there are a few models outside the G-Shock series which might have well been a G if it wasn't for some small stuff they lacked (like a removeable soft resin bezel or a 200m rating). One well-known example is the DW-290 which has kind of a cult following. And two days back I bought another one of that kind - the new W-S220 - successor of the W-S200 (one of my favourites of the "cheapo" models).
First a pic:
I think the resemblance to the GR-8900 or GW-8900, G-8900 is striking. It also has a little DNA of the DW-6900 me thinks. Even the buttons are recessed like on most Gs to prevent accidental pressing. The size is good, too - about the same or even slightly larger than a GW-6900:
- module 3271
- size according to Casio europe: 51,7mm x 49,8mm x 14,6mm
- 100 hr stopwatch with 120 lap memory
- double 99min55sec timer with 10 times auto-repeat adjustable in 5-sec increments
- world time
- 4 alarms + snooze
- adjustable illumination
Features look pretty standard but one of the nice things is that the watch shows current time down to the second in stopwatch-, timer- and alarm-mode. You can change the stopwatch display so it shows lap or split-readings in the lower part of the display. 100 hrs is also pretty nice for a stopwatch.
Some more pictures:
stopwatch (notice the "running man" animation in the upper right corner):
The watch has basically the same features as the new STW-1000 just without the atomic reception. My specimen seems to run well within G-Shock specifications - has gained about 1 sec in two days. The one big improvement over the W-S200 is the ability to show current time in STW-mode - the W-S200 couldn't do this because of the 4-button layout (the adjust-button took lap/split-readings, while on the W-S220 it changes the info on the display). The button layout is more standard than on the STW-1000 - as is the case design. What I really love about this watch are the huge digits - larger than on almost any G. And the buttons are a pure joy to use - offering just the right amount of resistance without being hard to press.
Interesting observation (which I already made on the W-S200) - the module is based on the 3215 of the GWX-5600:
The W-S220 (like most of the cheaper Casio models) is "Made in China" btw. so far all my "Made in China" Casios have been of great quality and have also been running very accurately.
The acrylic crystal is very well protected by the ridges of the bezel:
Illumination duration can be adjusted between 1.5 and 3 seconds - the watch uses an LED in the lower left corner (I wish it had been two - one on each side - like on the SGW-300) - not everybody likes the LED-illumination, but the advantage is that the power reserve of the watch is 11 months on one full charge. The amber LED is also not too bright so it doesn't harm night-vision. The watch has no auto-EL but I almost never use that feature anyway.
So a little summary of what I like about this nice and cheap timepiece (MSRP in Germany 54€ - which I happily paid - importing from Hong-Kong would have saved a few bucks but I wanted it NOW .
- big and easy to use buttons
- current time in timer, STW and alarm-mode
- features in general
- huge digits
- acrylic crystal scratches easily - BUT scratches can also be easily removed
- plastic buckle - exchanged it for a steel one
- alarm is not as loud as on the little brother W-S200 - but still fairly good
So I think this will stay right on top of the rotation for probably a long time. It does get a "strong buy" from me .