Casio Pathfinder PAG-240-1 Watch Review

Casio Pathfinder PAG-240-1 Watch Review
Casio Pathfinder PAG 240 1 Watch Review   watch releases

Somehow, I think that the watch designers at Casio enjoy their jobs.

I’ve never met or spoken to one, but from seeing a succession of Casios over the years, and the relentless way that they keep improving, every single time, I have to think that they like what they do. Case in point today: the new PAG-240-1 Pathfinder. Casio has done a lot of Pathfinders over the years, and every single time the come up with new features, killer prices and manage to improve the user interface in small ways to boot.

This Pathfinder is mid-line for Casio, lacking only the radio-set functionality of the more expensive versions. It still has solar power (which I consider an essential feature for an outdoor watch), alarms, countdown timer, world time, altimeter, barometer, compass, altimeter, thermometer, trend graphs and an EL backlight. The case is 50.7mm across at the widest point, 15.5mm thick and 65g on the plastic strap.

Casio Pathfinder PAG 240 1 Watch Review   watch releases

There’s also a leather strap, model PAG-240B-2, and bracelet, model PAG-240T-7. As with most Pathfinders, it’s water resistant to 100m (vs 200m for G-Shocks) and quite comfortable to wear. I tried this one out for an hour of ultimate frisbee, and it was great: easy to read at a glance, and seemingly weightless even when tired.

The other new feature of the PAG-240 is the dual-layer LCD, what Casio is calling ‘duplex.’ Above the normal dial is one of radial segments, which Casio uses for several features. Obviously, it’s used to show the compass major axes:

Casio Pathfinder PAG 240 1 Watch Review   watch releases

Here is where I admire the ingenuity of the Casio engineers: They reused the second layer to show mode, and for several of the modes it adds features at a glance. Here’s world time mode, not the 24h scale on the edge of the glass:

Casio Pathfinder PAG 240 1 Watch Review   watch releases

Here you can see local time (lower left segment, pointing just past 14:00 hours) and world time (just past 21:00).

It’s also used for sunrise/sunset indication:

Casio Pathfinder PAG 240 1 Watch Review   watch releases

Sunrise/set is a new feature too, I think, and quite useful for outdoors types.

Other things to note: Bidirectional compass bezel, the usual excellent Casio buttons that work even when gloved, and the remarkable fact that the second LCD layer doesn’t reduce display contrast noticeably, a feat all by itself. You can set the green area to show year (picture above), day of the week or a small trend graph of barometer readings.

Casio Pathfinder PAG 240 1 Watch Review   watch releases

Overall, with a list price of $250, this is another killer value. I don’t find the lack of radio synchronization to be a big deal, but if you do there’s lots of Pathfinders to choose from. It’s a big, geeky, feature-laden watch and can go straight from cubicle to hiking trail at the end of the week. I think owners of previous models will like the addition of the duplex LCD and it’s added usability.

Thanks to Casio for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.

26 comments
EPM
EPM

I recently got the PAG240-1 for christmas and enjoy the features.  The one thing that I am having trouble with is the compass.  The manual says that the compass can be calibrated, but that it should not need to be as it is done at the warehouse.  My compass is off by approximately 25-30 degrees out in the open in the city(nowhere near any magnetic devices), in the apartment and car.  I understand the car and possibly the apartment.  But I cant understand out in the open in the city.  I won't solely depend on my watch when hiking, backpacking, etc....as I will have a compass with me, but I would expect the watch compass to be somewhat close.  Does the compass need to be calibrated, or is there a possibility of the watch having a defect?  Does anyone have advice, had this same problem, have a solution?  Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

apoorv
apoorv

I bought 240T today and within 3 hours of wearing it i saw that E,S,W letters on the bezel the paint had come off little bit on each letter...
I am returning this watch tomorrow...
I am confused shell i get a replacement or different watch..
am afraid that same might happen to the replacement watch..
Have any one faced this problem...
Pls reply asap

jano
jano

hi
nice review. im the owner of the old 60t and now i'm just doing my research to replace it with sth newer - can't decide between 2000 and 240 - tough call :) at least somehow i gave up on getting one of the 1500s. 240 - dont like yellow buttons. 2000 - no bezel.. eh..

Daaave
Daaave

Oct 2010 I got a black Casio SS MTG-910. I wanted something that was good looking but heavyduty since I'm tough on watches. It was solar-atomic and beautiful, but heavy. I saw a review of the PAG-240. The reviewer said that it was light. He said he could wear it as an everyday watch. I got the PAG-240 in Nov. I have the small screen display the barometer graph instead of the date or year. This is unbelievably useful. I like the solar power feature. I don't want to buy batteries anymore. It is now my everyday watch. Every time I bang it or scrape it along a wall I check for scratches. None so far. I have a couple of complaints. The yellow buttons should have been gray or black. Casio should make replacing the wristband easier. I would prefer a black SS, nylon or leather wristband. Any kind really besides what it has. Otherwise, I love this watch. Constantly looking at it and not to just check the time.

Rahul Prasad
Rahul Prasad

Hi

I must say that the review was great. I have a question : whats the other differences between PAG240B-2 and PAG240-1 other than the strap.

Thanks
Rahul

rljames
rljames

I'm concerned about battery life.

Apparently the PAG240 does not allow for user replacement? If true, Why? And does this make the watch essentially a "throw-away" after the battery is no longer solar chargeable? Or at the very least, I'm guessing, an expensive factory replacement?

Thanks,
Bob

casio
casio

Great casio watch with many features

Gilbert
Gilbert

Something important for the sunrise/sunset.

Setting your local time area in the World Time screen won't make it work.
You have to set it on the Time Display mode. Best is to use longitude/latitude.
If you don't do that, it will reverse the sunrise/sunset values, and display crap.
You have to go to the Time mode, press Adjust, and set your latitude/longitude so the sunrise/sunset will display proper values (I did check the values shown by the watch and they're within 1 minute of what I get from web site from my GPS coordinates, so it's very, very precise).

If you don't do that setting, or try to do it from the WT screen, you will see that sunrise/sunset hours are nonsense, and worse : reversed as can be seen in your pic ;)

Gilbert
Gilbert

Contrary to your review, this watch does have the sunrise, sunset function. It's the first screen that appears when you press MODE.

Emilio Trampuz
Emilio Trampuz

Will Casio ever create an altimeter watch suitable for alpine skiers and snowboarders? None of the Casio reviews ever mentions or tests this feature, but all Casio watches take altitude measurements only once every 2 minutes. That's simply not fast enough for a fast sport like skiing. If I ski fast, I could ski a run top to bottom in less than 2 minutes, and the watch would then completely miss one of the runs.

As much as Casio engineers might like their job, they don't listen to customers. I've been writing to them for 4 years in a row now, asking for a simple tweak in their software to enable automatic tracking of cumulative vertical feet skied and the number of runs skied. Within these 4 years, Casio has introduced several new watches, but they are still completely ignoring skiers, snowboarders, cyclists, runners, or and anyone else who changes altitude at a fast pace.

Paul Hubbard
Paul Hubbard

I wrote the review actually, so yes I do. Haven't scratched mine yet, so I can't answer your question directly, sorry.

Dennis
Dennis

Thanx Paul,do you own a 240 ? Ik have a suunto core extreme red edition. The painted black aluminium bezel scratches easily. Ik hope te bezel of the casio will be more scratch prove.

Paul Hubbard
Paul Hubbard

The bezel is metal - looks like PVD on it. Should be pretty durable.

Dennis
Dennis

Hi Ariel,

Nice Blog! I'm a fan of your blog from the Netherlands. I orderd a prg 240 online in Germany due to you're good reviews. Thanx! One question what kind material is the bezel made of?? I use the watch every during mij work and hoop the bezel won't damage. Keep up the good work;-)

greetings Dennis

JM
JM

Sorry, one last question. Do you know when the PAG240 is available for sale in the US?

JM
JM

Hi Ariel,

First, thanks for yet another excellent review. I've purchased my first ABC watch (a PAW 2000) and your advice was indispensable in my decision process. I've had my 2000 for a week now but can return it within 30 days, and after seeing this (and reading some reviews on message boards), I think the PAG240 may be better for me. If it's ok, I have a few questions for you.

1.) Thickness/diameter vs. 2000. At 50.7mm diameter, that sounds about the same as the 2000. How much thicker is it than the 2000? I assume it's thicker because it looks like it has a rubber gasket on the back and also the added height of the bezel.

2.) Band: The 240 has the traditional style of pathfinder band, which differs from just about any other band on the market, while the 2000 looks like it would take just about any band. What is your opinion on the band style? Can the 240 take a non-casio band, like a cloth band? Also, the 2000 had these little paws on the band that pinch arm hair (a huge pet peeve of mine). It looks like the 240 got rid of those, is that right?

3.) Overall characterization vs. 2000. Even though the instrumentation feature set is almost identical between the 240 and 2000, the styling is very different and I get the idea that the 2000 is really meant for casual use while the 240 is a better field watch. What is your opinion? I will wear it every day, but I will use it for hiking, camping, and mountaineering.

I'll give you my thoughts now as a newbie. I'm hoping the PAG240 has the same instrumentation sensors as the 2000. The 2000 compass is very accurate. despite complaints about temperature, i've seen that to be very accurate as well. I love the barometer and altimeter functions. I've used other altimeters before and I expect accuracy to fluctuate based on pressure changes. The casio sensors on the 2000 seem excellent. i love the graphs.

I wanted a thinner watch and chose the 2000, but I really, really miss a directional bezel. I do compass orienteering and the advantage of a rotating bezel (whether on watch or compass) is clear: once you've taken your bearing and set the bezel, you can nav as you walk using the map and the compass, because you don't need a magnetic reading anymore. Without the bezel, you have to align the watch to your bearing, then stay still while you align map to the compass. There alone I think I've talked myself into the 240, the bezel is a HUGE deal to me.

Finally, I know I'd give up atomic time, and that's ok with me. I love the idea of atomic precision, but I'd rather have a sturdy field watch.

I love the solar power. I'm the type of person that knows how to change a battery, but I'd rather not think about it.

Sorry for the long post Ariel, would love your thoughts. i'm a big fan of your posts.

yschow
yschow

Dear Ariel,

The PAG/PRG-240 is actually a larger case design from it's siblings the PRG-200-1/200A series. Not only that, it will be a good successor replacement model for the old aging PAG/PRG-40 which released 9 years ago.

Dennis
Dennis

Is it just me or have these Pathfinder watches always been a bit homely? I admire all the functions they get into them, though. A truly feature rich watch. If only they could apply a bit of Suunto aesthetics to them.

shinytoys
shinytoys

Slick interface that is lacking one important feature...Atomic Timekeeping. But you are correct, Ariel, there are many of these to choose from.

admin
admin

Nothing I believe.

Brian
Brian

Thanks for the instructions. Just got my Pathfinder yesterday and was bothered by the sunrise sunset inaccuracy. Fixed now.

admin
admin

Yea, sorry about that.

Gilbert
Gilbert

The bezel is plastic. I got one on my wrist right now.

admin
admin

Sorry buddy. Too much for me to comment on. These are both different watches. And I like both. The PAW-2000 is more svelte for everyday way, but the PAG-240 is a good field watch. Best to stick with what you have as it does most everything you want and more. You could always get both and have a back up. Take care.

Gilbert
Gilbert

It's okay :)

That review made me buy it. I love it.
It replaces my previous Titanium PRG80. It's lightier, it has a much more nice look. The PRG240 is flat on its top, where the PRG80 is not. The bezel can be moved, and the watch face is so much more beautiful than the PRG80 =)