Objects: My Watch

Having too many possessions is a problem that a lot of people seem to have these days. While I now I try to avoid collecting unnecessary baggage, I also like to appreciate the things that I do have in my life – big and small. Over this month I’m going to write a few blog posts about these objects that I appreciate. Objects Series.

A couple of years ago I spent months looking around various G-Shock websites looking for the perfect watch. From past experience, I had a number of requirements that had to be met:

  • Tough
  • Long Lasting
  • Analog Display
  • Alarm
  • World Time
  • Solar Powered
  • Atomic Timekeeping
  • Stop Watch
  • Countdown Timer

Though I had to import it from Japan, the Casio GIEZ GS1300B-1 fit all those requirements, and came in an attractive black body. Unlike the majority of G-Shock watches, the labels for the buttons are actually written on the back cover. To me, this is a lovely touch – the information is hidden by default, but easy to learn. This actually makes this model feel significantly more subtle when compared to other models in its G-Shock family.

The front face of the watch may still be seen as complex to some, but it shows only the information required for the function it is performing, and nothing more. The numbers and lettering is bold, clear, and the main hands glow in the dark for hours after being in light.

Under the face there are some invisible features that you’ll never notice. The tough movement ensures that the hands are always pointing in the correct direction – even after a knock, the time is calibrated every day from radio signals, it’s 200 meter water resistant and it saves battery power by turning off the second hand when it is dark.

To me this device shows how a timepiece can be a functional tool, as well as being well designed and attractive. There is a theme behind the design of this watch, to enable to user to know what time it is based on the criteria they are interested in.

Previous watches of mine have tried to do too little or too much, and out of all technological trinkets I own today – this is my favourite piece.

  1. I totally respect your requirements but I feel G-Shock is to be digital only. Nevertheless, great choice with Casio GIEZ GS1300B. Powerful timepiece :)

  2. I’ve been on the hunt for a new watch for a while as MSN Direct will be dying in just a few weeks, but had discounted this one because of the rubber straps and the lack of a light. Well… that and the price.

    I’m curious if either of these issues was a consideration for you at all?

    I actually hadn’t looked into the detail of this one till now. Very, very nice =p

  3. Hello again Jonathan! Which MSN Direct watch did you have? I had the Fossil FX3005 which was very cool indeed.

    Most of the watches I’ve had have included rubber straps (the FX3005 had leather over the top too) so that didn’t really bother me, though I have wondered if I’d be able to source a replacement for the strap should anything happen to it.

    The lack of the light wasn’t really a big deal for me either, though I know it is for others. The hands do glow in the dark, which is fine for checking out the time just after you’ve gone to bed or in a dark place – it can be quite bright, but it does fade after a few hours.

    Personally, the only thing I’d want to have on this watch is for the hands themselves to illuminate when a button is pressed, though Casio don’t currently make anything like that – as far as I know! I’m not really a fan of the LED lighting which features on some models, as that doesn’t give a uniform glow. :)

  4. I had a couple of the Direct watches, but the last was the Suunto n3i. I ended up going through both the rubber and the leather bands (the latter of which just gave up around September). My real issues with such bands is that they end up decaying (rough Canadian environment, not sure) and then having to find a properly fitting replacement can be a challenge. Luckily the n3i included two in the box.

    I was also thinking I could just keep using the Suunto after the service dies next month (I mean, you did even without the service) but with replacing the battery so I could keep some of the ├╝ber non built-in watch faces for at least another 3-4 years. So I took the watch apart, took high resolution macro shots of the battery, wrote down all the part numbers and tried to find a replacement. Unfortunately, there were 0 results on the part or model numbers. I also contacted a slew of battery distributors and the few replies I received it seemed all they did was copy/paste my part # into their search and telling me it wasn’t there (as if I didn’t try that myself).

    Naturally I’ve following some of the more recent similar concepts like the Meta Watch, but I’m not really sure if I can be bothered investing in such things again. My primary use of MSN Direct was the Outlook OTA sync and my phone has taken over that role fairly successfully.

    One thing I will say is that having tried it over the past few months, I very much dislike using ones phone for knowing the time and find it incredibly inconvenient.

    With regards to the light thing, I’ve had glow in the dark in a previous decade and wasn’t too impressed, but it may be different now – especially on something fancy and high end.

    Thanks for the reply :)

  5. I’ve just been looking at the Meta Watch – interesting concept, but not for me I think.

    I’m quite happy to have my watch for time related tasks only, and the fact it synchronises with the atomic clock every day means I always know it is the correct time. For me this is the most important thing, and I’m not too fussed about getting OTA notifications any more. Windows Phone + Exchange seems to do that perfectly.

    You’ll have to let me know when you get yourself a new one!

  6. Pingback: Fair thee well MSN Direct « Jonathan Kay, MessengerGeek

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