The G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER is waterproof, shockproof and – as the name reveals – mudproof. But is it as good as any other outdoor watch? Read the review or watch the video!
- Price: € 699,00
- Weight: 117,5 gram
- Size: 56 X 60 X 17 mm
G-Shock is a brand next to the wider spread Casio brand name. I am a great fan of Casio and G-Shock watches and I bought several in the past. So am I an objective person to make this review? Well yes I think so, since Casio and me have a sort of hate – love relation. At the end of this article you will understand. I promise!
G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER
The name of the G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER is a mouthful so I will only use the name G-Shock Mudmaster in the rest of the article. Next to the GWG 1000 1A3ER that I am reviewing, there is also another G-Shock Mudmaster available: the GWG-1000-1AER (without the 3). The difference between the two is that the wristband is black on the non-3 and that the hands of the clock and the numbers are a sort of Khaki. On the one that I am reviewing the hands and numbers are white and the wristband is olive drab greenish. For so far this is only a matter of style, but there is one difference that is also practical or not practical. The small digital lcd display on ‘my’ review watch is black with numbers and letters and symbols in a dark color while the other watch has more whitish numbers.
Size and weight: Comfort?
The G-Shock Mudmaster is a very impressive watch to look at. Let’s have a peek at the bare numbers. The Mudmaster weights 117,5 gram on my precise scale and I think this is the most heavy watch that has ever been on my wrist. Also the size is pretty over the top: it is 56 mm wide (left-right) and 60 mm long (bottom-top) and 17 mm thick. The wristband has a circumference that varies from 14 cm at it’s smallest to 21,3 cm at it’s widest. My wrist is 16 cm and I think the watch is a bit too big for my wrist to wear it comfortable. The watch almost doesn’t fit under a narrow sleeve that I like to wear when the weather is a bit colder. The sleeve gets stuck the whole time or… when putting on a jacket the sleeve snags on the G-Shock.
With every Casio watch always comes a very thick manual. The manual is in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish and a Dutch version is not available. The manual is 120 pages and is clear on most functions and also on explaining some theory behind for example the working of the barometer/altimeter. Is it in fun to read? No, just plain functional. I would strongly advice you if you buy a complicated watch like the G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER: take the manual with you on the first trips outdoors. You will need it now and than. The size is 105 x 70 x 21 mm or 105 x 70 x 4 mm if you only take one language with you. The weight is 123,1 grams in total and 24,1 gram for one language.
One of the best features of Casio and G-Shock watches is the radio controlled atomic timekeeping. Like other Casio’s and G-Shocks, the Mudmaster uses a radio time calibration signal to set its time. This is done totally automatic and I discovered it also changes by radio signal from summer to wintertime. If you are in an area where the radio signal does not reach, you can adjust it manually. Next to telling what the time is, the Mudmaster has all full watch functions you would expect: alarms, countdown timer and stopwatch. Nice is also that every five hours he hands calibrate themselves to the correct time.
The G-Shock has five buttons that are situated around the case and every one of them has a special function. Top right operates the compass, bottom right the altimeter, bottom left switches between all the functions that are hidden behind subdial with the small hand and top left switches between functions in the functions that are chosen with the small subdial. Pretty complicated isn’t it? The fifth button is placed on the bottom of the case and activates the light. And the middle right side is the crown. Unscrew its protection cap, pull it out of the watch and you are able to adjust for example the time.
Because of its huge size, the buttons on the Mudmaster are big too and they have a nice structure. Both features make them very user friendly, even with cold hands and gloved up. The combination of pressing Lower Left and Light buttons in the same time is used to get the hands out of the way of the small lcd-scree so it is not blocked by the hands.
Charging the G-Shock Mudmaster is the easiest thing in the world: just wear it now and then in the sun. Yes, the G-Shock is powered by solar energy. No, you don’t see the solar panel, unless you are aware of the fact that the dial is in fact the solar panel. Now you might wonder: how long does it do on one charge? Well, I don’t know. I have used the Mudmaster for 4 months and it never got out of power and I think this says it all.
With a name as G-Shock Mudmaster you expect a solid rugged watch. This watch is rugged for sure. The case is made from a very sturdy plastic material and the lens is made of sapphire glass. Next to that the fixed bezel on the case is quite high and protects the lens very well. All moving parts that you use on the outside but result in an action on the inside are fitted with double rubber rings to prevent dirt getting in. In the months that I have been testing the G-Shock the watch glass is still free from scratches. I put the watch in a bathtub, used it in the shower, walked with it in the rain, knocked it against branches and rocks and deliberately buried it in a puddle of mud. Rinse it under the tab with a toothbrush and the G-Shock is as new.
So… it is bulletproof for your outdoor adventures and the buttons are usable with cold hands and even with gloves. Remains the question: how good is its outdoor functionality? Before I have a clear answer on this, I need to talk a bit more about the barometer, the altimeter and the compass and the Triple Sensor.
G-Shock – or Casio – is always very proud about their Triple Sensor technique. This sensor is based behind an opening on the left side of the case. This triple sensor measures pressure, for the barometer and altimeter function, direction for the compass, and temperature. What is very important – according to the manual -is that the opening to the triple sensor is kept free of dirt or in this case mud. Otherwise the G-Shock might not perform the way it should.
This is the simplest function to explain. The temperature mode is selected by pressing the left lower button until the small hand in the subdial is at the Temp position. The temperature sensor measures the outside temperature between -10 and +60 degrees Celsius (or Fahrenheit if selected). But… The most accurate measurement on outside temperature I got, not wearing the watch. And this is logical since your wrist influences the measurement just by wearing the watch.
It even matters if you wear it on the left wrist – sensor directed inwards the sleeve, so warmer – or right – sensor directed outwards to the air. It makes about a 4 degrees Celsius difference. Also direct sunlight influences it. The temperature is shown in the small lcd-screen in the dial. I already mentioned that this is not the best screen in the world. Every time I need it for reading one of its functions, I need to get close to the screen and quite often get the hands out of the way by pressing the Lower Left and Light buttons. After a while this starts to irritate. At night the lcd-screen is a bit better when I use the light. The temperature can be calibrated.
The compass in the Mudmaster is a fairly decent one. You get to it by pushing the big button on the top right. The North is shown by the second hand. The bearing is shown in the small lcd-screen in the dial. Again: reading it is not that easy. Good thing about the compass is that I can calibrate it for an accurate measurement. The process is explained clearly in the manual. But… in the outdoors I find it not as usable as a normal handheld compass or some other outdoor watches I have. It would be cleverer to use the hands as the pointer for the bearing. The compass can be calibrated and also the magnetic declination can be set.
Altimeter & barometric pressure
Pressing the lower right button activates the altimeter but only if the small hand in the subdial points towards the top. If it doesn’t you have to push the lower left button to get to it. This is also the button that you push to get the small hand in barometric pressure mode. The altitude or barometric pressure, appear in the tiny lcd-screen. And again: not very easy to read at a glance. In the altimeter mode I can choose the interval I want the watch to measure – calculate – the altitude: 5 seconds or every 2 minutes. The altimeter has a range up to 10.000 meter.
Now things get a bit more complicated. The altitude is based on the working of the barometric pressure sensor inside the watch. Let me explain a bit about the basics on pressure and altitude measurement.
The core of a barometer and altimeter is a digital pressure sensor. The pressure sensor does nothing more than register differences in air pressure. If you use the watch in the barometer position, you will see the pressure trend and the air pressure in the screen. If you switch on the altimeter, you only change a calculation setting in the watch. This is due to the physical fact that the higher we get, the lower the air pressure. On average 1 millibar per 8 meter rise. And because it has been internationally agreed that the air pressure at sea level is 1013 millibars and that sea level is 0 meters, you can easily convert air pressure to altitude. One remark I should make: the official unit for pressure is hectoPascals and not millibar (1 millibar = 1 hectoPascal (hPa) and that is why the Mudmaster displays hPa.
When using the altimeter there are a few very important basics that you should know about how air and air pressure sensors works. The pressure sensor in a watch does not know whether a pressure change is the result of a weather change or a change in height. Imagine: You have your watch in the altimeter position and you spend the night in a mountain hut at an altitude of 2500 meters. While you are sleeping a low-pressure weather front is approaching. The pressure sensor registers this and the watch translates this as an increase in height. Without having moved a single meter, you wake up at 3000 meters. You will therefore have to keep a close eye on the weather when you are using the watch as an altimeter or as a barometer.
In addition, it is important to calibrate regularly. In the case of the altimeter, enter a reference altitude. For example, in the hut which height is exactly on the map. If you use the barometer, you enter the air pressure as it applies at that time. You can find this data by checking local weather stations. Especially when used as an altimeter, the following applies: calibrate whenever possible. The more often the watch is calibrated, the more accurate the measurement.
You might understand from the above that the barometer is one of the most important functions of an outdoor watch. Now read carefully. One of the most important functions of a barometer is the weather alarm. A weather alarm, alarms you when the barometric pressure drops or rises dramatically within a short period of time. This drop means a low- (or high) pressure front is closing in fast and that means most of the time a dramatic weather change. A low-pressure front results mostly in bad weather and we should be aware of this. In the mountains such an alarm can be lifesaving and therefor should be – in my opinion – on every outdoor watch. The G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER has one.
Be aware of the fact that a weather-alarm also can be triggered by you moving up and down the mountain; the watch does not know if the pressure change is because of incoming weather or the height difference.
Waterproof and shockproof
Yes! I could do with this answer since this is the truth, but I think you need a bit more information. The G-Shock is rated waterproof at 20 Bar. 20 Bar is almost 204 meter below the water level and that is a lot. So you can use it in all outdoor conditions but be realistic: it is not a divers watch. Shockproof it is too. I used it outdoors and it has been bumped in to a lot of trees, rocks and the roof rack on my car. It is still 100%. Remains the question… is it mudproof and waterproof?
As I mentioned before….Yes! I deliberately put it in a puddle with real sticky thick mud and as a watch it remains useable. Just wipe the mud of the sapphire glass. I even blocked the triple sensor with mud and left the watch a couple of days to see how the sensor is reacting. Well, it keeps working for the full 100%. So if you want to use the watch for Mudmaster events, don’t worry.
And now it is time to answer the why behind my hate – love relation with Casio slash the G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER. To be honest: I love the watch. It looks like the real deal for any outdoor boy or girl. Wearing it gives me the feeling that I have Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis wrapped around my wrist. Yes, this says something about my age too. But is it very useful in outdoor life? The compass and altimeter and barometer are there but because of the very tiny screen with a black background and almost black numbers and letters and hands sitting quite often in front of it, it is not that practical. Particularly in harsh weather conditions when you need the info in an instant.
Talking about bad weather: I applaud the fact that it has a weather alarm. The fact that the sensor can be clogged by dirt without the results of a failing sensor is super. Bottom line: I know better performing outdoor watches, but they all miss the attitude of the G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER. As an outdoorguy I would buy it for daily use. Not for big adventures. That is why I love and hate it. The price of € 699,00/ $750,00/ £ 660,00 is understandable if you look at the construction on the inside but it still is a lot of money. For the looks and the construction I would rate it with the full 10 points but since I am a reviewer and think practicality is more important I rate the G-Shock Mudmaster GWG 1000 1A3ER at 7,7 points of the 10 max.
⇒Link to the manufacturer EU: http://bit.ly/2qFpVob
⇒Link to the manufacturer US: http://bit.ly/2RDWXAb
⇒Link to the manufacturer NL: http://bit.ly/2P8QzPv
⇒Link to the manufacturer UK: http://bit.ly/35breu6