If you want to just skip to the pictures, go to the bottom of this post and check them out!
Hey guys, I haven't been on this forum long since I've been doing some research myself. I already had my heart set on this watch but once I looked around on this forum, I quickly discovered the love/hate relationship brought up by hundreds of different opinions. I was looking for some real reviews but all I found were people, who were also interested, asking questions here and there. That cluttered my research which frustrated me since I wasnít sure those who answered questions actually had the product in hand or just answered questions based off of something else they read.
The only other review I read for this model was for the GA100-1A1DR which is the all-black model. Reviewer Zeroed4x wrote a great review and that review ultimately convinced me to go buy mine.
I was 11 when I got my first G-Shock!! Even though it was stolen just a few years later, I really appreciated the durability of it. Now Iím 20 and this is my first G-Shock since then. Iíve had a Swiss military watch and a plain Casio Wave Ceptor in between but the G-Shock just somehow lured me back.
So for those interested in buying the GA100-1A4, which is the red and black one, AKA ďThree Eye,Ē here are my thoughts after wearing it for a couple days.
- With the way watch fashion is going, weíre all going to have Flava Flavís clock chain around our wrists. I want a watch that keeps up with the bigger-faced fashion trend but nothing like literally putting a clock on my wrist.
o This watch is known to be X-large but itís definitely big enough to a point where it doesnít look too silly. Iím 5í7Ē and have wrists on the smaller side but this watch complements my wrist perfectly. I have a 6í2Ē friend who is a Marine and this watch looked like it was an average sized watch on his wrist. Although this watch WILL look great on any sized wrist.
o Donít get me wrong, Iím all about durability but keeping up with current fashion doesnít hurt either.
- I wanted an analog watch with some aspects of digital and this watch met my standards perfectly. The hour, minute, and velocity meter hands all remind me of the aviation era yet the digital background indicate advancement in technology. Call me stupid but thatís the way I interpreted the design. The accents of red is pretty damn sexy and gives off a feeling of exclusivity. Red Ferrari, red shoes, sexy red lingerie, red clothes. All of this is hinted by the red accents and definitely improves your SWAG.
- I wasnít so pleased with the resin strap at first since I was looking for a GROWN MAN watch and grown man watches have steel bands. I was worried that the resin strap would reflect a kidís watch. But upon seeing and wearing it in person, my opinions definitely change. The strap is wide and the trenches carved out on the top and bottom add to the rugged statement this watch boasts.
- Last point in this category. I just love how everything is big (thatís what she said??). The face, the big red buttons, and the wide strap all make a bold statement in fashion and practicality.
- Fashion wise: A+
- I have to say for a bigass watch, itís pretty light. Casio really pulled a David Blaine on this one. I havenít actually weighed it but tape two erasers to your wrist and youíll get the general feeling of the watch.
- The resin strap feels well made. It wonít seem to crack if you bend it 100 bajillion times.
- The watch is put together by screws and the construction definitely feels sturdy. No wiggles and jiggles so every seam and hole is AIRTIGHT.
- Not sure if this is right or not, but the face cover feels like glass. When I tap it, it sounds like glass. Maybe itís plastic disguised as glass but whatever it is, itís pretty darn classy.
- The huge buttons are great. If youíre wearing gloves, you wonít have any trouble accessing the modes with these buttons. Maybe Iím weak but the buttons seem a little hard to press. WHAT?!?! ITíS JUST ME!??!? damnit.
- Overall great construction and study feel. A+
- I was worried that the hour and minute hands were going to block the digital faces but since both hands have holes in them, itís not a problem.
- It was kind of weird not seeing a G button since I was used to it. Shouldnít bother anyone but thought I should point it out.
- Modes come pretty standard with any G-Shock watches: stopwatch, timer, world time, and alarm. Buttons are pretty much the same too.
- The mach meter (or velocity meter) is a pretty cool feature. Super easy to understand and easy to setup. At first I thought it was some high tech gizmo thing to measure your speed but it just takes a preset distance and divides it by the time. Nevertheless a great feature indeed.
- I read a question that someone was wondering if it was a defect that no beep is produced while pressing the mode button. Itís no defect alright. I fooled around with a white GA100 and that also did not produce any beep. It only emits a sound when you change a setting or the alarm is going off.
- Now the moment many of you guys are waiting for, HOW DOES THE WATCH PREFORM IN THE DARK??? There is only one LED to illuminate the whole display. And again, it has a pretty big face. I would have to say itís a disappointment that Casio only stuck one single LED in there. If there was another one at the 12 oíclock position, it would have been PERFECT. Contrary to belief, I believe that EL would look weird with this watch since the digital displays only account for probably 40% of the face. IMO IMO IMO!!!! As for the visibility, you can read more on that in the PRACTICALITY section.
- As for functionality: B+ (This grade does not include visibility issues since this section is about functions)
- Due to the size of the face, the watch pretty much locked my wrist in 180 degrees. Anything less than 120 degrees required me to push the watch higher along my forearm. I am kind of exaggerating the problem on this since it doesnít really affect me anymore but that was my first thought when I first put it on.
- With such a huge face, I figure there was room to fit some solar cells on it but I guess Casio ruled it out.
- Pretty much looks great with any outfit. I have to put this in the practicality section since the fashion aspect did affect my decision to buy this watch.
- If you wear this with a long sleeve of any sort, be prepared to stretch the sleeve out or take off the watch when you take off the long sleeve because this watch paired with the plastic outer case will struggle to go through the sleeve.
- It is labeled 20BAR which is the highest level of ruggedness and durability any G-Shock watch can receive. So thumbs up for that.
- As for the visibility. It is very clear during the day. IMO, negative displays is hard to see even when there is a faint hint of sun set. This watchís positive display is very easy to see in daylight. During nighttime however, it is pretty hard to see. The digital displays are barely legible even with the LED light on so forget trying to program the watch during the evening. As for the hour hand, I find that many claims on this forum are exaggerated. Sure the hour hand is hardER to see than the minute hand but you can still see it. Much photographical evidence on this forum does not capture the reality of the situation. Since the LED is on, cameras are biased towards light since that is what a photography exposure is therefore the background ďdisappears.Ē A lot of people say the hour hand disappears even with the LED on but really, itís not the case. For people with less than perfect vision, it may be hard. But I actually have 20/20 vision so that may also be a factor in visibility issues.
- Overall practicality: B
Ultimately, I would have to say that this watch is a very worthy investment. Although it is considered cheaper than other watches, I was quite surprised it was $99 since it was a new release. $99 might not seem like much to some hardcore G-Shock fans but for a college student, $99 is definitely not something to be carelessly thrown around. Even though G-Shockís are known for its durability and ruggedness, I was quite impressed how far it has evolved since I had one. The design has gone far beyond just being tough, but it has also become a leader in watch fashion while at the same time not sacrificing any of its standards to be labeled a G-Shock. So for any of those who are interested yet skeptical about buying the GA100-1A4, I hoped this longass review helped you in making your decision.
Again I wrote this article due to the lack of reviews I saw concerning the red and black model visibility issues. Thank you very much!
A took a few pictures of my watch upon opening it. I'll add more pictures later so check out my flickr below!!! Enjoy!
FLICKR<------NEW PICTURES JUST ADDED!!! 5/16/10 11:27AM PST
SLIDESHOW<------Link to slideshow