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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

(please excuse the flaws, my brower was to blame, it killed the corrcted version, twice.)

since there was no review about this watch on the web to be found, I decided to write it.
I liked the simplicity of its appearance and the light weight enough to buy and wear it, not minding possible shortcomings - starting with: it came in a pretty box but without manual, and the retailer hadn't checked its battery, it was dead.

And yet, it's alive.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Wrist


Let's copy-paste first what the manufacturers mention on their page (http://shop.arctos.info/GPW-Infantry-with-rubber-strap-GPWI.htm):

"The specifications are as follows:
Analogue 3 hands
Digital hour/minute/second (optional military time / 24 hour)
Calendar/date
Countdown & Countup date until 31st Dec. 2099
Remaining time against target date (day/hour/minute/second)
Passed time to target date (day/hour/minute/second)
Alarm (Alarm sound monitor)
Stop watch (1/100 second with split function)

The specifications are as follows:
Titanium case
Sapphire crystal
Non screw-locked crown, two gaskets, integrated pushers
Screwed in case back, optimized for alarm sound
200M (660ft) water-resistant
Analogue hands and hour markings coated with luminous paint for accurate readability in the dark."

Dimensions: See CAD picture.

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Font


Something noteworthy from the manual (retrieved later): Operating Temp. 0-55°C, Cal.No. T241, battery SR927W ~2y life

The Case

The outer appearance is what you can expect for a watch that cost around 450$ [I bought it for 330€]. Matte titanium case, smoothed edges all over, very robust. The case back is screwed in [2 local watchmakers were too scared to try open it because it was that tight, whatever that means].
The bezel runs smoothly with a high pitch metallic 'click', however, wouldn't set accidentially. If it is made of titanium as well, I don't know, if it were titanium, it had to be coated, therefore we must assume it is some form of plastic. The buttons accept operations reliably, are pushed comfortably and wouldn't accidentially trigger on the wearer's wrist or clothing, either.
The crown is not screwed, only the newer, non-digital models of Arctos seem to feature this.
The saphhire crystal is flat and does not give rise to disturbing light reflections.

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Silver Metal


Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Strap Fashion accessory


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The Strap and Wear

The standard strap is made of ~3-4mm sturdy rubber and is closed by a matte, stainless-steel clasp with a safety. At least the folding says it were stainless-steel, not all parts of the clasp may, it feels a bit too light yet robust for that. Both are neatly made, yet do not match the intricacy of other titanium watches' appendages in the same price range, comparing it to e.g. 'Citizen'.

Strap Buckle Watch Belt buckle Material property


I has it looks nonetheless, and serves its purpose. Opening and closing it is not too smooth, as a cheap feel to it, but that might well be deliberate to prevent losing the watch.
If fitted with care, and respecting the long, angled folding-clamp for a balanced seating when adjusting and cutting the rubber components, it can be worn very comfortably is not making any noises of pulling hair. The spring-bars are unfortunately not following the price-worthy case either, they are clearly less strong than in a standard 'Citizen' or 'Traser' model.

- Anyway, to my mind, "one-size" clasp-bracelets defeat the purpose of a diver's watch as once fitted to your naked arm it won't go around your suit. Also, because it is even more comfortable, I am wearing it on a more casual silicone counterpart made by 'TAWATEC', with ordinary holes and a buckle. That way, it is even less likely to dig into your hand. The watch stays in place without slipping about; so altogether, being rather flat and light it is as comfortable as the average 70g Casio G-shock. Speaking for myself, I do forget I am wearing it - until its sight amazes me anew.

Fashion accessory Strap Technology Watch Metal


The Digital-Analogue Quartz Movement & Functions

That is a less satisfying story but since Arctos's other GPW series have Swiss movements, unlike this creepy 'Japanese' one, chances are, this first downside won't apply to them. I am phrasing this "Japanese" because one usually expects a lot more from them in this price class.
One wonders why the lowest possible year to set is 1997, so much for the subtext.

The analogue and digital time are independent of one another, which can be a good thing if you wanted to set one to a different time zone. But it may be disturbing when adjusting the time and the second hand is not synchronous with the seconds in the display or half a minute away. One can work around this, but it remains a weakness.
What I've seen from today's digital-analog watches, this issue is not really state of the art.

Generally, operating functions, does not respond with an affirmative "beep"; given that most Casios offer to disable operating sounds as they can be unnerving, this could be plus.

It has one daily alarm time available, it's chime is expectably weak, couldn't wake one, maybe a bit weaker than contemporary steel or titanium watches' signal. Even so, those generally lose to plastic cases in loudness, therefore not to berate.
Noteworthy also, I've had the battery replaced by a local watch-maker in an eastern European country. Maybe their fiddling - and respect for the strenght required to open it - did reduce the so claimed "optimized" setting for the "alarm sound". Maybe a reason for confounding.

Its stopwatch has the typical split function, using it will give operating "beep"-sounds, it won't keep the split if he mode is changed (typical) and adding to the creepiness of the module it can stop 0-~23:50:something h not 24h or anything beyond. Well, if you happen to measure anything longer, too bad, it won't continue from 0. It will just stop - period.
Harm from this questionable, but if you consider that the average casio is smart enough to carry on beyond a "millenium bug", on might designate this a drawback.

Before I mention the really positive or otherwise special parts about it, I have to list two real drawbacks.

The quartz movement will not warn you of a drained battery, contrasting what many quality watches do. Still, the other GPW models have swiss movements and if those are from let's say 'Ronda', the probably will tell their battery is low instead of haphazardly failing their duty to show the time. Call me petty, but I know people who missed trains or appointments because of this - there is certainly more hazard from this, than from the funny 23:50h stop-watch.
When I unpacked it, as stated above, it was empty. On the days before replacing its battery, it would occasionally come to life, then pass out when touching the buttons or the crown. At first I thought the watch had been delivered in a state of hibernation and resetting it by accident breathed life into it. But it kept randomly dying or showing errors ( *%&(&$€§³#), concluding the batterymust have been just plain empty. It was totally capricous.

Resetting & Errors?​

In addition to this low-power liability, the watch does have a sensitvity to moderately-strong physical impacts, at least the digital half of it. When I smashed a fly on my desk one day, the digital display went all *%&(&$€§³#, like a tilted pinball-antique and went to factory reset. Just like when the battery is empty.
The analogue time continues to run, so the time-keeping was not lost completely.
Arctos warns about this and the movement can be reset pushing all buttons together, if it remains on " *full-tilt* ", and does not just jump back to January, 1st, 1997.

Something peculiar:

The watch has a very unique "day-to-date counter", counting down or up. In the age of smart-phone apps, this is is less valuable - but so is a wrist-watch then. This function may have an interesting psychological implication on you if you can see the days until e.g. a business meeting, your next free day, your marriage, the end of your rotation be in a disliked shift, antarctic expidition or some form of "Afghanistan", whatever...

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"It is 99 days, 10h 20... til 1.1.2013 - Great!!!"


This function has an imperfection, saidly saying 'also'. It shows that the module was somehow retro-fitted with that function. In the end of a count-down, it can optionally sound an alarm at finish, but as the couter can only be set to dates not times of the day, it would invariably chime at midnight. God knows whether the designer thought of this as a gimmick or was just inattentive to detail - adding to the "creepy"-factor.

Now, the only reason why this watch deserves its name ("German Precision Watch"), redeeming all the not so germanly precise faults of the (Japanese) movement:

It is ludicrously accurate. In far over 6 weeks it only leads a radio-controlled clock by +5 seconds, this at least is my sporadic oversvation over ~4 months. Could be an outlier, but for me it remains a fact, I take it off during sports, maybe that's how it manages.
I never had a watch this expensive and knew quartz movements could be very precise, nontheless, I found its accuracty rather impressive.

Legibility

Well, the hands are long but slender and the face's simplicity obviates any minute markings. Also the bezel counts 12h instead of 60min, and sometimes the long hands routinely and awkwardly seem to fall onto empty spaces. This could certainly be more "precise", but maybe it compromised the watch's look otherwise, again uncertainty of the designers' intention. If this poses a real problem is arguable, all the more as there is usually the digial output available. [I am going to ask a real scuba-diver just how important reading +-45s of a bezel really is.]

The luminescense is average if not poor, one cannot read the time after ~4 hours of absolute darkness it fades quickly, but in any other low-light environment it does its job. Also, maybe the newer GPW models have better varnish on them (as the Citizen's tend to have).
If you tend to wake up in the pitch black middle of the night and want to read the time all the time, stay away from this watch. But on the other hand, if you are in absolute darkness, not in your bed and without a light-source, you probably have other problems than reading the time. So...

Conclusion

I think, it is a nice time-piece with these unique looks and (case) design, the "creepy" movement, and improvable luminescence somewhat invalidating its price-tag, and since it does not state "Made in Germany" maybe all the more so. Then there is also the not sublime bracelet.
The decision to have on will rest more on personal taste, than on objective technical or practical flattery, as there are plenty of products available which definitely beat those points per price.

Is this a "military watch"? Well, Arctos, like many other companies are arraying themselves with this "allure", probably to appeal to target groups. For my part, they oculd have called it "lollypop" or "sunflower", it wouldn't have mattered to me.
But we should always consider this:
If your profession or life-style requires you to spend lots of time in 'the field', an environment that is not 'controlled' and that can damage your gear (and you with it), that gear should be as light and as expendable as feasible.
- This watch can dive 200m, and likely survive other abuse. [ x ]

The real question is: "Is a 400$ watch you largely buy for its looks that expendable?" [ ]

This took way too much time writing. I hope it off-sets the world's curiosity about this item.

Had I known, I probably would have bought a newer, non-digital GPW, und the presumption that changed anything about the "low-voltage" / "full-tilt"-impact issue. Thank God, I have those other two in the picture to make up for it :-!.

Best regards

Hope it helped.

some wordy maven

stressed out by browser-errors
 

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