While the SPINTSO seems to be the preferred watch for many advanced referees, the idea of plunking down $150 on a watch I wear a couple of times a week makes my knees weak. I’ve tried a couple of different watches, including a Timex Ironman that works fairly well, and a Wal-Mart generic brand that has almost no features, but only costs $10. Both were suitable to the task, but I continued to search for a watch that had referee-specific features, including a countdown timer, and, ideally, the ability to easily stop and start one timer, while keeping another continuously running.
Enter the Casio Men’s W756B-1AV Digital Sport Watch ($20, Amazon.com). The Casio is packed with features, with perhaps the best being a very reasonable price. Among the many features of the Casio are countdown timers featuring preset countdown intervals of 45, 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 minutes. In stopwatch mode, two clocks appear on the screen; the larger, main timer is always running. The smaller timer in the lower right corner stops when you press the large Start/Stop button at the bottom of the watch face. The difference between the two clocks gives you the amount of added time. (To be fair, the SPINTSO watch calculates added time for you; you’ll have to decide if that level of subtraction is worth the extra money).
In timer mode, the watch can be set to countdown from a preset interval, say 45 minutes, then start counting down a halftime interval, say 15, minutes, then start counting down the second 45 minute half, all without touching the watch after setup.
Buttons are logically laid out using a typical watch format: upper left is Adjust, lower left is Mode, upper right is Light, and lower right is Reset. The large grey start/stop button on the face is especially convenient.
There are a couple of drawbacks: the alarms that sound at the end of the countdown period cannot be disabled, so you have to remember to turn it off before it gets to zero. Also, if you’re in the over-40 crowd and wear contact lenses when you ref, the small timer in the lower right corner can be a bit hard to read.
Overall, the Casio W756B-1AV Digital Sport Watch is a great value for the price and I give it a four whistle rating (out of five).
If you like to read user guides (like me), you can download it here –>casio_qw3100