Specifically, this is Casio’s AWG101-1A G-Shock Multi-Band Solar Atomic Analog watch. What a long name. Anyway, back in the 90’s, G-Shock watches were all the rage. They had big digital faces, looked tough and could take a beating on the schoolyard playground. The traditional G-Shock watches were all digital and had a light-up function that wowed all your friends. They came in every single color possible as long as you chose black. It was as traditional a digital tough watch as you could get, and there was good reason why it gained a cult-like following.
Today’s G-Shock line has a whole ton of derivatives and brand-specific lines. They range from multicolored BAPE editions to military-inspired chronographs to the original full digital watch. This specific G-Shock that I have here is a hybrid of digital and analog technology. It blends the best of both worlds and presents it in a complex yet efficient design.
First, let’s address the Solar Atomic technology that’s proudly displayed as “Tough Solar” on the face of the watch. Basically what this means is that the face of the watch acts as a solar cell and can replenish its power reserve through exposure to sunlight. It also means that the watch has an atomic signal receptor that synchronizes to the nearest atomic clock station in order to provide the most accurate time possible. Therefore, there’s no need to adjust the hand dials at all, which is a great thing for techno-nerds and lazy people alike.
Second, the analog timekeeping of the watch might offend some G-Shock purists. Instead of a digital readout of the time, there is a traditional 2-hand face that keeps time for you. Personally, I highly prefer analog timekeeping to digital timekeeping, which is partly the reason why I chose this style of G-Shock over others. It just feels more classic, and I can get a sense of the time just with a quick glance (something not possible with a digital readout).
Thirdly, the digital portion of this watch is quite interesting. There are three readouts. One for the date, one for the seconds timekeeping, and one for a timezone reading. These are all practical things to keep in mind, and though some people complain about the readability of these displays, I find them to be quite adequate. There isn’t anything too innovative with the digital displays or functionality, but they work as advertised, so no complaints.
Overall, the weight is light (good for a watch of this nature) but still feels solid on the wrist. The timekeeping hasn’t skipped a beat ever since I unboxed it and has even kept the date reading accurate as well. I’ve only spent a month with the watch, but it’s been a reliable performer and offers versatility in a sporty/casual timepiece that doesn’t break the bank at under $100. If you’re looking for something to wear to work or on the weekends and don’t need anything fancy, the G-Shock is a great way to start out. Japanese quartz movement and digital versatility combine for a very compelling and complete package.