For technical-oriented watches, a lot of the focus goes on smartwatches. And I get it – they?re flashy, and you can do a lot with those clever little screens. But what if you?re hankering for more of a traditional look, but still wouldn?t mind some of the benefits that come from linking a watch to a phone? Casio has a number of options that could cover you there, and we recently spent some time with one of their latest, the Casio Edifice Slim Connected EQB1000D-1A.
Now, to be perfectly clear, while the Casio Edifice Slim Connected does have a bluetooth connection built in, you?re not going to be getting notifications from your phone going off on your wrist. What you?re going to get, however, is a simpler way to get things setup on your watch. This does mean another app on your phone, and in my time of testing the various Casio watches, I?ve now got 3 of them – one called Casio+, one for Edifice, and one for the ProTrek lines. I get there is some different branding, but why they?re fractured like this, just doesn?t make sense to me.
Anyhow, back to the watch at hand. Using the Edifice app, you?ll do the initial setup of the Casio Edifice Slim Connected. With it, you can get the time (local and world time) set, as well as the date and an alarm if you like. You?ve also got the capability to download your chronograph logs, which could be an interesting function if you?re, well, timing a series of things that you need records for. Past these functions, there?s not much use for the Bluetooth. Basically, it makes it easier for you to manage the watch. And that?s a good thing, because overly-complex watches that you can only control via analog readouts gets complicated in a hurry.
The other thing that can happen with more-complex analog watches (particularly those with additional radios built-in) tend to be a bit thicker. Some of this may be just for aesthetics, but most of it is likely due to just needing the space. Well, the engineers at Casio went and redesigned all that they could, and this is one of the slimmest watches I?ve had in, period, let alone one with some smarts. At just 8.9mm thick (about the same as stacking 5 quarters), I?m betting is a good bit thinner than anything you?re wearing. And in the world of watches, thin represents a commitment to the design, and a willingness to invest resources to achieve that goal.
What this means is, on the wrist, the Casio Edifice Slim Connected is extremely comfortable – once you have the bracelet sized down. And a note on that bracelet. We?re used to expecting split pins, or maybe pins-and-collars, right? Well, Casio went in a totally different direction, and used spring bars in this. In practice, this seems like great for ease of use, and it was for taking links out. When it comes time to hooking it all back together, though, it?s a little trickier than you?d think to get it all lined up so you can use your springbar tool to depress the end of the bar you can see. It makes for a very clean look on the side of the bracelet, though, and it?s not something you?d need to fiddle with once initially sized.
Along with the thinner case and bracelet, you can tell that the Casio Edifice Slim Connected was designed to look like a much more upscale piece via it?s bezel. This flat as flat can be, with a brushed finish that brightens up in the light and doesn?t show a smudge, in contrast to the many polished surfaces. It?s also got the screws set in on either side of the bezel, ala some high-end Swiss brands. These are likely for decoration, but it?s also possible that there are fasteners inside the case that capture those screws to hold things in place. I wasn?t about to take apart the loaner to find out, however.
Ok, I know, I know, this is starting to sound more and more like a standard watch review, and sure, the Casio Edifice Slim Connected is a solid, very nice-looking watch. But you want to know about the tech! We did cover off on the Bluetooth lashup, and how it greatly speeds along setting up the watch (and even with a quick reminder for how to use the watch). You can of course interact via the pushers (see, the tutorial is good) to cycle through various modes (indicated on the teal semi-circle). The other really great feature that hides in plain sight are the solar panels. That?s right, this watch is powered by light, even the fluorescents that plague our modern offices. So, there?s no charging needed of this watch (well, at least not in an outlet).
Solar-powered watches are great, in my book, because they?re inherently intelligent. Power-saving is the name of the game, and these watches can tell when they?re in total darkness (say, a drawer) and will stop moving the hands around the dial. It still tracks the date and time, and it?s a treat to see it ?spring to life? when you pull it out to put it on. In normal wear, the batter should last for 5 months on a single charge, or 19 months if it goes into power-saving mode. If you?re wearing it at least once a week, though, keeping the watch running likely won?t be a problem.
In fact, once you get the Casio Edifice Slim Connected setup, you could go long stretches without syncing to your phone. If you do that, you?re relying on the +/- 15 seconds per month accuracy, which really isn?t bad, but you can get more accuracy. How? Sync to your phone! The phone will know the exact time from the towers, and then your watch can take advantage of that. And if you?re traveling, well, then it?s a cinch to flip the time to your new time zone via the app.
At an asking price of $300, the Casio Edifice Slim Connected is a lot of watch for the price. You get some intelligent connected benefits in an ultra-slim and stylish look, as well as a watch that will just simply work, day in and day out, without necessarily having to talk to your phone. While the teal accents wouldn?t be what I would pick, this has definitely been the favorite of the Edifice lineup that I?ve gone hands-on with over the years. edifice.casio.com
- Brand & Model: Casio Edifice Slim Connected EQB1000D-1A
- Price: $300
- Who?s it for? First off, you want a solid, good-looking, and thin watch. Secondarily, if it has some added smart connectivity benefits, that?s icing on the cake.
- Would I wear it? Of all the Edifice models that I?ve reviewed, this one is at the top of the list that I?d say yes to.
- What I?d change: Figure out how to consolidate your multiple apps into a single portal, Casio!
- The best thing about it: The slimness is an obvious choice, as is the solar charging. With a watch like this, though, it?s being able to use your phone to help configure the settings on the watch, instead of relying on pushers and analog readouts.
Tech Specs from Casio
- Tough Solar (Solar powered)
- Mobile link (Wireless linking using Bluetooth?
- Dual time (Home city time swapping)
- 1-second stopwatchMeasuring capacity: 23:59?59Others: Flyback, direct timing start from the timekeeping mode
- Daily alarm
- Power Saving (hands stop to save power when the watch is left in the dark)
- Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)
- Date display
- Day indicator
- Regular timekeeping
- Analog: 3 hands (hour, minute (hand moves every 10 seconds)
- (second), 4 dials (24-hour, day, dual time hour and minute, dual time 24-hour)
- Accuracy: ?15 seconds per month (with no mobile link function)
- Approx. battery operating time:
- 5 months on rechargeable battery (operation period with normal use without exposure to light after charge)
- 19 months on rechargeable battery (operation period when stored in total darkness with the power save function on after full charge)
- Module: 5604
- Size of case /total weight
- EQB-1000D???49.9 x 45.6 x 8.9 mm / 130 g