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G-LIDE GBX-100 is the best G-Shock tide watch, with caveats

G-Shock GBX-100 Tide and Moon Graph Display

The G-Shock G-LIDE GBX-100 has a lot going for it, including a step counter with fitness features, Bluetooth with smartphone notifications, vibration alerts, and a design that is more in tune with the traditional and compact square style of G-Shock. That’s all great, but most of those features are shared with the G-SQUAD/MOVE GBD-100, and the tide mode is what sets the GBX-100 apart.

The GBX-100 is the first G-Shock watch to display the tide height measurement in centimeters or feet for low and high tides. No other G-Shock watch with a tide graph currently does this. Some, like the GWX-5600, GWX-5700, and GPR-B1000 Rangeman, went beyond the basic tide graph and showed the relative size of tide changes with spring, intermediate, and neap tide indicators, but without any precise height metrics.

Another advantage of the GBX-100 is that tide information is available for 3,300 ports worldwide, which can be selected through the G-Shock MOVE app. The tidal movements of different ports in the same city can occur at different times, so this setting offers more precise information. There are also 50 preset ports that can be selected using the watch without a smartphone. Custom points can also be set by the user on the watch without using the smartphone app. If using a custom point, the tide height measurements are not available, and only the tide cycle information will be displayed. To add a custom point, the user must specify latitude and longitude, high tide time, UTC time offset, and DST on/off. Up to three custom points can be set.

Unlike other G-Shock tide watches, with the exception of the GPR-B1000 and GWN-Q1000, the GBX-100 also includes sunrise and sunset times. It also has moon age data and a moon graph, though one complaint is that there is no setting to flip the moon graph display to accurately reflect the view in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a curious omission, as the other G-Shock tide watches mentioned with a moon graph have a Southern Hemisphere setting. (What this all means is that if the bright spot on the moon is shown on the left side on the GBX-100 moon graph as it would appear in the Northern Hemisphere, the bright spot will appear on the right side on the moon in the Southern Hemisphere, and there is no way to change that.)

The image below from the GBX-100 instruction manual shows the three displays for the tide mode, which is available from timekeeping mode by pressing the lower-right (D) button. Pressing the button will cycle through the different display modes with each press. The tide mode also includes the moon age and graph and sunsrise/sunset times. The first screen is an overview of the tide, moon, and sun data with the upcoming high or low tide time and height. The second screen focuses on the tide data and also highlights the sunshine hours on the daily tide graph. The third screen focuses on the sunrise/sunset times and moon age data and graph that are also shown on the first screen, and presents them in a larger size.

Key: 1. Port name 2. Sunrise Time 3. Sunset Time 4. Moon Graph and Moon Age 5. Tide Graph (12 hours) 6. High Tide and Low Tide Time and Levels 7. Tide Cycle (L – Spring Tide, M – Half Tide, S – Neap Tide) 8. Tide Graph (24 hours) 9. Sunshine Hours 10. Tide Level/Tide Cycle (Tide cycle is shown for custom point) 11. Day (Date at Port)

Casio says of the tide mode, “Displayed information is intended for reference only. Do not use it for maritime navigation, etc.”

One feature from other G-Shock tide watches that is notably absent, according to the manual, is the ability to check the tide levels for a specific day in the future, or a specific time on a future day. This may put some people off, and we can’t explain why this feature wasn’t included. Perhaps Casio does not want people to rely solely on the watch for activity planning because of liability reasons, as activities involving the ocean and tides can be very dangerous. Whatever the reason, its omission seems like a step back. Also, only one port can be set at a time, so there is no way to quickly view information for other ports without having to change the setting with the smartphone app or one of the 50 presets.

Another apparent shortcoming is that the time and height information for only the previous and the next high or low tide in relation to the current time is displayed. In most places, there are two tidal cycles a day, meaning two high tides and two low tides in a 24-hour period, so it would have been nice for the second tide screen to display information for all of these, or at least offer the ability to cycle through them.

Keep in mind that we are assuming all of this based on the manual, and we have not actually used the watch yet.

The GBX-100 is a welcome addition for those who want more tide information on a G-Shock, though it may not end up replacing your tide calendar or app. The GBX-100 series is expected to be released in June or July 2020, with a reported price of around $219.

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