Casio ProTrek PRW3000 Watch Review

Casio ProTrek PRW3000 Watch Review
Casio ProTrek PRW3000 Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Casio ProTrek PRW3000 in the wild

The newest addition to the highly functional ProTrek family is the PRW3000 and it is a jewel with no jewels. As a mechanical watch aficionado I tend not to wear quartz watches... maybe it's snobbish of me or simply it's realizing that with limited time in each day, I just want to have something on my wrist that I appreciate and I find has soul. However, since I am also an active and practical person, I also make three exceptions to this rule: Garmin sports watches; Swatch watches; and Casio watches.

Sports watches have obvious value to me when I wear them. They are extremely useful when doing various sporting activities: cycling; running; swimming and so on, as I love to record and analyze as much data as I can from my activities.

The Swatch watches I sometimes wear is because they remind me of my adolescence as they were the watch to own when I was growing up. Swatches were the current generation's iPhone. I own many of them and a few have survived to this day. But Casio watches I appreciate and wear because they are truly indestructible tool watches with incredible technology packed in tiny sizes with high-utility and style. In this review I take a close, hands-on look and review of the Casio ProTrek PRW3000.

NOTE: in the video I made a series of mistakes. All corrected here, but to summarize: 1) there are 3 sensors (ABC), not 6; 2) the first page is sunset / sunrise; 3) the REC is record page and R/C is the atomic clock receive page; and 4) no need to hold the buttons for the ABC sensor, just pressing once is good enough.

Adi Soon had a great preview write up about ProTrek PRW3000 during Baselworld 2013 when it was first announced. I will try to be complementary to his post and primarily show the ProTrek in its most natural environment: mountaineering or mountain biking.

Casio ProTrek PRW3000 Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Casio ProTrek PRW3000 during MTB

Casio watches are popular all over, especially with the young crowd. It's no wonder hip-hop and rap stars, e.g., Eminem, are frequently seen wearing Casio watches though, mostly the G-shock series. But while the G-Shock and Baby G-Shock are trendy, for my lifestyle, my preferred Casio is the ProTrek series. Previously known as the Pathfinder series, the ProTrek has a unique style and purpose in the Casio line as the stalwart electronic tool watch that is less about being fashionable and more about being reliable and useful.

While unmistakably a Casio watch with all of the cues and design-style that Casio is known for, the ProTrek is meant for mountaineering. Everything about this watch invites you to take it to the outdoors. The rugged appearance, the various outdoorsy features, and the feel of the watch is meant for active people. It's the watch you want if you happen to be in a fight for survival---in a real life version of the plot for the TV series "Lost." Most ProTrek models are large, even though they don't wear massively. A unique feature about the PRW3000 is that it is, comparatively speaking, smaller in size.

Casio ProTrek PRW3000 Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

Casio ProTrek on my MTB

The ProTrek model I have recently purchased was announced and released this year at Baselworld. It is reference number PRW3000-1A and is primarily constructed of plastic resin but has a stainless steel back and black stainless steel bezel. What is obvious from the start is that this ProTrek is smaller, lighter, and slimmer than previous models which tended to sit high on the wrist and were 55+ mm in diameter. What also helps the new ProTrek appear smaller is the 24mm gray plastic band which tapers quickly to 18mm. And at a mere 64 grams this is simply the easiest ProTrek to wear, especially when used for its intended strenuous activities.

Casio ProTrek PRW3000 Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

The style for the PRW3000 is similar to previous ProTrek and Pathfinders, but refined, since it's a bit smaller and lighter and significantly thinner at 12mm high. The mineral crystal appears to take a larger part of the dial and is extremely visible, especially while wearing polarized lenses which I do a lot while mountaineering or mountain biking.

The major technical improvement for this version is the new triple sensor (v.3) providing ABC features (Altimeter, Barometric pressure, and Compass) as in previous versions. However, Casio managed to reduce the size of the sensor by more than 95% while also having it use 90% less power!  And on top of this, the new triple sensor data is vastly improved: altimeter reading now at 1 meter accuracy, barometric pressure difference within 0.3%, and compass bearing for 60 seconds... more »

15 comments
SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

I have been a PAG240 wearer for a long time, and I have put that watch through hell and it shows no sign of slowing.


I do like the idea of having upgraded and more sensitive sensors, but the duplex LCD on my 240 is a really spectacular feature that I don't want to give up - I really wonder why they ditched it. I'd already have this watch otherwise.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

There's something very attractive about wearing a watch that is a little computer, constantly monitoring your surroundings.  It gives you a sense of awareness of your environment and a feeling of having control that with few exceptions (like that awesome weather station watch) a mechanical watch cannot do.  While i'm not a big fan of their designs (i'd prefer something like a Suunto) I can't argue with the value and great usefulness of this piece.  I think Casio would get better recognition from the average Joe if they tried to produce watches like these but with a more premium feel.  Rubber and plastic might be ideal materials for durable devices but the public has been slowly but surely convinced that metal and glass are "fancier" and more deserving of their lust.  I am aware that Casio do use some degree of metal for cosmetic purposes but it is usually more of a shell than an integral structural part.

fossil10atm
fossil10atm

Yay... A digital watch.  Ive been thinking about buying a Suunto Core.

GaryK30
GaryK30

One more thing. Casio makes some ABC watches that show moon phase and tide level, and some that show sunrise/sunset, but none that do all these things. I'd like to have all of these functions in one watch.

GaryK30
GaryK30

Thanks for your review of the Casio ProTrek PRW3000. It sounds like Casio has made some useful technical upgrades over earlier models, as well as making the case diameter more compact.

I still enjoy my Casio Pathfinder PAW2000, which Ariel reviewed in 2010. At about 50mm wide by 11mm thick, it's more compact than most Pathfinder/ProTrek models. I like the new sensor technology in the PRW3000, but I prefer the looks of my PAW2000, which is currently available for under $200. It dropped $40 or so after the PRW3000 was introduced.

Regarding the atomic time sync, with WWVB in the U.S. being a VLF (Very Low Frequency) signal, its propagation is best in the early morning hours. My PAW2000 tries every hour from midnight until 5 AM to get a time sync, and it usually succeeds, unless there is excessive RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) at the time. Sometimes it's necessary to point the 12 o'clock position of the PAW2000 to a window that faces Colorado, or even put the watch next to the window.

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

Casio is a quality product that, in my locale at least, needs to be marketed properly. Two of the major department store chains, locally, have bushels of them, crammed into a floor level cabinet. The very nice lady from cosmetics or lingerie filling in at the watch department knows zip about Casio or any other watch for that matter. Jewelry stores in the same Mall have competent staffs to sell Citizen, Bulova, Tissot, etc., but Casio is left to fend for itself in the junky department store flotsam and jetsam.

bikeohio
bikeohio

Thanks for the great review, Max! I really enjoy on-location reviews. The watch looks great in natural light, too! You may have given me enough information to make this Casio my next watch purchase! Which Swatch watches do you have? I still have my first Swatch along with it's original case. I agree, there is something about the brand that brings back lots of memories of my youth!

Panagiotis
Panagiotis

Mad props to Casio...it's not easy making a mainstream product that is fashionable but also garners respect from even the most hardcore watch fans...seriously, I know not of a single WIS that can speak ill of Casio. While they might not all like the styling, everyone's go-to watch seems to be a G-shock/ABC etc...

GaryK30
GaryK30

@Kris C I agree with you regarding the duplex LCD. My PAW2000 has this type of display as well, and it's really cool.

Maximilien
Maximilien

There is the titanium version...

Maximilien
Maximilien

I still have three old swatches: black classic, and a couple transparent dated late 90's. I also recently purchased a Swatch for myself in a very long time: Scuba Libre Turtle green. It's hard wearing the old since they seem so petite and the Scuba Libre does feel a bit cheap. However, I used it a few times cycling before I got the Casio.Thanks for reading and for your comment/question. Cheers mate.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Sorry; I shouldn't have skim-read the last part.  It looks way better than the plastic version to me.

Maximilien
Maximilien

@GaryK30 Good question. I too own the old Ti Pathfinder version (which I since gifted) and you are correct that the band only is titanium. Since this one has steel bezel I am guessing that the bezel on new one is also Ti and so is the band.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Looking at it more closely, i'm actually not sure.  Casio has a habit of going cheap when it comes to the watch case.  On the titanium model it looks like a metallic plastic but it's hard to tell. 

GaryK30
GaryK30

Does the titanium PRW3000 really have a titanium case, rather than a resin case? The titanium PAW2000 has a titanium band, but the case is still resin.


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