Another Tough Solar question thread

Thread: Another Tough Solar question thread

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  1. #1
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    Another Tough Solar question thread

    Hi folks,
    I have a renewed interest in G-Shocks. Been wearing Seiko auto's for some time now. But G-Shocks have always beckoned me to come back. Wish I still had my first one from the mid 80's I think it was, looked like a current DW5600E. G-Shock's remind of when my life was simpler ... one watch, one 3-blade stockman pocket knife, one lock-back knife on my belt, one flashlight, one well stocked tool box, one rifle, one revolver, one duffel bag of clothes. Life was good, life was simple. It's still plenty good, but man do I have lots of "stuff" now. LOL!

    I have kicked around the idea of getting a G-Shock with the Tough Solar feature. However, I've also been thinking about just getting a DW6900 or maybe a DW6600 and stealthing the bezel with Goof-Off.

    I mean, when the batteries do die, they'll get replaced along with a new gasket, some silicone lube for good measure and away we'll go.

    Anyhow, I have read probably just about everything contained within this Casio G-Shock forum along with other sources out on the web regarding Tough Solar. The poll here indicated that most of you believe in, rely upon and even prefer the Tough Solar feature. Not to start a riot or flame me war, but it seems there has been a fair number of people who have had problems with Tough Solar to the point of having to send their watch to a Casio service center for repair, often with less than positive results. Still, many of you would rather rely upon Tough Solar than a regular battery when traveling or being in situations where you would prefer to have your watch function reliably.

    Why so much faith in a feature that may very well fail well before a battery ever will and maybe fail when it's not so convenient? Are the failures isolated incidents or are the non-failures isolated incidents?

    I'm just not convinced that Tough Solar is better than just a battery for both reliability and longevity.

    I would like some more discussion on this if it would be ok.

    mike

  2. #2
    Member Lexxorcist's Avatar
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    Only one of my G-Shocks is solar, but that's not really because I don't trust them despite hearing the same stories you've heard. People will tolerate some level of risk in return for the benefits. I think it's that simple.
    "The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is." C S Lewis

  3. #3
    Member tribe125's Avatar
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mike_123850 View Post
    I'm just not convinced that Tough Solar is better than just a battery for both reliability and longevity.
    I'm inclined to agree with you. Clearly, with the addition of a solar cell and a rechargeable battery, there's more to go wrong. The experience of forum members bears this out, even if the number of failures is relatively small.

    It isn't exactly inconvenient to change a battery every 3-10 years, and most G-Shocks may actually be disposed of in some way before the battery expires. And anyway, the gaskets need checking at battery-changing sorts of intervals, so it's no hardship to change batteries and check gaskets at the same time.

    I can only think of one advantage to solar - the chances of being stranded somewhere with a dead watch are probably lower. Set against that advantage is the fact that you have to think about solar watches a bit - checking the indicator, making sure they're getting some exposure to light, that sort of thing. In terms of putting a watch on your wrist and forgetting about it, standard batteries have the edge.

    On a purely personal note, I think the standard watches look better without the circumference of the display given over to the solar cell.

    My first G-Shock was solar, and I assumed any following Gs would be solar too. Today, it's not a factor. My next G will probably be an atomic solar model, but the purist in me actually prefers non-solar.
    I used to list my watches here until I realised it ruined people's Google searches...

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  5. #4
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    All I can tell you is that I bought two GW-300's in 2000; one for me and one as a gift for a close relative. This is the main model that was reported to have some problems.....the relative has worn his daily to date, and has never been off of full charge. I kept mine mostly on the shelf these past 7 years and finally sent it to him to have as a backup. With 7 years of solid service from 2 of the early models, it isn't hard to see why I have full faith in my GW-9000 Mudman, whose technology should certainly be 7 years ahead of those 300's. I have a g-9000 as backup, and i prefer some of the features in that module, but my true faith goes to my solar atomic, 2007 vintage
    "Strength equals health; one cannot be healthy without being strong."-Eugene Sandow

  6. #5
    Member Doug507's Avatar
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    I've got a G-5600 Tough Solar and it is so screwed up it is unusable. I thought about rolling the dice and getting another, but played it safe instead. I just pulled the trigger on a stealthed 6900. They are classics for a reason!

    Cool! My 100th post! That must mean my "little problem" is now a real addiction!
    " Don't trust anyone who says they're too good for an SKX007 and claims to be a WIS" - A Pine Tree

    Watches: Rolex GMT Master II 16760,
    Rolex Submariner 14060M, Doxa 750T Sharkhunter, Doxa 1200T Professional, Marathon SS Navigator (1992 Kuwait), Seiko SRP777, Seiko SKA427P1, Seiko SKX007, Garmin Fenix 5, Suunto Core and countless G-Shocks

  7. #6
    Member tribe125's Avatar
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug507 View Post
    Cool! My 100th post! That must mean my "little problem" is now a real addiction!
    Correct. But congratulations anyway.
    I used to list my watches here until I realised it ruined people's Google searches...

  8. #7
    Member Buzzbait's Avatar
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    I think that the Tough Solar feature is great, but it is not a significant factor for me in my buying decisions. It is a feature that assuredly adds multiple points of failure, but with an equal number of benefits. You just have to weigh the positives and negatives of the technology, and decide whether Tough Solar is worth it for you.

    I also think that you have to look at the reported failures to see the commonalities between them. The failures are very model specific. 99% of all the well-documented failures have occurred in something like 5 different Tough Solar G-Shock models. As long as you stay away from those well-documented models, you can be very confident that you won't have a problem in the short term.

    Personally, for me, if I wanted a G-Shock to wear for the next 20 years without problem, it would not be a Tough Solar. For a long term investment, I'll take fewer features to gain some reliability.

  9. #8
    Member tseely's Avatar
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    It seems to me that the true test of how well tough solar works will be to see how many are still functioning after 10-15 years of use. That may seem like a long time but if they can't exceed the battery life of a standard G-Shock by more than a few years then, in my opinion, they should be considered a gimmick. I like the idea of a solar G-Shock and have owned more than one but I think the jury is still out on the whole solar thing.

    Just my humble opinion.
    It's always sunny in Boise!!

  10. #9
    Member Buzzbait's Avatar
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    Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    One more thought on the subject. I'm a bit miffed that you never know when a Tough Solar G-Shock will first fail. I thought that I was out of the woods on my GW-300, when it proved reliable for the first 4 or 5 years. Then the failure occurred, and it was not a matter of battery replacement.

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthr...ghlight=gw-300

    I'm also bothered by the fact that Casio has never admitted to their being an obvious reliability problem with certain Tough Solar models. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the manufacturer, that they they are taking steps to improve reliability in future models.

  11. #10
    Member bluegum's Avatar
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    Question Re: Another Tough Solar question thread

    Does anyone know what actual solar battery technology enhancements Casio has made in recent years? The reason I ask is because it seems to me that rechargeable cell technology generally has been improving at a great rate in the last 5 years even.

    Have Casio incorporated regular technological improvements to recharging batteries/circuits or do they more or less revamp it once every long period to save on redesign costs?

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