One of my friends on returning from a holiday brought me little watch as a present just for fun and thought this might amuse me. On opening the box I was not only amused, but actually rather impressed.
The watch is the little Casio Poptone Chronograph model LDF-50-1EF and one of the cutest contemporary watches I’ve seen for a long time that isn’t silly design over functionality. Dimensions wise it could be called Unisex, though it’s short strap will limit it to the smaller wrist.
First off it is really neat and looks good with it’s black and chromed metal composite case with a clear digital display on the front and a stainless steel back plate. The watch sides are finished in a highly polished chrome which sets off the black surround of the digital display very nicely. On the face there are 4 front facing “quadrant” keys just below the display and these though looking quite funky being in pretty colors are also a very well designed and functional size. But did I say neat? – well no apologies here as neat it certainly is.
In fact the whole watch may be neat but it has some serious features, such as a decent Water Resistance of 5Bar (50m), a Dual Time display, Daily Alarm + Hourly Chime if required, and a 100th/sec stopwatch – all features that are each excellent and useful, without any silly gimmickry stuff.
In normal mode it directly reads, month, day, date, hours and seconds, am/pm indicator, which alarm indicator is set – all of which are clearly seen. It has moving graphics running bottom left of the screen showing a continuous 10 second countdown, which may or may not be useful. It does however have a very good EL (Electro-Luminescence) back-light feature at the touch of the front pad entitled “light”. (note the tiny figure 3 bottom right of the display – this is the back light duration in seconds) – it has two options either 1½ or 3 secs and I much prefer 3 secs to allow enough time to read it.
The strap is a resin rubber material and is proportional to the watch, being just the right thickness and has a simple buckle fitting. The strap is actually quite short – OK for my small wrist, but for a large wrist could be a problem. However I also note it seems to fit to small but standard style spring bars, so a replacement strap may be possible. The watch is very light and at just 23mm wide and around 40mm lug to lug sits well on the wrist and barely noticeable. It has a thickness of 11mm at the middle of the watch as the front display is curved. This model version is the most unobtrusive of the range – I think there are 5 in total with alternative and somewhat brighter color combination’s.
The watch movement is accurate to around +/-20 seconds per month and is powered by a CR1216 Lithium battery and you can expect around 3 years life with sensible use of the back light feature.
This has to be winner from Casio in my opinion and at an incredible £20.00 (UK) is an absolute bargain. . . . . Seriously. . . .
Well if being picky – maybe the alarm is a tad quiet for me (but I’m slightly deaf – so maybe an age thing!).
UPDATE – 15th February 2011 – I’ve worn this watch for a week now day and night – I thought as the buttons were on top they might operate by mistake. Well no worries on that score – they work only when you want them to.
UPDATE – 20th November 2012 – Watch is still a fabulous little item – keeping excellent time (as it should being quartz) – incredibly easy to wear as you forget it’s there and I’m wearing it all this week. I note it’s still available, though the colors I’ve seen are a bit garish currently and they seem to be pushing it as a ladies watch. When I bought this there was no gents/ladies classification attributed to it, though I did note above on the article, that the strap is quite short. That said however it fits me perfectly!