Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wristwatch Review: Casio Telememo 30 World Time Ana-Digital Watch

A Futuristic Retro Watch?

How can a watch be futuristic and retro at the same time?  It sounds like a riddle,  but the Casio Telememo 30 World Time Ana-Digital watch provides an easy and inexpensive answer.

(This watch review is republished from my reviews originally published on Yahoo Contributors Network.)

How can a watch be futuristic and retro at the same time? It sounds like a riddle, but the Casio Telememo 30 World Time Ana-Digital watch provides an easy and inexpensive answer. This Casio has the square shape and stainless look of a classic watch from the 1960s or 1970s, but an aperture from 4 to 8 o'clock contains a fully functional digital watch.

This Casio's face is reminiscent of something you'd see on a classic car dashboard instrument or hi-fi dial. The analog watch hands have luminous insets as do the hash marks from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock. The slightly retro feel is enhanced by a cross hairs centered on the face of the watch. When you light up the watch at night, the watch is illuminated rather dramatically via a circle of lights that rings the dial. It may not be the most effective watch lighting ever, but the style of this watch is certainly a winner.

The face of the watch measures 1 and 1/2 inches across and the case is a 1/2-inch thick. The stainless steel band was a little disappointing. It was a tad snug on my 8 1/2-inch wrists and had to be worn on my wrist joint itself. Every once in awhile, I inadvertently activate a button or two on watch when I bend my wrist back while doing routine activities. I even accidentally set an alarm and had to consult the manual in order to shut it off rather than just snooze it. Fortunately, the manual is fairly understandable and I was able to shut off the alarm. After losing a little weight, the watch also fit perfectly.

While the watch has a retro look, it does have some very futuristic features. For example, the Casio Telememo 30 World Time watch has no crown! You set the analog hands by using buttons! It's amazing and fun to watch! Of course, it is another reason not to lose your watch manual. The Casio's Telememo features also allow the watch to remember 30 names and phone numbers. But, wait that's not all, this watch can also keep track of time in multiple time zones.

Using the instruction manual, I found it very easy to enter a name and phone number into the databank. While most people probably keep their numbers in a cell phone address book, this watch can be a useful backup. The time zone functionality was also easy to use. Codes correspond to major cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow. If you simply pick the major city in your time zone, indicate whether daylight savings time is in effect, and set the time, all the other time zones will adjust automatically. The timezone and Telememo features are very useful in a watch at this price point.

It's nice to have a nice name-brand watch with an understandable manual. With low price watches like my Advance Watch Company Ana-Digital, it can sometimes be difficult or impossible to stop hourly beeping. I've been pleased with watches like my Casio Pathfinder. Overall, the Casio Telememo 30 World Time Ana-digital watch is a good value and, at a low price of about $25, it is an excellent deal for a watch with great styling and some interesting features.

Here is the round version of the Casio Telememo 30:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pulsar Watches - Past and Present

There are always lots of pictures of high end watches.  The heritage of mechanical watch making is well celebrated.  But, it's also worth noting that the quartz watch makers have their own history to celebrate.  For example, PULSAR was created as a joint venture between Hamilton watches and Electro/Data Inc.  The company was a pioneer in the development of digital watches.  They created the first ever LED watch in 1972.   

Vintage 1970s Pulsar LED watch - Photo by Joe Haupt from USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Watches like the PULSAR Model P2 Time Computer LED Watch pioneered the whole idea of digital watches.

PULSAR Model P2 Time Computer LED Watch by Joe Haupt from USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
PULSAR also introduced the very first calculator watch in 1975.  It was an LED watch with small calculator buttons.

PULSAR LED Calculator Watch - Photo by Rept0n1x (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Today's PULSAR watches are powered by accurate, reliable, quartz watch movements.  PULSAR was bought by Seiko in 1978.  As part of the Seiko family of watch companies, they are certainly reliable and accurate.  In stores, you generally see far more analog PULSAR watches than digital.  But, today, you can still get Pulsar digital watches.  When you glimpse at your wrist, you'll also be wearing part of digital history.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can You Buy an Automatic Men's Watch for Less than $50?

It's an age old quest.  Can you get a nice looking automatic mechanical watch for less than $50?  The answer is a resounding, "YES!"  This A ALPS Men's automatic watch is nicely proportioned and looks great.  It even has an exhibition caseback!  That why I'm putting it on my cheap watch wish list!

Most amazingly, there are about 18 different combinations of color, case, and strap.  Check out the A_Alps watch on Amazon. I was pretty psyched when I found a $50 automatic at Walmart a few years ago. 

My Walmart Automatic!
To find that sub-$50 automatic watches are common on Amazon is a truly exciting development! Now everyone can buy inexpensive automatic watches.

[This post was updated in 2024.]  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Walmart Sub-$10 Diver From MZ Berger

Every once in awhile, I'll find a gem among in among the cheap watches st Walmart.  I unearthed one of those gems recently in the form of a watch I call the Walmart Sub-10 Diver.  It's a diver style watch made by MZ Berger.

Walmart Diver Style Watch by MZ Berger

This diver-style watch successfully evokes the looks of famous dive watches at an amazingly low price.  The hands have arrowhead points like those of an Omega Seamaster.  The bezel has nice and clear numbers and dive style markings, but does not rotate.  The silicone band is supremely comfortable and has a red pastel color that will appeal to unisexuals.  I wish the band was black.  However, both men or women can wear this watch.

Walmart Diver Style Watch Up Close
The most incredible feature of this watch is the everyday low price.  For only $7.88, this watch is a great deal.  At that low price, replacing a watch strap is simply trivial.  If you are looking for a cheap timepiece that you can leave in your shoes at the beach this summer, this Walmart watch is a great choice!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wristwatch Review: Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer Digital Watch

A Digital Watch for Outdoorsmen and Werewolves 

On the prowl? The Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer digital watch can tell you the phase of the moon and the best times to hunt.

 (This is a reprint of my original review from Yahoo Contributors network.)

The Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer Digital Watch is an attractive digital watch with a mission. This watch can tell you the phase of the moon, when the sun rises and sets, when to go hunting, and much more. It has an attractive camouflaged cloth and velcro band, a stainless steel back, and a green and metallic plastic case. The digital LCD display is ringed by a metal bezel which protects the watch face well. The Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer watch is well proportioned and not too clunky. The case measures about 45 millimeters across and about 13 millimeters thick. The leather-trimmed, camouflaged, wristband is about 20mm wide and easily fit my 8 1/2-inch wrists. I found this watch to be roughly the size of my Armitron All-Sport Digital Watch.

The best thing about the Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer is that it looks like an adventure on your wrist. Astronomers and werewolves will like being able to see the moon phase on the watch face. With a push of a button, the watch will tell you the age of moon (day in its cycle). The worst thing about the Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer is that you really don't want to lose the manual. I'm a basic analog watch guy and I find the Casio Pathfinder watch a little complicated. In fact, I postponed writing this review for months because I couldn't find my manual. Fortunately, I was able to find a manual on the web and download it. The manual is vital because you need to enter your longitude and latitude and the appropriate offset from Greenwich Meantime (GMT). The Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer is definitely not a simple analog watch like my Timex Expedition Metal Tech. However, the Casio Pathfinder watch is very cool once it is set up properly.

The core function of the Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer watch is its ability to identify the best times for hunting and fishing in accordance with Solunar Theory. According to Solunar Theory, there are two major times of day and two minor times of day when hunting and fishing is best due to the tidal influence of the moon. While explaining Solunar theory is beyond the scope of this wristwatch review, the Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer watch keeps track of these peak hunting and fishing times. Peak hunting and fishing times are displayed as black LCD dashes around the hashes on the bezel. The major periods are displayed as 4 dashes and the minor periods are two dashes. Each dash represents 15 minutes.

But wait, that's not all! When the wearer pushes the mode button on the Casio Pathfinder Hunting Time, the next display shows the moon phase, age of the moon, and the peak times cycle on the display. Another push of the button reveals the moon phase, age of the moon, time of sunset, and time of sunrise. If you want to test out Solunar theory, the watch has a data bank that allows it to remember times when the wearer pushes a button. Conceivably you could enter the exact time that you catch each fish on your next outing and check to see how the times fit the theory. The watch also offers stop watch functionality in case you need to time yourself in wind sprints against a bear.

Overall, at a retail price of $30 to $50, the Casio Pathfinder Hunting Timer watch is a howling good value and will delight any sportsman or werewolf on your gift list.

Deer (Animal) Activity from Solunar Moon Sun, Kings Outdoor World website

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dream Watch: the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

We live on a blue planet.  2/3 of our planet's surface is covered by water.  It's only natural that humans yearn to explore the sea.  We swim.  We sail.  We dive.  We need watches that will stand up to the rigors of the sea.  Many Omega Watches are engineered for the sea.  According to Omega, the Swiss firm created the first watch ever designed expressly for divers back in 1932.  Today, that heritage continues with a watch called the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean By Naklig (προσωπική εργασία) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is water resistant to 600 meters (2000 feet) and has professional dive features such as a helium escape valve and a screw in crown.  It also has a scratch resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment.  Despite the big features at 43.5 millimeter diameter case is well within the normal range of watch sizes. It's big enough to be bold, but not silly big.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean

As a mechanical watch, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is a wonder.  It has an innovative co-axial automatic movement that is double-barreled to allow for winding in both directions.  The fast winding of the co-axial movement is combined with a 60 hour power reserve for a watch that keeps on going.  To see the beauty on the inside, a transparent caseback is provided.  The Omega Planet Ocean is an amazing watch for our amazing planet.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Cleaning

This blog needs a little spring cleaning. 

First, I'm going to start rehosting more of my reviews here so that I can finally kill off the dead links that continue to afflict these pages.  If you've been reading for awhile, please bear with me while you see a mix of new and old.

Next, I've got to figure out how to rebuild my list of blog links.  The widget stopped working when I got the new domain name.

Beyond that, we should have a mix of interesting watch reviews in the weeks ahead.  As I write this a super cheap watch is coming my way on a slow boat from China.  It should be interesting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wristwatch Review: Timex Weekender Men's Tachymeter Analog Strap Watch

Reviewing a Good Looking Tachymeter Watch for a Reasonable Price

The new Timex Weekender watches bring an element of refinement and style to everyday watches.

Timex Weekender with Tachymeter Markings

(This review is a reprint of a review that I published several years ago on Yahoo.  However, the Timex Weekender continues to sell well.)

Timex is known for reliable, no nonsense, wristwatches that are sold for reasonable prices. The new Timex Weekender watches exemplify those sensibilities, but bring an element of refinement and style to everyday watches. Most of the Timex Weekender watches have a slightly preppy Northeastern look. However, one version (model T2N638) has a leather band and tachymeter markings around the bezel. In terms of styling, this model lies somewhere between preppie-dom and more serious men's watches. At Target, this Timex is well-priced at $34.99.

Timex Weekender Illuminated with Indiglo Backlighting

The face of this Timex is clean and white. It provides a strong contrast to the large black numerals that are traditionally placed at five minute intervals. Small but readable numerals (13 through 24) set inside the primary numerals aid in keeping military time in accordance to the 24 hour clock. The 15 on the military dial has been replaced by a small window that reveals the date in the same font. Timex keeps the fact that you need help remembering the date a private matter between you and your wristwatch. This watch is easy to read without being an "easy reader."

A Traditional Timex Weekender with Strap Set

On a daily basis, this Timex Weekender is a practical watch. The crown pulls out to two positions: one for setting the date and the other for setting the time. It is a small touch, but it sure beats manually rotating the hands through about 60 revolutions to set the date. The leather band is comfortable, but a little narrow for my tastes with 18mm lugs and a tapering shape. The narrow leather band allows the watch to rotate a little on my wrist. I'm debating whether to replace the leather band with a more secure canvas or black rubber variety. My wrists are a little less than 8 and a 1/2 inches in diameter and I had 2 more holes available on the band.

Since I was unable to reach 400 miles per hour on a public highway, I was unable to fully test the tachymeter. Basically, small markings on the bezel allow the wearer to measure how fast they are going. To use, you wait until the second hand reaches 12 o'clock and pull the crown. Then you travel to a measured mile and push the crown in when you pass the marker beginning the mile. When you've travelled to the end marker for the mile, you pull the crown again. The second hand will line up with markings on the bezel to indicate your speed. For example, a mile in 45 seconds minute is 80 miles per hour. If your family car is really fast, a 9 second mile is 400 miles per hour.

Overall, the tachymeter version of the Timex Weekender is an affordable, practical, and stylish watch.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Watch Review: Structure Analog Diver-style Watch

The Structure brand of clothing and apparel makes some of my favorite low-cost quartz-movement wristwatches.  I recently unearthed a Structure watch from the far recesses of my watch drawer.   When I flicked open the box in search of a more expensive watch, I was surprised to find that it was still ticking and still waiting for me.  So, I put it on, cinched up the rubber strap and wore it to work.
As I looked at the watch, I was struck by a number of subtle details.  For example, the numbered hours (3, 6, 9, and 12) are marked by white numerals edged with a gold tone and the batons marking the remaining hours are gold tone with a white edging.  It's a subtle reversal, but it adds a rich looking layer of intrigue to a $35 watch.  

Structure Analog Diver Style Watch

The crown of the watch is protected by a hard black plastic fender.  The fender is screwed into the base metal watch case with two shiny screws that evoke pusher buttons by their size and placement.  The same hard black plastic is used for the non-rotating diver-style bezel.  The first 20 minutes on the bezel are marked in 1 minute increments and white hashes at five minute increments with white numerals for 30, 40, and 50.

The case is a high gloss gunmetal gray that stands rather tall and has a stainless steel case back.  A fairly stiff black resin strap completes the masculine look of the watch.

It's a simple design but it draws compliments at the office.  One of my co-workers said it was a great looking  .  watch, asked about it, and was really shocked when I revealed that it was only $30 on sale.  He said, "From 6 feet away, people don't know if it is a Tag Heuer watch or what."

It's true.  This Structure watch looks great and comes in at an excellent price point.  Sears has a great selection of Structure watches.  If you are a member of their ShopYourWay Rewards program and you make a major purchase at Sears, you'll quite like get enough Rewards points to get a watch like this for free.  Even better, you can now get great prices on Structure watches on Amazon!
Of course, at this low price, there are trade offs.  The strap  is a little stiff.  The watch case is made of a base metal.  The watch is a little bulky.  However, I like this watch a lot and feel like its a great value.  Overall, this watch and most Structure watches are well constructed, well designed, and an excellent buy.