I must admit, I liked the khaki strap. There, I said it. I liked it so much that it temporarily blinded and rid me of my good judgement, as I decided to go for this -1A5 model, the one of the three that comes with this cool strap that I know will hide me in perfect camouflage during the desert missions I so frequently attend. However, of the three GG-1000 Mudmasters only this sucker comes with a negative display – meaning the two LCD displays feature white text over a black background.

Now, this situation was manageable on the reviewed 5600 that I linked to above, because there the entire display lit up in green, allowing for splendid (and darn cool) low-light legibility, while out in the sun it was legible on its own. Here, on the GG-1000-1A5, the two displays are deep below the pane of the hands for obvious reasons, which means that in a room that isn’t lit up like a battlefield, they are already impossible to read. The bulky case and the fact that they are so deep in the dial means there’s almost always something casting a shadow on them and the off-white numbers and letters are often just impossible to make out at a glance – and are a struggle to read even up close.

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Although not being able to read something up close will make you feel very old very fast, it is at this point that you should brush this mild insult off yourself and use the wisdom of the elderly by harnessing the power of technology – no less. With “The Super Illuminator!” – your wisdom leads you to realize assistance is but a press of a button away! So, you press the top right button and it responds with a mushy feel, not the clicky feedback you might have been expecting. But, you’ll soon realize that deep mushiness comes from the quality seals Casio engineered into the pushers to make the Mudmaster the master of… the mud.

So yeah, the illuminator, that is a single piece of a bright LED set into the flange ring at 6 o’clock, lights up. It bathes the lower half of the dial in a sea of crisp white light and the upper half in long shadows. The result is that yes, you can make out where the three main hands are, but have even less visibility of the dark screens that now reside under powerful rays of LED light. The main hands as well as the indices have luminescent material on them. The lume can get pretty bright but doesn’t last as long as we have seen on other watches – hardly a deal breaker as the LED will help you out here.

In summary, I should have gone for the one on the black strap and just buy the khaki straps separately. Learn from my mistake, y’all!

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Thanks to its Casio 5476 module, the GG-1000 range of Mudmasters offers an unusual mix of functionality. A digital compass, thermometer, 31-time zone world time, 1/100 second stopwatch, countdown timer, 5 daily alarms, full auto (i.e. perpetual) calendar, beep on passing hours, Super Illuminator… And you’d think you are all set. However, and I know I keep coming back to my beloved GWX5600, here’s the point: that $150 5600 offers Multi Band 6 atomic time accuracy and Tough Solar recharge, meaning it won’t ever need new batteries.

Now, for something as purpose-designed and as relatively expensive as the Mudmaster, I wish both, or at least one of these features would have found their ways into it. To be fair, the GG-1000 is accurate to within +/- 15 seconds per month – and we know Japanese brands like to add a worst-case scenario range, unlike the Swiss who are often, ehm, aspirational in this regard. However, in this imaginary scenario when multiple professional workers need to coordinate their efforts out in the wild, I’d imagine a to-the-second coordination of their watches would be ideal. The GG-1000 also comes with an EOL (end of life) indicator for the battery, so it won’t leave you without your trusted timekeeper when you need it most.

The thermometer and compass features are fun to use even in one’s everyday life. The thermometer has a display range of -10 to 60°C (14 to 140°F) in 0.1°C (0.2°F) increments. Ironically, there is absolutely nothing on the watch to imply or remind you that it has a thermometer, nor anything to tell you how to use it. The function selector dial at 4:30 doesn’t say TEMP anywhere on it – so the way it works is (and you learn this from the manual and only the manual… and, well, this article) that you must be in timekeeping mode and press the SEARCH button. Then, magically, the thermometer’s reading appears on the upper screen.

To its credit, the compass is much easier to use, thanks to the massive COMP button where the crown would normally be. It even has a neat red outline to it. Press it, and the center seconds hand rushes across the dial to point towards North. I believe it is accurate to within 15°, varying based on certain circumstances (it will be less accurate in closed quarters and so on).

A USAR rescuer wearing the GG-1000-1A3 variant in what appears to be sub-optimal circumstances.


All in all, the Casio G-Shock GG-1000-1A5 Mudmaster is a fun watch that has its own weird quirks, cool features, and unique limitations. It is extremely well built, a joy to wear and feel thanks to its relatively high quality of extremely durable materials – if that’s your thing… and if it isn’t, then why are you reading this? The thickness won’t be an issue when you are wearing this watch as is intended – out and about, reveling in your active lifestyle and stuff – and in fairness that’s as much of a part of the character of this watch as is its beautifully over-engineered pushers and its khaki strap. The negative display on this one model is a hairbrained idea and yeah, I do miss Multi Band 6 and Tough Solar.

The Casio G-Shock GG-1000-1A5 and some ugly boots.

Look at it this way. If you can put up with its unique quirks, the GG-1000 Mudmaster will return the favor by putting up with you and all the stuff you’ll put it through. And that, in summary, makes this a very likable watch in my mind. Price for the Casio G-Shock GG-1000-1A5 Mudmaster is $350. g-shock.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Casio
>Model: G-Shock GG-1000-1A5 Mudmaster
>Price: US$350
>Size: 56.2 x 55.3 x 17.3 mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: The outdoorsy type who enjoys getting lost in the forest for a couple of days. I guess.
>Best characteristic of watch: A very likable, fun-to-own watch. Thermometer and compass might come in handy for some.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Legibility, lack of Multi Band 6 and Tough Solar.

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