There’s no doubt that watches are becoming very sophisticated and with many functions that the old mechanical models can’t match. Though one of the issues some folks have is that these new-fangled quartz/solar models are somewhat removed from more traditional models. (think of ‘G’ Shocks and ABC models).
However that is actually not the case as the two models featured here illustrate.
First is the Casio LCW-M170TD-7AER which looks pretty classic to anyone’s eye. But it is one of these highly technical models that we take as the “norm” these days. This one though is Analog with an Hour and Minute hand, centre seconds hand plus a small digital window that can show different functions, but can be set simply as the Day and the Date, which let’s face it, is about the most any of us actually use.
The technical functions are Solar power, so no battery required – it also has Radio Control, so it always reads the correct time with Atomic Clock accuracy. It also sports World Time, so it can correct itself in 29 Time Zones throughout the world. It is a smart watch no doubt and despite the technology it’s easy to use.
This particular version is Titanium cased, which I prefer for a couple or three reasons. It is not shiny (apart from the top bezel, which annoys me slightly), it is a brushed finish and it is incredibly light at around 77 gms. Unlike stainless steel polished cases this one does not show scratches and I’ve found over the years with other Ti watches, the Titanium takes on a lovely overall smooth finish which is rather pleasing.
The electronic Module used in this model is the 5161 and it is used in a few Casio RC models. Not quite in the same league as my GPS Citizen CC3005-85E Solar, but it works very well and has a good reputation. Whilst Solar Powered and as everyone says – you don’t need a battery, it actually does have one. It’s a CTL920 rechargeable capacitor/battery, so don’t be tempted to fit a standard battery with similar dimensions!
That’s not to say that if it gave up the ghost for whatever reason (rare indeed) you can’t change them, because you can and they are available from a good few battery suppliers. Although Casio say you should contact them for replacement, this is perhaps precautionary and for those who have no wish to delve into the back of a watch or maybe have sausages for fingers, rather than any technical reason.
This model has a neat size of almost 40 mm diameter and just 9 mm depth so is slim on the wrist. The crystal is Sapphire so won’t scratch easily, though it doesn’t have anti-reflection coatings applied, which I would prefer to see as the almost white dial may not be as matte as would like. However on balance the hands have decent infill luminous properties and I have no great issues with reading the dial in most light situations.
This model has a relatively modest Water Resistance at 50 m, so wet days, helping your wife do the washing up and showers are OK as indeed is the odd swim – just don’t start snorkeling.
Overall I like this watch, its color scheme makes it dressy rather than sporty, so looks good for evening wear. It’s also in my “get it & forget it” category and very, very easy to live with.
Full review – coming soon . . . .
The second model I’m featuring is the LCW-M180D-7AER from Casio, which sports the same Module 5161 so technically the same, but this one is in Stainless Steel and whilst is has the light color dial it is configured slightly differently. Numbers 12 and 6 are represented by Roman Numerals and all numerals, markers and hands are in Gold tone against an off white coloured dial background.
Whilst this might look quite rich or upmarket I always find with gold color hands, clarity is often an issue and in poor light I personally find them hard to make out. The luminous infill of the hands is similar though perhaps a little narrow, but I would judge night vision should be acceptable.
The case however has a slightly different profile, Stainless Steel with a quite shiny finish, so may be too easy to show scratches. The bracelet is also in stainless steel and in a more pleasing link pattern than the LCW170. Note the Water Resistance is unchanged at 50 m.
Being Stainless Steel this model is some 40 gms heavier at 118 gms, though if it’s an issue you could lighten it considerably by easily changing to silicon or a leather strap as both models have a 20mm standard spring-bar fitting.
As I said the operating Module is the same as are the functions, so it’s a personal choice on looks more than anything else. Both models are available in alternative versions such as black dial and positive or negative digital displays.
For me personally, although I do like the look of the 180 and the fact is I’m looking for a light coloured dial anyway, I still have the feeling that I’d live more comfortably with the 170 Titanium version. Firstly owing to the finish and the light weight and secondly the dial has simple markers and a better hand contrast v the slightly lighter background. As readers of this site well know by now, clarity is a personal issue of mine and that Gold color just doesn’t quite do it for me.
So there you have it. Two models, same Module, same amazing functions, yet cosmetically different enough to attract different buyers with different preferences. Both very Classic in their overall appearance and both functionally very good.
These can be bought for between £180 and £230 here in UK and Europe, the case material being the major difference (Titanium being more expensive) and for that money the functions are pretty spectacular, yet refined. (I also like the fact that both models are not resin/metal hybrids this time, though that said Casio hybrids are great value for money).
But these two are certainly not any old Day Date models and already are best sellers and I expect them to be so for quite some time yet.
Module 5161 – Casioqw5161LCWM170