The Casio Edifice – Form Following Function or Function Following Form? It’s Both!

by Michael Sheehan on February 13, 2012

in Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, Opinion, Review

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Have I said that I love watches? I think that I have before. In fact, a year ago, I reviewed a Casio Pathfinder that had lots of technology baked into it (that’s the other thing I really love). I actually have had a long-running affair with Casio, having owned various G-Shocks and Waveceptors. Now I’m going to talk about the latest addition to my Casio collection, the Edifice EQS500C-1A1. I’m not sure why some of the naming conventions for the Casio watches are so cryptic, but I believe it is because they have a style to match just about anyone’s taste.

eqs500c-1a1_xlarge

Casio has quite a big line of Black and Silver Edifice watch styles which, in my opinion, are a blending of functionality and edginess. Each model boasts something different, whether it be that they are solar powered or atomic time setting (self-adjusting) or rugged or waterproof or full of spinning dials.

The Sliver edition:

edifice-silver

The Black edition:

edifice-black

The Edifice line, and yes, I would take one of each of them, has any one of the following features or technology:

  • 1/1000 time measurement – want to get that lap time down to a millisecond?
  • Multi-mission drive – with five motors operating independently, you are ensured accurate time measurement.
  • Tough solar – winding a watch is a thing of the past, just give it some sunlight and it can run for months!
  • Multi-band 6 – this is another way for saying that the watch is atomic powered, no, not a nuclear reactor, but that the time is set automatically via geographic transmission stations

The Casio that I tested out, (the black colored Edifice EQS500C-1A1), has one of the key features listed above namely the “tough solar.” (I do wish that it had the automatic time setting feature then it would truly be a set it and forget it type of watch.) But it also has some other functions that make it a dressy yet pragmatic, utilitarian and functional timepiece.

DSC03987

Here are the features that this particular Casio Edifice had packed into its elegant design:

  • Tough solar power
  • 100M water resistance
  • World time with 29 timezones & DST on/off
  • Alarm clock
  • 1/100 second chronograph
  • Day (M-Su) and Date (number) display
  • Fully programmed calendar through 2099 (e.g., handles this year’s leap year)
  • 12/24 hour formats
  • Accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per calendar month

I found the black design of the Edifice to be sharp. The polished crystal covers a very detail-oriented interface. Normally I’m used to having at least one digital read-out but in the case of this design, everything is dial oriented. There are four buttons around the face that each have a different function. There was a (smart) design choice where the names of those functions were not present on the front side but on careful inspection, I found them to be on the back side.

The functions are: Start/Stop, Reset, Adjust and Mode. There are not other buttons (like for a backlight) and all actions can be done with a series of button presses. The case/housing is made of stainless steel.

DSC03983

Quickly about the watch face, the key markers or hands have a “neo-brite” luminous paint or dye applied to them. With just a little bit of direct light, these areas of the watch can glow quit brightly in the darkness. Even without getting a dose of light, you can pretty much make out the hands to tell the time. There are 5 circular elements to the interface:

  1. The main watch which has multiple bands of information for time setting, home city, month/year settings and more
  2. 12/24 hour display indicates if it is AM or PM which is good for world time calculations or if you have been locked in a dark room for a few weeks (grin)
  3. World time mini clock which shows you a second time zone as well as for the stopwatch
  4. Mode/Day is indicated by this complex little dial which has

Setting up the Edifice is relatively straight forward but tricky if you don’t have a manual, actually, tricky is an understatement. You really must have the manual available. It’s not that it is complicated, it is just that you need to know the proper order of the buttons in order to program it correctly. But once you have done that, you shouldn’t have to do it again. To save you the searching, here is a link to the manual. Below is how the month and year configuration is set:

watch-calendar

There are 4 main modes to this watch: Timekeeping, Stopwatch, World Time and Alarm. You probably don’t need much more that that typically, especially given that this watch is supposed to be a bit more elegant than multi-functional. The functions are pretty obvious as to what they do.

watch-mode-indicator

With the Timekeeping, you can see the current time with a 12 or 24 hour indicator (that indicator is in the upper left). There is also a date number that appears in the lower right. Assuming that you set the time/date correctly, it should accurately account for leap year and months that have sorter or longer days.

The Stopwatch handles lap times and will continue to run in the background. The other dials apart from the sweeping second hand keep track of 1/10 of a second, the smaller lower left hand dial counts the minutes and seconds, and the right hand dial tracks the 1/100 of a second. The stopwatch can indicate times of up to 23 minutes and 59.9 seconds.

For World Time, you need to go through the programming steps setting your Home City and your World Time City. When in this mode, the second hand points to the City that is configured (note, the cities appear around the dial). The lower left hand dial shows the time in 24 hour format so that you know if it is day or night and the right hand dial shows DST (daylight savings time) or STD (standard time).

The Alarm, you can set one, is pretty straight forward. You set it and the same time every day, it will go off. You silence it by clicking on any button. It will run regardless of what mode it is in as well.

4 functions are more than adequate for a timekeeping device in my opinion. I honestly only use the time and sometimes the alarm (a note: the alarm will drain your battery a bit faster that without it, but as long as you give the Edifice some daily minutes of sunlight, this isn’t an issue). And for me, the function is following the style with the Black Edifice.

HighTechDad Ratings

This particular Casio Edifice (EQS500C-1A1) retails for $250 and is available on Amazon currently for $228 which I believe to be a pretty good price for this tough solar powered Casio that you can dress up or down to your liking. While the initial configuration is complicated (you MUST have the manual), once your watch is set up, it is relatively easy to use (set it and forget it). It doesn’t require any maintenance (perhaps periodically setting the seconds accurately but the timekeeping hasn’t shown any real drift over the past few weeks). I personally like the black face style as it can be used in a dressy or casual environment, interchangeably.

EASY TO GEEK FACTOR – is the device easy to get up and running
HTD_3_half_star
FAMILY FRIENDLY – does the device fit well into family environments
HTD_3_half_star
RECOMMENDABILITY– would I recommend it to others (more means “yes”)
HTD_4_star
PRICE POINT – does the price reflect the product function
HTD_5_star
OVERALL – my general rating
HTD_4_half_star

I like what Casio has done with the Edifice line. Creating a variety of styles within a sub-brand helps to differentiate it from the competition. It is a smart move and makes me want to pick up more in the collection!

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own. More information can be found in my About page as well as here

HTD says: Bravo to Casio for building out the Edifice line – I’m not sure if form follows function or function follows form – either way, it simply works!



List Price:$250.00 USD
New From:$155.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

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  • Casio Questioner

    Hello Mr. Sheehan. I found this article by Googling my watch brand. I am hoping you can help me. I have the exact watch that you describe in the article, and what has baffled me to no end, is how the alarm works. I do not understand this 24hour system on the little clock in the lower left area. When I change to alarm mode, I advance to what appears to be 10:00 on the face, but how do I know whether it is am or pm??? The instruction manual does not explain this. I have no clue. I have the alarm set to “on” position, but nothing happens. Maybe you can explain how you can tell am from pm on a clock with just hour and minute hands?
    Thank you for your time.

  • Steven Edward Handy

    I got this same watch for Christmas and had the same exact problem, I even tried to contact Casio with no response from them, but I finally figured it out. The trick is that the lower right dial is in the 24 hour format, in other words, when the hour hand is straight down the alarm is set for 12:00 pm as indicated in the inner circle of the dial. One mark after that is 1:00 pm and one mark before is 11:00 am. The minute hand works as normal where one complete round is 60 minutes broken up as usual 15 minutes each 1/4 of the circle. This is how you set the alarm on am or pm.

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