Made in Japan, the MT-G 1500 1A is a typically solid G-Shock with classic analog styling, stainless steel case, back & band, and all the functionality most people want from a digital watch: Atomic time keeping, tough solar, 5 alarms, chronograph, world time, countdown timer. People who have owned a G-Shock previously will find the modes & use of this watch familiar. A little expensive (list price $500, I paid $350 US), but I think you typically get what you pay for. Would I buy this watch again? Yes.
Why the MT-G 1500 1A?
To begin, I thought it might be beneficial to provide my rationale for purchasing the MT-G 1500. This is my second MT-G and I got very accustomed to the features of my first one…some much so that I couldn’t find another brand or model that matched what became my “must haves” for a watch. I chose the MT-G 1500 because it has all of the function & design features that I require:
This is my second watch with Atomic Timekeeping. I’ve grown quite accustomed to the confidence of having the exact time, no ifs, ands, or buts. After all, that is the primary function of a watch, timekeeping. This was my number one requirement, and this watch has it. Not just for digital timekeeping, but the analog timekeeping is also kept in-sync atomically (more on this later).
I need a watch that doesn’t need the maintenance of winding or frequent battery replacements. Enough said…
I wear my watch all the time, literally. To bed, in the shower, to work…it never leaves my wrist, except for when I clean it. One result is that my watch gets a little more use & abuse than most. G-Shock is definitely the way to go. This watch is water resistant to 200M, has Tough Solar and Tough Movement, and the legendary G-Shock shock resistance.
The MT-G 1500 has the classic styling of an analog with the all the functionality that digital provides. Overall, I find the watch to have sophisticated-sporty feel to it. It has a stainless steel band (with a few black resin center parts) and black resin bezel with light grey print. The case and back are also stainless steel. The face is charcoal gray with silver hands (the hands have luminous strips for night viewing). On the face there are three small digital readouts: the alarm settings, the day/city, and the date & seconds indicator (the latter two provide additional functionality depending on mode). There are also two small analog readouts: the “current function” indicator (and power meter when in timekeeping mode) and a chronograph. There are a few bits of red on the face also, which provide a bit of subtle styling. Like the hour & minute hands, the analog hour markers around the edge are silver with a luminous strip. The minute markers are a reflective white that catch the watch’s amber light very well.
Date & Day Display
The ability to display both date & day of the week simultaneously is one of those obscure features that I didn’t realize this was important to me, until I didn’t have it. I had another Casio, briefly, that required me to toggle between viewing the day and the date. I want to glance at the watch & get as much info as possible.
With 5 alarms (one of which is for “snooze”), I rest assured (pun intended) that my watch will wake me up. I use the “snooze” alarm as the primary alarm, then set the other four as backups, with the last alarm being a sort of fail-safe.
Other Things I Like about the MT-G 1500
Atomic Timekeeping & Analog Sync
It is capable of receiving Atomic Timekeeping signals from America, England, Germany, China and Japan (2 in Japan). In order to keep the analog display time in sync with the digital/atomic time, the watch uses a tiny LED that automatically determines the position of the clock hands for correctness. If needed, the watch will adjust their position. Casio says that strong magnetic fields or strong impacts might cause the need for this recalibration. Regardless, it’s a great feature to know that the analog hands are always in-sync with the atomic signal. The watch does provide the capability to run this synchronization manually, which I did once just for familiarization… it was cool! The hands start sweeping around the face, quickly but smoothly changing directions back and forth…it was neat to see the machine in action.
This watch has four buttons. I like that the Light button is on the side, rather than on the top/front as with some other models. The action on the buttons is smooth & consistent, and the space allotted (around the sides of the case) for accessing the buttons is ample. I like that none of the buttons are recessed. Pressing the buttons, I feel that I'm using a high-quality instrument.
Although the light has its shortcomings (see below), there are things I like about it. The MT-G 1500 has a neat amber light that emits from the bottom of the watch (6 o’clock) across the face of the watch. It does a nice job illuminating the analog portions of the watch (actually looks pretty cool). The light isn’t too bright, which is good in that one’s eyes are don’t require a lot of readjustment back to the dark. I like the light’s color, amber (yellowish-orange). With a lot of reflective surfaces on the face, the light provides a cool-looking “show” when in use.
The band is handsome, tough, and easy to use. It is built as a “loop” so that the only way the watch can come off is to pull it over your hand. The watch will not accidentally come off because the hook came out of the size-adjustment hole, which can happen with bands that do not form a solid loop (e.g. leather or resin bands).
Things I Would Change on the MT-G 1500
Adjusting the Watchband
I tried adjusting the watchband (removing a link for good fit) myself. Without the proper tool(s), forget it. I ended up going to the mall & having a jeweler adjust the band. It only cost $8 for the service. Not a big deal, but an inconvenience nonetheless.
Despite the some of the “cool” things I mentioned about the Light, the digital readouts are not well illuminated at all (not backlit). This is because they are recessed from the face of the watch, so the light on the face basically shoots over them (the light does not go “down” into the recessed digital readouts). A little bit of the light ends up getting reflected into the digital readouts, but not much. This makes it tricky to adjust digital settings (the alarm, for instance) in the dark. I have found that I can place my finger above the digital readouts and the light will reflect off my fingertip down on the digital readouts. This is a little cumbersome, but workable. A backlight for the digital readouts is definitely needed. A setting for how long the light is lit would be a nice addition also.
No “Function Beep” & Delay in Mode Switching
When cycling through the various modes (time keeping, world time, chronograph, countdown timer, alarm), there is no “beep” to indicate that you have moved from one mode to the next. I want the audio feedback of the beep so that I can operate the watch confidently without having to look at it. It’s doubly important with this watch, because there is a slight delay in switching modes, so that when I change modes very quickly (to, say, chronograph – which I do frequently…I time a lot of things…), I’m not assured that I’ve stopped on the correct mode unless I verify it visually. The lack of an option to turn on/off the function beep is the biggest downer for me.
Watch Hands Block Digital Readouts
No getting around this one, if you want a digital-analog. I accept this as a design limitation, but there are still times when I wish I had a less-obstructed view of the digital readouts.
Mode/Function Marker Print Contrast
One of the two mini analogs is a pointer to the mode/function the watch is currently in (alarm, chrono, etc…). The background of each marker is silver, and the print is white – both very light in color. This lack of contrast makes it difficult to read which mode is being pointed to. Not a big deal because it’s evident from the digital readouts what mode you are in.