With the 2011 Casio G-Shock G-Aviation Ana-Digi (Ref. GW3500B-1A), the Japanese electronics maker has just updated its analog-digital quartz G-Aviation series with a new model that offers an even more contrasting color scheme, while delivering the same extensive list of functions.
Powered by the same Caliber 5064 quartz movement as the previous iterations, the new GW3500B-1A offers the usual set of useful functions, those including self-adjusting of hands in order to avoid misalignment with hour markers due to shocks and such; synchronization with atomic clocks all over the world; an ultra-precise 1/1000th of a second chronograph; GMT indication and electronic alarm for frequent travelers; stop-watch and, well, if you name a function, it will possibly be there in the list.
What is new here is a slightly reworked, even more rugged case and a high-contrast black and yellow color scheme, which makes the GW3500B even more remarkable on a wrist.
As usual for the G-Shock line, the black resin-clad body is predictably huge measuring 49 millimeters in diameter, more than 50 millimeters from lug to lug, and more than 15.5 millimeters mineral top to solid bottom. What is unusual, is the weight of this thing: according to official specs, the gadget tips the scales at approximately 180 grams. Well, I don’t know, maybe it is just some mistake, I’ll hold my judgment till one of these interesting specimens comes to my wrist and I’ll be able to write a more thorough hands-on review following up this “initial impression” kind of job.
As you can see, the dial of the new G-Shock features a pair of back-lit LCD displays and a pair of sub-dials. The sub-dial at 9 o’clock displays the current mode and the sub-dial at 3 o’clock shows the time in the second time zone.
Since back-lighting and some other functions put a significant drain on the built-in battery, the G-Shock G-Aviation Ana-Digi (Ref. GW3500B-1A) is equipped with a tiny photovoltaic cell, which is especially effective when the watch is subjected to direct sunlight, but can also supply the GW3500B with juice under artificial lighting significantly extending life expectancy of the stock battery. But even if the backlighting sub-system fails for some reason, you are still good since the open-worked hour and minute hands, as well as the wide hour markers, are covered with luminescent compound, which is bright enough to read time in any situation.
According to the Japanese company, the new Casio G-Shock G-Aviation Ana-Digi (Ref. GW3500B-1A) will soon be available in major stores at a price of around $250, which makes it an interesting proposition. I mean, for the price you are getting a wristwatch that is not just as rugged as army boots but is also as precise as a GPS-guided projectile, and as cool as an old-school jet fighter.
Oh, and, while I hate to say this, I think I should know that the watch is only “precise” as long as it receives a signal from an atomic clock station: the official deviation of +/- 15 seconds per month that the timepiece achieves without regularly getting a calibration signal is, well, not particularly impressive to say the least. So, if you know that getting a calibration signal may be problematic, you should probably look for a watch that is equipped with a more accurate mechanism that doesn’t need external help to compensate for its poor performance.
Casio G-Shock G-Aviation Ana-Digi (Ref. GW3500B-1A) specification
Movement: Quartz, Caliber 5064 (Module 5173,) Tough-Solar, Made in Japan
Movement decoration: Standard finish
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, stopwatch, second time-zone (GMT,) atomic clock, self-adjustment, Made in Japan
Size: 49.00 mm
Lug width: 27 mm
Case height: 15.60 mm
Dial: Grey and yellow / LCD
Hands: Steel, skeletonized, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters (660 ft.)