Been having a look at my old digital compass watch models and rather impressed at the fact they still work pretty well. In fact accuracy wise they are still holding their own against more modern offerings and they have the advantage of being within a much neater footprint, despite later sensor size reductions.
Take the CPW-100 for example which features an early 1031 module set. This model appeared back in 1993 and one of the first Casio’s to feature a compass sensor. The circular digital display is still rather novel, but it shows what you need to see very well.
I like this model for all sorts of reasons in addition to the neat dimensions as just 40mm case diameter, though if you include the sensor it’s 50mm across. But as the entire model is just 12 mm thick and the lug to lug is very small by today’s standards, so easily fits the smaller wrist.
Note the inner display normally shows running seconds. The compass works as a direct read push button and after a second indicates magnetic North/south with the digital arrow pointer in the centre circular window. The Direction is also indicated at the top of the dial as NW, ENE, etc. (here shown as WSW) in place of the Day of the week.
It is an instant reading which does not change even if you move the watch, so doesn’t, like modern counterparts, take a reading every second. It does however have a “navigation”mode which allows you to store up to 5 sets of measurement data in memory, along with the date and time of the measurement. These can be recalled later to trace your progress on a map for example. To aid navigation the outer bezel can be rotated (N mark to line up with indicated N for example).
Note – the CPW-100 has 2 x batteries – Renata 399 (LR927) held in individual holders. Operating manual – Casio CPW-100
Another model of the same period is the CPW200 which features module 1030.
The dial layout is more familiar to modern Casios, plus it has a running seconds digital track around the circumference of the dial. The module difference is only in regards to the digital display as in this instance the compass indication shows not just the North/south line, but also the other E & W cardinal points, around the seconds track. In fact both models use their respective running Seconds track as the compass indication.
In all other respects function wise the two models are the same – Both have Compass and Navigation modes, 24 hr Stopwatch with split/finish times, Countdown Alarm from 1 m to 24 hours with selectable auto-repeat. Also there is a a daily Alarm mode and Time signal function etc.
In comparison to the more modern Casio Compass watches these both perform really well, though neither have Compass Declination adjustments possible, so very much Magnetic North has to be used in any orienteering. That said as the Declination where I live is just 1.3ºW and would be just 1ºW if entered into a modern Casio, so for general directional compass work, walking etc. both these models perform well enough for me. They are also both water resistant to 50 m and 100 m respectively, though with any of these 20+ year old resin/metal back models, this should be taken lightly. The seals are often dried and shrunken and replacement is tricky, and whilst not impossible – I don’t go out of my way to drown them – or me these days!
In truth the fact these work at all is a bonus and both are in pretty good condition overall. Module wise both are perfect and function as new and they both “wear” well on the wrist and can often attract comment (if noticed as they are both very neat), though at my age folks seem to take it for granted that I’ll have old things!
This from my young grand-daughter just the other day! 🙂
Note – Another Compass model from the same period is the CPW220 ( planned for a later Post) features Module qw1286, which has the exact same functionality as Module qw1030. This is not surprising as within this “novelty”period, Casio whilst introducing individuality in their digital range, inevitably featured similar if not identical modules, to fit the various dial designs.