Is the watch easy to live with? Well I grew up wearing G-Shock watches most of my life so I’d say so – and the Rangeman is no different. The digital display offers a range of information and the home screen is very useful. The upper right section can display either the day of the week or a graph showing changes in barometric pressure, and you also have calendar information and the time at a glance. The dial even features a power reserve indicator for the battery, which is nice to know from a quick look. The upper left circular quadrant has Casio’s typical “pie-chart” seconds counter. Though this is also used as the compass needle in compass mode.
There is no need for me to discuss everything from the watch’s five daily alarms or countdown timer. I assume that most people reading this review have had some experience with G-Shock watches, so they generally know the core set of functionality that Casio has offered in them for decades. It is true that we tend to take all of these features for granted. Having said that, after wearing digital watches from many other brands, I have to say that going back to using a G-Shock is like returning to an old friend. Sure quirks exist, but overall these watches offer a straightforward and mostly logical set of features – which are best offered in Japanese digital versus analog watches.
Casio produces a few versions of the G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman right now. It is entirely possible that new colors will pop up here and there. What is confusing is where each of the models is sold. While you can get all of them in Japan or online, different countries carry different models. Having said that, the version I reviewed is the “international model” that will be sold everywhere. So this piece in black with a standard LCD display is the Rangeman model GW-9400J-1JF. There is also the same version but with a negative (black) LCD screen and that is the GW-9400BJ-1JF. If you like military green then a cool version is the green with black screen Rangeman model GW-9400J-3JF. There is one more known model that is a Japanese exclusive limited edition meant for the 30th anniversary of the G-Shock. It is a yellow version of the Rangeman, and probably has a price premium. It is the Rangeman GW-9430EJ-9JR.
Some of you already know you want a Rangeman and probably others already have it. It also only been out in the US for several months at the time of this review but we’ve noticed that G-Shock fans are snapping them up. There is good reason for that. I’d like to discuss these watches in another context outside of outspoken G-Shock lovers. Is this a good watch for a luxury watch lover? I am going to say yes. As a watch snob who looks down on most quartz timepieces I always admire a G-Shock. No I don’t wear one all the time, but for me these are a must for any collection. They are not only the ultimate beater watch, but they look cool. For me the design takes inspiration from Transformers as much as it does Batman. These are the epitome of modern watches and make a case for themselves in terms of price, design, and functionality.
If you are a serious watch collector with $100,000 pieces there is no reason why you can’t also wear a G-Shock once in a while or while you are taking a hike. This is among the very budget watches (like a standard Swatch) that transcends luxury status and has appeal to everyone. Wearing a G-Shock is about being and feeling youthful more so than it is anything else. For me it is a reminder to get outside and do something, and if I want to do it wearing a yellow, black, white, purple, or orange watch (among more colors) I can do so with a G-Shock. The Rangeman GW94000 is the current best of breed (even though there are more expensive models out there) and it would be silly for us to do anything but recommend it for those who see a place for one in their lives. Retail price is $300. gshock.com
>Model: G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone who wears a watch while doing outdoor activities and anyone wanting a youthful looking timepiece.
>Best characteristic of watch: The best and most fully-featured G-Shock watch to-date. Great design on top of that.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Not the smallest G-Shock model around, but overall there is really little to complain about given the G-Shock theme and price.