Pardon if you don’t care for such things as pointing out what watches people in films and on TV are wearing. Some people are vividly obsessed with game of  “watch spotting.” And when I dedicate to watching a show, I am pretty keen on spotting what timepieces people are wearing. Being a fan of survival shows (total guilty pleasure), I’ve noticed what Les Stroud wore in Survivorman, and what Bear Grylls has been wearing over the past several seasons of Man vs. Wild (on the Discovery Channel). As many fans of the watch know, Bear started with higher-end watches such as a Breitling Emergency and then a Bremont and started to get more reasonable with the watches he beats up. The last two watches he was wearing have been Casios. These of course make great choices given their operation and value (not to mention durability), but I have a feeling Casio is helping him out by providing suitable watches for his tasks. Not that there is anything wrong with this. I think it is good to display suitable gear that is affordable to most of the show’s viewers, and if a watch deserves to be in a show like this, it is a Casio.

As nature survival series go, Man vs. Wild is pretty entertaining. I often want the show to be longer, showing more detailed elements of survival in harsh areas of the world without relying on most of the “tools of civilization” we rely on. I’ve also been getting into another survival show called Apocalypse Man (on the History Channel). This show is similar in concept, but sort of the reverse. The guy here wears a Nike digital watch I am pretty sure, but at the end of the show in the credits, there is a clear message thanking Casio. Maybe the crew has them. Apocalypse man is all about a guy trying to survive in a post apocalyptic world. He is in cities, but they are totally devoid of people. So he has to scavenge and build things – it is pretty cool. Sad and sort of humorous is that the cities he is in that are all ghost town are probably in Louisiana (post Katrina) and in Michigan. What the shows have in common aside from the survivalist slant, is that they are both “looking for other people.” Bear is looking to get rescued while the Apocalypse man is just looking for other (friendly) humans. I do recommend it if you get a chance to see it. That of course goes for both shows.

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Looks like Bear has a penchant for analog hand watches. His Casio Dynamic Wave Ceptor watch was analog, and so is this Casio G-Shock AWG101-1A watch (aka AWG101 or AWG-101). While each of these watches has analog hands, they also have LCD screens for other information. I’d say that most Casio watches are all digital. It wasn’t easy to pinpoint the exact model on Casio G-Shock watch, so there is a small chance it might be another model – though that is unlikely. At $130 retail, the watch is a good deal (pretty much all Casio watches are). The watch is light powered (Tough Solar as Casio calls it), and atomic clock radio controlled (5 band). This at least means that watch won’t need a new battery even if you are out of the range of the atomic clock radio signals.

The AWG101 also has the usual bevy of G-Shock features from stopwatch, to countdown timer, calendar, 48 city world time, alarm, and LED backlight. By the way, these newer LED backlights are great. Back when I was a kid and had Casio watches, the little light was useful, but anything but bright. Over the last several years the LED backlights Casio puts in the watches pack a mean bright punch. Given the smaller nature of the three reserve tone LCD screens some of these features are on the harder side to use or read, but the watch does perform them all. Move up to more expensive Casio watches and you get more features like fancier chronograph or countdown functions and more alarms.

I am waiting for the day that we have super tiny power efficient GPS modules in these watches so that higher-end Casio Pathfinder or G-Shock models will automatically tell you sunrise/sunset time and tidal data no matter where you are without having to set the watch. How cool will that be? The implications are almost endless to the new functionality you could have in the watches. You see Bear thrashing the watch around and swimming with it. Being a G-Shock watch with its tough resin shell and 200 meters of water resistance, it can take just about anything. I know that Bear could have opted for a fancier G-Shock model, but I like that is chose a mid range one for his most recent set of adventures.

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