Naturally, all that design comes at a price – first, in the Casio G-Shock GWG 1000-1A3 Mudmaster’s US$750 MSRP, but more notably, because it is by far the biggest “G” I’ve ever worn. It dwarfs my G-9000MX, which looks like a dress watch for first-responders when the two are in the same room. However, despite the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster’s best efforts to displace my skinny frame’s tenuously balanced center of gravity, the hulking 60 x 56 x 18mm silhouette wasn’t all that bad on my flat, 6.75” wrist. In fact, it was almost even comfortable.
This fit owes thanks to the two curved, triangular inserts at the 6 and 9:00 undersides of the strap to help the case fit more flush to the curvature of your wrist. In the name of science, I used a 2.5mm Allen key to remove them just to see how the watch fit, and unsurprisingly found it practically unwearable without them. What was surprising, however, was how the Mudmaster never really physically felt unbalanced in the way a smaller, but heavier stainless steel watch on bracelet might wear (46mm Oris Depth Gauge on bracelet – looking at you). This familiarity was probably tempered in part by the case’s relatively light 100-gram weight, and also by my years of wearing the Mudman — a much smaller watch for sure, but still one bearing all the assertiveness of a classic G-Shock.
By my own admission, it’s probably worth noting that the Casio G-Shock GWG 1000-1A3 Mudmaster’s strap was much more comfortable when worn over a thick neoprene warmer while out on a ride, meaning the optimal wrist size is probably a few arm hairs over 7 or 7.5 inches. So yes, the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster needs a big forearm for company. But not even its propensity to smack doorways, snag branches on the trail, or spontaneously cause small children to break down in tears can change the fact that this is an undeniably fun and impossibly practical watch to wear.
And therein lies the truth of de Sade’s old-world wisdom when it comes to the modern G-Shock quandary: their biggest turn-off will always be the same thing that makes them so damned endearing. In the case of the Mudmaster, it’s the esoteric engineering narrative bubbling beneath a cool, tactical skin that saves it from being just another watch that’s large for the sake of being large. In fact, I think the most refreshing thing about this olive-drab hubcap is not just how it looks like a device for sending ham radio transmissions to Russia, it’s also the sheer absence of pretension. It’s large, because it needs to be. It’s ugly, because it’s just so hilariously overbuilt. Think of the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster as the Mercedes-Benz Unimog of G-Shocks: it’s not for everyone, but it’s the best there is for going where no one wants to go – and if it ain’t ugly enough for you, there’s always the Hammer Tone. Again, price for the Casio G-Shock GWG 1000-1A3 Mudmaster is US$750. gshock.com
>Model: G-Shock GWG 1000-1A3 Mudmaster
>Price: $750 USD
>Would reviewer personally wear it: No, but I would still recommend it.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs; my buddy who’s a Hotshot with the National Forest Service; any gorilla-wristed wilderness first-responder or engineer who spends most of his time operating heavy machinery underground; Unimog owners.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Visible from space.
>Best characteristic of watch: Exceptional build quality, and a deep feature set with impressive ease-of-use.