Hi guys. Today I’m writing about the Casio Wave Ceptor review, a very affordable solar AND radio-controlled atomic watch – all for less than $160!
Yep you read that right.
This solar watch that’s also can keep resetting itself to atomic time is much cheaper than other “normal” watches out there.
I was very surprised at first but then knowing how Casio usually dishes out great watches at low prices, this could definitely be the real thing.
The Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a hybrid of analog and digital watch (kinda like the Tissot T-Touch series).
The analog is used to show the normal hour, minute and seconds while the digital display is used for other informations such as day, date, power reserve and others.
Let not get ahead of ourselves and go to the Casio Wave Ceptor review shall we.
Casio Wave Ceptor Watch Specification (WVAM640D-1A)
Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 23 mm
Case: Plastic resin and stainless steel
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal
Dial: Hybrid analog + digital dial
Hands: Sword hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume
Movement: Casio Movement 5161
Movement Features: Solar powered quartz movement
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 4 months
Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Radio-controlled atomic watch, World time, Solar/light powered, LED light, Lume, Alarm, 1/100 second chronograph up to 1-hour, Countdown timer, Power reserve indicator, Calendar
Casio Wave Ceptor Manual: Click here to download the manual from Casio’s website. Module no. is 5161
Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $160
Hybrid Analog and Digital Dial
The dial of the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a hybrid of analog and digital, giving it a really unique look. The analog 3 hands shows the normal hours, minutes and seconds.
The digital display at the bottom of the watch is used to show day and date as well as its other numerous functions (which I’ll go in depth later on in this review).
The dial is black in color with circular pattern on it that makes it nice to look at.
The hands are slim sword hands while the markers are index type. Both hands and markers are lumed for visibility in the dark.
What I like about the look is how it’s so functional, while still keeping the analog display to tell time.
I know that digital watches are very popular and useful, but those digital displays have already conquered the world around us.
Just look at our smartphone, computer, display on the train station, television, etc. All of them are filled with digital displays.
Which is why I cherished an analog watch (such as this Casio Wave Ceptor watch) as it’s giving a more traditional non-digital look.
Perhaps its fatigue from looking at all those digital things but an analog watch is definitely a must for me.
Not only that, it’s also looks better and more versatile than a normal digital watch.
Plastic Resin and Stainless Steel Case
One of the thing that you guys should know about this Casio Wave Ceptor watch is the case is not fully stainless steel. It’s actually a plastic resin case with stainless steel plated on top of it.
I’m not really sure why this is done but I believe it’s to reduce cost.
Performance wise, it’s lighter than normal stainless steel watches and I don’t think we need to worry much about the plastic case since Casio’s G-shock also use the same construction material with great feedback from owners
But in terms of aesthetics, I believe some people might be put off by this.
From the outside, the stainless steel case covers about 60% or so of the surface while the plastic can be seen from the sides, back and top of lug.
As you can see, the case of this Casio Wave Ceptor is a combination of plastic resin and stainless steel
Though this is the case, it’s not too obvious since the plastic is gray in color and blend well with the silver stainless steel case.
But again, those that are strictly metal watch type of guy might be put off by this.
Thus, I recommend you guys to think deeply whether this type of case is acceptable to you to avoid buyer’s remorse =)
Average Size With Good Water Resistance
The Casio Wave Ceptor watch has a size of 43 mm diameter and 12 mm thickness, an average size by today’s standard. It’s also hooked up with a stainless steel bracelet (no plastic on this one guys!).
One drawback with the stainless steel bracelet is it cannot be changed like normal watches. It’s screwed to the case, unlike using spring bars and lugs like normal watches.
So sadly, no Nato or leather straps for this watch.
On top of the watch is a mineral crystal which is not a good scratch resistant crystal.
My own experience with this type of crystal urges me to be very cautious while using the watch without banging it or whatsoever. Even putting the watch in your pocket might cause some scratches.
But in my opinion, it’s logical for Casio to use it since this watch is meant to be at the lower price range. I can’t see they use any premium material when the watch will be selling less than $200.
Putting that aside, the watch also has a good 100 m water resistance rating that’s surely more than enough for most people.
I don’t recommend anyone to use it for any water activity (swimming, scuba diving, etc) since the three pushers of the watch are all possible points for water ingress.
If you want a watch for water related activities, a diver’s watch is the one that you need.
(Click here to check out my top 10 automatic dive watches under $500)
Radio-Controlled Atomic Timekeeping
One of the best feature that this Casio Wave Ceptor watch has is its radio-controlled atomic timekeeping.
In short, this means the watch will be able to pick up radio signals which has the current atomic time. Then, the watch will automatically adjust the time according to the atomic time and the current timezone.
(Read my introduction to atomic watch for more information about the most accurate watch on earth)
There are 29 timezones to choose from corresponding to all over the world. But sadly, the radio frequency supported is only limited to only 6 radio stations.
Thus, if you are outside of the range (namely Eastern Europe and some parts of Asia), I’d say this watch is not the best for you.
Above figures show the approximate radio signal coverage that the Casio Wave Ceptor can use for its atomic timekeeping function
Though be warned that the setting of the watch to your timezone can be a bit confusing.
Please refer to Casio Wave Ceptor manual which can be downloaded below. The manual has helpful step-by-step figures to explain the setting process.
(Click here to download the manual from Casio’s website. Module no. is 5161)
The synchronization will be done automatically from 12:00 am to 5:00 am daily. Make sure the watch is located near to windows to ensure it can pick up the signal effortlessly.
Also, being in a concrete jungle or mountains will severely affect the signal reach. Luckily the watch also has manual sync function so that its owners can sync whenever they are at a clear area.
What I like the most about this function is it will keep the watch super accurate. The Casio quartz movement has a normal +-15 seconds per month accuracy which is good enough for use.
But having this synchronization with atomic time DAILY will make the watch as accurate as an atomic watch itself! For those that want a perfectly accurate watch, then this one is the watch that you have to consider.
Casio’s Tough Solar Movement
Powering the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is none other than the clean energy, solar. Like Citizen’s Eco-Drive, Casio also has their own solar watch brand i.e Tough Solar.
I’ve written at length on how solar watches are a step up from the normal “boring ol'” quartz watches.
Since it’s powered by solar/sun or any light for the matter, owners don’t have to change the battery every few years.
The Casio Wave Ceptor will recharge it’s battery by converting lights into electrical energy and it seems the minimum battery life for these watches is 10 years.
That’s a lot longer than the normal 1-2 years of battery capacity for a normal quartz.
Not only that, solar watches are very easy to be charged. Just wear them under bright sunlight for a few minutes and the watch is good to go.
But normal fluorescent indoor lights will take longer to charge it. Thus, you might need to take this into consideration especially when you are working night shifts will little exposure to sunlight.
Charging the Casio Wave Ceptor is very easy, especially if you’re always exposed to light (sunlight, indoor lights, etc) all day long – which is most of us do!
7 Other Useful Features
Besides those two functions above, the Casio Wave Ceptor watch has a multitude of other features. Well, it’s actually a digital watch after all so this is to be expected.
Among some of the features worth mentioning are:
- LED light
- Alarm (up to 5 alarms can be set)
- Countdown timer
- Power reserve indicator
- Full calendar
- World time feature (can check the time at other timezones)
The Casio Wave Ceptor also has an LED light which is very useful to tell time in the dark
Casio Wave Ceptor Problems
Perhaps one of the most common problems with the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is the atomic time synchronization.
Firstly, the home time is a bit difficult to set (which is why you must always have a copy of the manual) and we need to change it every single time when we’re at a different place for travel.
Next, the sync with radio signal is not as smooth as it depends heavily on the current location, presence of obstruction (tall buildings, mountains, etc) and where the watch sits during the night.
And lastly, some areas are not covered under the atomic time radio signal so do make sure your location is within the covered areas.
Who Is This Watch For?
Those who want a real convenient watch should go for this Casio Wave Ceptor watch. It’s solar powered, meaning the battery will not have to be replaced for years.
The atomic timekeeping will keep it as accurate as ever. Heck, if the synchronization happens every night, the accuracy of the watch will never be more than one second at any point of time! Now that’s a very accurate watch.
The digital display also makes the watch look more unique. It’s giving a lot of information without looking too complicated.
Who Should Not Get It?
In my opinion, those that want a more better built watch should not get this. The plastic resin is great and also lightweight but nothing beats a full metal watch.
There’s just too much difference in the feel of the watch due to this. Thus if you are already used to full metal watch, then the Casio Wave Ceptor watch might be a bit odd to you.
I also feel anyone that don’t reside in one of the radio signal areas should not buy this watch. I mean what’s the purpose of buying a radio-controlled watch if you can’t even get the watch to sync?
Watch the video above to see the Casio Wave Ceptor up close
Casio Wave Ceptor Watch Pros and Cons
- Radio-controlled atomic timekeeping for a very accurate watch
- A unique and cool hybrid digital and analog watch design
- Digital display is very functional as it will give lots of information
- More convenient as the battery does not need to be changed as frequent as normal quartz watches
- Solar watch is a cool and cutting edge technology
- Can be quite complicated to learn about its functions, especially to set the timezones
- Does not has a full stainless steel case
- Atomic time radio signals are not covering the entire earth. Some areas will not be able to use the radio-controlled atomic time setting function.
Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!
If you like this Casio Wave Ceptor watch, get it cheapest on Amazon. It’s MSRP is around $160 while you can have it cheaper online. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.
->Click Here To Check Out The Casio Wave Ceptor (WVAM640D-1A) On Amazon<-
The Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a good piece of technology timepiece – solar and atomic timekeeping – all in a very affordable price.
I can say Casio really pushed the boundary on how low a good watch can cost us. It’s really that such watches are available for us at such a great price.
All in all, this is a watch that I’m sure most of you guys will like for its aesthetics, great technical specs and affordable price.
I hope you guys like this Casio Wave Ceptor review and find it’s beneficial. Let me know if there is any questions or comments on this watch.
I’ll be very happy to get your feedback on it =)
6 thoughts on “Casio Wave Ceptor Review (WVAM640D-1A) – The Most Affordable Solar Atomic Watch”
Note about atomic clock sync. If you happen to be in a location where the radio signal isn’t picked up there are smartphone apps for both iOS and Android that can be used to sync the time. I’ve used the WWVB app on Android and it works fine. It actually uses the phone time to set the watch, but phone time can also be set to match atomic time, for example on Android using the ClockSync app. I have a Wave Ceptor, solar Casio and highly recommend them.
Hi Jim. Great information there buddy. Thanks for sharing it here =)
I love this watch but after having it for 11 months it has water droplets on the inside of the crystal. Only water exposure is in the shower or surface swimming.
Casio says mail it to them in NJ and they will estimate the repair cost somewhere between $10 and $150 & let me know. ( the watch only cost $90) A DIY repair or replacement may be less frustrating.
Do you know the thickness of the rubber O-ring under the backing plate? Choices would be 0.5/0.6/0.7mm-
Seems you can buy over 900 O-rings for under $10 but they are all the same thickness. They come in 10 varieties of diameter though.
Thanks for the review.
Today’s date is 6/20/18
I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your Wave Ceptor watch. Indeed, the repair cost quoted can easily buy you another watch LOL! Unfortunately I’m not really sure about the thickness of the O-ring. How about you take it apart and then measure it before ordering the parts? Let me know how it turns out buddy. Cheers!
Hi, I have a slightly different version of this watch, the LCW-M170DB-1AER Lineage Tough Solar Radio Watch.
I think it’s fully stainless steel (not plastic) and it should also take different bands. But the watch part (movement 5161) is identical.
My experience: I’m really very happy with the watch, but there’s one thing that I hate and that is that an otherwise quite perfect watch does not allow to set alarms to go off only on certain days of the week.
I’d like to be less reliant upon my cell phone, so an alarm that could wake me up every week day at seven and every weekend day at eight would be perfect (and how hard would it be to develop something like that?).
For me, that’s the only thing I’d change about the watch (given that I have good reception of the radio waves at home, and that the battery lasts long enough to take me through winter without sunlight).
Great to know you had a good experience with one of the siblings of this watch. Indeed, we all wake up a bit late during weekends, aren’t we LOL! Thanks for visiting my site buddy.