Ben searching for a while for a practical and suitable Camouflage model recently and majoring on two specific brands, Casio and Timex. And I concentrated on these two as they are both into the Shock style of outdoor or military style watch and are of course competitors. And this is my choice . . .
In searching their different models it has to be said that Casio generates most of the buyer’s interest, as they seem to bring out new models like tomorrow was in danger of not appearing. And in contrast Timex on the other hand, have quietly gone about their business by introducing just a few variants here and there, usually with subtle and mostly cosmetic changes to their core function set. Indeed this is perhaps and arguably testament to the fact the Timex base module features functions that satisfy most of us. Changes are such that models and modules are simply and subtly altered just enough to add enough variety to attract more buyers, which it has to be said is the name of the game.
The Casio approach with so many product lines, such as G-Shock, Tough Solar, Pro-Trek, Master of G and others is quite the opposite. Modules seem to change quickly and race neck and neck with new case designs and whilst the former is becoming smaller, the latter is very much larger.
The module function sets are really marching on, with new features, more sensitive sensors, smaller, lighter, more powerful and so on and all very commendable of course, and yet for me still let down by an almost equal and opposite reaction – of overly large case designs, with more knobbly bits than my Mother’s current cake. The dimensions are at the very limits and beyond in my opinion, what with 17mm+ case depth on an already large diameter, what with the G-Shock case cover and over large controls, both of which making for a rather cumbersome wrist accessory. Light weight they may be, but in my opinion now becoming intrusive.
So back to Timex and their softly, softy approach – subtle improvements perhaps the name of the game, and a definite priority on actual function and practicality. Keeping the basics right with good solid features, Time, Date, Day, Month, Year, Alarm, Stopwatch, Timer, luminous hands if analog and back lit with their proprietary illumination system for night use. Water Resistance to 100m+ and all neatly contained in a tough case with compact dimensions that almost anyone can wear with comfort.
Plus another point is how intuitive the Timex module is – additional help appears IN the display when the SET pusher is pressed – it is so simple to set and alter all the module parameters.
Definitely what I call “get and forget until you need it” wrist wear. And in my opinion this is where they score against all the others, including Casio. They’ve cleverly managed to get the balance just right between what you want in a practical sense with functions that you might well use every day.
As for my camouflage search – the one that jumped out of the page first was the Casio all digital Camouflage GD 120CM-5 . . . . and it looks great, with a basic function set (+ world time) but the sting in the tail – it’s huge! There’s no other word for it and let’s be absolutely honest here – it is BIG. At 55mm lug to lug x 52.2mm across and 17.4mm depth . . . . what can I say? and no matter how good it may purport to be, this is a problem and not just for me and dare I say in danger of being almost “impractical” . . . ?
From “practical” to “impractical” perhaps prefixed by an abbreviation of the word “immense”?
So a little disappointed I decided to check out Timex for their Camouflage model and this one, the Timex Expedition T49976 turned up . . . . and it looks great, with a basic function set (we’ve heard this before) but – and here’s the difference, there is no but! Because size wise it’s just 48mm lug to lug x 44.8mm width x 15.4mm depth!
This is positively neat in today’s practical models.
And this seems to sum up the difference between the brands, indeed if you sit them down together in a row, it looks like adults and juniors! Casio adult and Timex junior.
There’s also the factor of cost versus wear-ability, as my Timex models are certainly cheaper and yet I wear them much more often than almost any of my Casios with one exception – the Casio 5600 which is and Casio won’t like me saying this, more Timex like! This is really ironic, as this was a pioneer in Casio models, shock protected, neat appearance, great function set and I believe the smallest G-Shock model with compact (yes I said compact) dimensions at just 40mm x 12mm!
So what happened? And I wonder where this is all leading – Casio seems to have bred an uncontrollable monster, with more tech, more functionality, resulting in bigger, bigger and even bigger. And by comparison their Timex competitor (and not only Timex) are gliding along very nicely, with equally great looking models, combi and digital and with good practical functions – and here’s a positive but – but with sensible dimensions for everyone.
Further images –
A point about NATO strap versus the standard Timex strap. Whilst the Timex one is excellent and comfortable, for looks I personally prefer the NATO ( Zuludiver ). It’s super simple to fit to the standard spring-bars (none of your molded strap/case affairs) and because it’s not held away from the case, as with the Timex one (it has short “hold off” stays under the strap) it means the watch fits the smaller wrist so much better. A small point but one that I personally think is important. The Timex with a lug to lug of just 48mm compared to the Casio of 55mm is pretty good anyway, but effectively even better with the NATO strap.
A point about the exterior case “Shock” protection on my camouflage Timex is where the case is the usual hard black resin, the entire bezel material is NOT the same material. Whatever it’s made of, resin or rubber, it is much softer than the case material. Indeed you can push your finger nail into it and it deforms like rubber then comes back. It is very, very effective and as it’s raised slightly above the glass gives very good protection.
Note 1 – The Zuludiver NATO strap is one of the longer straps available at just over 30cms so will conversely fit the bigger wrist too – and it has one of the better camouflage patterns color wise that I’ve seen in a while.
Note 2 – The Timex Expedition T49976 has the following features –
100m Water resistance
Digital Display with Day, Det, Month, Time in Hours, Minutes and seconds displayed at one glance plus am/pm indicator
Sub-dial with running 10 seconds duration
3 Alarms – Daily, Weekday and Weekend
Indiglo back light with optional night mode/any button ON/cancels after 8 hrs.
(this is the best Indiglo back light I’ve seen on any Timex to date)