Owner's manual says the battery charge will last up to 11 months. I've had it since Father's Day 2012 and haven't run down the battery yet. We'll see what happens in the winter time when there's less sun and I wear long sleeves. It has a power saving mode which shuts down some functions when there is low light and the watch is not being used (like every night at bedtime.) I have to wake the watch up every morning, by tilting it to 40 degrees or pushing any button.
Functions seemed complicated at first, but if you gradually read the owner's manual a bit at a time it's all pretty easy to remember. I use the stopwatch and the countdown timer every day. Countdown timer can only be set to 1 minute intervals, though, so no 30 second interval workouts. But overall it makes a great sports watch. I have the auto-lighting function turned on, and the hourly beeper turned on, and the audible beeps function turned on, as well as using several of the alarms on certain days.
Auto-electroluminescence feature (automatically turns on the light when you tilt the watch 40 degrees towards your face) is not supposed to come on unless it is dark, but this light comes on even when it is not really needed--in all but the brightest direct sunlight. Doesn't run down the charge, though.
water resistance seals are holding up good to every other day pool swimming (You're not supposed to push buttons while the watch is submerged, so I don't) and profuse sweat from hard cardio workouts everyday.
color doesn't seem to be fading yet. and the band isn't cracking or creased, either. The band is a little stiff though. It also has very closely spaced holes for just the right tightness.
Haven't really tested the scratch resistance yet because the watch is so bulky that the sides and rim protect the glass. I've been wearing it for remodeling work about 4 days per week. Has a lot of edges that trap dirt and dust, but cleans up easily.
Has preset time in several different cities, so you can wear it straight out of the box without too much programming. After you get the watch features all set up like you want them the World Cities function becomes pretty useless unless you travel a lot.
Overall, I love this watch, and I expect it (and the rechargeable battery) to last a long, long time.
update Nov, 2012:
watch gets significantly less light in the winter when wearing long sleeves more often, and spending less time outdoors. Battery actually went to "LOW" level. had to purposely hang it near a light bulb, but putting it in the sun recharges much faster.