A review today of a women’s watch from Casio’s Baby-G series that does it all. The LWA-M140-7ACF is quite the powerhouse, packed into a casually-styled look that belies its inner geek:

•Tough solar power (the dial is a solar panel).
•5-band atomic timekeeping (US, UK, Japan, Germany).
•Water resistant (depth not specified).
•Mineral crystal.
•34.6mm by 11.5mm, 25g.
•LED backlight.
•World time: 29 time zones, 48 cities.
•Alarm.
•60 minute countdown timer.
•1 hour stopwatch.
•12 month power reserve with low-power modes and low-battery warning.
•Casio module 4739 (PDF of manual).

The watch is cased and banded in matte-finished white plastic with a stainless steel cover for the watch and buttons, and another steel plate for the caseback. The steel is brushed finish, with a polished bezel and edges. Quite nice, and should increase the durability of the watch quite a bit.

Seen here is the LED illumination, provided by an orange-yellow diode at six o’clock. Works well for the hands, and you can read the LCD, too.

The dial is the thing I like most about this Casio. It’s a subtle speckled grey, with sunburst finish in the center section and applied markers. The minutes are indicated on the chapter ring, and the dial text is minimal for a clean, elegant look. If you look closely, there’s also a bit of burnt-orange paint in the center of each marker — almost invisible. Also note how the markers on the bezel compliment the hour markers; this is the sort of in-depth beauty you don’t expect to find on an inexpensive sport watch. Very well done.

I can easily imagine this being an excellent watch for an active woman, as long as she doensn’t require an ultra-formal dress look. In almost any other setting, this watch excels, and with the solar power and radio-set, it defines zero-maintenance. I like how the primarily analog look of the dial understates all of the functions packed into the LCD: timer, alarm, world time, stopwatch.

About the only possible nit is that the LCD is quite small for using while in motion. It’s hard to read on the run, so it’s not optimal for a race if you need to see your lap splits at a glance. Not a big deal, though. If you’re a serious runner, chances are you own a dedicated running watch.

Interestingly, this appears to use standard springbars and strap, so you could change the strap for something else. That’s unusual for Gs, which normally have a custom strap on them. This change is a plus in my mind.

Overall, I think this would make a great gift for the active woman/girl who just wants a no-fuss watch that works for any situation. It’s great to see Casio managing to fit atomic timekeeping and solar power into the smaller cases.

List price on the LWA-M140-7ACF appears to be $160, which is a reasonable premium for the addition of solar power and atomic synchronization.

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