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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Link to pics on the internet - because Photobucket:

This watch first attracted me because when I was surfing around for a G Shock the dial and hands stood out dramatically in a sea of less legible models, especially in this price range. G Shocks in the $60 - $100 range (discounted US retail) are well known for have short hands with gear like tails, in colors which coordinate with other features, and markers that aren't highly contrasting against the background. The other colorways in this watch do that - blend and obscure the dial - and the gels aren't immune either. However they are attractive.

I just needed a watch I would wear in a warehouse like environment that wouldn't suffer dents and scratches the way my dive watches have gotten abused. G Shocks will put up with that - first choice of soldiers, mechancs, etc.

I chose black because there is no alternate earth tone color - yet. Otherwise my choice would have been a GA 100, there are a few of those models, but I find the hands with "drilled" lightening holes to be somewhat of a put off. Yes, the GAX has holes, too - either help read the underlying digital display - being long rectangular slots it and longer hands overall, they appear more like pilot or field watch hands.

There's also the little understood engineering - if you have to drill little holes in things to lighten them up, you made the part wrong in the first place. On a race car it's a glaring admission of second rate work. It's just aesthetics on a watch but things like this are what divide us into lovers of one particular model over another.

The markers are part of the "deep chapter ring" type styling that some Japanese watch makers are indulging it, it gives the face a different look compared to the flat painted dials of many other watches. It does make the overall watch thicker. A G Shock is already thick - no effective difference here, it's not going to tuck under your sleeve in a boardroom anyway.

Lighting the dial up is accomplished by an amber LED which is more than sufficient to read the time in the dark. The digital zones, however, are not backlit so those who like to see a holiday tree display at night aren't going to be accommodated. G Shock put the emphasis on lighting the hands first. In the dark, observing things like a different time zone, or timing an event will be limited to ambient light - when it's dark outside you can't see much anyway. Bring a flashlight.

It tells time well enough, there is no seconds hand, the digital output does that. The minutes hand moves every 20 seconds, the hours hand follows along. Simple enough. The digital display is negative on this model, which means it doesn't distract from the dial, and even cloudy daylight will be enough to backlight the digits. I might use them to read the seconds once in the morning to compare to NIST - absolutely no way too see any deviation yet, you have to time quartz models by the month, not week, like my autos. I wonder why I thought they were better.

On the dial there are four displays in true G Shock style - a tidal indicator with an analog hand, which matches a lot of tidal indicators on web pages, then (clockwise) the day in digital, a larger lower date and seconds, then a moonphase in digital. When you set the correct time zone the tidal indicator moves into position indicating high or low tide and when it will be the next phase - the "hourglass" effect dials have where you can see where you are in the cycle. With the timezone correctly set it will be effectively close enough.

Tides are a complex issue - and none of the tidal watch makers suggest it's capable for navigational purposes. This is because the tide is an oscillating wave in a very large pool of water, and when it encounters the sea floor and coastline, along with any other local currents, getting a repeating cycle is difficult to time. Where the ocean side of a penisula may encounter high tide at a certain time, the interior harbor might be delayed for hours as the water rises thru a narrow entrance to fill it. There won't be any guarantee that the tide on one side arrives at the same time as the tide on the other side - even separated by a few miles of sandy spit.

It's complicated, is what it is. If you have a local condition like that, the tide can be adjusted.

However, the tide is causes by the gravitational pull of the moon, and as the earth turns, the moon orbits the earth, which means moonrise and set - and therefore, the tide as it "pulls" on it with gravity, does not occur in a regularly timed manner. It's off - which means its constantly working around the dial as it changes. You could have high tide at noon one month, and next month watch it work thru low tide at noon.

It's complicated, is what it is. Every now and then you might need an adjustment. More or less.

However - it beats waiting 24 hours with sticks in the sand timing it to get the answers, which lasts for about a week. Now we have charts, radio, TV, the internet, and cell phones. Tides are the same, but the multiplicity of answers is now confusing. Unless you understand the reference points exact geographical location, you could be getting information that is simply wrong for where you are standing.

It's complicated, is what it is. I had no real idea about it, now I grasp the basics. I can be an informed sea shell hunter now.

The other digital displays do all the numerous things G Shocks do timing, counting down, alarming, dating, etc. and if you manipulate the controls you can even see the expected tides at other times and other places. Take that with a grain of salt, but again, better than nothing. Certainly easier to carry around casually than a whiz wheel, chart, and booklet of tables.

The strap is a two prong clasp, I call it medium durometer, flexible enough but not overly stiff, not jelly like. Plenty of adjustment, on a 7" wrist it will fit at the fifth or sixth hole leaving the tail managed by the keeper. The worst there is a small "shark fin" which I have found doesn't snag on anything. The watch is slightly set back from the centerline of the strap which keeps it from banging on the back of the hand, and the lugs are short enough with the scuba wave in the strap managed to point the down for a good average fit.

Overall a great Dive style dial, plenty of accurate information, and a good fit. No complaints here.
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