Casio say that the G-Shock GW3000-BD is specifically designed to match the needs of any pilot but dont let that put you off because I think it meets the needs of any soldier as well and wearing it wont make you want to dress in coveralls don aviator specs and stand under a chip bag hat.
The specifications are pretty impressive
There are no digital displays everything is analogue but you get day and date, a 24 hour dial an home city 24 dial and a stopwatch.
- Automatic Time Calibration from radio controlled atomic clocks.
- 29 pre-set time zones including daylight saving on/off.
- Solar powered.
- Neobrite luminous hands and markers.
- Water resistant to 200m
- Shock resistant
- Resistant to up to 15g's. (Enough even for Lord Flashheart)
- Alarm function (Up to 4 a day)
My initial impression on getting this watch is that its chunky and robust and better looking for real than it is in the pictures. I though the G-shocks were all rubberised so I was surprised that in fact it solid lump of metal metal. Painted black in a mixture of matt and satin finishes with a black face. The hands, numbers and other marks on the face are easy to see and the neobrite luminous finish looks green/blue in normal lighting and hold its luminosity well in the dark.
The solar panel is in the face and will pick up power from normal lighting. It charges a battery which should last up to 5 months in the dark from fully charged.
One unusual feature is that it has four buttons, Adjust, Mode, on the left Split/Reset and Start/Stop on the right but no crown or adjustable winder.
I have a Tissot T-touch which I think is quite a smart piece of kit but nobody has ever commented on it so Ive been quite surprised at the number of people who have noticed the G-shock and mentioned much they liked the look of it.
When I got the watch it was set for Paris time. Setting it to London (ie UK) time was initially quite complicated and required several goes using the instruction manual which is not as user friendly as it could be. Once Id got the hang of changing that the other functions were much easier to follow and use.
Although I have heard of Radio controlled Atomic Timekeeping before I had never used it before. Using the buttons you set the watch to the city of the time zone you want and the watch sets itself to the time. The watch also updates itself several times a day as part of normal jogging.
There were a couple of aspects of this that I thought could cause concern. Changing the time when you are in an aeroplane and synchronising watches or being out of range of the radio control signal. Actually its reasonably simple. On an aeroplane changing the city code to the time zone of your destination the watch will advance or go back to the correct time and will update itself when it picks up a signal.
To synchronise watches you will need to switch to manual mode. Quite easy to do once youve got the hang of it but again the manual is not as easy to follow as it could be so I recommend you practise a few times. Manys the time I spent synching with the domestic Chief-of-staff. How the long winter nights just fly by at HQ BA. Maybe Im sad but learning on the hoof during an O Group would not be wise. You also need to remember to keep it in manual setting or it will update itself back to real time.
The alarm function is much simpler to operate the desired alarm is set using the buttons. The alarm is set using the buttons and can be set to on or off. The bleep isnt loud enough to wake me but Ive found plenty of other uses for it.
The stopwatch is also quite easy to use and claims to be accurate to 1/100 of a second. It has an elapsed time so you can stop it to read the time and restart without losing your overall time. Seconds are read by the second hand, 1/100th of a second from the world time dial and minutes and hours on the 24 hour dial. It can only measure up to 24 hours but by then youve failed your PFA and CFT anyway. OK its always going to be better to have a proper stopwatch for timekeeping but as a backup or in emergencies its more than up to the job.
The watch I was sent comes with a metal bracelet in satin/matt black accented with a little gloss black and adds to the overall robust look of the watch. I needed to remove a couple of links which was relatively simple as each link is attached by a standard watch spring bar which can be removed with a pin or knife.
I dont normally like bracelet watch straps because they tend to pull the hairs out of my wrist which becomes quite uncomfortable and looks bloody odd with a hairless band but I did not find this an issue with this watch.
This is just as well because the bracelet is not attached to the watch by a normal spring bar but by screws going from the bracelet on the outside through the watch on the inside. I couldnt take a photo that would show this so Ive drawn a picture to illustrate it. Im not sure how you would go about it if you really did want to change the bracelet for something else.
Ive had this watch for a month. Ive worn it on exercise on the ranges on my motorcycle I have not been especially careful with it and to date its showing no scratches or other cracks, lumps or bumps. Once youve got the hang of it the functions are easy enough to use and are quite useful and its a good looking piece of kit.