This week features the LCW-170M-1AER Solar, Radio Control model from Casio. This is a very classy mid-range model from the Lineage series and one I’d call dress watch style. Quite elegant and neatly sized at 39 mm wide by just 9 mm depth, this is a watch that caters for all wrists, from large to small.
This model features a Titanium case and bracelet so is light weight, the Titanium mostly has a brushed finish plus a polished bezel. It’s also a quietly understated model even though it features Solar Power and Radio Control.
The watch is easily set up out of the box and here in the UK, I set my Home Time Zone to LON (London) then moving towards my south facing window, I used pushbutton C to receive a signal. This was during the day at around 2pm and it managed to get the lock required and set the correct time, including our UK Summer Time adjustment in around 3 minutes. This was very easy to manage.
The watch time out of the box was set to UTC, so when I synchronized it was nice to see it receive the signal and move the hands automatically 1 hour forward to the correct UK time. Note you can easily check to see when it successfully received a signal, which is useful.
Note this model, which is still current, has World Times for 29 Time Zones so whilst for most of us should be fine, my new Citizen model has 40 Time Zones.
This model has 5 Alarms, Hourly Time Signal (selectable), World Time programmed to 2099, a Radio Time Signal check 6 times/day usually overnight (once signal success all other time checks are canceled), 60 minutes Stop Watch, Countdown Timer (1 minute to 100 minutes in 1 second intervals), LED night lighting, Battery Power indicator (full charge battery duration approx. 4 months). Power Save function after 60-70 minutes in the dark (second hand parks @12 – display is blank – after 6 or 7 days all hands park @12 and most other functions such as Auto Receive stop, except for internal clock).
The watch has a Sapphire Crystal but no anti-reflection coating. The rather finely detailed dial is off white in colour, the Hour and Minute hands are luminous, as is the infill rear overhang end of the centre seconds hand, but the dial markers are not. However the luminous hands stand out clearly and are good for all night and in addition if you really need it this model features dial illumination by LED, which is very bright indeed, lighting the entire dial – so everything (maybe even the bedtime book!) is easily seen in the dark.
The slightly sloping case sides have a quality brush finish from front to back under a narrow polished bezel. This model has just 3 round push buttons. As usual with Casio the lower left (B) pusher is the Mode, lower right (C) is what I call the “do something” pusher and the top right (A) pusher operates the light mainly, though does have additional functions. As per usual for me I set the default view in the digital display to show Day and Date – this can be toggled using the (C) pusher.
The watch dimensions are really neat at just 39 mm diameter and a very slim 9 mm deep. The bracelet like the case is Titanium, adjustable and full size is plenty big enough for large wrists. With 20 mm Standard spring-bar fixings it also means that changing the bracelet for any reason is easy, sensible and affordable. Bespoke Casio bands are not required.
The case back has a 4 screw flat back affair and the Water Resistance is stated as 5 Bar.
So overall this is a rather good watch and whilst it has Solar and Radio Control features, it’s also conservative yet dressy and can be worn anywhere. The sensible size also means anyone can wear this and look good.
I show here the watch firstly in comparison to another similar function model from Casio and later against other current Solar and Radio Controlled watches and as you see it is very compact.
Note – My wrist size is around 165/170 mm so I had to reduce the bracelet size (5 links removed) which can be done using that simple blue plastic pin pusher gadget from Ebay, that I’ve had for years . A word of advice – The secret to this type of bracelet is to remember that within each link there is a tiny split collar or collet, through which the link pin passes – don’t lose it! It is very important as this split collar grips the pin and the link securely in the bracelet. Remember for every pin there is a tiny split collar and as they’re only maybe 2 or 3 mm long – easy to lose!
To remove a link – (if you are right handed) lay the bracelet into the receiving area of the pin pusher then (make sure you line it up properly) turn the screw handle clockwise with your right hand to push the pin out of the link in the direction of the marked arrow, as far as the pusher will allow. Then keeping a firm (left hand) grip on the bracelet with finger and thumb over the area of the pin, use pliers (right hand) and pull the pin all the way out – note it will be stiff and that’s because you have to overcome that little split collar which is gripping the pin. Still holding the bracelet firmly and once the pin is removed, lay the pin safely down and lower the bracelet to the table and gently ease the link apart. The small collar will probably (or it might stay) drop to the table. It’s usually retained by the lower part of the link in your left hand and part of the pin hole which is enlarged to take it.
Don’t lose it!
For without the collars the link pins will simply fall through the bracelet, not retained and the bracelet links wont link.
To put the pin/link in again – replace the collar into its enlarged hole, bring the bracelet links together, locate the pin to the hole (with the arrow as before) and tap gently with a small hammer, making sure the two link parts are pressed together to ensure a straight continuous hole for the pin to go into.
I have resized literally hundreds of bracelets using this method and with this same cheapo tool and never had an issue. I have never lost a Casio split collar yet, though I admit the first time I did it, it was a close thing and I was lucky to spot it. Once you know – it’s easy, but as always take care . . . .
I would also warn you that many Watch Retailers/High Street repairers have NOT a clue how to manage this and know nothing of any collar – you have been warned!
I have an older Post which gives some idea of what to do, with images – HERE. There is also a Video on You Tube I have seen which might be helpful.
As I have said before – standard spring bar bracelet/strap fixings mean you can use alternatives. I have a 20 mm wide silicon deployment strap which I fit as an alternative depending on my mood. In fact I have a collection of 20 mm width deployments in various colours, which can totally change the look of the watch and I do find it useful at times to do just that.
So that’s the Casio LCW-170 – 1. It looks much better in real life than those insipid images on most retailer web sites and in comparison to similar function models, it does look a class act and well worth the relatively modest price.
Addendum – update.
Decided to try an alternative strap to the supplied bracelet. Used a 20 mm silicon strap, but without the locking deployment that comes with the silicon strap. Instead I replaced it with the original Casio deployment from the original bracelet, so I still have the signed Casio logo on the finished ensemble. As usual I personally find the silicon arrangement more comfortable than the supplied original bracelet. But so nice to see that it’s possible without much work. – images follow.