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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been tearing my hair out trying to buy a watch I find acceptable... My shopping list of requirements includes:

Must be:

  • Clear analogue face (no numbers on face, plain dark background, 12 'ticks', elegant.)
  • Good quality case/strap.
  • Reliably tells me the correct date and time without requiring regular fiddling with month-lengths or daylight savings.
Prefer:

  • Is solar powered
  • Has alarm.

Three watches have come to my attention:


  • Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Watch Cb0020-50E
    [*=1]A friend has this watch. I like its quality construction; the solar power design, its radio control correct time/date... The face is more cluttered than I'd prefer. I don't need the names of cities around the bezel and I think the radio-control notification is too prominent.

  • Casio LCW-M170TD-1AER
    [*=1]​I prefer the clean appearance of the face, to the Citizen, and like the idea of a titanium case. Features sound ideal.

  • Casio LCW-M170D-1AER
    [*=1]​I prefer the black background to the digital display - I think this looks far more elegant in the photo. I'm unsure about whether the steel case is as good as the titanium one of its sibling above.

I've tried to find stockists for the two Casios in the UK - to no avail. I've even emailed the approved vendors - only to be told that there is no intention to make either of these watches available to the UK market. I could bite the bullet and order one of them from mainland Europe - but I'm a little nervous about that- as I'm aware that build quality is, at best, erm... "variable" with Casio watches.

I know that these watches aren't collector-item price-range, but I'd prefer not to waste hundreds buying a timepiece with which I will be disappointed. Can anyone on this forum provide some objective/subjective feedback about the Casio watches (assuming someone owns them) - or, perhaps, you would recommend that I consider a different watch.

Perfection would be a watch built by Citizen with the design of face/functionality from the second Casio.

Any hints?


 

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How about a Citizen AT8010-58E?



Yes, it's a chronograph, and that photo shows it at its least readable (because they're showing off the rather cool dial)... still, it has a far less cluttered look than the CB0020.

at8010-58e-01.jpg

A more typical image.

There are a lot of variations on the World Chronograph, but this (and the white dial version) are the most readable.

There is also a very plain RC Citizen with very little face marking at all... but it's JDM and JJY time signal only (this is the white dial version ATD53-2892):


If only that worked outside Japan, you'd be set.
 

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Citizen Blue Angel did it for me. Solar, RF calibrated, sapphire crystal, fair WR rating, chrono, easy to read analog, world timer, etc. Lot of quartz watch for the money
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
How about a Citizen AT8010-58E?
Yes, it's a chronograph, and that photo shows it at its least readable (because they're showing off the rather cool dial)... still, it has a far less cluttered look than the CB0020.
I'd prefer to avoid a chronograph - I've no use for that feature... and it definitely clutters the watch face.


How about a Citizen AT8010-58E?
There is also a very plain RC Citizen with very little face marking at all... but it's JDM and JJY time signal only (this is the white dial version ATD53-2892):
If only that worked outside Japan, you'd be set.
That one's not bad - though I still prefer the face of the Casios. BTW - I need this to work in the UK.

Are the Casios substantially worse quality? They look good in the photos...
 

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In my experience, Casio are more robust than Citizen. Order from anywhere as the watches are not special in UK, same as Europe. Amazon has an excellent return policy.

Atomic watches are the onLY ones with automatic Correction for Daylight savings where the watch resets on instruction from the radio tower. This will work well in the UK when within range of the radio transmitter.

English

http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/watch/waveceptor/lcw-m170td-1aer/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Casio-Radio-Controlled-Watch-LCW-M170TD-1AER/dp/B00IF3KDT2

 

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Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Watch Cb0020-50E

  • [*=1]A friend has this watch. I like its quality construction; the solar power design, its radio control correct time/date... The face is more cluttered than I'd prefer. I don't need the names of cities around the bezel and I think the radio-control notification is too prominent.

Perfection would be a watch built by Citizen with the design of face/functionality from the second Casio.
Ah, that's my favorite watch of my small stash. I was going to tell you that it looks less cluttered in real life than in Citizen's photos, but you've already seen your friend's.

Unfortunately, Citizen tends to clutter up their designs a lot, especially when there are additional tech features like atomic sync. Maybe that's to help show them off when they're sitting in a display case.

They do make a variant with a plain bezel and the cities printed around the chapter ring under the crystal (where the "0 +1 +2..." are on this one). I don't remember the model number, though. It looks less sporty and more dressy.
 

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I'd prefer to avoid a chronograph - I've no use for that feature... and it definitely clutters the watch face.

That one's not bad - though I still prefer the face of the Casios. BTW - I need this to work in the UK.

Are the Casios substantially worse quality? They look good in the photos...
The World Chrono is an unusual chronograph, because if it isn't in chrono mode it works like a three-hander: the long seconds ticks, the bottom subdial indicates the day, the left subdial is local 24 hour time, and the top subdial sits at zero.

Push the bottom button, you get power reserve and radio receive indication with the long seconds showing the time zone, push the top button and the long seconds and subdial fly back to chronograph zero and you're in chrono mode (top button start/stop, bottom button reset/exit). Pull the crown and the long seconds goes to time zone, but now you can change it by turning the crown, and the top button becomes DST on/off. Pull the crown to the second click and you're in manual setting mode, which I can't remember how to drive.

Anyway, the point is, it doesn't sit there wasting hands most of the time.
 

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Seiko Astron uses GPS signals and is a step up from Radio Controlled.

DSC_9498-700x350.jpg
 

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In my experience, Casio are more robust than Citizen.
My experience has been exactly the opposite with Citizen beating Casio - which suggests to me there is very little difference between the brands when it comes to robustness. The main Casio problems I experienced involved the pushers and crown.

It is also worth noting that most of the analogue Casio watches contain Citizen-Miyota movements (not sure about the radio controlled versions because I've never opened one)
 

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I have both Citizens and Casios and have had no problems with any of them. Out of those I would get the Citizen - I just like it more.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Many thanks for your helpful input... My comments:


"Budget???" Erm, I haven't set a hard-and-fast budget. My last watch cost £20 because I couldn't find one I liked. I'd part with £150-£300 for a superb watch... but, in that price bracket, it would have to be ideal - not one that I'd be disappointed with after a few weeks. The cash isn't burning a hole in my pocket. :)


yankeexpress... It is encouraging that you prefer Casio build quality to Citizen. In my limited experience, I've not seen a badly built Citizen, but I've seen several badly built Casio watches... Sure, they were at different price points... but, still, it makes it difficult for me to judge quality by branding. I liked the Oceanus Casio I once saw... A few years ago, however, I liked the look of one of the Casio Edifice watches (from photos) but, when I found one in a shop, and asked to try it on, I immediately found it plastic/cheap/tacky feeling/looking - in a way that wasn't obvious from the photos. I'm curious about the photo you posted... Which Casio Lineage is that? (The strap looks better quality than the one in the links I posted - plus it has the minutes numbered, so it must be a distinct model.)


I have considered buying one of the Casios from Amazon - and, while I know I could return it, I don't feel it would be 'honest' to buy it intending to return it. Curiously, I have no qualms about asking to see a watch in a shop without intending to buy it there and then. Perhaps I'm just a hypocrite. :)
 

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One thing I would say... don't judge readability and dial clutter from photographs, the real thing can be very different (usually more readable and less cluttered, but not always). Often a very small movement of your wrist will change the play of light on the watch and make it legible.

I don't generally like Casio build quality... not because they make bad stuff, but because it has a particular feel to it that just doesn't seem right (that said, I do own two Casios, and one of them gets worn regularly... but that's because of what it can do, not because it feels good to wear). Citizens feel better to me, but your opinion could be quite different.
 
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