Casio Edifice EQW-M1000DB-1ACR

Today's review is of the Casio Edifice EQW-M1000DB-1ACR, introduced at Basel 2009. It's a multifunction analog quartz watch with an unusual dial.

  • Six-band atomic set (Japan, US, UK, Germany and China - state of the art).
  • Tough solar power. This is Casio's G-Shock technology, meaning its shock-resistant solar power with a rechargeable battery.
  • Five motors driving the various hands and dials.
  • World time (29 cities, as seen around the chapter ring).
  • Daily alarm.
  • 1/20th of a second stopwatch.
  • Countdown timer.
  • PVD-plated tachemeter bezel.
  • Stainless steel case, and solid-link bracelet with push release.
  • Mineral crystal.
In my opinion, this watch represents Casio's competition to the Oceanus models. It's got a very similar feature set and a list price of $450. What sets it apart immediately is the striking two-level dial. As you can see, the lower left portion is about 3mm lower than the rest, showing an asymmetric 24-hour dial that mostly looks cool. It also resembles the structure of a balance wheel in a mechanical watch, which I suspect was deliberate. The upper dial level is translucent, showing a bit of the under-structure, and the overall effect is pleasant and intriguing.

There are several design touches around the dial to note: the applied hour markers at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o'clock that resemble slotted screw heads, the nice even PVD finish on the contrasting bezel, the unusual use of a marker-on-dial for the indicator at 10 o'clock, and the deeply inset 24-hour dial at 2 o'clock. A lot of thought and effort went into how the watch presents, which is something you'll appreciate as you wear it long-term.

In terms of function, this Casio is, as you'd expect, a laundry list of awesome. No one does quartz like Casio, Citizen, and Seiko -- as of this posting there isn't another manufacture that has radio-reception, solar and multi-motor analog. The triple play of solar, atomic, and quartz means that you never have to change the battery, never have to set the time, and never have to sweat when daylight savings takes effect. OK, you might need to if you're outside radio reception. However, six-band receive means that even less of the Earth is in that category. Rounding out the feature list with alarm and countdown means there's nothing to miss here.

I think Casio aimed this watch at someone who travels and wants a single watch. It straddles the border between dressy and sporty quite well; I consider it unobtrusive in both settings. The low-profile shape and sleek bezel let it slip without effort under dress shirts, and the stainless steel and 100m (330ft) water resistance mean it's good for everything short of a full SCUBA dive. The bracelet is solid, comfortable, and has a simple two-button side release, which lacks the flip lock of more sporty watches. Since it has standard lugs, you can also change it out for a strap if you like. Given the dial complexity, the hands are easy to read at a glance. The dark red seconds hand also presents a nice bit of color without being too obvious. The 2 o'clock dial, used for the second time zone, countdown timer and stopwatch, is a bit small to read precisely, so if you really need exact timing, you might be better off with a digital dial. The dial indicator at 10 o'clock spins once per second in stopwatch mode, making a interesting whirl of light from the grooves before stopping after one minute elapses. (When you stop the stopwatch, it spins to the final reading.) Weight is reasonable at 160g, and the watch is well-balanced by the mass of the bracelet.Left-side

From the sides, you can see the button guards and buttons. The right-side button has the Casio logo on it -- a nice touch.

Overall, this is an excellent maintenance-free watch for those who want a bit of style without trying to show off. The 3D dial gives you something to appreciate in a unique style, and the solid Casio movement means never having to worry about the timekeeping. The list price of $450 is good value, and you can probably find it online for even less. Casio for the win!Bracelet-and-back

Our thanks to Casio PR for the loan of this review unit. Much appreciated.
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