Wearables

Rough it out with Casio's G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000

This handsome G-Shock Mudmaster is packed with features, including Casio's Triple Sensor technology, which enables it to read temperatures and altitudes. The solar charging system can keep it running for 23 months.
This handsome G-Shock Mudmaster is packed with features, including Casio's Triple Sensor technology, which enables it to read temperatures and altitudes. The solar charging system can keep it running for 23 months.PHOTO: CASIO

Latest Casio piece will appeal to adventure seekers, those working in harsh conditions

Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000

Casio's G-Shock watches have been making inroads into different niches. There is the G-Shock Gulfmaster for seafarers. There is also the G-Shock Gravitymaster for frequent fliers.

Now, there is the G-Shock Mudmaster, for those who deal with the harshest of land conditions - for instance, those in the military, or rescue workers who work in disaster areas.

As its name suggests, this watch resists mud, dust and vibration. Being a G-Shock watch, it is also shock-resistant, and can be submerged to depths of 200m.

To achieve this toughness, a cylindrical guard structure is used for all of the GWG-1000 buttons.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $899

    WATER RESISTANCE: 200m

    WEIGHT: 116g

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

The buttons themselves are fitted in shafts with gasket linings to absorb shock and vibration, as well as prevent dust and mud from entering the case.

The watch comes with lots of Casio technology as well.

The Tough Solar Power System keeps it going for 23 months on a full charge. The MultiBand 6 technology lets it receive radio-wave time-calibration signals for accurate timekeeping.

With the Triple Sensor technology, it can read compass bearings, altitudes, atmospheric pressure and temperatures.

But it is not all tech wizardry and toughness - this G-Shock is quite a looker, too. Almost everyone who saw the review set praised its ruggedly handsome looks, which combine the Gravitymaster GPW-1000's elegant watch face with the Gulfmaster GWN-1000's large, round buttons.

The watch face has large hour and minute hands with big luminous markers. The dial has markings for major cities in different time zones. An LCD screen on the lower half of the watch displays watch modes, as well as temperature and altitude readings. The face is protected by scratch-resistant sapphire glass.

I like that it is comfortable to wear and use. It is light at 116g, and its band curves near the lug for a nice wrap around the wrist.The buttons are large and easy to press even when wearing gloves.

I also like that the compass and altitude readings have their own dedicated buttons. Another button toggles the temperature and barometric readings.

A small display shows these readings. When you are checking them, the hour, minute and second hands move smartly out of the way.

The watch posted accurate readings all round.

The barometric readings for Singapore showed only minor differences - around 3 hectopascals - from several real-time weather websites.

The compass readings corresponded exactly with those from the digital compass of my iPhone 6 Plus. Temperature readings were equally accurate.

During a drive to the top of Mount Faber, the Mudmaster's altimeter read 102m - pretty close as Mount Faber is 105m above sea level. The altimeter could even discern elevation changes when I climbed up a chair.

The only downside is that the watch lacks the global positioning system (GPS) time-calibration feature found in the Gravitymaster.

It instead uses Casio's radio signal-based time-calibration scheme, which uses the company's signal towers in the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan and China.

For rescue work, which could well occur at locations outside the range of these radio towers, a GPS time-calibration scheme would be more useful.

Perhaps putting in GPS instead of MultiBand 6 technology might have been a better choice if fitting both technologies into the watch was too costly.

•Verdict: Almost the perfect G-Shock with its handsome looks, great functionality and ruggedness. If only it had a GPS time-calibration feature.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2015, with the headline 'Ideal for tough men in tough terrain'. Print Edition | Subscribe