This ain’t your daddy’s Casio. The Cachalot, the latest solar radio watch from Casio’s high-end brand, Oceanus, is inching into high end territory and I’m pleased to report that you get quite a bit of watch for the $1,200 ($900 retail, from what I’ve seen) or so you’ll spend on this beast.
First off, the Cachalot looks great. I’ve seen a few Casios in my day and they’ve finally nailed it on this version. The outer timing bezel clicks with a satisfying majesty and the face is readable – except in certain situations, which I’ll describe below. This model is also made of titanium making it the lightest man-watch I’ve seen in a while. It’s water resistant to 20 BAR and features 5 band radio auto-setting, solar powered batteries, world time settings, as well as a countdown timer and stopwatch.
So here’s where things get hairy. Look at the watch. Pretty simple, right? Well, Casio is trying to perform all of the functions with a few choice button presses, which makes the learning curve for the average user almost prohibitive. The last watch I had of this type, the Citizen World Time Quartz had a fairly simple interface – you pressed a button and a little hand pointed to the current function. The indicators on this watch are quite small and when the second hand starts spinning erratically you wonder what the heck is going on. It takes a few good reads of the manual before you finally figure out how to set the thing, let alone run the world-time functions. Once you get past that hurdle, you’re fine. We had the same problem with the Super Chrono Dave reviewed a few weeks ago.
Other than the slight interface problem, this is a beautiful watch. I would say this line is better than a similar TAG Heuer quartz chrono and this has the added bonus of having a world-time and countdown timer built-in. It has a great style and an excellent build-quality and you know it will last because it’s a Casio. While I can’t recommend it to true purists, this is a great vacation watch with a lot of style and a fascinating set of features.
It’s available now online and in stores.
Features (translated from Japanese)
# Specifications : Tough solar(mass solar charge system)
# 20 atmospheric pressure waterproof function
# Electric wave reception function: Automatic reception (six times or less/day)/reception manual reception and electric wave: JJY and frequency: reception of 40kHz/60kHz (model for Fukushima/both bureau in Kyushu) electric wave: WWVB and frequency: 60kHz reception electric wave: MSF/DCF77 and frequency: 60kHz/77.5kHz
# The world time: With set function Daylight Saving Time displayed at time of 27 cities (29 time zone) in the world
# Stop watch : (It is total for 60 minutes for 1/20 seconds. )
# The timer: It equips it with the timer corresponding to the yacht race. (unit of the set: measurement time for one minute: reset time of the maximum set for 30 minutes: It is time of passage in the measurement, a previous notice of the end, and the end backs addition every second of five minutes the measurement (It is total for 60 minutes). )
# Time alarm
# Battery charge warning function
# Power saving function(The needling is stopped when the fixed time passes in the shade place and save electricity. )
# Display at date
# Full auto calendar
# When the electric wave reception is not done, it operates by usual Quarts accuracy (within 20 seconds of moon difference ±).
# Driving time in state without solar power generation since full charge: About 5 months and about 24 months in case of power saving in case of function use
# Size (H×W×D)/weight: 50.0×46.5×13.7mm/114g
Bottom Line: A bit pricey but a great outdoor watch if you need something you can wear with a suit.