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The only watch anybody needs (for real)


What makes this watch special?

Before I answer that, if you're of the analog watch persuasion, the model you want is the Casio WVA-M630B. That one has an additional feature I'll mention in a moment.

What I'm talking about is the watch seen above, the Casio WV58A. And yes, there is the metal bracelet version WV58DA.

There are three major things that make the WV58A the only watch anybody needs. Radio controlled (as in "atomic") clock sync, all necessary info on the home screen and price, which at the time I write this is under $35 (for the resin strap version).

The minor things that make the WV58A great is that it has an alarm feature, stopwatch, countdown timer and the ability to flip the date from month/day to day/month, meaning it is US and UK-friendly where date display is concerned.

As far as I am aware, the WV58A is the absolute cheapest way to get radio clock sync on your wrist. If you're not familiar with that, it means the watch sets itself. During the wee hours of the morning when radio traffic is at its lowest, in America the watch will attempt to receive time and date information up to six times from the time server station in Fort Collins Colorado to sync its clock and calendar...

...which is why I mention the WVA-M630B above just in case you prefer analog over digital. It's more expensive, true, but it's there if you want it.

WV58A is an old model which I think is from the late 2000s (I couldn't confirm the model launch year) that's still made new. Casio is no stranger to this as they have other models still made new that haven't changed in over 30 years (hello, F-91W).

Small bit of Casio history: The first worldwide Casio watch model with radio controlled timekeeping was the WVA-300, launched in 2001. Yeah, that was close to 25 years ago at the time I write this, but where watchmaking is concerned, anything post-2000 is "recent". Was the WVA-300 the absolute first Casio radio controlled watch model? No, that was the FKT-100L from 1995, and only in Europe.

Before continuing, another current new model with radio control is the WV200A. It's chunky and big, but under $40 currently.

I call the WV58A the only watch anybody actually needs because it requires absolutely no interaction to use it. You don't have to set the time because it sets itself. You don't have to press a button to see the weekday, date or year because it's already there on the home screen. The only thing I can think of where you have to press a button is to use the light for night viewing (it's a blue electroluminescent backlight, by the way).

Otherwise, you just strap this watch on and go. It even automatically adjusts for Daylight Savings Time when that happens. How cool is that?

There's only one negative about the WV58. The battery only lasts for about 3 years (which incidentally is the one thing the Casio WVA-M630B has over it as that is solar powered). The battery used in the WV58 is the CR1620, and those are fortunately cheap.

And yeah, that's literally the only negative. Wear the watch until the battery dies, replace the battery, put back on, sync the clock (which can be done manually) and off you go.

The WV58A is the watch you get when even setting the time annoys you

Have you ever seen one of those "atomic" wall clocks? Having one of those in your house, office or shop is LOVELY because after its first radio clock synchronization, guess what? You're done! It works, and it's always correct!

Wouldn't it be great to have that on your wrist too? That's why you get a WV58A.

Some other radio clock sync watch options...

If you don't like the look of the WV58A, here are a few more options other than the WVA-M630B mentioned above. All of these are more expensive, but they all look nice.

G-SHOCK GWM530A. Old school G-SHOCK "solar atomic" model, but very legible (which can't be said about many G-SHOCK watches). There is also the MTGM900DA-8CR. Different model but exact same watch in a "Sand" appearance. You'll understand what that means when you take a look at it.

G-SHOCK GMW5610U. The updated classic square G-SHOCK, which is also "solar atomic". The older 5610 (again, also "solar atomic") is still being sold, but the 5610U has some updated features for about $30 more. Yes, it's worth it because some convenience features have been added in that the old module didn't have. An example of that is a switch from the EL blue night light to LED white, along with adding in the night light to be on for 3 seconds instead of just 1.5.

Citizen Air Skyhawk. Busy dial, but as far as I know, all of these have radio clock sync. The Citizen Navihawk also appears to have all models with radio clock sync.

No matter what you get, having radio clock sync in your life will be very welcome because it's one less clock you have to set.

Full instructional video

If you get a WV58A or WV58DA of your own, follow the video instructions below on how to set one up.

Published 2023 Dec 21

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