Review | Casio G-SHOCK Aviator GW-A1100-1AER
The GW-A1100-1AER sits towards the top of the Gravity Deifier range of analogue aviation watches from G-Shock, prices of which start at approximately £250. This one however, reaches the giddy height of £500 - a considerable investment for a Casio. We find out whether it is worthy of that significant price tag, which puts it amongst some stiff competition.
The watch is packaged in protective foam, inside a metal G-Shock tin. Not particularly exciting for a £500 watch. A £200 Tissot comes better packaged and at £500, we are moving toward the realms of luxury watches with both Hamilton and Oris almost within reach; especially if you find one on sale. We're sure Casio could make more of an effort with the packaging of its range topping watches. We expect biscuits when we open a tin. Not a £500 watch!
The Detail is in the Design
Talking of first impressions: the GW-A1100-1AER is surprisingly light for such a large watch. Of course, the main reason being that the majority of the case and strap is manufactured from resin. However, some interesting details prevail which lift this to a new level, in comparison to the traditional G-Shock offering that people have come to expect from this popular sub-brand of Casio.
The most obvious part of the specification which holds this in higher esteem than the majority of the G-Shock range is that the watch dial is encased in synthetic sapphire crystal, rather than mineral glass. Whilst mineral glass does not shatter like sapphire (it cracks), it is far less resistant to scratches than sapphire, which is well documented as being one of the hardest substances on Earth. It's what you'll find on the majority of Swiss Made watches and it is reassuring to see it utilised to such good effect here. It also provides excellent clarity, in addition to that scratch-resistant surface.
Any concerns with regards to that dial, which appeared cluttered in the initial press shots are immediately alleviated. Yes, some of the text is extremely small but Casio have done well to ensure the smallest text on the dial indicates the features that you would use the least, or are only used in the initial set-up of the watch.
Turning to the reverse of the case, the back is metal, screwed down and with the triple-G logo etched precisely into it, some detail regarding the key specifications and indication of the available modes. Although we can't think why this is entirely necessary as you're unlikely to operate the various functions from upside down, when you can't see the dial.
The (two) knurled pushers are metal and are incorporated well in to the right hand side of the watch. We noticed that they rotate (smoothly) and whilst this isn't to control any function on the watch, we wonder if it's as an additional security measure, protecting them against any sideways impact that may result in their malfunction should they not have the ability to move with any stresses placed upon them.
The crown is interesting - and it is a proper crown, just as an analogue watch should have - metal again and finished with a knurled rubber contact-point. It turns to unlock and can then be pulled out to control the various features of the watch. Smart Access as Casio call it, with a positive action which reacts instantly to any input from the user.
On the left-hand side is a large, rectangular mode button which sits flush with the case. It requires a firm press but we like this, as it’s unlikely it could be operated accidentally.
The N heading on the compass is finished in white (whereas the remaining bearings are grey) to assist with legibility but we did note that the East (E) bearing is printed into the resin, whereas the other three are on the (nice) metal bezel which runs the majority of the circumference of the watch dial. It would have looked more attractive and appeared complete had the metal bezel been visible the entire face of the watch, rather than being partially obscured by the resin crown guard to the right.
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