used watch. Although brand new would be a preferred option


    I hope that information is sufficient. Any help would really be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Ducky

  2. #2
    Member Watch_Geekmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    Plenty of Protreks, new and old, that would fit your criteria. Why not look up the models in the Casio Protrek line, and see which one you like.

    PRO TREK | Timepieces | CASIO

    Also, one decisive factor you didn't mention is whether you like the watch digital only or analog-digital.

  3. #3
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    Thanks for that. I'm easy with whichever is cheaper.

  4. #4
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    PRG-270 can be found for around $110 pre-owned in a large choice of colors

    Specifications

    Tough Solar Power
    100M Water Resistant
    Low Temperature Resistant (-10 C / 14 F)
    Altimeter Measuring range: -700 to 10,000 m (-2,300 to 32,800 ft) Measuring unit: 1 m (5ft) Manual memory measurements (up to 30 records, each including altitude, date, time) Auto log data (High/low altitudes, auto cumulative ascent and descent) Trek log data (up to 14 records of high/low altitudes, auto cumulative ascent and descent of particular treks) Others: Relative altitude readings (3,000 to 3,000 m), Selectable measurement interval: 5 seconds or 2 minutes
    Digital Compass Measures and displays direction as one of 16 points Measuring range: 0 to 359 degrees Measuring unit: 1 degree 60 seconds continuous measurement Graphic direction pointer Bidirectional calibration and Northerly calibration function Magnetic declination correction Bearing memory
    Barometer Display range: 260 to 1,100 hPa (7.65 to 32.45 inHg) Display unit: 1 hPa (0.05 inHg) Atmospheric pressure tendency graph Atmospheric pressure differential graphic Atmospheric pressure change indicator (arrow indicates significant change in pressure)
    Thermometer Display range: -10 to 60 C (14 to 140 F) Display unit: 0.1 C (0.2 F)
    Full Auto LED (Super Illuminator) Backlight with Afterglow
    World Time 31 time zones (48 cities + UTC), city name display, daylight saving on/off
    Sunrise/Sunset Data Sunrise time and sunset time for specific date/ daylight pointers
    5 Daily Alarms (4 one-time and 1 snooze alarm)
    Hourly Time Signal
    1/10 Second Stopwatch Measuring capacity: 999:59'59.9" Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
    Countdown Timer Measuring unit: 1 second Countdown range: 24 hours Countdown start time setting range: 1 minute to 24 hours (1-minute increments ans 1-hour increments)
    Full Auto Calendar (Pre-programmed until the year 2099)
    12/24 Hour Formats
    Button operation tone on/off
    Accuracy: +/- 15 seconds per month
    Storage Battery: Solar Rechargeable Battery
    Battery Level Indicator
    Power Saving Function
    Approx. Battery Life: 9 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)
    Module 3415



    Mine is orange

    Last edited by yankeexpress; March 8th, 2017 at 10:14.

  5. #5
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    For you first point - Altimeter, it is important to understand that the altimeter reading is based on the barometeric sensor. So if you are going to rely on it, it needs to be regularly calibrated. In the course of a day even if you have not moved elevations, the atmospheric pressure will likely be constantly changing and this will have an impact on the reported altitude. A drastic change in weather can lead to an large incorrect altimeter reading. This is why you need to regularly calibrate. Calibration can be against a known barometric reading, or a known elevation.


    I would have also suggested the other cheap ABC watches like the LAD weather/Pyle watches and the Sunroad that I reviewed here (Sunroad FR800NB - A cheap ABC watch review with a few pics), but since you required Solar power, your options are pretty much limited to the Casio range. I don't think Suunto or the other manufacturers do a solar powered ABC watch at all.


    I have the PRG-270 and it has been a faithful hiking companion, but I also bought the PRG-300. The PRG270 is usually cheaper, but sometimes on Amazon US, the various PRG300 models can be cheaper. For example, the orange camo PRG300 (which I have) is currently $106.80 https://www.amazon.com/Casio-PRG-300.../dp/B012W9IXQO


    The other orange model the 4CR is currently $115.61 https://www.amazon.com/Casio-ProTrek.../dp/B01FY4DQ3Y


    Good deals if you like the colours.
    GaryK30 and Ducky1317 like this.

  6. #6
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    Thank you both for your replies. So far the PRG 270 or 300 are the top contenders, but what is the main difference between the two other than the price?

    Also, one thing that I forgot to mention is that I would definitely need an altitude log in the form of a bar chart. Something like this
    Name:  suunto-core-regular-black-531.png
Views: 390
Size:  192.8 KB

    Does the 270 / 300 come with that? Apologies if the answer is obvious.

    Lastly, when you say that you need to regularly calibrate, what does that imply? Does it mean that when you know what altitude you are at you should manually input that in to the watch? Is this an issue with all altimeter watches?

  7. #7
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    The main differences in the PRG270 and PRG300 I have shown in a previous thread comparing my two
    Casio Protrek Orange Camo PRG300CM-4 vs PRG270-1 with pics

    The Protrek does have a small dot matrix graph that does show the Altitude Tendancy in a graph. It does do a Trek Log, check out page E62 onwards in the manual of the PRG300 for example

    Timepieces(Watches) | Manuals | CASIO

    Then you can go through the recorded altitudes from the trek logs. The Suunto watches or even the cheap Sunroad watches display the altimeter graph nicer than the Protreks. I've had a few Suunto Cores, but have now given or sold all of them and kept my Protreks.

    For the calibration question, yes, that is what I mean. For example, if you are 2134m (7000ft), the expected atmospheric pressure is approx 780hPa. Now if you camp at that altitude (meaning you don't go higher or lower), but the weather changes overnight which it will do, the change is pressure will cause an incorrect altitude reading.

    For example, a storm comes in and the air pressure drops, all of a sudden the altimeter will show you are now at approx 2300m (7500ft) even though you haven't moved overnight. This is why you need to regularly calibrate the altitude to a known elevation. This is an issue for all altimeter watches. I mention it because this is a regular complaint from people new to ABC watches or altimeter watches in general.

    Some watches have an altimeter lock like the Suunto Cores, but even then I didn't find the alti-locks always accurate without further calibration.

    When I hike in the mountains I will do this against the contour lines in my map, or on a elevation marker on the trail.
    Last edited by keithy; March 8th, 2017 at 16:24.
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  8. #8
    Member nordwulf's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    Here is a good article about altimeter watches and the difference between air pressure and GPS altimeters in outdoor watches: The Best Altimeter Watch for Hikers and Backpacking | OutdoorGearLab

  9. #9
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    Thank you all for the very informative replies. Keithy, your comparison thread was really helpful & your pictures are really awesome.

    I think I have made up my mind, but I just had a couple more questions before I focus all my attention on the 270 / 300.

    I noticed that Suunto hasn't been mentioned a lot on this thread & I assume that is mainly because they are not solar powered. Is that the only drawback of the Suunto watches vs. the Casio ones? Also, if I did decide to consider Suunto as well then what would the best model be that meets my criteria (first post in this thread), particularly the price part?

  10. #10
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    Re: Looking for a new ABC Watch

    Also, I had a quick look on Amazon & can see that most of the Casio Pro Trek watches are more or less within my price range (for example - PRW 3500). What are the main advantages that these have over the 270 / 300?

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