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I've seen a little discussion about the Regulus here, but it seemed to be polarized between people who claimed that the Regulus feels more solid than a G Shock and people who said they'd never trust a watch like that that wasn't made by Casio. I thought I'd try one out myself and share my thoughts.

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Nixon says that they developed the Regulus with guidance from special ops members. I saw some promotional materials claiming that their watch focuses more on practicality than being overbuilt. Personally, I don't think that's the right way to market this watch considering that the basic square G's are both smaller and have higher water resistance / drop specifications. So what does the Regulus offer that one can't get with a G Shock?

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It's worth taking a moment to appreciate the tough position Nixon has put itself into by going head to head with G Shock. G Shock has effectively shut out competitors for years by bombarding the market with new models. Some gain traction and stay in production while others become oddities remembered only by collectors, but the end result is that there are a dizzying array of feature combinations available within the G Shock brand. That makes it extremely difficult for another brand to introduce a watch as "like a G Shock, but with X." Whatever X is, Casio has probably already made it. And since G Shock has rightfully secured a reputation for durability and reliability, there's little incentive for fans of the brand to look elsewhere.

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It seems that the only way to offer a successful alternative is to create something outside the boundaries of the design language and interface that Casio keeps somewhat consistent across their line. Timex has done this successfully with the Ironman by designing an interface that caters more specifically to runners. Suunto has built up a successful line of ABC watches with a layout that some find cleaner and more adaptable than Casio's (although their line is aimed more at Casio's Pathfinders than their G Shocks). In this vein, Nixon has come up with a watch that presents and operates differently from the ones that we are used to. It reminds me a little of Apple vs Android. Casio employs the Android approach by offering a lot of features in a logical presentation that works well for engineer types like me. Nixon opted for a more streamlined and clean looking user interface that I think will appeal to the right-brain crowd.

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On first glance, we can see that Nixon has done a few things differently with the Regulus. There are no buttons on the right side that could be accidentally pressed or interfere with gloves. Instead, there are mode and light buttons on the face, and setting buttons on the left side. Nixon has set the features up so it's fairly intuitive to use without instructions. The watch features the typical chronograph, alarm, and countdown timer features. The chronograph is a little different in that there are two that run independently of each other and can both be seen on the small center readouts of the home screen. In chronograph mode, the home time is visible in the center readout. The buttons on the left manipulate the chrono timer they are positioned next to. It's a setup that's brilliant in its simplicity, and useful for those who do need to time multiple events.

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There are three alarms and an array of countdown timers. The alarms sound nice and loud. One gripe that I have is that while there's a Nixon logo that shows up in alarm mode to tell you if the alarm is activated or not, there is no indication on the home screen that any of the alarms are active. In the countdown mode, there is one user defined countdown timer plus several preset timers you can select that count down from what Nixon thinks are commonly used times. It's a nifty feature that allows you to get going faster if you're timing something that happens to be 7, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, or 60 minutes long, but I would have preferred if they allowed us to adjust the presets for all the timers. Also, only one timer can be run at a time.

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There's a "stealth mode" that turns off all the beeps and an option to set the backlight to one of three brightness levels. In practice this is less useful of a feature than I thought; all three of the brightness levels are very bright in complete darkness so there isn't as much difference between them as I think there should have been. The buttons are firm, but a little on the mushy side (particularly the front facing buttons).

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As for the construction, it does feel solid, in part due to the thick resin strap that tapers around the lugs. It also has a thick buckle and solid looking caseback. Nixon incorporated an interesting feature on the strap keeper that locks into place at the end of the strap to keep it from moving around. I'll say that it does feel more solid than the basic square G's, but the Regulus' $150 retail price puts it up against the GDX6900 and GX56, which offer a similar feel. Nixon rates the watch to 100m of water resistance. They built their brand by marketing to skaters and surfers who knock their watches around constantly, so I have no doubts as to the durability of the watch. My only cause for concern is that the mineral crystal face is flush with the front bezel, rather than recessed like on a G Shock. I suspect that while the Regulus should hold up to some rough use, it wouldn't fend off a drop onto concrete so well.

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I opted for the clear version of the watch since you don't see too many clear watches, and clear G Shocks usually command a premium in price. Also, this is the only version of the Regulus that has the more legible positive display LCD. The clarity of the display is excellent as you might expect. I've also come to appreciate the larger display and digits on the Regulus compared to a typical G Shock.

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I think Nixon has come up with a solid offering with the Regulus. No one will beat G Shock at their own game. But for a G Shock fan who's looking for something a little different, the Regulus has a different style and feel, a few interesting innovations, and still maintains a level of durability and quality.
 

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I have one Nixon digital and they are pricey but pretty nice watches. Nothing to complain especially if you get it on sale.
Steel Regulus is on my sometime list.
Timex interface in my books surpasses most of Casio designs since it's pure ergonomic design. not like it targeted at runners. It's generally convenient. Very intuitive and has minimum decoration thus LCD real estate used for things which matter the most. Time and date. As big as possible.
Not to mention it's as uniform as Apple design.
 

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no, and not it is because I am a Gshockaholic
yes, I did read the whole thing
and no, it was hate at the first sight
 

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Had one for a while, was impressed, but in the end was not for me.......flipperooski
 

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it's a unique watch. I like the dual chronos and the chrono status on all displays. I think the totally independent dual internal clocks is pretty interesting, although I'm not sure how one could use them to their full effect.
 

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Sunroad (Malaysia) make G-Shock knock-offs, have the functionality but are not waterproof in that the watch on ABC models has a small porthole in the caseback. Only barrier beneath that hole is the alarm diaphragm, so dunk them and they get wet inside. Splashes only, but very low cost compared to the real thing.
 

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as u mention it im surprised, no manufactor in the world is trying to offer a real bombproof watch, even after decades of the G existing. not even chinese try to create/recreate some.
i mean it cant be that hard. casio creates many "firsts" in the watch market, but are usually very conservative, also in G´s. they lack a "logical" UI and the design is way over the top, digits are mostly terrible tiny, alarm almost unuseable.

so a competitor simply had to create some kind of suunto/garmin/g-shock design-mix with a 300m or even 500m water resistance, good mip display with different watch faces and big digits, vibe alert, optional sapphire glass, solar, good pushers, easy to change wristbands, some usual functions like stopwatch, timer. all this in an EDC-friendly weight and size. i would say the price shouldnt be a concern. let it cost 500euros, people will buy it when its a good product. and people love superlatives.

nixon regulus has 100m water resistance, so... its not enough, simple as that. dont understand where the problem for 200m is. i mean casio does it since 1983, in a small package. this was roughly 17 years before the internet and way before 3d-printers. id be ashamed, as a company, to offer a serious "military" watch with this water resistance nowadays.
aside from that, the regulus has its charme.
 

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Timex had and has it's Shock version of watches.
But for most digitals are
#1 sturdy enough so no need any "shock" designation
#2 too cheap to no care and invest in any new branding/development

When i was pitched G-shock in 1999 i replied but i never broke my regular Casio ever. Why i need all that jazz?
That included falling from bike and braking watch facing asphalst for 20 m. Though it was steel cased model.

shock resistance ISO is not applicable to non mechanical watches by the way.
There is no such standard for digital watches.
 

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no manufactor in the world is trying to offer a real bombproof watch, even after decades of the G existing. not even chinese try to create/recreate some.
Could you please define "bombproof" in your terms?
 

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Could you please define "bombproof" in your terms?
bombproof in the meaning of: like a G and more. highly resistant to vibration, shock, heat, cold, waterpressure, working under all circumstances reliable for many years without servicing.
 
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