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Casio EDIFICE : EFR-516 FirstUse

In June and July, we took a FirstLook at two watches in Casio’s EDIFICE line. The line spans a broad range of prices, styles, and capabilities. The  EFR-516 is on the less expensive end while the EQWT720 is representative of Casio’s best for the EDIFICE line. After looking at both watches, we can confidently say, for these two at least, that price is reflective of the capability of the watch, not its quality. Today we will take you though our FirstUse impressions of the EFR-516.

The Casio EDIFICE EFR-516 is a no-nonsense chronograph. The face is clean, the numbers are big, and the dials are easy to read. The controls are located on the right side of the watch (crown and two push-buttons). They are big, easy to activate, and simple to operate (push on/push off). Date and time settings are accomplished via the two-position crown (1st click, date; 2nd click, time). The only thing that was unexpected was the sweeping second hand. It is not the long thin indicator as we had first thought, but the short one in the middle dial. The long thin pointer is the dedicated second hand for the stopwatch.

Besides the date and time, the EFR-516 also has a very accurate stopwatch function (1/20 sec precision). The top push-button starts and stops the stopwatch. The bottom button resets the hands (minute, second, 1/20 sec) back to zero. While split-time measurements are not possible with this stopwatch, the markings on the bezel enable the user to quickly make other elapse-time related (speed, distance) computations.

Like many chronometers, the Casio EDIFICE EFR-516 has a tachymeter scale etched on its bezel. The scale is used to quickly go from “seconds per something” to “something per hour.” The cool part is that no computation is needed; just read the number pointed to on the dial by the Second hand.

The bezel on the EFR-516 does not rotate, but because of a dedicated second hand for the stopwatch function, it does not need to. A rotating bezel is convenient if resetting the second hand to zero is not possible; the tachymeter scale must be rotated to align with the second hand before starting the measurement. The EFR-516 eliminates the need to match the scale to the position of the second hand by reseting it back to the zero position with the push of the lower button.

Consider the following example:

  • It took 36 seconds for the car to make one lap around the one-mile track. What was the average speed in MPH?
  • Answer: 36 seconds/mile (number of seconds which has elasped) = 100 miles/hour (as per the marking on the bezel pointed at by the Second hand)

Note that distance traveled can also be computed using the scale. It is a little trickier, so we will leave that as an exercise for the reader.

The Casio EDIFICE EFR-516 is light, comfortable to wear, and simple to use. It is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a rugged utilitarian chronograph. Both the EFR-516 and EQWT720 are well constructed and functional wristwatches. The decision as to which one to get will be more of the wearer’s needs and/or personal taste than any shortcomings of the watches. Readers interested in the Casio EQWT720 should be sure to check out our FirstUse report coming in the Fall.

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