Been looking for something to replace the Casio PRW3000 I had stolen from luggage that went missing on a trip last year in darkest Africa. On the bag’s reappearance my Casio was missing along with other stuff, but the watch was the one thing I missed most of all.
When I returned to the UK, I got myself a Tissot Solar Expert (my first true Swiss ABC model) which I’d always wanted anyway and to this day it’s been my alternative compass watch for my Casio. With its touch screen concept ana/digi system the Tissot is very unlike Casio and whilst really clever operationally, somehow I still miss the dare I say, “older and more conventional” familiarity of the Casio digital set up.
So that said I decided at long last to perhaps consider another Casio and whilst the 3000 series is still ongoing, I’ve instead picked another model with the same and now upgraded sensor set, but at a more affordable price. And not tempted by the Titanium, this time went for the Casio Pro Trek PRG270B-3, in the green and black resin G shock style case. Note that this version has the textile band as opposed to the resin band. The reason for my choice here is important to me because of my wrist size.
The resin band versions effectively adds to the lug to lug size just enough to cause fitting issues when worn on my average size wrist. Whereas this textile band version reduces this dimension to under 50 mm and it can swing freely 90º from the case and so fits much more snuggly. Being G shock style of course it’s tough enough to withstand almost anything, which I suppose is a definite plus when considering the places I tend to end up in.
I also selected this Casio model because it’s a middle of the road example of both the genre and price point. It appears to offer decent value and considering my PRW3000 cost twice as much (a Japan domestic model at the time). It also has the internal module 3415, successor to the 3414 of my 3000 model which was already very good. I should also say that the clarity of the green (almost gold) background digital display is really excellent and one of the best I’ve seen from any Casio to date.
The 3415 module set means ease of use, logical controls and function switching. Feature wise it’s Solar Powered, World Time, Triple Sensor, (Alti, Baro & Compass), excellent full display back light. Also the overall color scheme is definitely my favorite and looks great. 10Bar Water resistance plus Chrono, Timers, Chime etc. as usual with the Casio set up and all very easy and familiar to set up. Note too the extreme light weight of just 62 gms including strap means this is a very practical wear and forget watch.
The green and black textile strap is a cut above for Casio, being very well made, approximately 23 mm wide with contrasting full stitching and with a black vinyl stitched backing and keeper. Note the keeper stays where it’s put, which is a plus. The buckle holes are fully metal ring edged so will not fray and a delight to wear. The strap fixing to the case is approximately 17 mm and overall the strap appears water resistant.
The ABC feature set is as good as these get at the moment and the ease of use commendable. Compass declination can be set in a matter of a second or two and it can just a quickly be switched off. The compass takes just a second to operate via the direct button @2 and graphically shows magnetic North direction plus the other three cardinals, the heading @12 (where the 12 of the watch face is pointing) as N, NW, S etc. and the bearing indication or direction angle in degrees of the 12 also. It takes reading virtually continuously each second (for 60 seconds) and directional movement of the watch will be shown immediately on the display. It also has bearing retention memory and pretty comprehensive it is too and lining the watch face up with a map (setting the map) is easy, surprisingly clear and effective.
The Barometric function is also very comprehensive as is the Altitude mode, with plenty of Trekking and Climbing features within the programs to suit most folks I would have thought.
Other features are – a 999 hour Stopwatch, 24 hour Timer, 5 Daily Alarms, one with snooze, an Hour Time Signal (2 beeps), Auto Light function when wrist turned 40º towards wearer with OFF/ON darkness sensor, adjustable illumination time – either 1.5 or 3 seconds. I also like the optional main display pattern.
You can have the Calendar display in Normal Time mode indicate the Day and Date OR Month and Date OR instead the Barometric Pressure Trend Graph – this in addition to the Time and running Seconds. I prefer it set to Day and Date.
In fact there is a whole pile of stuff in this module and the instruction booklet or online version is well worth reading – and fortunately the system in use, is as about as intuitive as you can get, making this watch a pleasure to wear and use. And finally I set the time via a Radio Controlled source a week or so ago and it’s still within a second, so accuracy is virtually set and forget in practical terms, the Solar Power means no battery issues ever and it looks as if I’ve found my new Daily Beater.
I’m very pleased!
Note – Whilst I said I wanted to get back to the familiarity of the Casio digital display system, I’m not suggesting the Tissot Touch Expert is in some way inferior. Quite the opposite – but it is however quite different and in Compass mode actually works like a “proper” compass. The hands aligning as one to point North and the digital display indicating degrees of the 12 position to North, including the Heading setting ie. N, W, SSE, etc. It also takes continuous readings every second for 60 seconds. It also has an instant Azimuth “beep” system when the watch is aligned with the heading you wish to take – very useful as a trekker and if used to map & compass, then the Tissot is highly practical.
Co-incidentally I checked the Barometer sensors on both watches today and they both read the same, exactly – and that’s a definite improvement over the old days when different models and certainly brands – meant different readings – I’m impressed!
So which ABC do I prefer? Well that’s a difficult one to answer as my practical side says Tissot, yet absolute feature wise I might say Casio . . . . Which is why I love them both!
But best value for money? This Casio without question!