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I went out Saturday, and happened to stop by a Timex store. They had a sale, so I picked up one of the new Ironman Shocks. I must say that it is a VERY nice watch. The design obviously borrows much from the newer style metallic bezel Casio G-Shocks. The rubber bezel seems to be very good at resisting digs and scuffs, but is still soft enough to absorb impact without cracking. The strap attaches just like a G-Shock, with a small lug width and those rubber feet that press against the case back.
I've always liked G-Shocks, because the buttons are shrouded from accidental presses. The Ironman buttons are not shrouded, but they are protected enough that I have not accidentally pressed any buttons yet. The buttons are made of the same durable rubber as the bezel, which should make them very tough.

The Ironman module pretty much puts all G-Shocks to shame. The features are absolutely outstanding. The "Night Mode" for illumination is spectacular. It lights up the display whenever a button is pressed, and also incorporates the Flix system, where a strong flick of the wrist activates the light. I strongly prefer the Flix to Casio's Auto-EL, as the Flix pretty much never accidentally lights up and drains the battery. Not that the battery needs help. It is rated for 6 years before draining.

The alarm features are very cool. I always set my G-Shocks for 2 alarms. One to wake up in the morning, and one to remind me to catch the bus in the afternoon. I can set the alarms on the Ironman to only go off on weekends, and ignore the weekends entirely. I love this!!!! I can also set holiday/special occasion reminders for any date in the calendar year, such as my anniversary and wife's birthday.

I don't golf, but the Ironman has a golf score keeper. Fortunately, you can actually hide any watch feature you don't use, so it doesn't appear as you scroll through the modes. Very nice. Of course, the 100 hour chronograph is far more advanced than a G-Shock's, having a lap counter built in. The 24 hour countdown timer is pretty much the same as a G-Shock's, with an optional repeat setting.

I won't go into all of the module features, but let's just say that it has far more features than any G-Shock in my collection. The only G-Shock I have that has even half as many features is my G-9000 Mudman.

Oh yes. Then there's the display itself. The time digits are HUGE and very easy to read. The whole display is laid out beautifully and logically. The crystal is fitted a good distance below the bezel. Not as deep as some G-Shocks, but as deep as DW-5600E at least.

I only see a few downsides to this watch. First, I really like the classic G-Shock look, more than many of the newer "designer styled" metallic bezel G-Shocks. This Ironman definitely looks more like a metallic bezel G.

Second, I don't have much confidence in the strap. The nylon strap is sewn onto a rubber piece that fits into the lugs. The sewing does not exactly inspire confidence. I will buy one of the proprietary resin straps for this model, the next time I stop by the Timex store.

Third, the fifth button is not shrouded in any way, to protect it. It is made of good quality rubber, but could possibly be knocked off. Time will tell if this is even an issue. Theoretically, if the button is struck by an impact, the button should press in and be protected by the bezel. I'm not sure whether the bezel is actually painted metal or plastic.

Fourth, the watch itself sits very high off the wrist, and feels a little top heavy. The watch height is almost identical to a DW-6900. This is a big Ironman. It is not as wide as a DW-6900, but still commands a great deal of wrist presence. A resin strap could very well solve the top heavy feel to the watch.

All in all, if the shock absorbing and water resistant innards of this watch are good, the Ironman Shock easily competes with the G-Shock line, and in most ways surpasses Casio's efforts. I am totally impressed with this Timex. The module is just mind blowing. After a downward spiral over the last ten to fifteen years, it looks like Timex is really turning things around, and starting to put out some very good watches again.









 

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Which model is this "Ironman shock"? I'm looking for the exact model in a different color.
 

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Very thoughtful and intelligent review. I think the key thing that Casio should learn is the trick of allowing users to hide modes they don't want.

Some thoughts on the watch:

- The more powerful the EL, the greater the cost to battery life! Plus military and LEO customers - who account for hundreds of thousands of G-Shock sales - probably want to minimize their visibility. The standard G lume is more than good enough, and I think that brighter might be worse.

- Comparing prices in the UK I found that a solar Timex is costs as much as a Solar Atomic G-Shock. I'd rather have Atomic time keeping than extra modes - but ymmv.

- An advantage that most of the standard models of G have is their user repairability. If a watch is cosmetically damaged then the module can easily be transferred into a new shell.

- Casio are very clear on exactly how tough a G is, with their famous 10m drop standard. Do Timex attempt to match this?

A tough watch that combined mode hiding - and perhaps customization, so that you could choose eg either a stop watch mode that showed the time as well or one with more digits - would be very nice indeed!
 
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