Worldtimers have long fascinated watch wearers, with their utility and added complication. Whether it was the Rolex PAN-AM that became the GMT-MASTER, or JLC Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph, or even the Patek 5650G travel time, watch wearers are continuing to look for ways to have accurate time-telling across time zones.
John recently reviewed the G-Shock GRAVITYMASTER GPW-2000-1A which is a totally fly name if I ever heard one. The GRAVITYMASTER is a massive 57mm watch with GPS built-in so that you can always get time, LAT and LONG wherever you can get satellite reception. Now, typically a mechanical worldtimer shows the time for 24 time zones simultaneously. Here, because these are smart and quartz driven, they’re more technically GMT or two timezone watches. But let’s not let that get in the way of how much I like to write the word “worldtimer”. I’m going to write it again: worldtimer. Worldtimer. Worldtimer!
The Edifice EQB-600D-1A2 (also known as the 5466) lacks the GPS features, but maintains the cool world timer, app integration, and a more refined 3D dial.
The case isn’t small at 47mm, but it’s much smaller than the GRAVITYMASTER cousin. It comes in at 13.3mm, which isn’t tall. There are plenty of dive watches that come in at 14mm, for example. The dial takes advantage of the additional height, rendering everything in 3D.
The first element that grabs your attention by the throat and bends your mind into submission is the metallic blue 3D globe. The globe dial rotates on a micromotor, and represents the “flow of time in concert with the movement of the earth.” Also on the dial are a raised day of week indicator, a second timezone clock face, and a very traditional date window. The hour markers are raised as well, scooping up towards the periphery. The 3D globe indicates which time the world time display is set to. In my case, I’ve set the world time to display time for London, so the hand over the globe is positioned over England.
The Smartphone link is what keeps the watch accurate. The watch connects with Bluetooth at regular intervals, scheduled in the app. You can adjust the settings to sync time more often at a higher battery demand, or less often for less battery demand. The Casio app uses Casio’s network time server combined with time zone data in the app to show accurate time worldwide.
It’s important to speak about the app for a moment. We’ve seen a large number of smartwatches with apps that attempt to do too much, and do too much badly. Here, Casio gets it right: It does one thing well, set home and away time for the watch. The app is called CASIO WATCH+. To pair the watch, you hold its Bluetooth button for 1.5s, and the watch connects pretty quickly. The app shows Bluetooth signal strength to the watch. The app shows an icon indicating solar battery life. That icon is pretty non-specific, showing only half and full charge. But given the battery life of the watch, it doesn’t really matter. When the app battery indicator shows half, the watch is in a power save mode, not updating the seconds hand, and updates the minute hand in bursts to keep showing the correct time. You can connect to more than one watch via the app, set whether or not it will connect at 3, 5, or 10 minute intervals, and whether or not you want it to automatically adjust the time every day at 5am, 11am, 5pm and 11pm. You can also adjust the home positions of the hands individually via the app if you wish. It can automatically switch to summer time settings for the home time. You can use the phone to find the watch by having the watch play a tone, or use the watch to find the phone, if the app is open in the background. The lower right pusher activates the phone finder. Upper right swaps home time and world time if held for 3s. When connected to the app, the second hand won’t advance, so make sure to press the Bluetooth and upper right buttons to disconnect from the app. When disconnected from the app, pressing the lower left button will cause it to sync time.
The Edifice EQB-600 (for short) is also a solar watch. Casio states that you can get 7 months on rechargeable battery (normal use without exposure to light after charge) or 33 months on rechargeable battery (when stored in total darkness with the power save function on after full charge). I haven’t had the watch in front of me for 7 months, so I can’t really tell if it lasts that long. What I do know is that there’s no indication from looking at the dial that the watch is a solar watch. It’s indicated only on the back. There’s nothing that gives it away, and it looks stunning with that blue globe. It keeps ±15 seconds a day.
If the GRAVITYMASTER is a rugged world timer for the adventurer, EQB-600 is it’s polite, refined brother from a stainless steel mother. This is not an automatic complication watch. This is not a 12,000 USD JLC. This is, you travel the world and want a steel watch, not plastic. Solar, world time, and a nice dial make it work. If you can pull off 47mm instead of 57mm, check out the Casio EQB-600D.
- Brand & Model: Casio EDIFICE EQB-600D-01A2
- Price: $400
- Who we think it might be for: You travel the world, and need something kinder than a black plastic watch meant for a brutal world.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I might. I love the details on this.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I wish there were a 40mm model.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Worldtiming with the best use of an app.
Tech Specs from CASIO
- Case size: 47mm, 51.9 lug to lug
- Height: 13.3
- Case material: steel
- Crystal: flat, sapphire
- Strap: stainless steel bracelet
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