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I've grown very fond of the ana-digi G-Shock. I owned an AWG100 but I had a few complaints about it that always had me wishing it were different. For the price point it was tough to beat though, so I just wore it and told myself someday things would be better... Well that day has come.

I've lusted after the GW3500 from the day I first saw it posted on here. I was always attracted to the GW3000 series, but I didn't want to lose the digital functionality that I already had so when the 3500 was introduced, I was ready to buy the minute I saw the first photo! Of course it took a little while longer to find one, but I finally found one on sale at Macy's after a day of phone calls. I still had to have a relative in a more robust retail market than my own to get it for me, but now it's mine!

For the record, most of my personal thoughts on the watch will come from my comparison to my other ana-digi since that's the only basis I have for comparison.

Some technical specs of the GW3500B:


  • Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping (US, UK, Germany, Japan, China)
    Receives time calibration radio signals which keep the displayed time accurate
    Auto receive function (up to 6 times per day/up to 5 times per day for China)
    Manual receive function
  • Tough Solar Power
  • Shock Resistant
  • Tough Movement
  • Auto hand home position correction
  • 200M Water Resistant
  • Full Auto LED Light w/Afterglow
  • Neo-brite luminous hands and markers
  • World Time
    29 times zones (48 cities + UTC), city code display, daylight saving on/off, home city/world time swapping)
  • 4 Daily Alarms and 1 Snooze Alarm
  • Hourly Time Signal
  • 1/100 second stopwatch
    Measuring capacity: 23:59'59.99"
    Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
  • Countdown timer
    Measuring unit: 1 second
    Countdown range: 1 hour
    Countdown start time setting range: 1 minute to 1 hour (1-minute increments)
    Other: Auto-repeat
  • Full Auto Calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099)
  • 12/24 Hour Formats
  • Storage Battery: Solar Rechargeable Battery
  • Battery Power Indicator
  • Power Saving Function
After a few weeks of wearing it I can safely say it's everything I wanted my AWG100 to be and more. I love the set of functions this watch has and I can honestly say that it lacks nothing that I consider important to me personally. The face is large and easy to read at a glance and the digital windows are larger and much easier to see. The lume on the hands and face is much more robust than on my AWG100. The glowing surface area is much larger making it much easier to read quickly and the hands are significantly easier to identify because they are quite a bit thicker. The GW3500 wears much larger than my old one too. It's heavier, but not annoyingly so and it looks much larger on my wrist, which I like. I've never been into overly large watches, but I don't like them to look puny either. This one strikes a good balance for me.

The only minor criticisms I have are the reversed digital windows can be a little more difficult to read. It's not too bad, but it is worth mentioning. The other thing I've noticed is the lume, which I don't believe Casio is known for anyway, does seem to have a more limited glow time than some others. After some exposure to bright light it glows like crazy, but it doesn't seem to last throughout the night. Not terribly important since it has a good Auto LED, but I have an old Citizen watch that would be glowing almost as strong in the morning as it was the previous evening, and this watch doesn't really do that. It'll get you through several hours after midnight though, so it's not a major complaint.

A few other observations worth note: I was afraid the yellow wouldn't be all that attractive but it's actually pretty subtle and I like it very much. Also, on both the G-Shock and Casio website, no mention is made of the Hourly Time Signal function. When reading the specs, I just assumed the watch wasn't going to have this function, which is one I really like having. I was prepared to live without but as it turns out, I don't have to. The watch does have this function, it just isn't mentioned on either site. It is listed as a function in the instruction book, which is a must read since this watch isn't exactly simple to get set up.


GW3500B-1A


The obligatory wrist shot
 

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Very nice review.

I had a GW-2500B that had a similar module and layout. I loved that watch and was sad to part ways with it, even though I said that would be the keeper if I had to have just one G-Shock. There were some things that just felt a little off, and the 3500 seems to have improved on those. The biggest thing, to me, was that the sub-dials on the GW-2500 were not symmetrical. I know it sounds trivial, but the sub-dials being the same size on the 3500 gives the face a more uniform look. I also like the color on the 3500; it gives it some character.

Hopefully I'll have one soon.
 

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Thank you for the good and fair review.

I am the owner two GW3000 watches one a USA version and the other an all black one from Japan and I like the pure analog version the best. That said the GW3500 is a better all around watch with many more features.

Luckily I do not need and other function other than current time and I appreciate the GW3000 having a full 24 hour dial (both minute and hour) for ‘World Time’.

It is our good fortune that we each can choose one or the other.:-!
 

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Agree with everything but the negative display. I think from a looks perspective, it was the right decision (plus I'm a fan of the negative). I wear this one the most out of my 6 G's to pick from. I especially like it displaying the world time's hour. Now only if my GW3000's did that and not 24 hr time, I'd love them just as much.

Great review BTW.
 

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I enjoyed reading your review.

I thoroughly enjoy mine !

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Agree with everything but the negative display. I think from a looks perspective, it was the right decision (plus I'm a fan of the negative). I wear this one the most out of my 6 G's to pick from. I especially like it displaying the world time's hour. Now only if my GW3000's did that and not 24 hr time, I'd love them just as much.

Great review BTW.
Oh I totally agree with you, it absolutely looks great. The negative display is almost necessary since both displays are fairly large. A positive display would have really ruined the look of the watch and the neutral color on the displays readout really adds to the subtlety. I do find myself needing to adjust the face angle to see it sometimes, but I most certainly wouldn't want to change it.
 

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Very nice write-up! You include a lot of interesting details. Really good to know about the hourly beep option.

As for the negative display windows, I think it's a good idea for this watch. True, they're a little harder to read, but the intent is to help them blend into the face. This way it makes the watch look more like a full analog from a distance. It's an aesthetic consideration, to avoid the more striking contrast you'd get with positive display windows. I also like the traditional white numerals/lettering used in contrast to the yellow accents. It looks so much better than the full orange or blue numerals/lettering used on the GW-3000B-1A and GW-3000BD-1A.

The only weird thing for me is not having a sweep second hand, not even a sub dial. Seconds are optionally displayed in the lower LCD window.
 
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