Ultimate or “old hat”?

The problem with your “ultimate” watch is that it could be just an illusion, for technology inexorably marches ever onwards at a frightening pace, so today’s “ultimate” can very quickly become tomorrow’s “old hat”!

Of course you have to define “ultimate” as it’s not the same thing to each of us.

Casio PRW3000t-7

Casio PRW3000t-7 – today’s ultimate ABC watch?

And do we want to wear our “ultimate” watch or do we wear a “daily beater” everyday watch that meets our basic needs and keep that “ultimate” model for special quiet times, like quality time with the family.   And we all have our favorite wants in a watch, features that suit our lifestyle and that we then feel really comfortable wearing.

The model that spends most of it’s time on my wrist I suppose is one that’s around 15 years old now and set simply to show me, in one glance, the time (analog), the day and the date (digital), it’s titanium, has a single crown, good lume, good water resistance and is a neat size.   The fact that it also has hidden functionality such as an Alarm, a chronograph, countdown timer and a dual time is nice, though in all honesty I rarely use them.

Breitling02

Been wearing this for 15 years – and difficult to beat!

In fact this model has been part of me for so long now that perhaps this is my “ultimate” watch – a daily beater and an ultimate watch – now that would be something.    And in truth I reckon this is probably the truth of it, but being a “watch” person, there’s always something new and exciting coming along that’s bound to tempt me – perhaps functions or looks, whatever – just something that has that “ultimate” appeal.

So what’s my ultimate model today? – silly question I know, but rather apt as it happens and today my ultimate I suppose is the watch model that manages to really interest me enough to buy one – get in on the wrist – and soon!

I did a list of what features I’d consider on this ultimate model and here it is –

Radio Control – not absolutely essential but does ensure correct, time, day etc.
World Time – great for traveling so I know the time zone is correct.
Auto calendar – goes without saying. and covered by RC anyway.
Solar – no battery to ever worry about.
Water Resistant – to at least 100m, so swimming is OK.
Timer/countdown – useful for parking, cooking etc.
Alarm – very useful – if you can hear it.
(chronograph) – not a necessity for me – never use them.
Sensible size – I do NOT want a silly oversize watch – period!
Back light – if digital a necessity.
luminous hands – if analog or ana/digi – essential
Extras –
Digital Compass – yes – could be really useful, especially on holiday.
Barometer – yes – useful again on walks etc.
Altimeter – yes – useful on walks etc.
Thermometer – no – not a requirement for me.

That’s my list and it certainly narrows the field down, especially when you consider I want this lot in a sensible sized watch, not an oversize one.  In fact it narrows the choice down to just 2 models.   One from Switzerland and not actually available today, but later this year, the other from Japan.   One ana/digi, the other digital only.

The first model on my wish list and shown at the tops of the page, has to be the Casio Pro-trek PRW3000T-7ER an ABC model which is Solar and Radio Controlled, which makes it a rather special thing altogether, especially with the new v3 sensor ABC technology efficiency which allows amongst other things, a considerable reduction in the case dimensions (long overdue in my opinion).
I particularly like this Titanium bracelet version (there is a rubber strap and a textured strap version too).  This one has the positive digital display, rather than less clear negative one.    I suppose for me the lack of analog hands makes me slightly uncomfortable as I’m so used to traditionally glancing at hands to read time, but I have to admit this digital layout is actually very clear.  There’s no doubt that Casio have got these displays down to a fine art – Suunto, Garmin and others take note.

So a very clever watch this with the new upgraded sensors and quicker refresh/sampling and better accuracy.   From what I’ve seen already the ABC functions are very lively and the case is not as bulky or cluttered AND of course substantially smaller and thinner than previous models.

My second choice is the wonderful Tissot T Touch Expert Solar ABC model recently announced and not before time, having been asked for by so many for so long and a true competitor to Casio and Suunto.  It’s certainly the nicest looking of all of them in my opinion, though the price I suspect will reflect it’s Swiss heritage.

Tissot T Touch Expert Pro Solar.

Tissot T Touch Expert Pro Solar. Serious competition to Casio ABC.

The uncluttered exterior design of this model cleverly cloaks the incredible functionality of the interior (some 25 functions) and is the sort of watch you can wear in any situation from everyday to dress occasions, which is no mean feat.  The amazing speed of response and clarity from the “touch” face is quite incredible and has to be experienced to believe it, as the multi-function hands immediately and very rapidly speed round to indicate the selected function.

As to availability – both watches UK wise are not directly available as yet, though the Casio can be picked up in Europe and the Far East obviously.  My own Caso came from JP watches in Japan and I’d also recommend Seiya too (if they have them).   The Tissot I don’t believe is available just yet, but anytime soon I hope.

Both these watches however show real advances on previous stuff, which to me seemed to be marking time for a few years.  At last we have (almost) two models that if bought now will certainly NOT be out of date for a bit and will hopefully serve you very well – IF you can get one”!

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