Casio doesn’t roll out budget ProTreks anymore: just flagships. This group of new entries (being released in Japan) presents some new colorway options and some welcome improvements in materials used in their construction.
At the top of the heap, the Manaslu (a designation used for their tippy-top models) PRX-7000ST-7JR is a limited editon model that is distinguished by it’s gold highlights and green details. As an all analog interface (all quartz/digital multi-motor works inside) using “smart access” it is deceptively simple looking watch. But dont let it’s looks fool you – this product has it all. Click here for an in depth review of it’s features and benefits.
At 175,000 Yen (about $2,200 USD) it seems expensive, but there is not a more capable product for anywhere near this price on the planet. Add to it’s incredible list of features, it excels as a boss among sports watches, it’s case and band being constructed of titanium and coated with titanium carbide and it’s crystal of anti-reflective sapphire. This blog rates it as a strong investment.
The ProTrek PRW-5050R-7 is a new model that offers a highly functional balance of anilog (big easy to see hands) and digital (for the myriad of features that are more easily read numerically on an LCD panel). This model sports a titanium case and a titanium and resin bracelet. As you would expect of a Protrek, it’s tough solar, tough movement and atomic. It has a full-auto LED backlight with afterglow and a full compliment of timer, alarm, world time and, of course, what makes it a Protrek: compass, altimeter, temperature and barometer. It’s a serious contender for your $850.
The ProTrek PRW-5100B-5 is the latest iteration of a proven product tier that features a well executed military stealth theme. The band is camo and the steel case is non-reflective black IP coated. To review the features and benefits of this piece click here. It’s Japanese announcement in July 2012 indicated a price of 56,000 Yen (approx $700 USD).
This blogger loves to see improvements made to products that don’t need them. The PRW-S2500-1 is an example of “how to do it even more right.” Casio calls this set of material upgrades “RM” which stands for “real material” – the good stuff that makes a watch durable under the roughest of conditions. (always trying to find balance in the world, I can’t help but wonder what un-real material is – anyway..) Sapphire crystal – cool. The bezel/case is a combinaton of alumium/resin and the band is carbon fiber reinforced urethane. Otherwise (other than the daunting list of standard ProTrek capabilities) this watch stands out with it’s stunning dual-layer dial and useful gnarly bidirectional bezel. This is a Wrist Watch Spot favorite.
This PRW-S5100-1 is an unremarkable colorway, strickly white on black, but uses the super durable “real materials” as discussed above – sapphire crystal, carbon fiber reinforced strap and a black IP coated steel case. Soon to be available at your local Japanese retailer for only 66k Yen.
Best Buy Recommendations: I’ve gotten a couple e-mails recently asking my opinion about “what would I buy” and “what are the best values” in multi-sensor watches. One of the options that I discovered in my research was the great deals available on the venerable PAG240-1 Pathfinder. Released in late 2010, it is not old technology and, in fact it doesn’t appear dated at all. With the exception of “atomic” time-setting and its being loaded with sunrise and sunset times (rather than moon and tide graphs), it has all the features found on the latest Protrek offerings. Casio still sells it on their website for $250 – it’s been spotted on eBay from a very reputable Los Angles dealer for $159 with free shipping. Also, the first generation of PRW2500 (released late 2011) is available now for as low as $199. The extra $40 gets you the atomic automatic time keeping feature. In both cases, that’s a lot of watch for the money!