Wearable market around the globe is growing, at least in production figures, if not in profits. While technology giants like Samsung, Motorola, Apple, etc. are continuously improving on wearable technology with each passing generation of their smartwatches, traditional watch makers like Fossil, Titan, Guess and others are also deeply influenced by the digital wave and have started integrating modern technology in their analog watches.
Besides, the lines between fitness trackers and smartwatches are getting blurred every day and you can buy just one of them that can act as both.
In the middle of all this analog-digital watchmaking, one watchmaker is still holding its traditional roots and has come out with yet another product, defining company's conventional watch line-up. We are talking about Casio, known for its rugged G-Shock watch line-up. The company has introduced G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000, which is a premium multi-function watch designed to handle the most extreme conditions without losing out on basic technological features such as temperature readings, compass, altitude information and more.
But does all of this makes the latest G-Shock win over its modern rivals or it seems like a hefty paper weight in the market dominated by so-called 'Smart Watches'? Let's find out.
Case / bezel material: Stainless steel / Resin
Glass: Sapphire crystal Glass with non-reflective coating
Water Resistivity: Up to 200-meter/656 feet
Toughness features: Shock Resistant, Vibration resistant, Mud Resistant
Others: Screw Lock Crown, Solar powered battery
Price: Rs 35,995
Design- Tough as Steel and light as Feather
A look at GWD- 1000 will immediately tell you that it is indeed built up with high quality material (Steel and Resin) and you would love to sport it on your wrist. The watch comes with an armoured tool casing, which makes GWD-1000 look like a 'Hummer' to the world of 'Beetle' sized smartwatches.
You can actually be carefree if this watch falls into water or hits steel doors, or table/wall corners. This is because Casio has designed the watch with a series of gaskets and pipes, which completely seal the buttons and the crown that controls the watch.
To bear the vibrations and shocks, the watch module has been given an Alpha Gel treatment. GWD-1000 can withstand a dip in water by up to 200 m (656 feet) and has a vibration resistant structure. More so, this 'Mud-Resist' armour is even dirt and sludge proof.
And despite its shock-proof tough armor and enormous footprint on wrist, GWD-1000 feels unbelievably light. This is due to the Resin casing, which is extremely light and durable at the same time.
The big dial can be a bit irritating if you are buying a G-Shock for the first time, but for loyal G-Shock users, the watch will feel like home.
I got the Black-Yellow variant, which is definitely a head turner but can be too vibrant for some consumers. The Mudmaster is also available in a Black-Black and Black-Green (Military) colour variants.
Features- Traditional tech features packed in a Steel armour
G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000 comes equipped with triple sensor mechanism including Digital compass, Barometric pressure/Altitude and Temperature readings. It provides instant access to direction you are heading, barometric pressure, and temperature readings of the current environment around you.
The watch also displays time in digital format on the display strip.
However, since it is not a smartwatch, it does not have a touch screen, Bluetooth, GPS and other sensors like heart rate, steps counter, sleep monitor, etc. that are a common affair these days on fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Simply put, it's a classic G-Shock and works like that only.
Performance- Easy to understand functions
The timepiece features Multiband 6, which automatically adjusts time settings based on reception of Casio's radio towers located in Japan, China, United States, England, and Germany. So you don't need to get into the hustle of setting the time manually.
The watch's dial is illuminated by a LED light and is protected by a sapphire crystal, which as per Casio cannot be scratched. It also ensures high visibility under virtually any conditions imaginable. During my usage, I did not struggle to read the information on dial, however the intensity of the light is quite low. It is not even able to light up half of the dial, which is a bit low-down.
The large buttons on the case makes it easy to operate the watch even if you are wearing gloves. This makes it a perfect companion for those who are frequent travellers to hills and seek adventure.
Casio has provided all the information on the dial itself, making it easy to access the watch features without any struggle.
The large silver buttons on the right, with indicators mentioned on the dial, are for Compass and Altimeter. These buttons offer compass and altitude readings that will come handy if you love hiking and mountain climbing.
The centre button lights up the dial.
The lower-left button on the left opens the list of the features on the watch's LED strip, which you can access or customize with the help of upper-left button. The list of features includes timer, stopwatch, alarm, atmospheric pressure, temperature, etc. The thermometer can give readings in either Celsius or Fahrenheit.
I don't understand why Casio has skipped the sunrise, sunset or moon information, which you can find in some affordable G-Shock watches like G-SHOCK GULFMAN, GW-9110, etc. These would have made GWG-1000 a complete G-Shock watch.
Overall, GWD-1000 focuses on offering basic information by integrating traditional sensors such as Compass, Altimeter, Barometer and a Thermometer. Besides, you get an alarm Clock, a timer and a stopwatch.
No need to charge- Casio's Tough Solar Power system technology
Last but not the least; GWD-1000 is a step ahead of modern smartwatches, when it comes to basics like battery life. Unlike the popular smartwatches from tech giants such as Apple Watch, Samsung Gear series, Moto 360, etc., which are marred by poor battery life problems, G-Shock GWD-1000 features Casio's "Tough Solar" power system that is claimed to last for nearly two years on a single charge.
And the best part, you don't need to worry about carrying a charger as exposing the watch to the sun keeps the battery going.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster is the King Kong of rugged Casio smartwatches. It is tough as a rock, looks amazing and can last forever with its solar-powered battery. The watch packs in a slew of important basic technology features that makes it the perfect companion for your outdoor trips.
The big dial can be a problem for people with thin wrists. The LED light intensity is quite dim and the watch does not offer sunrise, sunset or moon information. Besides, the price is a little steep.
In the age of modern touch screen smartwatches, the Casio GWG-1000 is a great alternative for those looking for a rugged timepiece equipped with basic tech features.
It's a watch that can withstand extreme conditions, does not need a charger and is durable enough to accompany you on every adventure trip. But all of it comes at a price of Rs 36,000. If price is not an issue, then you should definitely go for it.