I’ve had the G-Shock Riseman for about two years, and wear it regularly.<!– more –> To be honest, at first I wanted a G-Shock more for the look than anything else, but the geek in me wanted some function along with the chunky form. The Riseman has the most functions, which makes it a lot more appealing to me than the oversized G-Shocks that just tell time. It’s also solar powered with a battery backup, which is a major attraction. This review may not be the most technical or in-depth, but it should give you an idea of how this watch is as an everyday companion.

I picked this watch for its looks, but those looks are a result of the features. The Riseman is one of the bigger G-Shock models, and has not only the multi-level, multi-function display, but a sensor along the outer edge of the case as well. The matte black case with a couple of red accents has a functional, tactical appearance that I dig a lot. I wouldn’t wear it to a dinner party, but for hiking, camping, and mountain biking it fits the bill without screaming “check out my watch!”

The Riseman is oriented towards outdoor activities that involve lots of elevation changes, and has a built-in altimeter that also functions as a barometer when you’re not using the altimeter function. While I live in the mountains and participate in elevation-gaining sports like biking and skiing, I haven’t found much cause to use the altimeter, simply because I’m not that interested in how much I’ve gained or lost. That said, it does provide accurate information and is incredibly easy to operate thanks to a large red ALTI button on the case. The peak elevation in the town of Park City is 6900 feet, and in my living room, which is significantly lower than the top of town, the Riseman shows 6540 feet. I have no way to know the precise altitude here, but that’s close enough for me. At sea level, the Riseman shows anywhere from 10 to 25 feet, and at the top of Hidden Peak at Snowbird it’s within 100 feet of the claimed elevation. I think that’s pretty good.

The barometer has not been inaccurate either; however, since it’s incredibly easy to see incoming radar on a smart phone, I’ve yet to find myself in a situation that requires a barometer to predict the weather. Nevertheless, the display that tracks the pressure changes is cool, and makes it easy to see if the predicted weather looks like it will match up with reality.

Time and date accuracy is maintained via atomic clock radio signals, meaning all I’ve had to do is change the time zone; otherwise it’s right on track and makes daylight savings changes without my input. Pretty convenient.

The stopwatch and timer are fairly normal. Setting, starting, stopping, and resetting are made very easy via graphic functions painted on the crystal and molded into the case.

There is a record function that allows you to track elevation or pressure changes over time. I’ve only used it once, while skiing, and it performed flawlessly.

The battery is solar-charged, and only takes a few hours in the sun to reach a full charge, which is displayed on the dial. When not in use for a day or so, the watch goes into Power Save mode and shuts down, but wakes up with a tilt of the wrist.

One of my favorite features is the auto-light. At night, all you have to do is tilt the watch towards you to illuminate the face. It’s a very convenient and hassle-free way to see the time in the dark.

The Riseman may appear large on the wrist, but it isn’t a heavy watch. It’s surprisingly light, in fact. I can easily wear it for days without noticing, even while running or biking. I can’t do this with any of my steel case watches. As for durability, so far so good. I’ve slammed it against many a rock and hard surface with no issues. The crystal is set deep into the case, shielded from impact. Nevertheless, I’ve somehow been able to get in there and scratch it, so it loses a mark to true sapphire crystals in that regard.

Overall, I find the G-Shock Riseman a great option for casual daily wear, especially if casual means jeans and a tee. It’s not loud or flashy, but even the casual observer can see that it means business. Unlike a lot of “smart” watches, it’s easy to use and doesn’t confuse you with unwanted alarms or button combinations. It looks tech, which may not be for everyone, but if you have a few watches in your collection and want something outdoorsy, I can’t think of one I’d rather wear.

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