The Casio Edifice EQB501 takes a licking, connects to your cellphone

Casio makes beefy watches for not-always-beefy people. Their latest, the Edifice EQB-501 is an interesting amalgam of form, function, and high tech features and it has enough dials, buttons, and sensors to keep well-connected on your trek through the jungle, urban or otherwise.

This monster watch is 44.4mm wide and water resistant up to 100 meters. It connects to your phone and the CASIO WATCH+ app which lets you access current time, manage daylight saving time, and sync with multiple timezones. It also has a stopwatch, alarm, phone finder, and even a speed indicator. It’s powered by the sun – no more charging – and it sets itself.

The speed indicator is actually a tachymeter which measures distance traveled after initiating the stopwatch. It requires the phone to have units and GPS.

I like these pieces because they, like the Fossil Q, take the best of both worlds. The smartwatch features are limited and carefully chosen but you can use the watch without the phone, an important consideration especially when these watches are meant for trekking and adventure. While your watch can get wet or bruised your phone can’t.

The EQB501 will ship in April.