Just a few days ago, I realized that most watches on the market are nothing more than stylish accessories. We became obsessed with showing-off and competing in a game of “who’s watch is more expensive”, inasmuch that we forgot about the practical essence of a watch. Needless to say that durability and ruggedness completely fell out of the picture of watchmaking. If you spend a lot of your time outdoors, like me, you must’ve broken at least a couple of watches in your time. I know that I have. From scratching or breaking the glass to ripping the strap apart, I’ve done it all. Thus, instead of constantly replacing relatively affordable watches, I decided to put some extra cash on the table and get myself a proper workhorse wearable. It turned out to be the CASIO G-SHOCK MUDMASTER.
Why Even Get a G-Shock?
In case you’re an outdoorsy kind of person and you enjoy watching or doing extreme sports, you are surely familiar with the Casio’s G-shock series. The main reason behind why these series are so famous amongst sportsmen is because of their notorious durability and practical nature.
When you buy a G-Shock you feel comfortable with taking it to your hiking expeditions, scuba diving, camping, rafting, all kinds of challenging activities, because you don’t have to worry about whether it’s going to break. The G-Shock is built to last.
However, what is also great about G-Shock watches is that they are very gadgety. That means that young, contemporary, and computer savvy people also find them very attractive. It also became obvious that traditional watchmakers are beginning to catch up with the likes of Casio. Their watches are becoming more smart than elegant. More tough than fickle.
Nevertheless, I understand how some people can perceive these watches, especially the CASIO G-SHOCK MUDMASTER , as being ugly. They are often enormous, bulky, complicated to look at, and without a trace of elegance or luxury. Well, the truth is, they are not built for gala dinners. They actually built to help you survive, somewhere in the wilderness. Therefore, if you don’t have an adventurous spirit, maybe a classic Fossil watch would work better for you.
What Are You Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000-1A3JF
The G-Shock Mudmaster is one of the largest and toughest G-shock models ever made. With its stainless steel and resin body packed in an armored tool casing, it was made to persevere through the toughest of conditions. In addition to its incredibly solid body, the G-Shock Mudmaster is packed with a ton of smart and practical features. For example, the Multiband 6 technology automatically adjusts time settings, the Triple Sensor Technology provides a compass, barometer, thermometer, and other.
Even though this is not a smartwatch per se, it does lack some features which can be found in some of the more affordable G-Shocks models. We are mostly referring to the sunrise, sunset, and moon information. The Gulfman, for example, which is an older and cheaper version has these features. Also, the Mudmaster does not have Bluetooth, GPS calibration, step counter, and a heart rate sensor, most of which the Polar M400 sports watch has.
All in all, it is tough as hell. It wasn’t built to be like other sports watches and smartwatches which can be connected to your other electronic devices. It was built to last and help you get through the toughest of adventures. In case you want to completely geek-out with your watch, the Mudmaster might not be the perfect watch for you.
- Solar powered
- Triple Sensor Technology
- Multiband 6 time adjustment technology
- Made from steel and resin (very light)
- A high price tag of $750
- No sunrise, sunset, and moon information
- Lacks simple sensors like heart rate, step counter, etc.
What Makes a Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000-1A3JF
The G-Shock Mudmaster, like most G-shock models, is made from extremely tough and durable materials. As I have previously mentioned, Casio used stainless steel and resin to make this king of outdoor watches. But, even though it’s built from tough materials, that doesn’t mean that it’s too heavy to wear. In fact, that is why Casio uses resin.
In order to make the Mudmaster’s module impenetrable, Casio utilized gaskets and their Alpha Gel treatment. Apart from preventing a single grain of dust from entering it, the gaskets and Alpha Gel treatment help the watch endure the heaviest of shocks and vibrations as well as 656 feet (200m) deep dives.
You may have noticed from the photos that the buttons are textured. That particular feature is in fact very handy. Most of the time when we are hiking or mountaineering, we have gloves on. In those types of situations, textured buttons make it easier to use the watch. Strap-wise, you get to choose between three different colors – black, green, and rubberized yellow.
The dial window (the glass) is sapphire crystal built. The most crucial advantage of it is that it can never get scratched, no matter how hard you try. There’s another reason why the G-Shock Mudmaster represents the pinnacle of outdoor watches. It also comes with an LED light which illuminates the screen, glow-in-the-dark clock hands and numbers (Arabic), and a digital display which serves as a calendar.
One of the most awe-inspiring features of the CASIO G-SHOCK MUDMASTER is its Tough Solar power system. Basically, it uses solar power to recharge itself. When full, it can go on for about 2 years! These types of features always keep Casio one step ahead of its competition. No more worrying about how much juice is left in the battery!
Then, we have the Casio’s Triple Sensor system which includes a compass (using the second’s hand), temperature and altitude measurements, as well as atmospheric pressure readings. The thermometer reads temperature both in Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. All of these features come in extremely handy when you’re pushing your way through the wilderness.
When it comes to time reading, the Mudmaster’s dial shows abbreviations of a few major cities around the world, allowing you to easily switch between different time-zones with a push of a button. However, one major flaw of this time reading system is that it doesn’t rely on GPS for time calibration, the Mudmaster uses Casio’s radio towers located in Japan, China, Germany, UK, and the US. The problem is that these radio towers don’t cover all the locations around the world.
Lastly, we have the buttons. The dial itself indicates the purpose of the two large buttons on the right with abbreviations COMP and ALTI. With a simple click of the button, you get access to the compass or the altimeter. The central button underneath the number 6 turns on the LED light which lights up the dial. It’s important to note that the LED light isn’t as bright as you would want it to be. In fact, it’s pretty dim. Furthermore, the two buttons on the left help you access the rest of the Mudmaster’s features like the stopwatch, alarm clock (no snooze option), thermometer, timer, and so on.
CASIO G-Shock MUDMASTER Mens Japan Import GWG-1000-1A3
- Shock-resistant; Vibration proof structure , 20 ATM water resistant
- Temperature measurement function (measurement range: -10 to 60 ° C); Radio-controlled watch Japan, North America, Europe, China Region correspondence
- Altitude measurement function / relative altimeter (measurement range: -700 to 10,000 m)
- Stopwatch (1/100 second, 24 hour total, with split)
- Tough Solar (Solar Charging System)
What Are The Alternatives?
Garmin Fenix 5
We can not talk about other outdoor watches without mentioning the Garmin Fenix 5. This is a premium multisport GPS watch. It is incredibly smart and rugged. The bezel, buttons, and rear case are all made from stainless steel. Apart from being gadgety, the Fenix 5 is equipped with a high-resolution full-color Chroma Display. Sure it is scratch-resistant, but it is also transflective, meaning that even when the sun is blazing the display will be readable. Since it’s a proper multisport watch it includes advanced performance metrics (running speed, oxygen consumption per minute, etc.), heart rate technology, and many other smart features. All in all, this is a perfect sports watch for dedicated athletes.
- Almost $300 cheaper than the Mudmaster
- Transflective high-resolution display
- Advanced performance metrics
- Heart rate technology
- Not intuitive to use
- Step count isn’t very accurate
- GPS accuracy could be more precise
Garmin Fenix 5 – Slate Gray with Black Band
- Premium multisport GPS watch with Elevate wrist heart rate technology. Physical size- 1.8 x 1.8 x 0.6 inches. QuickFit watch band compatible-included (22 mm)
- Fit for adventure with rugged design that features stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case. Display type : sunlight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)
- Put key stats at your fingertips with the performance widget that shows the effects and progress of your workouts. Case material : Fiber-reinforced polymer with stainless steel rear cover
- Connected features include smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness community and personalization through free watch faces and apps from our Connect IQ store.Display size: 1.2″ (240 x 240)
- Outdoor sensors, including GPS and GLONASS satellite reception and 3-axis compass with gyroscope and barometric altimeter
Casio Men’s ‘PRO TREK’
Casio Pro Trek is $250 cheaper than its Mudmaster big brother. Even though it has a more sporty essence, it too provides all the smart features you’ll ever need for your outdoor activities. On the other note, it is more gadgety than the Mudmaster. It comes with the Android Wear 2.0 system, GPS, location memory, built-in quad sensors (barometer, altimeter, activity tracking, compass, etc.), full-color map display, and other. If you’re an athlete with an adventurous spirit, you might want to check out the Casio Pro Trek .
- Android Wear 2.0
- Full-color display
- Built-in sensors
- Water resistant (165 ft)
- Very limited battery life (with GPS on only 25 hours)
- Even though it’s cheaper than the Mudmaster it’s still pricey
- No NFC
Casio Men’s ‘Pro Trek’ Resin Outdoor Smartwatch, Color:Orange (Model: WSD-F20-RGBAU)
- Android wear 2.0, gps, mil-standard 810 g durability, 50m water resistant
- Digital compass, altimeter, barometer, activity tracker, dual layer lcd structure, original watch face, casio moment setter, microphone, timepiece mode
- Case Diameter: 61.7mm
- Water resistant to 50m (165ft: in general, suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, but not diving or snorkeling
- Up to 25 hours of battery life with GPS on and one month when in Timepiece mode
Here is another very smart sports watch which is $200 cheaper than the G-Shock Mudmaster. It features a mineral crystal color touch-screen, GPS/GLONASS route navigation, wrist HR, barometer, altimeter, 40-hour battery life (with GPS on), 100-meter water-resistance, and a steel bezel. Of course, the Suunto Spartan comes with many other smart features like Bluetooth connectivity, storm alarm, sunrise and sunset times, you name it, it has it all. If you’re an outdoor athlete looking for a decent multisport watch, the Suunto Spartan could be a great choice to make.
- Good looking
- Decent battery life
- Packed with smart features
- The heart-rate monitor isn’t very precise
- The screen isn’t very readable
Suunto Sport Wrist HR Baro Stealth Watch
- Convenient wrist hr. measurement
- Battery life up to 40H with GPS
- Steel bezel, mineral Crystal glass
- Barometric altitude and100 water resistance, GPS/GLONASS route navigation
- Sport expertise and support for over 80 sports with racing and interval Use
Even though the CASIO G-SHOCK MUDMASTER has a very steep price, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in saying that it isn’t worth the money. When you look at its competition, they all have a lot more sensors and features, but they often fail to get the basics right. You’d never have to worry about the Mudmaster’s ruggedness and durability, as well as its mechanisms and smart systems. Granted, it isn’t the smartest of watches, but everything it does, it does impeccably.