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Casio MTG1000G-9A G-Shock Watch

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My favorite watch is an ancient automatic chronometer that’s been through the fires of chaos and back. It doesn’t keep particularly good time, it requires an annual cleaning and if I neglect to wear it for a few days, it will wind down and stop – but it’s immensely cool, and immense coolness makes up for a lot.

The MTG1000G-9A G-Shock watch is a close second in the running for my favorite watch. While it lacks the distressed appearance and faint ticking of my mechanical chronometer, it does address a number of the limitations of mechanical watches with some truly brilliant technology.

Despite its entirely analog face, the MTG1000G-9A has a lot of silicon inside. Some of it appears in the form of tiny solar cells in the watch face, which charge an internal battery to run the works. Until such time as it dies of old age, the battery in this watch will never require replacement.

That internal battery powers, among other things, a VLF radio receiver. The G-Shock watch will automatically synchronize itself with the atomic clock in Fort Collins, Colorado – or its counterparts in England, Germany or Japan, depending upon where you find yourself. Aside from telling it your current time zone, you should never have to set it.

There is a small catch to this – you can’t take this watch to Newfoundland, in that it doesn’t know how to deal with the 3½ hour time zone in which Newfoundland resides.

The first thing that will be obvious in unwrapping the G-Shock watch is that it has been designed to survive the end of the universe and keep on ticking. It’s housed in a substantial steel shell with a bracelet that might have been used to restrain elephants in another life. Despite this, it’s not particularly heavy.

I should note that the bracelet for the MTG1000G-9A has clearly been fashioned for the wrist of an obese mountain gorilla, and unless you prefer a watch that flaps around your wrist like cheap jewelry, you’ll want to remove some of its links. Casio will send you a well-written, illustrated PDF file to explain how this can be accomplished, but this document will do little more than convince you that you’ll need to enlist the assistance of a professional jeweler.

The G-Shock watch claims to be water resistant to 200 meters. In the event that you find yourself at this depth, it’s likely that, being dead, the exact time will be of scant concern to you.

In addition to just showing you the correct time, the G-Shock watch can be a countdown timer and a stopwatch. It can show you the correct time in any of 29 cities around the world, and allow you to quickly exchange your current time zone with any other time zone, should you be traveling. It keeps track of the date and the day of the week. It has an alarm function.

As with pretty much every complex watch crafted in the past five hundred years, few of the functions of the MTG1000G-9A are particularly intuitive or easy to use. It would be unreasonable to hold this against the G-Shock watch – allowing for a face the size of a large coin and four tiny buttons, a somewhat obfuscated user interface is pretty much inevitable in one of these things. You’ll probably want to familiarize yourself with one function per day until you have them all surrounded.

Also as with pretty much every complex watch crafted in the past five hundred years, the G-Shock watch comes with its manual printed out on pages slightly larger than a postage stamp, such that its manual will fit nicely in its compact packaging. You can read it, but your eyes will never be the same. As such, it’s worth noting that the manual is also available as a downloadable PDF file from Casio’s web site. The print’s a bit more readable in the PDF file.

Unlike many earlier atomic watches, which appeared to have been designed by Martians for other Martians, this one’s attractive, readable and comfortable to wear once you get its bracelet sorted out. Its accuracy is unimpeachable, and you can get used to its many modes and functions in time, or safely ignore them, as you prefer.

It may cause passing strangers to take an uncommon interest in your wrist – be warned.

Comments (2)

User name removed 017March 26th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

A nice looking watch, with the added bonus that you don’t get scalped every couple of years for a new battery. I’m struggling to find it in the UK. Amazon et al have it in the US, so I might need to pick it up the next time I am over.

User name removed 061April 21st, 2010 at 3:53 am

I love my G-Shock…. has been used and abused for 2 years now, has been dipped in diesel, oil and chemicals, I used every single day for 2 years now and has performed flawlessly. I would recommend this watch to anyone who looks a great all around watch for work/everyday use. Tough as can be, made for long last.