As I mentioned in our prior review on the Casio Edifice EQB501, I’ve long had an interest in solar-powered watches, especially those that also bring some other time-keeping wizardry to the mix. Frankly, aside from pure accuracy and low-cost concerns, that is where the quartz movement really can shine. When we reviewed the Casio Edifice EQB501, that was my first foray into a bluetooth-equipped watch from the brand, and now we’re back with the Casio Edifice EQB900.
“Now, wait a minute” I hear yourself saying. “Weren’t these watches just announced mid-March?” Yes, well-informed reader, that is true. However, we were able to get some hands-on time with a sample in time for us to let you know about the watch this early in the cycle. Lucky us, lucky you. In many ways, the Casio Edifice EQB900 is very similar to the EQB501 that we looked at previously, but it’s also different in a couple of key ways.
First up, the similarities. The Casio Edifice EQB900 is of course solar-powered, and it relies on a bluetooth connection to your phone for some of the settings (refer to the prior review for some screenshots of that app). While you don’t have to use the app regularly – or have bluetooth always running, since the watch doesn’t do smartwatch-style notifications – you do have to use it to get things setup. Why? Because while the pushers on the watch are functional, the crown is not. Those are the large similarities, so let’s switch into where they differ.
Since I mentioned the pushers, let’s start there. The pushers themselves are pretty straight-forward, but the caseback has labelling on them as to their function, which I find fairly helping. Casio does a nice job stuffing a lot into these Edifice watches, but it can bring complexity to the picture when it comes time to remember how to use the thing. Yeah, the app helps with that, but actually being able to fiddle with the watch intelligently, without having to use the phone, is really much more satisfying.
I also like how the Casio Edifice EQB900 moves through it’s function modes. You use the pusher up at 10 o’clock, and then watch the indicator next to the retrograde dial at 12 o’clock . There are only the three functions (stopwatch, timer, alarm) it’s printed large enough that you can tell what’s going on (a vast improvement over my solar atomic G-Shock, I can tell you). Now, did you notice that the first big function in the modes is a stopwatch?
Yeah, the Casio Edifice EQB900 is also a chronograph. This shows up in the mode of course, as well as in that lovely blue tachymeter bezel set on the watch. When you are in that mode, the pushers on the right side of the case work as normal, and then you have the register down at 6 o’clock helping you track the minutes and hours.
When it’s not in chronograph mode, that lower register is actually where the world time function shows up. Using the app, it’s fairly painless to set the time on the Casio Edifice EQB900, and then for you travellers, it’s a simple matter to flip that second time zone to your main display, and vice versa. It’s a handy trick, albeit one I may not use a whole lot, if you ask Victor and John.
One I would use, and really like to see here on the Casio Edifice EQB900, is the batter level indicator. Hit the pusher, and the seconds hand pops over and tells you how that battery level is doing. In my experience, unless you have the watch shoved in a drawer, the battery should stay fairly-well charged, as the solar will suck up just about any light source and behave itself. The one exception would probably be the light that’s built into the watch.
That’s right – just like your old-school 80s digital watch, the Casio Edifice EQB900 features an LED light that you can use to light up the dial. This shows up at the 7 o’clock position, and is engaged with the pusher at 2 o’clock. The light doesn’t stay on long (to preserve the battery, one assumes), but it’s enough to get a look at the time if the lume has run out on the watch.
At the end of the day, while the Casio Edifice EQB900 carries a higher model number than the EQB501, and would ostensibly have more features, I frankly find it a lot simpler to use, and keep track of those functions in day-to-day usage without needing to rely on the Casio app all of the time. I think what potential Casio Edifice EQB900 buyers need to consider is what they want in terms of a watch. When you get into the Edifice line (particularly these connected ones) you have a lot of base similarities, so then it becomes a question of function, and then how that plays into the design. At the end of that, if the Casio Edifice EQB900 is the one for you, just bring your $320 to your favorite retailer when it’s released in April, and enjoy this just-announced watch. edifice.casio.com
- Brand & Model: Casio Edifice EQB900
- Price: $320
- Who’s it for? You’re a solar-powered world traveller who also wants to time their eggs and parking meters
- Would I wear it? While I do like the look, the chronograph is just so much nonsense for me, so no, I probably would not
- What I’d change: I wouldn’t mind seeing some less fingerprint-prone finishes hitting these watches
- The best thing about it: This is by far the easiest-to-use Edifice I’ve spent time with
- High-level overview
- Mineral Glass
- Blue ion plated bezel
- Screw Lock Crown
- 100-meter water resistance
- Case / bezel material: Stainless steel
- Solid Band
- One-touch 3-fold Clasp
- Stainless Steel Band
- Solar powered
- LED Light (Super Illuminator) Afterglow
- Mobile link (Wireless linking using Bluetooth®)
- Dual time (Home city time swapping)
- 1-second stopwatch
- Measuring capacity: 23:59’59.
- Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time
- Countdown timer
- Measuring unit: 1 second
- Countdown range: 24 hours
- Countdown start time setting range: 1 minute to 24 hours (1-minute increments and 1-hour increments)
- Daily alarm
- Battery level indicator
- Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)
- Power Saving (hands stop to save power when the watch is left in the dark.)
- Date display
- Regular timekeeping
- Analog: 3 hands (hour, minute (hand moves every 10 seconds), second)
- 3 dials (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)
- 22 months on rechargeable battery (operation period when stored in total darkness with the power save function on after full charge)
- Size of case : 49.2 X 45.8 X 12 mm
- Total weight : 148 g