Wearing watches like Casio’s newest G-Shock Mudman makes watch enthusiasts like me happy. I grew up wearing Casio watches, and even though I also cover the most high-end watches available, high-functionality, durable, and affordable tool watches like this get me very excited because I know a lot of people out there will be able to wear and enjoy this watch, too. Hopefully, enough of them will put a timepiece like this to the test — Casio isn’t joking when it refers to this watch as the “Mudman.” So, let’s talk a bit about Casio’s latest generation Mudman, which is in the G-Shock GW-9500 family.
This particular model is the reference GW9500-1, and it features the traditional black resin case, steel pushers and hardware, red color accents, and a traditional LCD display. Casio debuted the GW9500 in a few color variants, and I expect that, over the next few years, Casio will continue to release different (and perhaps some limited-edition versions) of the G-shock GW-9500 family. Now, let us talk in general about what this Mudman is good at, and where it falls in the larger catalog of G-Shock timepieces.
This is a Master of G Mudman versus a Mudmaster watch, which means it is designed to be a mid-range Casio G-shock product. That implies there are certainly lower-end G-Shocks, but also higher-end models that have different features and materials. In essence, this watch uses a legacy-generation module (the internal electronics and hardware produced by Casio) with a more modern case construction that is designed to meet the needs of people who want a very durable and reliable G-Shock without any fuss. Casio makes relatively similar products, such as the G-Shock Move GBD-H2000 (aBlogtoWatch review here), that costs around the same amount but offers a very different operating system and experience. Casio understands that different people want different things, so it is important to survey what Casio currently has available when wanting to choose the right G-Shock model for you.
The best way to understand the G-Shock Mudman GW-9500 is that it is the true successor model to the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400, which was originally released in 2014. For whatever reason, Casio decided to change the direction of the Rangeman. In 2018, it released the rather high-end and sophisticated Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPRB1000 (aBlogtoWatch review here). That was when the brand debuted its new operating system, an evolution of which now exists in other models including the exercise-tracking-focused G-Shock Move collection. When you look at the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400 (aBlogtoWatch review here), you can immediately understand how the GW9500 is an evolution on that concept.
What the GW9400 did was introduce the full “ABC” set of sensors to G-Shock watches. Until then, that was only available in Casio’s ProTrek family of timepieces. Given that G-Shock was doing so much better sales-wise than ProTrek, Casio made the smart decision to port over some of the more distinctive technology of ProTrek models to G-Shock. Now, it isn’t uncommon to find G-Shock models with the altimeter, barometer, and compass sensors. There is a temperature sensor, as well, but Casio doesn’t talk about it too much since its accuracy requires first removing the watch from your wrist (to acclimate to the room or area air temperature) to get a clean ambient temperature reading. For the GW9500, Casio borrows yet another piece of tech from ProTrek, a duplex LCD screen.
This system uses a thin, transparent LCD screen over the main LCD screen to overlap different information, and it works pretty well, mainly for the compass feature. Unfortunately, the duplex LCD system appears to be unchanged from when it was last used on a ProTrek model. In fact, the entire screen display of the GW-9500 is highly reminiscent of ProTrek. This implies that outside of using the duplex LCD screen for the compass and barometer functions, there doesn’t seem to be much else this system does in the watch. I think that Casio could easily update this screen technology to make it so that the duplex LCD system is used across more features. I can see it being interesting even as a visual device for a countdown timer, for example.
The module in the watch also features Tough Solar charging (good), and Casio’s Multi-Band 6 atomic clock radion receiver (rarely used). For me, the biggest thing missing in the GW9500 is a Bluetooth connection. Casio has been making this feature increasingly standard across models, and I think that a version of the new Mudman watch with Bluetooth would be appreciated. Otherwise, most of the functionality is what you’d expect from legacy G-Shock timepieces.
A big deal for Casio is the relatively thin nature of the case, its lighter 81-gram weight (despite having so many metal parts), and of course the reliability of the Mudman pushers which are designed to let water and mud drain out. The pushers are mostly black but with protective metal rings around them, with the exception of the steel-toned pushers on the left side of the case. The G-Shock Mudman GW9500 is actually very comfortable to wear but certainly larger among current Casio G-Shock watches. The mostly black resin case is 52.7mm wide, 14.8mm thick, and 56.7mm long. The 200-meter water-resistant case does use Carbon Core Guard, but not the carbon caseback as this model features a steel caseback (with the new Mudman character art on it).
For fans of the legacy Rangeman GW-9400, and all-digital display Mudman watches, the G-Shock GW-9500 family is going to be a welcome treat. It has been nearly a decade since Casio released a follow-up to the GW9400, and it comes in the form of the GW9500 which moves the collection into the Mudman family. As much as this watch is an upgrade, it is also a new chance to enjoy a high-functionality, yet legacy (more simple) G-Shock that is comfortable and very durable. This is also a great watch for those who miss a lot of what ProTrek used to mean and offer when its collection was more robust. Thinner and more modern than previous generation watches that came before it, this will undeniably be another popular watch from Casio over the next few years. Price for the Casio G-Shock Master Of G Mudman GW-9500 (GW9500-1 as tested) is $380 USD. Learn more at the Casio website here.
>Model: G-Shock Master Of G Mudman GW-9500 (reference GW9500-1)
>Price: $380 USD
>Size: 52.7mm-wide, 14.8mm-thick, 56.7mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: Great sports or adventure watch for when conditions are extreme or when you are in a totally disconnected environment.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Fan of legacy G-Shock models who have been waiting for a model like this that combines desirable features, is easier to wear, and doesn’t confuse you with too many new things to learn.
>Best characteristic of watch: Good-looking G-Shock that is easier to wear than in the past, and that offers fans of classic G-Shock watches a more modern want to enjoy the Casio experience.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Relatively light on new features. Would benefit from Bluetooth integration.