Jun 012007

I’ve had my Casio PAW-1300, previously briefly discussed in this post, for about a month now. Price was $209 delivered from Ace Digital Club on Amazon.com. I chose the black model, but it’s also available in military green and in a titanium version. I’m quite pleased overall.

The watch is packed to the gills with functionality (12/24H time, day, date, altimeter w/memory and alarm, barometer w/trend graph, thermometer, compass, world time, stopwatch, countdown timer, five daily alarms, hourly chime, and electroluminescent light with automatic setting). Plus, it’s solar-powered and synchronizes with not only the U.S. atomic clock, but those in Europe and Japan as well–handy if you frequently travel overseas. All of the functions are easy to calibrate, set, and use.

If you’ve used any Casio tool watches in the past ten years or so, you’ll find the user interface familiar and be at home quickly. Even if you haven’t, the user documentation is comprehensive and well-written.

It wears comfortably, with no sense of “chunk.” The dial is large, but the case is remarkably slim to contain so many gadgets. This is a huge step forward from my previous Casio nerdfest. Plus, we’re not talking about something to wear with a jacket and tie anyway.

My only minor complaints:

  • I’m pretty much locked into the original strap. The lug design is odd and won’t easily accommodate an aftermarket strap or bracelet.
  • The watch is now reliably automatically synchronizing every night, but it didn’t the first couple of nights I had it. There are instructions for manually synchronizing the watch, but I never could get that to work. It doesn’t matter to me day to day with the autosync working, of course, but I do wonder how it will do on the road if I ever travel with it.

A (very minor) wish list:

  • Two side-by-side buttons at 6 o’clock (ADJUST and LIGHT) is a departure for Casio. Generally only the light button is down there. I’m having trouble getting used to this, and would have preferred the adjust button at 9 o’clock, both functionally and for better visual balance.
  • My PRT-40 had a similar seconds dial circling the main display, and featured a “chase” sequence in this dial when an alarm went off. I always thought that was cool. This watch doesn’t do that.
  • The compass function only indicates points visually on the edge of the display. All of the previous Casio compass watches I’ve had have featured visual points on the entire dial, tapering to the center like thin pie pieces. I have a slight preference for the old way.

The verdict:
I’m delighted. This is the best Casio Pathfinder yet. If they’d give me this watch in a stainless case with a sapphire crystal, I’d be happy forever (which is exactly why they won’t do it, I’d guess!).

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