I recently bought a Casio Oceanus OCW-S100F-2AJF from Higuchi in Japan, and I wanted to share my impressions.
I could not find a lot of information about this watch when I was doing my research, and now that I have it I can share some first-hand information with other people who might be interested in it. Please feel free to ask questions, and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.
What It Looks Like
Why I Chose It
I’m slightly obsessed with the correct time. I can tolerate my watch being off by a few seconds, but I’d always prefer it to be exactly right. I don’t like it when my watch is off by a minute or more.
I discovered this watch after seeing the Citizen World Perpetual AT, which seemed like a great traveler’s watch: always accurate and easy to change the time to your current time zone while maintaining the correct time at the minute and second level. The Citizen wasn’t quite my style but it led me to other models like the Citizen Exceed and Attesa, Seiko Brightz, Casio Lineage and Edifice, and ultimately the Oceanus. To me the Oceanus is the best of them all, since it has 6-band radio control and a clean design that doesn’t detract from telling the time. At $600 it was more than I would usually spend on a watch, but it wasn’t completely outrageous either.
What I Like About It
The best thing about it is that it should always have the correct time and date, without me needing to check and reset them. If I travel somewhere out of range of the 6 time transmitters, it’ll still be as accurate as a standard quartz watch for the few weeks until I get back, and thanks to the world-time feature I should be able to set it to the local time zone without changing the minutes and seconds. In the rare case that I travel to a time zone that isn’t supported (like Newfoundland or Venezuela) I can set it manually, but that’s going to be a very rare situation.
I like how clean the dial is. Most watches that offer this kind of feature set have large complicated dials, and I just don’t like that look at all. A salesman showed me a Citizen Skyhawk recently and told me it was a very popular model, but all that clutter seems to interfere with the function of telling time. This is a very low-key watch with a lot going on under the surface, and I like that.
I also like that it’s solar-powered, so I shouldn’t ever need to change the battery. Every time I changed my quartz watch’s battery, the shops would remind me that they could no longer guarantee its water resistance, so I’m happy to not have to open the case. In theory if you had it at a full charge and put it in a box where it got no light, it would drop to a “power saving” state after a week and stop moving the hands, but continue to keep the time internally for 2 years. When I took it out of the shipping box it was in the power-save state, and as soon as I opened the box and light hit the dial the hands spun around to mark the correct time again.
What It’s Like To Use
I currently live on the east coast of the US, and the time signal from Fort Collins, CO has better range at night. When I first picked it up from the post office, it had not been able to sync the time the previous night and I tried several times during the day to sync without success. However it did successfully auto-sync overnight that night and the next. The instructions suggest that you take it off at night and put it on a windowsill for the best reception, but I didn’t bother with that and kept it on my wrist. I’ve compared it a few times to atomic clock signals and so far it has always been correct to the second.
Changing the time zone is so easy there’s almost nothing to it. You just pop the crown out, the second hand moves to indicate your current time zone, you turn the crown to select the desired time zone, and the hour hand immediately moves to the new time. It takes a couple seconds to update the position of the hands, and the date will update as well if your new time zone is in a different day. When you push the crown back in, the second hand goes back to keeping time.
Watch-Tanaka has a nice video showing off the watch, and near the end you can see a demo of the time zone feature.
I like the lightness of the titanium case and bracelet, but I think stainless steel looks and feels better, so I have mixed feelings about the titanium. I have a few watches with steel bracelets and I don’t mind the weight--you get used to it very quickly.
Because it's basically a digital watch with an analog face on it, there's a precision to its movement that I like. For example, when the second hand reaches the top of the dial, the minute hand is exactly on its mark. When the stroke of midnight arrives, the date updates immediately, instead of slowly updating over a period of a couple hours like my other watches do. However, the minute hand doesn't move smoothly, instead it visibly advances every ten seconds--you can see this in the video above. I was a little put off by this at first, but I quickly got used to it.
Despite the technology behind it, it’s not very gadgety. It’s just a no-maintenance watch that keeps perfect time, with a perpetual calendar you never need to set, that powers itself via sunlight so you never need to change the battery. It doesn’t prominently advertise its features on the dial either, so anyone looking at it would assume it’s a standard quartz watch unless they looked very closely and saw the time zone markers.
It came with an English-language manual, but if you want to see the manual online it is available here: