After tinkering with all my watches, I decided to write down a list of the perfect features of an ideal Casio module.
With these features I believe, it would be the perfect Casio module for an everyday digital watch.
With every watch you need to make several adjustments to keep it accurate.
seconds (most watches are only accurate to about ±30 seconds per month), DST (twice a year), leap days (every 4 years)
Some Casio watches account for leap days with the AutoCalendar feature.
seconds # resetting seconds to atomic time monthly is left up to the user, or is automatic with atomic Casio watches. If manually reset, with my time setting sequence of making seconds the first option, resetting seconds is a breeze.
DST # some Casio watches have an DST indicator, which makes it easy to switch between DST and ST (standard time); with my time setting sequence of making DST the second option, turning DST on/off is a breeze.
Holding the Set/Adjust button (TL) for one second to enter the Setting screen (flashing digits) in Timekeeping mode # Some Casio watches like the GWM850 makes the user hold this button for 2 seconds, which I find to be unnecessary and annoying.
Press the Set/Adjust button (TL) to enter the Set/Adjust screen (flashing digits) to adjust settings in Timer and Alarm modes. # There is no reason to mandate holding this button for one second in these modes.
best time setting sequence: seconds, DST, city code, hours, minutes, year, month, day, other settings # some Casio watches do not follow this order and will require you to press more buttons to set the time.
smart seconds reset # resetting seconds when current seconds count is 30-59 will increment minute by 1; very useful to avoid going back to adjust minutes. # Almost all Casio watches have this feature.
setting adjustment: forward AND backward # some Casio watches only allow you to adjust settings in one direction, which is frustrating if you want to set up your watch quickly.
mode order: timekeeping, stopwatch, timer, alarms, dual time/world time (optional).
I believe setting it to this order is ideal, because setting timer and alarms takes time so they would be secondary.
The stopwatch being the first mode after timekeeping allows you to quickly time an event, on the fly.
Holding the mode button for one second to return to Timekeeping mode. # Most Casio watches make holding the Mode button (BL) for 3 seconds to Mute button presses. I don't believe my suggestion will conflict with this.
indicators in timekeeping mode:
12-hour/24-hour format (2 options):
a) 12-hour format: A for AM, P for PM; 24-hour format: no indicator (no A and P) OR
b) 12-hour format: no indicator for AM, P for PM; 24-hour format: "24" indicator between 12:00-12:59 PM # if 24-hour indicator is not included, then if the user forgets which format is currently in use when 12:00 is presented on the display, the user might confuse it as either 12:00 PM if he/she thinks its in 24-hour format or as 12:00 AM if he/she thinks its in 12-hour format.
So if option b is implemented, in 24-hour format, the "24" indicator should ONLY be lit when the current time is 12:00-12:59 noon, and should be OFF during other hours because they will be obvious (0:00-11:59, 13:00-23:59).
With my implementation of option b,
* in 12-hour format, 12:00 AM - 11:59 AM, should be expressed as 12:00 - 11:59 (no indicator), and 12:00 - 11:59 PM should be expressed as 12:00 - 11:59 "P"
* in 24-hour format, 12:00 AM - 11:59 AM, should be expressed as 0:00 - 11:59 (no indicator), 12:00 - 12:59 PM should be expressed as 12:00 - 12:59 "24", and 13:00 - 23:59 (no indicator, because its obvious)
So when you see 12:00-12:59 without an indicator, you can deduce two things: you are in 12-hour format and its 12:00-12:59AM.
Casio's implementation of option b is when you are in 24-hour format, the "24" indicator stays lit the entire time; in my implementation the "24" indicator is only lit between between 12:00-12:59PM to avoid confusing it with 12:00-12:59AM.
Some Casio watches only have a "P" indicator and no "24" indicator.
In this case, between the times of 12:00-12:59 you might confuse it as 12:00-12:59 AM in 12-hour format or as 12:00-12:59 PM in 24-hour format.
So unless you know the hour format you have set in the settings, you won't know the meaning of 12:00-12:59 in such watches.
But then again, this issue won't matter if you only use one hour format over the other and the meaning of 12:00-12:59 will always be clear to you and the changing of hour formats only occurs through the settings menu (as opposed to some watches that you let you change between 12/24 hour formats on demand with a press of a button).
I think option A is superior, straightforward and easier to implement.
DST = DST is on; DST is off = standard time
Here a graphic summing up what I stated for indicators in option "A" and option "B" for hour formats.
For option B, if there is no "24" indicator, then 12PM might get confused with 12AM between hour formats.
But this is not an issue if you only use one hour format over the other so the meaning of 12:00-12:59 will always be clear to you (in 12-hour format, 12:00-12:59 with no indicator will always be 12AM; in 24-hour format, 12:00-12:59 with no indicator will always be 12PM) and the hour format can only be changed through the settings menu (as opposed to a 12/24 button on some Casio watches).
time & date
time = hours, minutes, and seconds
date = three-letter abbreviation of weekday, numeral month, and day of month.
The ability to set date formats from MM-DD to DD.MM from the settings. # most Casio watches only display date format as MM-DD.
If watch has a World Time feature, pressing the TR and BR buttons simultaneously will return to the UTC time zone.
The ability to scroll time zones using TR and BR buttons # some Casio watches allow you to use both these buttons to scroll, while others only allow you to scroll using the BR button.
ALERTS # applies to Timer, Alarms, Hourly Signal
When a timer, alarm, and hourly signal needs to get your attention it produces an alert.
The default alert consists of producing an audible tone.
I wish that Casio can implement an ALERT setting with options of SOUND, FLASH, BOTH to allow the user to choose how to be alerted to Timer, Alarms, and Hourly Signal.
Optional: Add VIBRT (Vibration) as another option for the ALERT setting.
BUTTON PRESS # some Casio watches do not allow you turn off button press sounds, usually lower-end Casio watches.
If MUTE is not enabled, Casio enables button press sounds whenever you press the Mode button, pressing buttons in Stopwatch mode, Timer mode, entering a Setting screen.
There is no button press sounds when you are in Alarm and World time modes, and when adjusting settings in any Setting screen.
I wish that Casio can implement a PRESS setting with options of SOUND, LIGHT; with SOUND implementing Casio's current button press sound behavior (see previous two lines) and a LIGHT option.
With the LIGHT option enabled, with every button press, the backlight stays on for a duration of 3 seconds since last button press and it applies to ANY button press.
Backlight inspiration comes from Timex's Night Mode.
With every press of the buttons the backlight turns on, allowing you to manipulate your watch in complete darkness without having to keep pressing the Backlight button every few seconds.
battery: 10-year battery or solar
When implementing 24-hour time, in times between 20:00 - 23:59, provision the LCD segments for the "2" to be the same width as the other LCD digits # some Casio watches compress the "2" in this placeholder when implementing 24-hour time.
For an example of this compressed behavior, take a look at a Casio GWM850 watch in 24-hour time mode, between 20:00 - 23:59.
I have some ideas for Timer and Alarm modes, but that's for another day.
Have any suggestions/comments to my ideas presented here?
TR = Top Right button
TL = Top Left button
BR = Bottom Right button
BL = Bottom Left button
Implementation of Automatic DST
I propose that Casio implement Automatic DST that is pre-programmed into their watches. # The current implementation of Auto DST is through radio signals from atomic watches.
DST puts one hour ahead in the 2nd Sunday of March at 02:00 am, and returns to standard time on the first Sunday of November at 02:00 am.
This can be implemented similar to the way they implement AutoCalendar that accounts for leap days every 4 years.
I discovered through my own first hand research that the weekdays repeats in a pattern in a 28-year cycle.
View the following image. Note that first year is supposed to be 2004, 74, 312 (I forgot to type 2004).
For example, for the current year 2017, the second Sunday of March is the 71st day of that year, and the first Sunday of November is the 309th day of that year.
It can pre-programmed by telling the watch that in the year 2017, on the 71st day, at 02:00 am, add 1 hour; on the 309th day, at 02:00 am, subtract 1 hour.
Also allow a setting to allow user to turn Automatic DST on/off if user's area does not observe DST.
Using this pattern, Casio can implement Automatic DST without needing to use the atomic radio signal, leaving the user to only worry about resetting seconds every month.
P.S. I took into account leap days into my calculations, the numbers are accurate.
Require 5 button pushers to maximize versatility of the watch.
In Timekeeping mode, as mentioned by @yankeexpress, use the BR button to switch to and start the stopwatch function OR if the watch is atomic, the atomic menu ("GET") screen.
I will add to this (Quick Mode feature):
In Timekeeping mode, hold the Mode button for 1 second to enter Quick Mode select.
In this special mode, pressing TL = Timer, pressing TR = Alarm, pressing BR = World Time.
In this manner, you can quickly go to Timer, Alarm, or World Time Modes quickly.
Stopwatch is not in Quick Mode select because you can enter Stopwatch mode with one button press of the Mode button when in Timekeeping mode.
When in a mode other than Timekeeping mode, press and hold the Mode button for 1 second will return you to Timekeeping mode.
Pressing the Mode button while in Quick Mode select will cancel Quick Mode selection and return to Timekeeping mode.
Pressing Mode button, as usual, will cycle through all the modes in this order: Timekeeping, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarm, World Time. # the normal behavior
With this implementation, it will take at most 2 button presses to reach any mode.
Check the following, the total number of button presses to enter a certain a mode are in parentheses.
Stopwatch: Press Mode button (1)
Timer: Press Mode button twice (2), or Hold Mode button 1 second to enter Quick Mode select and press TL button (2)
Alarm: Hold Mode button for 1 second to enter Quick Mode select and press TR button (2)
World Time: Hold Mode button for 1 second to enter Quick Mode select and press BR button (2)
When it comes to timers, I want a similar implementation to that found on the Casio G7700, with some improvements.
If the first timer is set, but the second timer is 0:00, the first timer functions as a regular timer, producing a 10-second alert upon completion.
If the second timer is set, but the first timer is 0:00, the second timer functions as an "auto repeat" timer that produces 1-second alert (with a distinctive tone) upon completion, and then repeats.
When both timers are set, it functions like the "auto repeat" timer mentioned in the previous line, but with the same distinctive tone upon completion of an "auto repeat" timer.
When timer 1 completes, "auto repeat" timer tone, begin countdown on timer 2.
When timer 2 completes, "auto repeat" timer tone and begin countdown on timer 1, in a loop.
If both timers are 0:00, when you press Start button (BR), begin a 24-hour countdown timer on the first timer, with a 10-second alert upon completion.
Press the Set/Adjust (TL) button to adjust timer settings # no holding of the Set/Adjust to adjust settings
Press and hold the Set/Adjust (TL) for 1 second to reset all timers to zeros. # to save time from doing it manually.
The ability to set the timer to a maximum capacity of 99 hours, 59 minutes, 59 seconds manually.
The ability to set the timer to the second # some Casio watches only allow to set it up to the minute.
Pressing the TR button while a timer is in progress should reset and stop the timer # found this behavior on the Casio DW-5600.
Press and hold the TR button when timer is reset (starting position) for 1 second enters special Quick Timer set mode.
When you enter the Quick Timer special mode, pressing the BR button cycles through 30s, 1min, 2min, 3min, 4min, 5min, 10min, 15min, 30 minutes; press TR button to confirm your selection.
**UPDATE** 2017-09-26T16:07+00 # Casio responded and sent me this email. In summary, there's no point in sending ideas to Casio.
Thank you for contacting Casio America Inc. regarding interest in providing Casio with design ideas for our watches.
While we do sincerely appreciate your input Casio’s legal team advises that Casio maintains a
large in-house research development staff to create, develop, and improve new and current
Many proposed products and improvements are used, while others are tried and
discarded or set aside for reconsideration at a later date. It is likely that an idea or plans for
products submitted by persons who are not in the employ of Casio will duplicate ideas and
plans generated by Casio employees.
As a result of this and to prevent any misunderstandings, it is Casio's policy not to accept or review designs, ideas or proposed products that are submitted by persons not in Casio's employment.
Thank you again for your interest in Casio and for being a valued Casio Customer.
Have a good day.
Customer Service Agent
MUTE/CROSSED OUT MUSICAL NOTE indicator
The MUTE indicator is peculiar.
It only lights up on a negative outcome (the absence of button press sounds), whereas all other indicators light up on a positive outcome (e.g. if an Alarm is on, the ALM indicator turns on).
In my opinion, this indicator is unnecessary because it is self-evident that the button press sounds are on or off (you can hear it with your ears).
You do not need a visual indicator to know that the button press sounds are on/off.