As I mentioned in our prior review on the Casio Edifice EQB501, Iâ€™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. Â When we reviewed theÂ Casio Edifice EQB501, that was my first foray into a bluetooth-equipped watch from the brand, and now weâ€™re back with theÂ Casio Edifice EQB900.
â€œNow, wait a minuteâ€ I hear yourself saying. Â â€œWerenâ€™t these watches justÂ announced mid-March?â€ Â Yes, well-informed reader, that is true. Â 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. Â Lucky us, lucky you. Â In many ways, theÂ Casio Edifice EQB900 is very similar to the EQB501Â that we looked at previously, but itâ€™s also different in a couple of key ways.
First up, the similarities. Â TheÂ 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 reviewÂ for some screenshots of that app). Â While you donâ€™t have to use the app regularly – or have bluetooth always running, since the watch doesnâ€™t do smartwatch-style notifications – you do have to use it to get things setup. Â Why? Â Because while the pushers on the watch are functional, the crown is not. Â Those are the large similarities, so letâ€™s switch into where they differ.
Since I mentioned the pushers, letâ€™s start there. Â The pushers themselves are pretty straight-forward, but the caseback has labelling on them as to their function, which I find fairly helping. Â 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. Â 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 theÂ Casio Edifice EQB900 moves through itâ€™s function modes. Â You use the pusher up at 10 oâ€™clock, and then watch the indicator next to the retrograde dial at 12 oâ€™clock . There are only the three functions (stopwatch, timer, alarm) itâ€™s printed large enough that you can tell whatâ€™s going on (a vast improvement over my solar atomic G-Shock, I can tell you). Â Now, did you notice that the first big function in the modes is a stopwatch?
Yeah, theÂ Casio Edifice EQB900 is also a chronograph. Â This shows up in the mode of course, as well as in that lovely blue tachymeter bezel set on the watch. Â 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 oâ€™clock helping you track the minutes and hours.
When itâ€™s not in chronograph mode, that lower register is actually where the world time function shows up. Â Using the app, itâ€™s fairly painless to set the time on theÂ Casio Edifice EQB900, and then for you travellers, itâ€™s a simple matter to flip that second time zone to your main display, and vice versa. Â Itâ€™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. Â Hit the pusher, and the seconds hand pops over and tells you how that battery level is doing. Â 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. Â The one exception would probably be the light thatâ€™s built into the watch.
Thatâ€™s right – just like your old-school 80s digital watch, theÂ Casio Edifice EQB900 features an LED light that you can use to light up the dial. Â This shows up at the 7 oâ€™clock position, and is engaged with the pusher at 2 oâ€™clock. Â The light doesnâ€™t stay on long (to preserve the battery, one assumes), but itâ€™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 theÂ 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. Â I think what potentialÂ Casio Edifice EQB900 buyers need to consider is what they want in terms of a watch. Â 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. Â At the end of that, if theÂ Casio Edifice EQB900 is the one for you, just bring your $320Â to your favorite retailer when it’s released in April, and enjoy this just-announced watch. Â edifice.casio.com
- Brand & Model:Â Casio Edifice EQB900
- Price: $320
- Whoâ€™s it for? Youâ€™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 Iâ€™d change: I wouldnâ€™t mind seeing some less fingerprint-prone finishes hitting these watches
- The best thing about it: Â This is by far the easiest-to-use Edifice Iâ€™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)Â Afterglow
- Mobile link (Wireless linking using BluetoothÂ®)
- 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: Â±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