There is a special place in my heart for simple unpretentious watches – which are typically relatively inexpensive. The bread and butter of the watch world are timepieces like this, and they get the least attention. Countless hours and pages are spent on discussing ultra luxurious watches that will only ever be worn on the wrists of a handful of people – who probably like the looks and the idea of the watch more than the watch itself. For the countless watches out there worn by the everyday person, there is little to guide a potential purchase decisions. That is unfortunate because it is the “mainstream watch” whose sales really provide support for the industry that builds the best watches that we all aspire to own. So here is my review of worker watch, a rank and file Casio watch – and I think that you’ll be surprised as to how aptly it can serve you, and how it does some things much better than its aristocratic cousins.
Unlike most Casio watches, the Wave Ceptor is a analog watch, but has a tough time shedding the LCD screen that makes Casio such a hit. Thus, you have an easy to read analog face with an included digital window for extra information. You can even have the digital time and analog time in front of your face competing for your attention. I find it interesting which method of telling the time people will go to given the easy option. The analog face is about as straight forward as you could hope for. Arabic numerals in bright, easy to read white with applied lume, that are actually applied to the face versus just being painted on. The font is strong but simple. The hands are a good size with applied lume as well, and are perfect for telling you the time. Additional hour and number index marks all over the face make for fool-proof time reading. The look is instrumental, but not too boring – exactly what some people want. The face of the watch is actually semi-transparent. This is necessary to allow in light for the solar cells that charge the watch as it is light powered. Also visible in the slightly textured face of the watch are some vertical wires or rods, I believe these to be part of the antenna array set up to receive radio signals from atomic clocks all over the world, Fort Collins, CO here in the states.
Before talking more about the case of the watch I’d like to continue talking about the functionality, so such a simple looking watch, the Wave Ceptor WVA430J-1A does a lot. Four buttons on the case help with the operation which includes a calendar, stopwatch, world time, and 3 alarms (there is also a function to check the battery life, adjust the hands if they are knocked out of place, and for the radio signal receiver). The functions are easy to use but not visually branded all over the case. Some of the Casio G-Shock watches as designed to imply a degree of multi-functionality. This Wave Ceptor is sort of the opposite. Looking simple, but doing a lot. Each of these functions is operated using the LCD screen, via cycling function screens that any Casio owner will be familiar with. As is common in all atomic clock radio controlled watches, there is a lot of functionality and options there. You can set the watch to manually receive signals, set your area, and other important functions related to a watch that gives you the pleasure of knowing it is always correct. Casio has this aspect of the watch well integrated, but it will still require consulting with the guide at first for some education.
The default display on the screen can be changed at will to show the digital time, or the date. Sorting through the menus gives you an audible reassuring “beep.” Overal the watch is a breeze to use and live with. In addition to luminant used on the hands and markers, there is a backlight that can be activated for the LCD screen. This type of watch is the purest form of function I could imagine from a basic watch without too many other functions to dilute accomplishing a task with easy and competency. The level of polish in the watch is beguiling, but after seeing countless watches that haven’t “figured it out” or have superfluous elements there just for show, a utilitarian watch boils right down to this Casio Wave Ceptor.
The roughly 43mm wide case of the watch itself is done in a brushed metal. It is not the hardiest of cases, but be mindful of the value price. The case and strap together are also incredibly light. I mean almost impossibly so. This is a very light weight watch! Plus, the watch wears smaller than it actually is. You can tell that the resin strap is secured to the case. It is a plastic type material that is quite flexible, but not flimsy. This is another aspect of the watch that Casio has been able to perfect over the years. The strap fits comfortable and thankfully comes with a metal (rather than plastic) buckle. The buttons are large and easy to feel for even in the dark – which is nice.
Casio is really an impressive company. Watches are just one of the many things they do, and the incredible level of refinement in the operation and function of this watch is due to the fact that they pride themselves of supplying the planet with time telling instruments, meaning they have ample opportunity to fix every little problem they learn about. Here is another good thing; at $99, this watch does something that high-end $1500 plus quartz watches often cannot do. Now this might seem basic, but is important: the seconds hand lines up perfect with the markers as it ticks its away around the watch face. People who pay attention to their watch get really irritated when their watch has a seconds hand that does not light up properly. No worries here. A little touch that Casio does not neglect, and is telling of their overall attention to detail and pride in their product. The Wave Ceptor WVA430J-1A is not going to be the last watch you ever own, but it won’t let you down, and does its job without complaints – and not apologizing for not being a beauty pageant contestant. For these reason, this Casio gets aBlogtoRead.com’s Good Value Award for being and having all of the above and being under $100.