Thursday, May 27, 2010

#20 GW-3000B Sky Cockpit

Casio kept the coming of the GW-3000 in February 2010 pretty silent for a long time. Often the release of new models are announced a few months before the release. The first notice I read was a small message by Yschow on the WatchUSeek G-Shock forum on the 3rd of February 2010.
A colleague of me has a very beautiful Poljot Aviator II. Since I noticed his watch years ago, I was quite impressed by the look of this Russian pilot watch. The first photo’s of this GW-3000B model immediately remind me to this Poljot.
At first it was not easy to find this watch in Europe, though Casio Benelux told me it would get a European release too. Well, I had patience, because I have limited myself to one G a month (and I already have sinned, there are 4 watches on the way for June and I am looking around how to get a GW-110B-4 for a low price without customs problems).
I especially liked the black model with orange ciphers on the display. This model looked inspired by flight instruments, as you also see with Russian pilot watches and brands as U-Boat and Bell & Ross.
Although the GW-3000 was not easy to find in Europe, Tiktox had a limited supply of this model. Unfortunately, at the time I noticed it, they were already sold out. I did some more searches, but the price was a bit high for me. The GW-3000B retails for €249.- ($304 - £211), which makes it a watch moving to the more expensive segment.
In the mean time a lot of members of the G-Shock forum had bought this watch and were very happy with it. Needless to say, I was quite a bit jealous.
Just a week ago I was looking late at night on the Tiktox website for something completely different. Suddenly I saw Tiktox had a limited supply of the GW-3000B back in stock for the very sharp price of £154 (€182, $222). It was now or never, so I shoot an e-mail to Keith at Tiktox. Of course I was a bit impatient, so I called Keith the next morning. He had just seen my mail and was about to respond. Long story short, I got this watch a 3 working days later (we had an extra holiday and it had to travel over the weekend). Needless to say I was very excited to see this watch finally in real.
Yes! It was nice and bigger than basic G-Shocks. That was the first thing I wanted to know. The orange lettering is very nice on the black dial. It is unbelievable that this dial is actually a solar cell!
Like most new Waveceptor models, this watch is a 6 Band Waveceptor. In Europe it can sync to the transmitters in Mainflingen, Germany and Anthorn, UK (both approximately 1500 km range). I recently heard reports that the signal was even received in Cyprus. In the US there is a transmitter in Fort Collins, Colorado (approximately 2000 mile range). The China transmitter is located in Shangqui (approximately 1500 km range). In Japan there are two transmitters, one in Fukushima and one in Fukuoka/Saga (both approximately 1000 km range). For all transmitter the best signals are received within about 500km, the signal becomes weaker when you are located further. The best time to receive the signal is at night, when there are interfering radio signals.
So I took the Quick Set-Up Guide out of the box and started reading how to start with this watch. Like with the Edifice EQW-1000DB model I have reviewed about a year ago (and still regret I couldn’t afford it) you have to perform several procedures with the seconds hand.
I followed the Quick Set-Up Guide for setting the watch in the right time zone and perform a manual receive operation for the Atomic Time signal. Note that this operation is different from the digital Waveceptor models. Instead of the lower right button, you must press the upper left button (ADJUST) for two seconds. Somehow the hands all moved across the dials, but nothing seemed to work. The watch stayed one hour behind (London time zone). Luckily I remembered that I had similar problems with the EQW-1000DB. I struggled through the thick, 89 pages, manual, until I finally found the operation procedure to get all the hands in the correct position together. For those who encounter similar problems, go directly to page 62 of the manual under and read Adjusting Home Positions Manually. Press the lower left button (MODE) for two seconds. The watch will beep and after a short while the hands will move normally. Then press the lower right (SPLIT –RESET) button for approximately 3 seconds. The seconds hand should move to the 12 o’clock position. Use the lower right button to correct if needed. The manual says you also can use the upper right button, but it didn’t work with me. By pressing the MODE button again repeatedly you can check and if needed adjust all hands on the dials. If you have checked all hands, you can set-up the watch again by following the manual.
I placed the watch in the window and preformed a manual receive operation again. The seconds hand moved across the dial as described in the manual and within a few minutes the watch had synced to the atomic time signal. Since I live between the Mainflingen and Anthorn transmitter, I can’t check which of the two signals is used.
If you don’t want to scroll through the huge manual, I can very much recommend you to download the manual for module 5121 from Casio’s manual archive. It is only a 6 A4 pages and it reads much easier than the small pages of the manual provided with the watch.
While the watch had synced and the hands were set to the correct time (currently GMT+2) it was time to scroll through the functions. To scroll though the functions you just have to push the MODE bottom (lower left). First mode is the stopwatch mode.
The GW-3000B has a 24 minute stopwatch on board. It takes some time for the hands to settle to their initial position (I hope you are not in a hurry). The small right dial counts the minutes and the seconds, the seconds hand the 1/10 seconds and the 1/100 seconds are indicated with the small left dial. The Start Stop operation is performed with the upper right button, the split and reset operation with the lower right button. A little practice and it’s actually pretty easy.
Next mode is the World Time Mode. In normal timekeeping mode the small right dial shows the time in the time zone chosen in the World Time mode. The seconds hand moves to the time zone on the dial. With the lower right button you can choose another time zone. By pressing two seconds on the ADJUST button (upper left) you can toggle between STD and DST. For people who travel a lot between time zones, in the World Time mode you can easily switch between the home time zone and the World Time time zone. By pressing the upper right button (START - STOP) for about 3 seconds, the times of the Home Town and the World Time City are swapped. That’s pretty cool for my trip to Japan.
The watch also has an Alarm function. When you are in Alarm Mode the alarm time is shown in the right dial. You can change the time with the upper and lower right button. Note that this dial is a 24h dial. With the ADJUST button you can turn the alarm on and off.
The watch has a so called “Tough Movement”. It is build to perform under difficult circumstances, such as high centrifugal forces. It performs an Auto Correction Check of the seconds, minute and hour hand every 55th minute of the hour in case the hands were out of position caused by extreme shocks. Special LED technology checks if the hands are in place. If the hands are not in the correct position the watch will automatically correct them again. I am wearing the watch two days now, but I haven’t noticed something happening at the 55th minute of the hour, so I suspect this check is performed in the background. You probably would notice it only when the hands were dispositioned.Follow this link to read more about "Tough Movement".
At first glance you might think the dial is a bit busy, but it is quite easy to read time. The hands have greenish yellow paint on them, so they form a good contrast with the black and orange dial.To my surprise, th minute hand progresses 1º every 10m seconds. All other analog G-Shocks I have move 2º every 20 seconds.
 The sub dial s are clear to read, although I have to get used reading the small right dial that shows the minutes and seconds in Stopwatchmode. While the numbers go from 1 to 24, you got to read the seconds like minutes on a dial.
The hands and ciphers are painted with luminescent paint. For Casio, who does not have quite a good reputation on luminescent hands, these paint does his job pretty well. The markers and hands fade ome in the first hour, but the emit light for quite a long time. Think here more in hours than in minutes. Don’t let you get fooled by my lume photo’s. I found a blacklight at the laboratory. It is a funny toy with luminescent objects and a good way to take easy photo’s of a the luminescent dial of the GW-3000.
The watch has for a G-Shock quite a big dial, so it also has a big crystal. The crystal is domed glass, but not so much domed as on the Raysman, Gaussman and Riseman, which makes it quite easier to make photo’s. Personally I never had problems reading a display or dial with domed glass.The crystal is protected by a raised rim around the glass, like on other G-Shocks. Also the buttons are pretty well protected, but they are not hard to operate.
The GW-3000B-1A is the only GW-3000 version at the moment that has a resin strap. The resin strap is attached with screws on the case, like on the new Mudman models. The straps actually look like the straps of the new Mudman. When I had the watch in my hands I thought the straps felt a bit stiff, but now I am wearing the watch, I have to say that this watch is pretty comfortable on my wrist. At my laboratory scales it weighs 77 gram, a little more than the Casio specification of 74 grams, but you hardly feel it on your wrist. With the dimensions of 52.5×49.8×15.5mm it really is one of the bigger G-Shocks around. Although the height of the watch is normal for a G-Shock, the watch looks remarkably thin, due to the large case.
Overall I think Casio made a fantastic watch. Finally a new model that is really big and the watch has very good looks. I have read testimonials from other owners of this watch and like my verdict, all these owners are very content with this watch. I think that the price of around €220 is very good for a model with a Tough Movement. The prices of an Atomic Giez or MT-G model are significant higher. Shopping around on internet is pretty much recommended. The prices vary quite a bit. The recommended price of this watch is ¥35000 in Japan and €250.- in Europe. The other two models are significant more expensive with ¥42000 and ¥47000. The price of this watch at Tiktox is a very good deal (probably the cheapest in Europe I could find).
There are three GW-3000 models. This is the only one with a resin strap, the other two have bracelets. Maybe it is a pity this model didn’t came with a black bracelet, but looking at the price of the black metal GW-3000BD, I’m pretty happy with the resin strap. Maybe a little wider design would have given the watch a little beefier look.
As a Count Down Timer junkie, I miss this function on this watch, but maybe I have to look at it another way. I have written before I love the analog MRG-121 MR-G and analog GC-2000 MT-G model. These model only have one function. Showing time. And that is probably the best thing an analog watch can do.

20 comments:

Yami said...

In fact, a very interesting model. Especially buy arrows are aligned, each hour, for a quartz watch is often the arrows do not coincide with markers.

Sjors said...

Hi Yami,

Thank you for your comment! I think the hands (arrows) on this watch look all very good and well designed. Only the the minute hand on the right dial and the hand on the bottom dial are the same, so there are 6 different types of hands on this watch. Pretty cool idea.

The Tough Movement makes it possible to align all hands in the correct position, so they all point to the correct position.

Cheers,

Sjors

Chow said...

Hi Sjors,

Haha! I am forgot about it. Thanks for mention my name. Yes! I also like the GW-3000 Series. But so sad, Casio not launched it at worldwide to Malaysia lack of atomic towers.

Hopefully, Casio will release more analogue model in future for world market.

I heard that Casio will release a full analogue Protrek in future, eventough is still in Prototype.

cheers,

yschow

Lijo said...

Hi Sjors, I was thinking of buying the model with the steel bracelet because I just like the blue dial so much, But I'm thinking of replacing the bracelet with a resin strap. I have found one that I think might fit. But before I go off and get it, I thought I would ask your opinion first. Here it is>>>
http://www.tiktox.com/gw2000b-resin-p-2514.php

Sjors said...

Hi Lijo,

I think it will fit, as it looks like the strap on my GW-3000B. You can shoot an e-mail first to Keith at Tiktox.

Cheers,

Sjors

laurian said...

At far the best review I ever written, thank you

lance said...

Love this watch, but I was wondering if it's possible to change the strap on it? I'd like to replace the resin strap with a nylon Zulu or Nato strap. Can this be done? How wide are the strap lugs on this watch?

Sjors said...

Hi Lance,

It looks like the straps are attached to the case with four long screws. It is a very good way to attach straps to the case with original straps, but a NATO strap will not be attached very good with this system, because the ends of the screws are loose.

Kind regards,

Sjors

Nemo Sandman said...

Thank Sjor for a great review with a lot of information.
Last month Jur was with me in Paris and we saw that exact model in a parisian shop and started to talk about you !

Since I have found a great deal with a GW2000 and I love that module...
(24 hours stopwatch and timer)
The same module as the awarded EQW-1000DB !!!

mnazri.tan said...

Sir...I just came across with your blog today...amazing stuff you wrote here....great job...

Btw the GW3000 is my grail for G-Shock...I dont have much G-Shock , only 3 unit but i love every bit of em...

You can find my writing on watches (and on some GShock) at my blog
zhenendeavor.blogspot.com

I will add link to your blog today...very interesting indeed...

Wish me luck in getting my own GW3000...it seem it is getting out of stock so quickly...i need to search all over the place...

oplofilo said...

Hi guys! You can not imagine! I stumbled in this eBay auction for this wonderful watch and I could not resist!

http://cgi.ebay.it/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260708565405&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

I made no search around to check if it was a good price, I really did not care at that moment. Now I find out that it was a bargain (EUR 199,00 is the equivalent of about $266). I am so anxious to receive this beautiful watch, in the meanwhile reading these lines I already know it perfectly. Now I see that I am not the only one stroke down by this watch.
Thanks a lot for this excellent test!
Take care!
Luca (Rome, Italy)

oplofilo said...

Hi mates! You can not imagine! I stumbled on this eBay auction for this wonderful watch and I could not resist!

http://cgi.ebay.it/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260708565405&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

It was love at first sight! I made no search to check if it was a good price, I really did not care at that moment. Now I find out that it was a bargain (EUR 199 is the equivalent of about $266). I am so anxious to receive this beautiful watch, in the meanwhile reading these lines I already know it perfectly. Now I see that I am not the only one stroke down by this watch.
Thanks a lot for this excellent test!
Take care!
Luca (Rome, Italy)

Tas said...

Sjors,

Just a small note to say a big thank you for your fabulous and thorough review.

My GW-3000 1AER is now on my wrist after waiting an excruciating twenty-one days for delivery from Amazon.co.uk. (I should've ordered from Tiktox like you suggested)

The watch is stunning!
Thanks again,
Tas

Stabilo Soleh said...

Hi Sjors,

I'm thinking of buying this watch. However, when I did my research, I found out that the model from thewatchhut.co is a bit different. Here is the link to the website I mentioned:

http://www.thewatchhut.co.uk/Casio-G+Shock-Chrono-Watch-GW+3000B+1AER.html

Is Tiktox a trustful online store? How about the warranty and authenticity of the product and also the return policy if somehow I'm not satisfied with the goods delivered?

The thewatchhut.co looks more secure. But I want the vivid orange model with tough movement, not the fade orange model with WR20BAR as pictured by the website.

I really hope to hear your opinion. Thanks so much.

Kind Regards,
Naufal

Sjors said...

Hello Stabilo,

The watch in your link is the same as the watch in my review. The photo's on that watchside seem a bit faded to me.

I have purchased a lot of times from Tiktox. Within most places in Europe they have fast shipping. As the Watch Hut seems to be a UK store I assume you are from the UK too. Frankly I do not know the Watch Hut, but that's probably due to the fact I live in the Netherlands.

I checked the availability on both websites. They seem all sold out.

Cheers,

Sjors

baia0606 said...

Hello,

Could you tell me the size of your wrist ?
I'm really interested by this watch
but i have a small wrist of 6.8 inch
and i think be too much.

Thanks

Sjors said...

Hello Baia0606,

I think my wrists are about 7.0 to 7.2 inch. I think the watch look pretty much the same on your wrist, as it look son mine.

Cheeers,

Sjors

sudeep said...

Dear Brother,

I've purchased a GW 30000 B from Texas, US.

I find that the date and day changes at noon instead of midnight, with Del selected as home city, STD and not DST and timing perfect in the lowermost 24 Hr dial as per AM/PM.

Please help me out...

Sudeep,
Goa, India.

Sjors said...

Hello Sudeep,

I have no idea what's wrong with your GW-3000. Does it receive the signal from China? Did you perform a "Hands Home" procedure. Did you set it on Del in World Time mode? There could be a number of things that were set wrong. It's not an easy watch to set up in the first place (if you have set it up, it works perfect). I hope you can find out what causes this 12 hour switch. Regarding that you say the 24 hour dial is right, I assume you already dug deep in the manual.

You might try asking on the G-Shock forum. There might be people who have more recent experience with this watch than I have.

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f17/

Kind regards,

Sjors

peter said...

Hi
Im having trouble setting the time on my watch. How do i go about setting the time.

Regards

Peter