Overview

Before starting the review I should give some perspective on the type of person writing it. I am a technology freak, constantly researching the gadgets that can make my life easier (or more complicated – depending on device!). My first real watch, following the Zelda wristwatch, was a Casio calculator wristwatch. This watch served me loyally into high school until the battery died. I tried to replace it myself, but ended up cracking the LCD. Then I thought, “Is there a watch that didn’t need a battery?” to save myself any future embarrassments. My next purchase was a Seiko Kinetic, which converts mechanical motion into electrical energy. It lasted seven years before the dial broke off. Now I thought,” Is there a watch that sets itself, doesn’t need a battery, and as an added bonus is waterproof?” This leads us into the main topic, the Casio Waveceptor. An atomic watch receives the radio signal sent from Fort Collins, Colorado to set its time. A user need only enter their time zone and whether their location observes Daylight Savings Time. While a few manufactures make atomic watches, including the Dakota Watch Company and Junghans, Casio was the only one I could find that also runs on solar power. I purchased the WVQ500DA-2AV because I felt it provided the best balance in the four categories of features, cost, quality, and style. The category order also reflects how I personally rank each in importance.

Features

Most digital watches have more features than needed. Below I listed those features worth mentioning.

  • Solar power with rechargeable battery
  • Atomic time
  • 100 m water resistant
  • Battery level indicator
  • Both analog and digital displays
  • Auto calendar
  • Backlight

All the features worked as advertised. From central Illinois I get a clear radio signal, although I had difficulty programming the time zone. I found two features missing on the watch. The wristband was the most lacking feature. It had huge links which makes sizing difficult – my wrists could have used a half link size. Some watches have multiple pin holes near the clasp for fine tuning band length, this one only had one. I assume that the watch face is scratch resistant glass because neither Casio nor its vendors listed the material. Oceanus (a subsidiary of Casio) sells a version with a sapphire crystal face, but for about twice the price.

Cost

The list price for the WVQ500DA-2AV was $320, but it can be purchased for much less online. I had wanted to purchase the watch at a local store so I could inspect it and get the band sized. Due to the brand and the price most jewelers avoid this model like the plague. I purchase my watch from Kenmar Watches for around $200, and I received it quickly. Comparing the looks and features to the Oceanus OCW510DA2A (approx. $450 online) below, I felt this watch was a good value in comparison.

Casio WVQ500DA-2AV

Oceanus OCW510DA2A

Quality

This part of the review is difficult since I have not owned it long enough to comment on its durability. I plan to update the post if any issues arise. In term of physical quality, the watch is hefty and large and does not feel cheap. The watch was heavier then my Seiko Kinetic which surprised me considering the Kinetic has a mini-generator in it. If you want a lighter watch, you should go with the titanium version, but the titanium metal body will scratch more easily than stainless steel. Underneath the watch itself, an inscription indicates it was made in Japan. However, the watchband quality is a different story. The clasp is very thin, a real issue considering its importance, and did not have the extra pinhole many other bands have for fine length adjustments. The watchband inscription says made in China.

Style

If you’re the type who cares about style, stop reading, and go buy a Rolex. The watch was stylish amongst my engineering friends.

Conclusions

The Casio Waveceptor was the only watch I could find that was both atomic and solar, two features I most wanted in a new watch. While Casio offers cheaper Waveceptor watches, the WVQ500DA models can almost pass for a classy timepiece. So far I have been happy with the watch and recommend it to others. I have already contacted Casio’s Dover New Jersey service center once with a question and was attended to quickly and satisfied with their response. Although the watchband might seem like a real show stopper, it can probably be replaced with a better one if desired.

UPDATE: Three years now and the watch still works. For about 6 months I thought my watch light was broken since it kept turning on. A reader in the comments later  pointed out that this was a feature!  If you hold down the light button, it enables the auto-light on.  The watch turns the light on if you tilt your wrist in the dark–cool. I went through the effort to get an online quote for the imaginary repair. If it were broken, it would cost $80 to get an out of warranty repair (Casio warranty is only 1 year).  Thanks readers.

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4 Responses to “Review : Waveceptor WVQ500DA”  

  1. 1 Sheryl Pitel

    As a free service of PitelSPOT’s management, your post has been edited for spelling, grammar, and missing words.

    Have a nice day.

  2. 2 Chris Dunphy

    I have had the Casia WVA-450TDJ for nearly five years, and I love it.

    Here are some of the reasons why: http://radven.livejournal.com/90893.html

    Sadly – the band has broken, and at least one watch shop tells me it can not be repaired.

    *grrr*

    I only want five things in a watch: style, sapphire face, atomic time sync, solar power, and a stopwatch. Why is that so hard to find all wrapped up in one affordable package?

    What watch are you wearing now?

  3. 3 Grant Pitel

    I am still wearing the same watch. I think it might have “fixed itself”, since I have not noticed the light problem in a while. I plan on wearing it for a while.

  4. 4 X

    FYI,
    This watch is probably the same, as similar casio watches
    that have an auto tilt feature that will automatically activate
    the light when you tilt your arm. My watch which is similar you
    hold down the light switch for a few seconds and the tilt
    indicator will will display. Perhaps you are confusing this
    feature with a broken button!

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