One of the good things about a G-Shock fan is that there are so darn many models out there. And they’re updated frequently, so if you don’t see what you want, it’ll be there sooner than you think. We’ve reviewed quite a few G-Shocks, and think that they represent excellent value and function. Today’s review is of the AWG101-1V, an analog-digital watch very similar to the GW-1310. Compared to the 1310, this one uses a red hour hand and reverse LCD displays (black on white) but is otherwise of similar style. As with all G-Shocks, you get a tremendous amount of functionality:
- Tough solar, shock resistant with a 7 month power reserve.
- Waterproof to 200m (660ft)
- Mineral crystal, well-protected by the bezel and protecting plastic bits.
- Analog hour and minute hand, seconds are on the 3 o’clock LCD display
- Stopwatch, 1/100th second resolution, up to 1 hour.
- 6-minute countdown timer.
- Automatic backlight that illuminates on wrist twist in the dark. Illumination is a yellow LED at 6 o’clock, so the LED displays are not readable.
- Single simple alarm, optional hourly chime
- Metal case, resin band.
- 5-band ‘atomic’ timekeeping, meaning that it receives radio signals up to six times per day to set the time. This one works with both Japanese stations, WWVB in the US, Mainflingen in Germany and Rugby in England. There are newer G-Shocks that also receive in China, but 5-band is pretty normal. The display at 6 o’clock shows which signal was last received.
- If there’s no radio reception, it’s accurate within 15 seconds per month.
Street price is about $120USD, in line with the majority of G-Shocks, representing an excellent value for a nearly indestructible watch. I had previously owned a GW-1310, and this is a nice improvement in small ways: The hour hand makes the time more readable at a glance, and the bronze bezel is understated and attractive. The watch is quite subdued as G-Shocks go, with the reverse LCD displays giving a nice touch of the unusual.
The AWG101-1V also has some other improvements that I greatly appreciate. For one, you can see in this picture that the band has notches on the inside. You don’t notice them while wearing it, but the strap keeper is held in place by them, and thus the end of the strap doesn’t work loose while you’re active. A nice touch, that.
Casio also added luminescent material to the face of the watch on the hands and indices, which unfortunately fades quite quickly. I hope they decide to add Superluminova or Lumibrite, as that’d greatly add to the visibility of the watch at night.
As you’d expect with a G-Shock, the watch is comfortable to wear and legendarily durable. This one bears no marks from several sessions with my toddler, who inflicts a lot of damage.
As you can see from the wrist shots, it’s reasonably low-profile at 46mm by 14mm. The curved strap hugs the wrist nicely, and the buckle is similarly slim and comfortable.
I may just be getting on, but I found the LCDs a bit difficult to read from normal viewing distances. They digits are quite small, although crisp and clear, and the even smaller mode indicators such as ‘alarm on’ are only a few millimeters across. Not a watch for the aged, at least if you need the digital portions – the analog hands are of course very legible at a glance. On a similar note, I hope that they add backlighting to the LCDs, as the current system isn’t usable at night.
Overall, a solid G-Shock, solid as a rock and excellent value for your money.
By Paul Hubbard