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When it comes to watches, sometimes less is best. If you are looking for something tough, functional, and has an attractive, but hardy design, then keep reading for this G-Shock GW6900-1 review!
What is the G-Shock GW6900-1?
The G-Shock GW6900-1 Tough Solar is considered by some as one of the top models in the G-Shock lineup. This watch is solar powered and is based on the original design of the DW6900 model, which was first revealed in 1995 as a successor to the DW6600.
What made the 6900 series so popular was the move from the squared design of previous models to a more streamlined rounded design all while keeping the same look of ruggedness and the shock resistance the G-Shock brand is known for. The G-Shock GW6900-1 follows this design, but adds the ability to be charged by a light source which takes away the hassle of needing to replace the battery every few years.
G-Shock GW6900-1 Review
The GW6900-1 retails at $130 bucks, but can be found at a much lower price if you’re willing to do some looking around. I’ve seen it for around $80 and for that price it’s a really good deal given what you get out of this watch. While there are other solar powered offerings from Casio at a lower price, such as the Casio Solar Sport Combination Watch, it doesn’t have atomic timekeeping.
As stated earlier, the G-Shock GW6900-1 is based on the bestselling case design in G-Shock history. The case is rounded and has a streamlined look and is particularly popular with military use as well as streetwear fashion.
There isn’t a whole lot going on with the design of the watch unlike some of the other G-Shock models out there. The watch is predominately black with only a little bit of coloring due to the text found on the front of the case.
Like most other G-Shocks at this price range, the case, bezel, and band are all made of durable, high quality resin and a stainless-steel buckle is used to secure the band to the wrist. From lug to lug, the case diameter comes in at about 41mm with a thickness of 15mm.
The watch is not as bulky as some of the other G-Shock models and would look fine on small to medium sized wrists (6 to 7.5 inches). For those with extra-large wrists (above 7.5 inches), the watch may look too small. As far as the case thickness, this watch will be difficult to cover with sleeves and would not be suitable, in my opinion, to be worn with formal attire.
There are four buttons used for the feature functions located on the sides of the case, two on each side and look to be stainless steel in appearance. The buttons aren’t too small and most people should have no issues pressing them. Lastly, there is one more button located on the front of the case used to activate the EL Backlight feature.
Overall, the appearance of the watch is stylish and the case design really shines in my opinion as it’s such a stark difference from the usual square design that the classic lineup typically features.
The face is protected by Mineral glass, which is not a surprise for a watch at this price range. Mineral is more than tough enough to protect the face while also being able to handle wear and tear without being scratched up.
The design of the watch face is fairly simple. The bottom LCD screen is used to show the day, date and time. The upper area has three LCD sub dials showing the battery power indicator, various watch features on/off indicator, and a graphics dial which is used differently depending on the mode that the watch is in.
While the display is mostly free of clutter, some wearers have stated that it can be hard to read the time due to the display being on the smaller side. This could be particularly troublesome for those who have bad eyesight to begin with. It should be noted that there are times when the display will go blank. When this happens, it’s due to the power saving function kicking in and turning off the display to conserve power.
The G-Shock GW6900-1 is powered by a rechargeable battery. The battery does not need to be replaced every time it dies, but instead charged by the electricity generated by the solar cell of the watch. In order to charge the battery, it must be exposed to a light source, either sunlight or artificial, as much as possible.
When wearing the watch, make sure that it is not covered by sleeves and with the face of the watch on the top side of the wrist. When the watch is being unused, it should be positioned somewhere with the face up so that it is pointed to a light source.
If the watch is stored, it will continue to operate, even if it is not exposed to any light source. If it’s stored in a dark environment, this will eventually cause the battery to die. As the battery life starts to fade, the watch will not be able to perform certain functions. If the battery dies completely, you will have to reconfigure the watch over as if it was new out of the box.
Keeping this watch charged up shouldn’t be much of an issue if you ask me. Placing it in direct sunlight a couple of days throughout the month isn’t too hard to do if you aren’t already wearing it during those times.
You should be able to go for around 10 months of normal use on a full charge without further exposure to light. If stored in a dark place with the power saving function enabled, expect the battery to last for about 27 months. If the battery is charged and well taken care of, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to get over 10 years out of it before needing to be changed.
Movement & Features
The GW6900-1 uses the Casio module 3179 and comes with a good number of useful complications. It has an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month and may need an adjustment for each month for those who want absolute perfection.
There are the standard features that G-Shock watches are known for such as shock resistance and 200-meter water resistance. The full auto calendar is set for up to year 2099 and it comes with several time tracking modes.
The 1/100-second stopwatch mode can measure elapsed time, split time, and 1st and 2nd place times with a display range of 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59.99 seconds. Afterwards, the timer will restart from zero. This feature utilizes the graphic sub-dial on the far-right side of the display.
The countdown timer can be set within a range of 1 minute to 24 hours and an alarm will sound when the timer hits zero. This feature utilizes the graphic sub-dial on the far-right side of the display.
The watch features an alarm mode that gives you the ability to set up to 5 alarms. 4 one-time alarms and one snooze alarm. Pretty simple stuff here and will be useful to some, while others may never use the alarm feature.
There is an Electro-luminescent backlight installed that can be used to illuminate the watch face when being used in dark environments by pressing the “G” button on the front of the case. The Auto EL feature can be enabled to turn on the EL backlight anytime the watch is positioned in a certain manner.
The GW6900-1 also has a world time mode that can show the time in 48 different cities or 31 time zones across the world. With the press of a button, the wearer can display the time in another location, which could be good for those who travel often and don’t want to manually keep up with a new time zone. Please keep in mind that the world time zones are in sync with the time you selected as your home city. If the time seems off, you may need to double check that you have selected the correct home city.
Lastly, the GW6900-1 has Multi Band 6 or Radio-Controlled Atomic Timekeeping. This means that the watch receives calibration signals and keeps its time updated accordingly. In order for this work to properly however, you need to make sure that you set your home city first before doing anything with the watch.
The calibration signals are transmitted in Germany, England, USA, China, and Japan. When outside the range of the calibration signals, the watch will have to be manually set. This is a useful feature and I highly recommend wearers to consult the manual to learn exactly how it works and how to troubleshoot issues regarding this. However, it is not something that has to be used as the watch can be manually programmed for time tracking.
Be Aware Of
As stated earlier a couple of times, the very first thing you’ll need to do when you get the watch is to specify your Home City (where you normally use the watch).
This is going to affect how World Time works as well as the Multi Band 6 feature. If you happen to notice that your city is not listed, don’t worry, just select the city code that is in the same time zone as your home city.
Some wearers have reported that the watch has been shipped to them with a low battery level. If that is the case, you’ll need to charge the watch. The fastest way to do this is to expose the face to direct, outdoor sunlight; for example, placing it outside on a patio table, face up on a sunny day. Under these conditions, 10 minutes should give you enough of a charge to begin using the watch normally.
Also, the alarm is not very loud and can be hard to hear, depending on the activity and the noise level of the environment the watch is being worn in.
Lastly, keep in mind that if the battery completely dies, you will need to set the watch up from scratch as if you just took it out of the box.
G-Shock GW6900-1 Specs
- Case / bezel material: Resin
- Resin Band
- Mineral Glass
- Shock Resistant
- 200-meter water resistance
- Electro-luminescent backlight
Full auto EL light, afterglow
- Solar powered
- World time
31 time zones (48 cities + coordinated universal time), city code display, daylight saving on/off
- 1/100-second stopwatch
Measuring capacity: 23:59’59.99”
Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
- Countdown timer
Measuring unit: 1 second
Input range: 1 minutes to 24 hours (1-minute increments and 1-hour increments)
- Daily alarms
5 independent daily alarms (4 one-time alarms and 1 snooze alarm)
- Hourly time signal
- Battery power indicator
- Power Saving (display goes blank to save power when the watch is left in the dark.)
- Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)
- 12/24-hour format
- Button operation tone on/off
- Regular timekeeping: Hour, minute, second, pm, month, date, day
- Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month
- Approx. battery operating time:
10 months on rechargeable battery (operation period with normal use without exposure to light after charge)
27 months on rechargeable battery (operation period when stored in total darkness with the power save function on after full charge)
- Module: 3179
Pros & Cons of the G-Shock GW6900-1
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- Long battery life and easy solar charging
- Attractive design
- Multi Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping
- Alarm is not very loud
- Small display can be difficult to read for some wearers
Final Thoughts and Who is it for?
In this G-Shock GW6900-1 review we covered one of the best and affordable G-Shock watches available. The GW6900-1 has a great design and just enough features for those who need a little more than just telling time from their watches.
I would recommend this watch for those who live active lifestyles and need a timepiece that not only looks stylish, but is also tough enough to withstand daily wear and tear without being babied. It’s a popular choice amongst those in the military, police, and firefighting fields. It’s also stylish enough to be worn with most fashion streetwear and those who are just looking for an everyday watch.
If you have any questions or just want to leave a few words about this watch, feel free to drop a comment in the box below!