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There’s no denying that watches are a jewellery item as much as they are a functional one. They have to look good or you won’t want to wear them (unless of course, you were using them purely as a tool watch). Fortunately, the GST-B200-1AER is very kind to the eye; it’s a visually striking, sporty watch that can easily be worn in a variety of applications, with a strong feature set. I bought it last year and it’s a regular on my wrist.
It houses Casio’s new Carbon Core Guard technology. Casio states that by adding carbon fibre to the case material rather than just standard resin, the overall strength and ruggedness of the timepiece is improved, even further than standard G-Shocks. Obviously, I can’t verify if this is true because in practice all G-Shocks are designed to be tough, and I don’t personally participate in extreme sports or situations where this would be tested on a regular basis. It’s an interesting feature nonetheless, but admittedly the other specs attract me more.
A large stainless steel bezel protects the watch, contrasting nicely with the jet black plastic band. It feels good on the wrist. Compared with the GST-B100-1A, the B200 model is much less bulky and has, in my opinion, a superior design. While I do wear it’s predecessor occasionally, the B100’s very large size can become uncomfortable and sweaty as the day goes on. With the GST-B200-1A though, I don’t get that same problem and it feels really comfy throughout the day. This is no doubt due to the fact it’s diameter has been reduced by around 2.6mm, and the crown area does not protrude to the same degree. The better case design is a big selling point for me.
The dial is fairly sleek but somewhat cluttered. Of course, being an analogue-digital watch, with a negative digital window, this is a typical criticism, and I’m not the biggest fan of negative displays due to legibility. The LCD on this model is somewhat legible, and pressing the light feature sufficiently illuminates it. I think the dial markers should be fully coloured white and lumed though, not just the outer sides of them, as I think this would make reading the time easier when using the hands.
The resin strap is really comfy; I would say it’s softer and more supple than typical Casio plastic straps. It helps keep the watch light, and not too heavy (it’s only around 87g). There is also a bracelet version (GST-B200D-1A). I actually ordered the bracelet from a Casio supplier in the UK, and I can confirm that it is interchangeable with the non-bracelet model (the GST-B200-1A model I’m reviewing). So you can wear the rubber or steel bracelet on each model if you so wish (the steel bracelet is very good too with a nice push-button clasp). This increases the appeal of the watch for those who prefer bracelets generally.
Another central feature is the Bluetooth connectivity. You can very easily sync it to your smartphone’s time by downloading the G-Shock Connected app. This is a useful feature if you travel frequently, because you can get it to adjust to your phones time without having to manually set the time in each destination. I don’t like keeping Bluetooth turned on, however, due to the additional battery consumption of the phone, so I turn it on every few weeks to re-sync the time. Disappointingly, though, the watch does NOT contain radio-controlled atomic time, which I feel it should do for the price point. Multi-band 6 would negate the need to connect to your phone with Bluetooth (if the time sync was all you were bothered about), as it would adjust automatically in any atomic-time enabled zone (such as the UK).
The timepiece is powered by Tough Solar technology, so its battery recharges from light sources. When you use a solar watch you don’t want to go back to standard battery, because solar watches last so much longer (I believe it is around 10 years, and even then you can replace them). It will even charge under alternative light sources, such as fluorescent lamps. I’ve used many Tough Solar watches and it has always been easy to keep the battery ‘high’, which is something I was worried about before purchasing years ago.
It contains the standard G-Shock feature set of 200m water resist, calendar, world time, alarm, stop-watch etc. I generally use most of these functions on my smartphone however, but I swim with it when I can.
- Attractive, striking appearance (combines stainless and plastic very well)
- Bluetooth connectivity (sync with phone time anywhere in the world)
- Very comfortable resin strap
- Extra protection with Carbon Core Guard feature
- Sized appropriately (far less bulky than GST-B100-1A)
- 200m water resist
- Dial markers lack contrast and full lume
- Lacks radio-controlled time (no Multi-Band 6 function)
- Negative LCD sub-display only moderately legible
A versatile everyday beater that can be worn in a business/smart casual setting as well as sports/outdoor environments. Useful feature set and comfortable, lightweight feel. I approve.
If you want to buy the watch, you can do so on Amazon here.
If you prefer the bracelet version, you can buy here:
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