I’m only doing a mini review of the Casio G-Shock GW-1310 because it is almost identical to the G-Shock GW-1100 that I reviewed late last year with just a few subtle differences. Before reading what’s different between the two watches, you should probably check out that review first, if you haven’t already. Here’s a quick recap of the features the two watches have in common.
- Solar powered.
- Atomic timekeeping.
- World time.
- Five daily alarms.
- Auto-repeating countdown timer.
- Water resistant to 200 meters, or 600 feet.
- Shock resistant.
- Scratch-resistant mineral crystal.
(Check out the GW-1100 review for a much more detail description of these features.)
The GW-1310 is a newer watch, and has been updated in the following ways:
- Nicer band: The band on the GW-1310 is a big improvement. It is textured, and does a much better job of keeping the watch and the excess portion of the band in place.
- LED light: Rather than an electroluminescent backlight behind the LCDs, the GW-1310 has two very bright LEDs (light-emitting diode) at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions which easily illuminate the entire watch. Which is better really depends on what you want to see. If you want to be able to see the LCDs in the dark, the GW-1100 is better, but if you want to be able to see the analog hands and the watch face, the GW-1310 is what you want. (Personally, I prefer the LED on the GW-1310 since I usually just want to check the time.)
- Smaller: The GW-1310 is slightly smaller and less conspicuous, which, for a G-Shock, is a good thing. Big black plastic G-Shocks are cool, but all things being equal, I’ll generally pick the smaller option.
- Different LCD configuration: As you can see from the picture on the right, the LCDs are arranged differently on the GW-1310. The LCD configuration on the GW-1310 probably makes it slightly easier to determine subtle things like whether power saving mode is enabled, or the hourly time signal is turned on, but both watches are legible enough.
- Buttons: The buttons on the GW-1310 have been slightly improved, as well. The are just as easy to operate, but slightly less conspicuous.
- Hands: Again, comparing the two pictures, you can see that the hands on the GW-1310 are slightly different. I actually like the GW-1100’s red hour hand as it makes it slightly easier to distinguish from the minute hand at a glace, but both are fine.
- Availability: It’s very unusual that I find a Japanese watch that I really like and that’s actually available in the US, but the GW-1310 is one exception. I’ve never seen one in a store, but both the red and blue versions are available on Casio’s site for $250. Of course, that’s retail, which means they can be had for much less with a little shopping around. (I actually can’t remember where I got mine, but I’m sure I didn’t pay that much.)
If you’re a G-Shock fan, this is definitely one to check out. It’s one of the nicest plastic G-Shocks that I’ve reviewed, and although they aren’t as easy to get as your typical Fossil, at least you probably won’t have to hit up your Japanese connection for one of these.
By Christian Cantrell