While there don’t seem to be any reliable statistics about how many people are running these days, we do know from ancillary sources (such as sneaker sales and marathon registrations) that the number is exponentially increasing and the participants are taking their running ever more seriously. Among other reasons, we run for our health. To optimize the benefits of the exercise, devices in the form of watches are helpful. Lap timing and recording is the single most essential function that most runners want. This article is about Casio’s new series of watches in the lap-timer category and why runners might want one.
These new watches raise the bar in this category. The inclusion of “atomic” timekeeping and “solar” recharging make the watches more accurate and reliable than other devices. The watch re-sets itself so the user never has to – and the battery never needs to be changed since it continuously re-charges itself. These features are not gimmicky, but are in fact, proven technology that Casio has continued to develop and refine over the last decade.
The super-luminous screens are huge, the numbers are large and clear the screen layout is sensible and easy to understand. The oversize operation buttons are well marked and simple to operate with the big lap button in contrasting color on the face below the dial. When it’s dark and you need the watch to back-light, simply lift your arm and it automatically lights itself.
The watch will record up to 120 data entries that can be a combination of dates and lap times including splits, Fastest lap can be displayed. This stopwatch function is accurate to 1/100 second (up to 10 hours). Simultaneously, a countdown timer feature can function as an interval timer. Five alarm times can be set as well. So, if you are interested in the lap information and don’t want the complications that HRM and GPS watch functions add to operation, these watches make sense. No menu trees to get in the way of your “on-the-fly” starts, stops and look-ups.
And living up to Casio’s reputation for making watches that are semi-indestructible, these watches can take all the abuse you can heap on them.
Due to be released in Japan on October 31, 2011, these three models are priced at 14,175 yen.
UPDATE – March 1, 2012
Casio has announced the addition of the following colorway to the STW-1000 series: STW-1000-1BJF.
The following picture comparing the STW-1000 to GW-5000 illustrates how the display is easier to read and the case and band size is substantial. A review of the watch is available at watchuseek