Just when the GW2500 Aviator was slowly carving a niche in the ana-digi line, here comes a new GW3500 ana-digi, from the Gravity Defier lineage. Similarity to GW3000, its analogue cousin, is obvious.
For normal timekeeping, the new watch has yellow trimmed hour & minute hands with, what looks like, good lume. A World Time feature has the city name in the top LCD window and the time in hrs-min-sec in the lower LCD window. The usual Chronograph, Timer and Alarms can be viewed in the upper and lower LCD windows. My guess is that the sub-dial at 3 o'clock is for an additional at-a-glance 12-hour (single needle) World Time readout, apparently without any AM/PM indication. (In the event, a 24-hour dial -- with a less gawky needle -- would have been much more sensible and, in line with the aviator theme.) The sub-dials, at 9 o'clock and 1 o'clock are mode/status indicators. Surprisingly, despite having two LCD windows, Casio has persisted with these sub-dials, whereas all this info could have been conveniently consigned to the LCDs, ie mode in upper window and relevant data in lower window. As an example, the Pathfinder PAW5000/ProTrek PRG500 has a 'clean' main dial with no sub-dials; it cleverly manages to display the mode, followed two seconds later by the data, in a single LCD.
Except the additional Tough Movement, all other features are similar to the GW2500. Of course the big plus feature of the GW3500 is the Gravity Defier label which lets accurate time-keeping by the pilot at 12Gs (if indeed, he hasn't passed out by then)!!
Despite the largely superfluous sub-dials, the watch is quite attractive and overcomes all the shortcomings that dogged its analogue counterpart, the GW3000. The new model has a LED light (GW3000 had none). If the ana-digi GW2500's mechanisation is anything to go by, the new model possibly has a 60-min auto-repeat countdown timer (GW3000 had just 24-min) and five alarms (GW3000 had one). Knowing Casio, the watch is likely to show up in more colours in the coming months.
A quick heads-up on the sub-dials:
Mode Indicator sub-dial at 9 o'clock >
- T1, T2 = Home, Dual Time Setting
- WT = World Time
- ST = Stopwatch
- TR = Timer (Countdown)
- AL = Alarm
- C = Charging
- L, M, H = Low, Med, High (Battery power)
- PS = Power Saving
- R = Ready (waiting for manual signal reception)
- W = Work (signal reception in progress)
Status Indicator sub-dial at 1 o'clock _
- A-LIGHT (Auto Light selected ON/OFF)
- SNZ (Snooze ON/OFF)
- ALM (Alarm ON/OFF)
- SIG (Hourly Signal ON/OFF)
Dash _ in bottom LCD window just above DST (Daylight Savings Time) & SPL (Split time during Stopwatch operation) indicates these are 'active'.
Tailpiece: The most popular airplane flown in the the Red Bull Air Racing Championships -- supported by Casio, starring GW2500 Aviator in 2009 and GW3000 in 2010 -- is the Pirep-Zivko Edge 540 which can withstand a max G load of 10Gs.