Since the revival of the Master of G series in 2006 with the GW-9000 and G-9000 Mudman, Casio started releasing updates from older Master of G models. A nice surprise was the Gulfman in 2007 and even more surprising the revival of the Riseman in 2008. In 2008 also the Mudman got a small facelift with the GW-9010 models. In 2009 Casio introduced a new Frogman, the GWF-1000. After a short period of sceptism, this model is now embraced with the worldwide community of G-Shockers. In 2010 we got the GF-8250 Frogman, shaped like the stainless steel version of the classic DW-8200 Frogman. You can’t go wrong with that. Also the Atomic Gulfman got a makeover. The much anticipated Tidegraph was now also integrated in the GW-9110 design. Finally we get in 2011. Casio decided to do a total makeover of the Mudman, including a new model number. First only an Atomic version was released, the GW-9300, Japan only. Now also a non-Atomic version has been released for the overseas market, the G-9300 series. Already 5 different versions have been released, if I’m correct 4 of them also in non-Atomic versions (actually the 5th will be released later this month).
Let’s concentrate this week on the overseas basic Mudman, the G-9300-1ER. Mine comes from Tiktox. I missed the first batch, unfortunately. I believe the price of the first batch was £120.-. I spoke with Keith of Tiktox on the phone. He said he had a very good deal with Casio UK. Luckily later he got a second batch, but the price was £10.- higher. I did a short search and saw that this Mudman costs €199 in The Netherlands, while £130 is only €160, so it seems that Tiktox still has a good deal.
While the G-9000 Mudman was aimed specially for Rally races, the G-9300 is aiming for outdoor sports and tracking. The G-9300 still has the 1000 hour Stopwatch function, but has now also a Thermometer, a Compass and a Moon Phase. Frankly, I would have been more happy if Casio had named this GW-9300 and G-9300 models Wademan, like the illustrious DW-9800 of 1999, which also carried a Compass and a Thermometer function. It would have been great, as I was never a big fan of the Wademan. I simply found the case too big for the relative small display on that model.
When looking at the G-9300, the first think you’ll notice is the big eye and the smaller Moonphase, located under the 7 o’clock position of the big eye. In the manual the eye is called the Graphic Area and in time related functions it animated time progression, like a minute or second hand does on an analog watch. However, when the Compass Mode is activated, it acts as a small compass. If you use the compass function of the Mudman, imply press the Compass (COMP) button on the right side of the watch, while point the 12 o’clock position of the watch (funny description on a full digital watch in the manual) in the direction you want to check out. It seems that the compass function is quite energy consumptive. The direction angle is displayed also in the lower display. After 20 seconds the readings are automatically terminated and also the Auto Illuminator function does not work if a reading takes place. If you are in a dark area, the manual EL backlight function does still work, so no worries if you get lost in the forest at night.
In Compass Mode you can also read the temperature. A small side note when using the Thermometer function on the G-9300. The thermo sensor is normally functioning perfect, but when worn the temperature of the wrist also influences the reading. You can’t compensate for the wrist temperature, as it is affected by body activity, clothing, etc. The only way to get accurate temperature readings is by taking of the watch and let it acclimatize to the surrounding environment for about 20 minutes. Temperature can be displayed in the usual ºC, but also in ºF, except if Tokyo is chosen as Hometown. Hereby Casio diverges a little from past sensor models, as JP domestic models did not have ºF readings and overseas could choose between ºC and ºF. Unusual, the GW-9300 also can be set to ºF if a hometown is chosen that is not in Japan.
Where the DW-8400, GW-9000 and G-9000 had a clear one mold Mud Resistant bezel, the bezel of the G-9300 and GW-9300 look more like a normal watch. The button covers look like real buttons and are easier to press than the very stiff G-9000 and GW-9000 buttons. Still the buttons are harder to push than on a regular G-Shock, though this should not be a big problem. If this is your only watch, you’ll get used to it pretty fast. Harder to push doesn’t necessarily say you need a lot of muscled fingers and thumb.
Where the original Mud Resistant models of the ‘90s stood out of their size, this relative Mudman looks also big, but with the recent X-Large line of Casio (GA-100, GA-110, GD-100, etc), the new Mudman looks like one of these models in size.
Let's check out which functions are found on this new Mudman. The first function you will see is the Moon Age. This doesn’t mean it shows the real age, as 4.6 billion years does not change much in a life time, but it shows the age of the graphical moon phase. I never really used this function, but I understand it is a welcome function for fishing.
Next you’ll find the World Time function, with 48 cities over 31 Time Zones. The World Time function works if you have set your home city correct. I live relative near Paris, so I choose Paris. You have to set DST when Summer Time or Daylight Saving Time applies in the Time Setting Mode. At the moment we are now in UTC+2. Also you need to apply DST in your target city they have DST. If you need the World Time for traveling, it’s best to check Time and Date before you leave. The dates when DST starts or ends differ from continent. Also for Australia has zones where DST is applied, though it is for the Northern Hemisphere in winter.
The last Time Zone you have chosen in World Time Mode can also be displayed in the Time Keeping Mode. If the ADJUST button is pressed shortly, the date will be replaced by the World Time as Dual Time. A short press on the ADJUST button again will bring the date back in the upper display.
Next function is a no nonsense 1000 hour Stopwatch Mode, followed by an also no nonsense 24 hour Countdown Timer. 1000 hours is unusual long for a Stopwatch. For extreme long measurements, you need to bear in mind that the accuracy of the watch is ± 15 seconds a month and 1000 hours is more than 41 days.
Last, but not least, you’ll find the Alarm Mode. There are 4 normal Alarms, a Snooze alarm that repeats every 5 minutes and a Hourly Chime on this watch. 15 years ago this would have been quite luxurious, but nowadays most new G-Shock models have at least 3 and often 5 Alarms (where one alarm is a Snooze Alarm). Never really tried the Snooze Alarm, but from the manual I can’t figure out how to silence the function or how long it keeps repeating (I guess one hour).
The G-9300 is Tough Solar and can have a big energy reserve stored in the rechargeable battery. According the manual a full charged battery can keep up energy for 8 months when stored in the dark with Power Save on (default).
The G-9300 has a Full Auto Illuminator, although Casio seems not to use the name of this function anymore. It means that you can turn on the Auto Illuminator (LT) function, but it will only work if there is no sufficient light to read the display well. Also the duration (“afterglow”) of the EL backlight can be toggled between 1.5 seconds (LT1) and 3.0 seconds (LT3).
If you don’t like the button tones, when changing modes, you can turn of the Key Tone. When turned off, not only the button tone between modes are silent, but also the Stopwatch and Countdown Timer functions are silent. Frankly I am used to the beeps between Modes and a silent Stopwatch does not really make me confident in accurate timekeeping (specially a simple beep will notice you if you start or stop the Stopwatch, without having to look on the display at the same time).
The new Mudman fits very good on the wrist and the resin feels kind of soft, which adds to a very comfortable feel. With a weight of 68 gram, which is about the same weight as the DW-6900, you hardly notice you wear this watch.