Watches Part 3: Tech watches

matthias on 2014/11/03, last updated on 2017/11/13

2017-11-13: I actually did stop caring about watches for quite a while after this. Still quite happy with the WS200H I ended up with.

I’m not sure if I really thought that I could stop after my last post on watches, but I certainly did more research after that. In my defense, I was looking at an entirely different kind of watch this time. These are all watches that have special functionality beyond keeping time.

Casio PAS400B-5V

This is one of very few watches that come with a vibration alert. It is unfortunately very large at 46x13mm and not exactly very elegant. Looks more like a tank to me. Nevertheless, at 35 USD, it’s not very pricey and there have been multiple instants over the last year where I would’ve wanted to be woken by vibration not by sound, e.g., because I was sleeping with earplugs. It has other features that outclass the dress watches but none that I care about compared to any other digital watch.

Picture taken from this WUS forum thread [Update: I have this on my wrist now; It is large as expected. I tested the vibration alarm over a couple of days. It works after some getting used to. I’m not sure whether it will reliably work under any circumstances, but I’m optimistic. The vibration is only 10 seconds long, but you can set multiple alerts.]

Pebble

2017-11-13: Bought it but didn’t like it that much. The sleep tracking turned out to be too complicated for me and I didn’t see a benefit.

The pebble watch is very peculiar being the first smartwatch. Born out of Kickstarter, I feel it has matured plenty since and its price dropped to 100 USD. It is still the only smartwatch that survives multiple days without charging. It also features a vibration alarm and the idea of using its accelerometer for sleep tracking is very appealing and I might get it just for that. In addition, you can upload any kind of stop watch or interval countdown timer that you imagine.

It is somewhat large at 52x36x11.5mm and not super beautiful to me, but pretty enough.

Reviews abound on gadget web sites, not on watch-focused pages. I’m more or less sold to be honest; just need to figure out the color.

After some more research I found that you can customize this baby quite a bit. Reddit has a decent overview and a gallery. I like the combinations of fake steel with brown leather band. (Photos from reddit gallery)

Casio W756-1AVCR

Module 3100 is a powerhouse, albeit a weird one. Having the watch in hand, what’s bugging me is the way the stop watch operates. It’s essentially one large clock that you can’t pause to measure overall game duration and a smaller one that can be paused to obtain the actually played time. Why they chose to make the interruptible one the smaller one and omit hundredths of seconds there is beyond me. This essentially means you can’t time sprints with this watch. Oh well. There’s a countdown timer with 10 preset times (unclear to me why). The interval countdown timer is the real strength of this watch. It performs as I would expect it. Overall, I’m not too thrilled though. I miss my WS-110H. It could do all of that, plus it had a regular stop watch with lap memory. Unfortunately, the display doesn’t work properly anymore after 4 years and I can’t source a new one. I sent this back for a refund.

##┬áCasio WS200H-1AVCF 2017-11-13: I have had this watch for a while now and I think it does have an interval timer after all. I’m not sure why I felt differently when I first wrote this.

This solar watch with countdown, but not interval timer (still rare!) comes in a reasonable 42x13mm case. It’s less than 40 USD, so I don’t care too much about its somewhat rugged look.

WUS Review is here. Actually, the reviewer there claims it does have an interval timer. That may be reason enough to buy two of them. The module number is 3197 and the manual confirms the interval timer. I’m excited.