WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am a "vintage" lcd collector so I don't know much about modern ABC watches. I mean look at my avatar--it's a Casio from the 70's. But I want to get a modern ABC watch just to see what it is like.

I am partial to Casio as a brand because I collect their old models and own a vintage ATC-1100, one of the very first ABC watches. But surely the technology has evolved since then, so I want something of the "current" generation.

So in my quest to get a good beginner's ABC watch, I need recommendations. What is your favorite ABC brand, and why?

I would prefer that the answer come in two catagories: recommendation for ABCs under $200, and recommendation for ABCs when money is not the most important issue (but still an issue).

And I know this is probably a contentious question with subjective answers, but is there a consensus as to which brand makes the "best" ABC watches? Is it Suunto? Casio? something else?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
hey man your gonna get alot of different answers here but most seem to agree that the top three are suunto casio and highgear, in no particular order. my first was a suunto vector, and i still love that thing, you can find them on ebay for around 140$ US, and i recently got a casio paw 1500, which is, in my opinion, very comparable in performance but will cost you 250$ to 350$ depending on which model, titanium band or resin. the paw has a moon and tide graph solar power and atomic timekeeping which the vector does not, and is probably simpler to use for someone who isnt use to suuntos. now with all that said suunto also makes a core, which is definetly my personal favorite and i picked up for 250$ it has all the functions of the vector plus a depth gauge for snorkeling and a pretty cool storm alarm, but no tide and moon or solar/atomic like the paw 1500, but with a menu based interface it is awesome to use and in my opinion the most accurate of the three. i dont know jack about high gears as i dont own any but am currently looking into them but im sure someone else will reply to this who does. hope i helped some
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,783 Posts
Highgear Altis is THE ABC to get. It is built better than my Suunto Core, just as accurate and a heck of a lot more reliable. It has all Swiss sensors. They are trading on Ebay for under $200.
Both Altis and Core are much more accurate than any Casio. The Highgear Altis wins under the "money no object" and "ABC under $200".
Its a no brainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
joenegz and Mystro,

Thanks for the info. Can either of you, (or anyone) comment on the overall reliability of the Highgear and Suunto? I tend to trust and abuse my Casio's, G-shock or not. I even swim with my 20 year old Casio marlin models. (Of course, I replaced the gasket first.)

I read a lot of threads on how the Suunto Core has issues. Does the Altis have issues like that?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,612 Posts
I agree with the recommendations above up to a point. Suunto and Casio make wonderful pieces, Highgear has a mix of great and not so great pieces. Other brands that while not specializing in ABC's do have some of the best ones on the market (Nike being a case in point). Other brands, such as Polar make some very high end pieces, but market them specifically to certain types of purcahesers (cyclists for example).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
well like you said, you've read alot of bad stuff about the core, they have had problems but the vector is probably one of the toughest watches ive had, and i too have had it in the water a decent amount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
647 Posts
I have a Suunto Vector and I have been very satisfied with it. I love the altitude accumulation feature it has, which is great for tracking climbs during bicycle training rides. I initially wanted a Suunto Core but stayed away from it because of the problems they were having with it, don't want or need the drama.

I have a Casio PAW1500 and I love it also, and I probably favor it over the Vector. IMO, I think Casio is the watch to beat as far as value for the buck in ABC watches.

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,783 Posts
Highgears top tier stuff is great. The economy watches are so so. The Altis is Highgears top of the line climbing watch.
 

·
Affordables Moderator
Joined
·
17,578 Posts
Suunto is my favorite, I have a Vector and a Core and both have been accurate and reliable while Scouting. I rate the Highgear next, then my Nike Alti-compass for accuracy. However, I don't think there is a tougher ABC than the Pathfinder. I use mine when I don't want to worry about my watch though I don't think it is as accurate as the others.

Cheers,
Griff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Highgears top tier stuff is great. The economy watches are so so. The Altis is Highgears top of the line climbing watch.
Oh so I should stay away from Highgear's lower priced watches? The Highgaer Axio and Alterra look like a great bargain on their specs from their website--why do you say they just so-so? :think:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I'm pretty sure that the Alterra (the military-spec version is called the Altiforce) and the Altis have the same internals because the specs and features are nigh identical, so you're not going to get an inferior product if you get the Alterra. After talking with a Highgear rep and getting a rave review of the Axio Max's little sister, the Axio Mini, I also don't think you're going to get an inferior product with the Axio Max, either. The case appears pretty robust and is really cool looking (better looking than the Alterra, in my opinion).

Functionally, the Axio Max loses the Altis'/Alterra's Ski Chrono function (very useful if you're a snow hound, of limited utility otherwise) and lap timer (it still has memory for 50 or so chrono times), but gains some extra alarms (rest and hydration) that are pretty useful in their own right. None of them have countdown timers, by the way, although the Axio Max's hydration alarm can be used as a countdown timer, if all you care about are 15 minute increments. I have an Axio Max on order, so I'll do a full review when I get it in.

As for a "Money Is No Object" ABC, my choice has to be the Suunto X10. ABC features, plus GPS features make it the "grail" of ABC watches, in my opinion. You can use the included software to set waypoints and directions, and also use Google Earth to track your trips. The GPS is a battery-hog, of course, so if you use that function a lot, you're going to have to recharge the watch frequently (it can be charged with a USB port), but it ought to last long enough for a decently long backpacking trip. It is a pricey piece, though: It MSRP's for $600, but you can probably get it for ~ $450, if you look hard enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,783 Posts
Highgear pretty much discontinued their lower quality watches that had issues so any Highgear watch should be trouble free. I have the Mil-spec negative display Altiforce it is also known as the Alterra in positive face. I highly recomend it. It doesn't have as much memory or data screens as the Altis but it is a great ABC. It is Highgears premier plastic ABC. Very accurate. The AXIO MAX does not have the 3 altitude presets. That is one of the best features of the Altis/Alterra. It also doesn't look like it has a altitude lock. I downloaded the Axio Max manual and its not in there. Those two features kill the Axio Max for me.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,544 Posts
I just copy and paste what I wrote a few days ago in the casio forum:

the ABSOLUTELY best ABC watch I have bought to date is this one

seriously, this thing is so freaking accurate, its almost scary. it doesn't matter if the airpressure drops or rises, it stays always at the same altidute when I'm at home. (wich is 105 meters above sea level in my case). when I use it for altitude measurements it is usually never more off than 10, 15 meters max, but mostly spot on. besides the current airpressure it also shows the sea airpressure (which is NEVER more off than 0.3 mbar/hpa from my local professional weatherstation!!!), something that is totally lacking in any casio watch to date.

besides its obvious ABC qualities, it is also a very good watch. it keeps the time fairly well (about +2 sec/month) and it has a 100h stopwatch, also a 100h CDT (which can be set to the second !!!). it is able to show the date not only in the american/british way (month/day) but also in the rest of the world format (day/month). it has a loud and clear alarm which beeps 30 seconds and the contrast can be adjusted from 1-10, the negative display is very well to read. for the price this watch is a steal and I honestly believe that it has not even one competitor which can hold up with its functionality and value. I give this ABC watch the highest possible recommendation and everyone who is interested in a reliable wristcomputer should have at least a very close look.


regards, holger
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,612 Posts
Lastly, don't forget the Garmin Forerunners, which while not ABC's in the strict sense of the word, have some features that would put some ABC's to shame. they are easily the most advanced workout watches available, and since several are GPS enabled and have mapping capability, they would make great hiking companions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,544 Posts
who makes that thing? ive never seen one. nice looking though
well, all it says it "weather master VII". I don't really know who is the manufacturer and to be honest, I don't really care. the important thing is, that this watch works very precisely (quite opposite to casio sensors) and that it get the job 100% done. it has a 3 year warranty, costs 49 GBP which is about 70 US$ and it never failed me since I got mine last summer. btw: two wristshots I just shot of mine:





as you can see, airpressure drops rather quickly right now (normal air pressure would be around 1000/1001 hpa ) and we expecting some nasty weather within the next hours.

as you can also see, the sea airpressure is at 1001.6 hpa and here is the weather report at six o'clock this morning from frankfurt/germany (airport):

geog. Länge: 8.67°
geog. Breite: 50.11°
Höhe (NN): 112 m Land: Deutschland
Region: Hessen
Kreis: Frankfurt am Main
Einwohner: 644000
Wetterstation: Frankfurt/Rhein-Main

Aktuelles Wetter Frankfurt am Main
04.03.2009 06:00 Uhr
Wetter Wetter Frankfurt am Main Temperatur (°C) -1
Bewölkung (1/8) Bewölkung 3/8 (37.5%) Taupunkt (°C) -2
Windrichtung (°) Relative Luftfeuchtigkeit (%) 93
Windgeschwindigkeit (kn) 3 Luftdruck (hPa) 1002
Windböe (kn) 4 Luftdrucktendenz (hPa) -3.2


now consider that airpressure is dropping fast, my altitude is at 105 meter (frankfurt 112 meter) and that I made the pictures about 20 minutes before, an aberration of 0.4 hpa is more than a very well value in my opinion.

regards, holger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
My all time favorite has to be Suunto VECTOR. It is so simple and very reliable.

I do have a Suunto CORE and really like it. I have never had any problems with it. I have one of the first batch (726XXXXX). It is very accurate and it has the added advantage that you can lock your altitude if you will not be moving from a specific location for a while, and this makes your pressure drift even more accurate.

I've had a PRG-80 and now have a PAW-1300. I love both of these. In the next few weeks I might pick up a PAW-1500.

Like other poster stated, I think the new Casio is the one to beat when it comes to features and value per dollar spent. It has everything but a GPS in it.

By the way, never owned a Highgear. Not sure if they are good or bad, just never liked their looks.

If you don't need the compass or a tidegraph, you might also consider a G-Shock Riseman.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
862 Posts
I am a "vintage" lcd collector so I don't know much about modern ABC watches. I mean look at my avatar--it's a Casio from the 70's. But I want to get a modern ABC watch just to see what it is like.

I am partial to Casio as a brand because I collect their old models and own a vintage ATC-1100, one of the very first ABC watches. But surely the technology has evolved since then, so I want something of the "current" generation.

So in my quest to get a good beginner's ABC watch, I need recommendations. What is your favorite ABC brand, and why?

I would prefer that the answer come in two catagories: recommendation for ABCs under $200, and recommendation for ABCs when money is not the most important issue (but still an issue).

And I know this is probably a contentious question with subjective answers, but is there a consensus as to which brand makes the "best" ABC watches? Is it Suunto? Casio? something else?
If you do not want to change batteries look for a solar powered watch. Casio makes atomic and non-atomic versions, I have one of each, a PRG-100 and a PRW-1300. Both models perform well, I read and refer to the manuals, and I understand principles of weather so I can maximize their performance.

If you do not mind changing batteries then the field is more open. I would make certain any watch you buy can be returned for full refund and has service available. Download and read the manual before you place your order, you may see something in the instructions that helps your decision.

Search this forum and the G-Shock forum under my name "Konrad", you will find my PROTREK watches in operation, I posted a new weather related photo today.

One of the forum members has a signature I like, and I will paraphrase now:

when all is said and done, wear what you like!!

Konrad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,259 Posts
I just copy and paste what I wrote a few days ago in the casio forum:

the ABSOLUTELY best ABC watch I have bought to date is this one

seriously, this thing is so freaking accurate, its almost scary. it doesn't matter if the airpressure drops or rises, it stays always at the same altidute when I'm at home. (wich is 105 meters above sea level in my case). when I use it for altitude measurements it is usually never more off than 10, 15 meters max, but mostly spot on. besides the current airpressure it also shows the sea airpressure (which is NEVER more off than 0.3 mbar/hpa from my local professional weatherstation!!!), something that is totally lacking in any casio watch to date.

besides its obvious ABC qualities, it is also a very good watch. it keeps the time fairly well (about +2 sec/month) and it has a 100h stopwatch, also a 100h CDT (which can be set to the second !!!). it is able to show the date not only in the american/british way (month/day) but also in the rest of the world format (day/month). it has a loud and clear alarm which beeps 30 seconds and the contrast can be adjusted from 1-10, the negative display is very well to read. for the price this watch is a steal and I honestly believe that it has not even one competitor which can hold up with its functionality and value. I give this ABC watch the highest possible recommendation and everyone who is interested in a reliable wristcomputer should have at least a very close look.


regards, holger
Keep in mind that this watch while having awesome functionality in the module is not very usable in very wet conditions as it is only splash proof. This kind of makes it not so usable for me as I like to be able to swim with my watches! I don't feel confidence in watches that is not water resistant!

From an objective standpoint I think Suunto is the best ABC brand followed by Highgear and Nike and then Casio as nr 3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Suunto - I have a core (suunto) and a riseman (casio) while both are cool, the sensors and functionality on the core are top notch.

I'm flying this weekend, and i need a backup altimeter... reaches for the suunto....

Hey, i think cal.45's watch looks like its vector inspired!
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top