The Casio Pathfinder (PAW500T-7V), with it’s new twin sensor may seem like a watch only meant for rugged men. But it’s many outdoorsy features appeal to women as well. That’s why it was designed for both. The best part is we got a chance to review it and abuse it and see if it would really be the watch for those who like to live and breathe the outdoors and a rugged lifestyle.
What I liked when I first opened the cardboard box was the packaging and what was revealed was a sense of an earthy watch inside. The box is made of solid wood. You could practically still smell the pine. Once you slide the box open you are greeted with an all silver watch with a metal band. The face of the Pathfinder is digital and a bit large for the average woman so I was apprehensive to try it at first, thinking this thing would just look large and clunky. Well I have to say I was impressed how light weight it actually felt. It wasn’t too huge for my wrist and the face of the watch also wasn’t to masculine on my hand. I was also impressed that the time and date were both correct right out of the box. Which is due in part to the atomic timekeeping feature. If the time wasn’t correct out of the box, all you have to do is is enter the timekeeping mode by pressing the adjust key. Then enter in your ‘Home City’, place it by the window and a signal will automatically be sent to program the watch with the right time. Atomic timekeeping is the best for those who consider themselves jet setters. No matter where you land, you can be sure to have the right time already signaled to your watch. Whether it be London, England or Anchorage, or home.
The features of this watch are what make it stand out, besides its metal exterior it also has quite a bit under that fancy digital face. The atomic timekeeping is only one of the MANY tricks this watch has. It is also solar powered so you must be sure to wear it in well lit areas or the battery will eventually drain. Once you return in to light it will begin to recharge again.
On the right side of the watch are 3 buttons: Barometer, Light, and Altimeter. On the left side of the watch are 2 buttons: Mode and Adjust. Pressing the ‘Baro’ button will enable the barometric pressure and temperature readings. Barometrics is the measure of air pressure. So if you are high up on a mountain you can tell if the weather is about to change anytime soon. The temperature is displayed in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. We wore the watch in New York and the temperature reading on the Pathfinder was generally accurate, if sometimes off by a degree or two.
In addition, you can also see barometrics as a graph on the watch. A rising graph means weather is improving, the opposite means you should probably get an umbrella. The ‘alt’ button when pressed measures altitude which is perfect for hikers so that they can set markers for when they started at the bottom of the mountain and ended high on top. You’ll be able to measure the altitude of how much exactly you climbed and it will constantly change on the watch as you hike.
The Mode button controls both the stopwatch and alarm feature. The ‘light’ button when pressed displayed a nice soothing aqua hue. It worked manually as you needed light, you just press the button. If you hold it down for 3 seconds it will go on “Full Auto EL Light” which means the light will automatically go on in low light conditions but only when you position your wrist towards you as if to look at the time. So sadly you can’t have fun blinding people with your luminous watch. Press the light button again for a few seconds and you’ll turn off the auto feature.
We had a little fun with the Pathfinder to see if it really could handle the elements. We put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to see if it handled extreme cold and even dunked into a glass of water. It is water resistant for 100m but its not ‘waterproof’ but in both cases the watch held up well. When we took it out of the freezer the wrist band was a bit stiff but it was still ticking away. When we took it out of the water it was working just fine as well.
In the end I would say the Casio Pathfinder is certainly a powerful watch that is perfect for any outdoors man or woman. I can appreciate the fact that its a unisex watch but I think I would have liked it even better if it were to have a little more feminine look to it or if there were just a separate version for women altogether. But the one significant gripe I have is that its buttons are not easy to push. It takes a bit of pressure from my thumb or pointer finger to activate the buttons. The light button when pressed for manual function doesn’t stay on long and you have to keep pushing it repeatedly to make it turn on again. For most these issues certainly won’t make or break you from buying the watch. Overall, it is packed with good features and it’s the perfect watch if you’re priority is to have a feature rich watch that handles well and will last long, than this is the watch for you. The Casio Pathfinder PAW500T-7V retails for $200.
Hardy watch without too much bulk, atomic timekeeping and solar power features are awesome to have
I wish it were a tad more feminine or a woman specific model