So here’s a little background, I love watches. I’m a watch junkie and probably buy a couple of new watches every year, from crappy watches that break right away (because I’m dumb and think that a 20$ watch is going to be water resistant, HA!) to really nice watches. My favorite are dive watches with large faces, I liked those even before they became popular with pseudo divers who flaunt them now ;).
One of my all time favorite watches for work has been a workhorse, it’s a Casio SPF-70 watch. Here’s why I love it, it’s solar powered (the rechargeable battery lasts about ten years), it has a countdown timer, a regular timer, depth and temperature gauges (I believe casio does not offer any dive watches anymore with depth gauges), alarms, barometer, compass and is damn near bulletproof. The depth gauge has saved me a few times when my dive computer crapped out and I need the timer at work when I’m backwashing filters. I like casio’s a lot because they are more intuitive button wise. I have a Suunto D4 that I use for freediving and while it’s superior in instant depth readings (the casio takes a few seconds to give you depth), the Suunto button configuration is not intuitive and takes a bit longer to remember. The numbers on the casio are also large, very similar to the display of the newer Suunto Core watches.
I say damn near because I got the resin band version and the band is a piece of shit. The metal link one would have been a better choice but they were a lot more expensive. About ten years or so down the road the band started cracking and it eventually broke down. I was bummed and thought, “well I’ll just get a new watch band for it!”.
An internet search and a letter to casio confirmed they don’t make the bands anymore. Bummer. I even went to a few watch stores and they didn’t have anything that they thought would fit, the problem with the design is that it’s kind of a reverse pin. There is a large block of plastic that holds the pin in, it’s not like a standard watch that has just a pin through the band.
I’m a fabricator and a tinkerer, I love figuring out things and I KNEW that somewhere there was a band that had to be close. I spent a few hours on amazon and sure enough found some contenders. I tried asking the owners the size of the band gap but no one would answer me so I took a chance and ordered a metal Casio G-shock MTG-900 band. When it arrived a few days later I compared it to my watch and was pleased it was only a few mm’s off in size.
So if you are in this same position here’s what you do. Take a dremel with the rotary sanding attachment and slowly sand off some of the plastic on the watch. Be very careful that you don’t hit the watch bezel or other places. The hardest thing that you will have to do is slightly sand it at a slight angle so it matches the gap in the gshock watch band.
A few careful minutes later and walla, I attached the watch with the pins that were supplied with the bands. The drawback with this band is that it only uses a single pin per side, but the watch originally used dual pins per each side so it is possible if you sheer one of the pins later on you will lose the watch. The band is also silver but it matches the watch itself fairly well and as a bonus the sun isn’t going to kill the band like the resin bands.
Overall I’m very very happy with the slight modification and my trusty Casio spf-70 is again keeping me on time.