Casio Edifice Chronograph Review EFM-501D-1AVEF
EFM-501D-1AVEF is pretty important to me because it was my first diver and also my first chronograph. It is a great start though it is not one thinks of when they think of a good start into Casio. Casio for years have been known for making very robust and reliable watches that keep on ticking in virtually every environment and this is no different.
The watch is a large 44mm in diameter but this is to make the watch more legible especially under water. The case has variable polish to give some contrast to the steel. The top side of the lugs and the underside of the watch are brushed whereas the sides of the case are polished. The pushers for the watch gives a very good tactile feedback so as not to be accidentally be pressed when under water which would compromise the integrity of the watch. It also provides a very satisfying “click” when pressed and I must confess that I am known to play with the pushers because of it. The crown is screw down to contribute to the water resistance of the watch. The crown is also signed with the Edifice logo which is a welcome detail in a fairly accessible watch. The crown protectors are quite prominent though in my opinion are redundant because of the pushers that are quite close to the crown anyway. But I can imagine their use with somebody significantly rougher with the watch than myself. The Crown is appropriately sized to be easily unscrewed without much of a hassle and the fluting also contributes to this massively. The lugs are slightly curved allows for a nice wraparound of a strap or bracelet and makes the watch pretty comfortable to wear. The case back is screw down which allows for greater water tightness, this is reinforced with a rubber seal which contributes to the 200m water resistance.
The crystal for the watch is a mineral one which though is scratch able does not show them too much and is very solid no matter how many times I smash it into tables.
There is not much to be said about the movement that powers this watch, which is not necessarily a bad thing in this case. A quartz chronograph means the watch is highly accurate and robust no matter what you do to it.
The hour markers and hands are quite chunky which aids in the legibility and adds to the perception of a “tough” watch. The dial has a nice wave pattern in black which connects the watch back to water which is appropriate for a diving watch but is subtle enough to not detract from the hour markers and overall legibility of the watch. The minute track is linked by a circular pattern that spans the length of the hour marks and give a good border for the sub dials of the watch. There is a date window at 4 o’clock which is bordered by white outlines that highlights its presence. It makes the date easily readable in rapid time. There is a tachymeter scale which I find slightly odd on a diving watch but is better than leaving it blank and its placement does not hinder the reading of the watch as it is considerably angled. The time keeper small seconds is an interesting quirk with the watch as it has 2 other protrusions which leaves a propeller looking thing. The actual appendage to read off is painted blue which provides good contrast to the rest of the dial face. The watch has applied markers and applied logo which considerably ups the perceived quality of the watch visibly (and boy does it deserve it). It is this kind of attention to detail that has me longing for another edifice as they are all done to an exquisite quality in terms of finish.
The rotating bezel so far as I can tell aligns quite well with the minute track. The bezel is unidirectional and is very legible even when underwater. My one gripe with the bezel is the fact that the markers seem to be shiny stickers on a hard plastic (pretty solid piece) that I have my doubts about but has held up for 3 years of pretty rough abuse so it can’t have been that bad and shows no sign of coming off anytime soon. There is a lume pip at the 0 point which does light up during low light situations. Though it is not too bright it is pretty noticeable and you can therefore use the bezel for timing in the dark.
The lume on the watch is pretty marginal but gets the job done. It appears to be applied evenly but when in complete darkness one can notice slight shade differences in the intensity of the lume on the markers. The lume on the markers are ever so slightly less intense than the main time keeping hands which light up pretty nicely.
The bracelet is fairly solid and robust. The clasp is signed with “Edifice” and has a deployant fold over clasp which ensures that your watch does not fall off your wrist when diving. Each link is brushed fully and adds to the tough image of the watch. The end links are hollow but that is to be expected with a watch from this price bracket. The watch does look good with nato straps and rubber straps and is pretty versatile in this regard. I find that it suits a white and blue nato strap. This allows the minor colours to counteract the black that is used quite generously.
Con of the watch
The hour sub dial hand sometimes becomes unaligned which is a mild issue I have with the watch. This slowly corrects itself as I suspect it is an issue with having low battery and not being able to properly reset form the chronograph use. Also the chronograph seconds hand does not entirely line up with the minute markers as there is some play which could have been solved with a Seiko like sweeping chronograph second hand movement instead of a deadbeat second model. This is a minor issue as the rough elapsed seconds can be read and should only be an issue if the exact time reading is needed in the chronograph function. None of the hands seem to show this issue.
Overall opinion on the watch
This Casio diver is my go to beater watch because I know that it can go through thick and thin with me and still come back ticking as if it were new. Priced at roughly 120 USD MSRP this is a very decent watch that looks good and performs well. Though there would be other watches I would recommend at this price point you cannot go wrong with this quartz chronograph diver which just nearly became my only watch. It primarily sits in my drawer collecting dust but whenever I go for a swim or am doing something that requires elbow grease it comes along.