By Andrew Liszewski
There are a handful of watches that combine a digital LED display with an analog watch face which makes it easier for those of us who suck at telling time the ‘old-fashioned’ way, but this new Tough Movement system from Casio actually relies on an LED ‘under-the-hood’ to keep the positions of the analog hands accurate. The watch receives time calibration signals from six different bases located around the world, and at the 55 minute mark of every hour if the time indicated by the watch doesn’t match up with the time from the signals, the position of the hands is automatically corrected. The gears for the second, minute and hour hands are actually sandwiched between an LED and a phototransistor which also allows the watch to detect the positions of all three gears at once by shining a light through a series of holes that are just 300 mum in diameter.
The new Tough Movement also incorporates metal and plastic parts in order to reduce the weight and size of the watch while increasing rigidity and shock-resistance. As a result the thickness of a 3-hand analog model is reduced by 2.26mm to 4.11mm, while the more complex chronograph model is reduced by 0.55mm to 4.9mm. The new Tough Movement system will apparently be incorporated into Casio’s Oceanus and G-Shock series watches, and the first model to feature it (the GS-1200) will be available at the end of September in Japan for about $388.