I’m a big fan of Casio’s MRG line of watches (as evidenced by my recent review of the MRG-7500BJ), but there’s no question that they are expensive. Fortunately, Casio created the MTG line of watches for those of us who want all the features of the MRG line (and even a few more), and are willing to compromise on the quality of the materials in order to get them.
Although lacking the highly scratch resistant DLC (Diamond-like Carbon) coating of the high-end MRGs, and the nearly scratch-proof sapphire crystal, Casio’s MTG series sacrifices absolutely nothing in terms of features. In fact, the MTG-1500 even comes away with significantly more functionality than anything in the MRG line, as well as a very unique style all its own.
Features of the Casio MTG-1500-1AJF include:
- Steel and resin construction. Both the case and the bracelet are an interesting and very unusual combination of metal and resin which give it impact resistance and, in my opinion, a very cool look. The push-button clasp is mostly steel with two little rubber bumpers on the bottom to prevent it from getting scratched.
- Integrated analog and digital displays for very easy access to a huge wealth of features. I like analog watches, but I also like a lot of features that purely analog watches can’t handle. The answer is to integrate a few unobtrusive LCDs that handle everything else other than main time. In addition to three separate LCDs, the MTG-1500 also has two subdials: one for the chronograph, and one that doubles as a mode indicator, and battery charge gauge.
- Six-band atomic timekeeping. That means the MTG-1500 can calibrate with every atomic clock in the world (Fort Collins, Colorado; Fukushima, Japan; Fukuoka, Japan; Shangqiu, China; Mainflingen, Germany; and Anthorn, England). With a signal range of between 600 and 2,000 miles per transmitter, that covers a very significant percentage of the world. Calibration happens automatically six times per day (at night), and can be also be done manually. The watch will automatically select the correct frequency over which to calibrate depending on your home city.
- Solar powered with multiple power-saving modes. The MTG-1500 can operate for six months during active use with no light whatsoever. That means as long as you occasionally see the light of day, you’ll never have to worry about keeping the watch charged, or replacing a battery. In power-saving mode, the watch will continue to function for about 20 months.
- Dual time. This is different from world time (which the MTG-1500 has, as well). Dual time allows you to specify a second time zone in addition to your home location which you can optionally display on the lower LCD. This is extremely useful for those of us who work with people in other time zones and need to be able to watch both time zones simultaneously (without changing modes).
- World time. Unlike dual time, world time is its own separate mode which supports 48 cities (29 different time zones), and shows the date as well as the time. You can also hold down the upper left and right buttons simultaneously while in world time mode to swap your world time city with your home city. This is very useful for people who frequently travel between two time zones. Once the two cities are swapped, the watch will automatically start receiving whichever time calibration signal is appropriate for the new home time.
- Stopwatch. The stopwatch on the MTG-1500 is goes up to 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59.99 seconds in increments of 1/100th of a second. The stopwatch subdial (at the 3 o’clock position) measures in increments of 1/20th of a second. You can also measure one split time.
- Countdown timer. The countdown timer can be set for times between one and 60 minutes. The countdown timer can also be set to auto-repeat which means it will start again at the beginning, and keep track of the number of cycles (from one to eight).
- Five daily alarms with one snooze alarm which repeats at five minute intervals until you change modes. In alarm mode, you can also toggle the hourly “chime.”
- Fully automatic calendar, of course.
- LED illumination. A tiny yellow LED at the six o’clock position illuminates the entire dial of the watch and makes it easily readable in low-light conditions. It can also be configured to activate automatically in the dark when the watch is tilted toward you at an angle of more than 40 degrees. The MTG-1500 has decent (not as good as the MRG’s) luminescent paint on the hour and minute hands, and a little on the hour indices, but in the middle of the night, you’ll definitely appreciate the LED. Casio got the brightness of this LED perfect, unlike the two LEDs on the GW-1310 I reviewed several years ago which are so bright that they hurt your eyes to look at them in the middle of the night.
- Automatic hand correction. Like the Casio G-Shock GS-1200-1AJF, the movement in the MTG-1500 automatically checks each hour to see if the hour and minute hands need to be realigned, and if so, aligns them properly. It’s possible for hands to get out of alignment if the watch is exposed to strong magnetism or sustains an extremely hard shock (which none of us at Watch Report have ever seen happen, but according to Casio, it’s possible). This calibration is done using internal LEDs that, each hour, make sure the hour and minute hands are where they are supposed to be, and if not, the movement automatically fixes them. You can also correct them manually, or trigger the correction operation manually.
- Water resistant to 200 meters, or about 650 feet.
- 47mm wide, 15.9mm high, and 130g.
For people like me who love high-precision watches with an abundance of features, there’s nothing not to like about the Casio G-Shock MTG-1500. At less than $500USD, even the price is extremely attractive for this level of technology. Of course, the MTG-1500 isn’t available in US, but it can be had through all the usual means. I personally guarantee that it’s well worth your trouble.
By Christian Cantrell