Thankfully a good number of Casio watches grace my wrists. There are few other inexpensive watch brands I so eagerly strap on and wear with glee - which is especially true for their Pro Trek (formerly Pathfinder here in the US) collection of multi-function watches. This time I check out the mid-range Pro Trek PRW-2500 and am again impressed.
In my opinion there are enough Casio watch models available for one to get highly confused. The difference between one model and another can be confusing, with many having very slight changes here and there. Though overall new Pro Trek models tend to have the latest technology and are more often than not more advanced than their predecessors. The Pro Trek PRW-2500 isn't about breaking too much new ground feature wise, but inserting Casio's latest developments into a new watch meant specifically for outdoor enthusiasts.
As a mid-range Pro Trek model this piece really does have a lot of the latest cool features that many people want from a Pro Trek watch. The collection for years has been the go-to timepiece for anyone with nature exploration in mind given the watch's wealth of durability, longevity, and information features. Notably, the PRW-2500 is solar (light) powered, six band atomic clock controlled, has a duplex LCD screen, claimed improved sensors, claimed improved durability, and legendary legibility for loads of details at a glance. The full list of features is too long to go into, but suffice it to say that few features are lacking. Honestly, the only thing Casio can't claim with a watch like this is that it is suitable for a suit or sophisticated outing.
At about 50mm wide Pro Trek watches aren't small, but Casio makes them the most comfortable large watches I've ever worn. They feel thin compared to older models and have that create strap-end system that wraps around any wrist. In the resin case the watch is also extremely light. In addition to this black-toned resin (fancy plastic) model, there is a PRW-2500 model with a titanium case and bracelet.
Casio claims that the sensors in this watch have been shrunken a bit which makes for an overall smaller set of protrudences on the case. The case also has a rotating navigational bezel. In the past I have thought these bezels to be too easy to turn. This one is much more stiff, making it perhaps to tough to turn (though it is possible you need to break it in a bit as this is a feature I admittedly don't use).
Coming in mostly black the PRW-2500 is a less nerdy looking Pro Trek watch, but is still a Pro Trek through and through. I continue to notice slight upgrades in these watches over time, including the strap resin material which seems to be softer and more flexible than ever. While you don't even notice the watch on your wrist because of its comfort and weight, it does take a beating well. Perhaps not as well as a Casio G-Shock, but the Pro Trek is still water resistant to 200 meters and has metal caseback as well as a healthy amount of plastic padding. You also appreciate how the crystal is inset a bit compared to the bezel which should protect the screen/dial as much as possible.
The face of the PRW-2500 was specifically designed to offer a range of environmental information at a glance without having to cycle through mode screens. The time is placed at the bottom of the dial, which also has the moon phase, tidal data, barometer graph, and calendar displayed all at the same time. There are some options such as removing the tidal data from the home screen in favor of a more complete calendar display. The tide chat data has its one function mode screen as well for more detailed info.
Like all Pro-Trek models the full list of features is long. In this model these include, but are not limited to, world time, full calendar data, several alarms, automatic backlighting, stopwatch, count-down timer, moon phase, tidal data, thermometer, compass, barometer, altimeter, and more. There is a bit of a learning curve to figuring it all out, but long time Casio users won't have any trouble figuring it all out.
People who need a lot of data at a glance will appreciate this watch a lot. Those wanting to see mainly the time might prefer another Pro Trek piece because the time is not in the center of the dial on the home screen - though it is prominent enough. Casio's continuous improvement and attention to their electronic gadget watches is always impressive and the watches just keep getting better. They are also inexpensive enough to upgrade each few years. In black resin the PRW2500-1 retails for a fair $300 while its titanium sibling the PRW2500T-7 is $400. Fancier or more colorful version likely exist in the Japanese domestic market. All in all a great - yet subtle - evolution for the world's greatest gadget watch collection. Keep 'em coming Casio.