Sunday, June 17, 2012

G-Shock #27: 3rd Generation Mudman, the G-9300.

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.
T-Shirt available at G-Stock.

I think the new Mudman is a great watch, packed with functions and the Mud Resistant structure is a nice plus. The price of this model is pretty reasonable, especially if you take a good look around. It would have been great if Casio had only released an Atomic model, but the price of the Atomic model is quite expensive. I do not know the real retail prices, but I believe they are $200.- in the US and €199.- in Europe. As stated in the beginning of this article, it is a good idea to shop around. It seems that the prices are relative better in the US, although you do not really find them under retail price (at the time of this writing). In Europe you can save up to €40.- if you look long enough, although I have the suspicion that US retailers are keeping the prices artificially high. 

13 comments:

Ashirogi Muto said...

Hi Sjors,

What is the difference between G9300-1ER and G9300-1DR. I also noticed that there the one that you posted on this blog is made in japan. I believe that some of them are made in thailand, is it true?

Sjors said...

There is no difference between those models. The last two letters are only used to define for which market a model is made. Both ER and DR are overseas suffixes. ER is (highly probable) Europe, DR can be East Asia or US. Suffixes for the Japanese market often start with a J, like JF or JR. If there was a G-9300-1 model released in Japan it would probably have been a G-9300-1JF, though, this model was not release there.

About the location of production you can't tell from the model number. My G-9300 was made in Japan. It is good possible that for later batches the production has moved to other parts of Asia. I have several Thailand made G-Shocks, which have the same quality as Japan made ones. As the price of the Mudman seem to lower, it is good possible the production went to countries where production is cheaper. Japan is about the most expensive country for production (energy, factory, workers).

Cheers,

Sjors

gulami said...

Dear Sjors,
Is G-9300 suitable for lady? I really like this model but afraid it will be too big on my 6" wrist. Please advise. Thanks!

Sjors said...

Hello Ashirogi,

I am a bit biased. As I actually am wearing it right now, I tossed the watch to my girlfriend. I think she has about 6" wrists too and in my perception it looks fine. As my girlfriend does not like watches, she thought the watch was to big for her.

Ironically big watches are very popular in The Netherlands. Women here often wear Aviator watches with case diameter of 55mm or larger.

I think you have to decide yourself if it suits you. If you like outdoor activities like hiking it might be a good watch for you too.

Cheers,

Sjors

neotrooper said...

I just noticed something else that this non-multiband version mudman lacks.... a carbon-fiber watchband!!!

divyanshu malhotra said...

hi Sjors,
recieved my G-9300-1DR today only.i'm naive in the matter of watches so asking this question.my watch resembles all the pics tht u have posted.but i have seen various g-9300 on internet that have "made in thailand" written on the backside.my watch and urs too do not have this written.should i be worried about the originality of the watch.

Sjors said...

Hello Divyanshu,

Well, this is a bit speculating. I have bought my G-9300 Mudman from Tiktox. It was a second batch, as I was a bit too late when the first batch sold out a few months ago.

There is a good chance that Casio produced the first G-9300 Mudman in Thailand, until the flood at the end of 2011. As the basic models production was moved to China, the higher end models probably moved to Japan.

While normally the first batch is assembled in Japan, it looks like it is brought back to Japan. It is actually pretty normal that a certain model is manufactured in more than one production plant.

Cheers,

Sjors

Alessio D'Aquino said...

Hi Sjors,
I need a piece of information about Your G-9300, please.
Does the watch emit a beep when You active auto-light (pressing light button for 3 seconds) or does it stay quite?
Mine stays quite.
Thank You.
Best regards.

Alessio D'Aquino said...

Hi Sjors,
I need a piece of information about Your G-9300, please.
Does the watch emit a beep when You active auto-light (pressing light button for 3 seconds) or does it stay quite?
Mine stays quite.
Thank You.
Best regards.

Lukman Ahmadisastra said...

hallo sjors,
how do you read the moon age number?
when i post this comment on february 3rd 2014, the moon age display 3.3
after i scroll it about 30 times, on the next month march 3rd, moon age display 1.9
what does the decimal number mean? 3 and 9..thank you

Lukman Ahmadisastra said...

hallo sjors,
how do you read the moon age number?
when i post this comment on february 3rd 2014, the moon age display 3.3
after i scroll it about 30 times, on the next month march 3rd, moon age display 1.9
what does the decimal number mean? 3 and 9..thank you

Mario holmes said...

Hi Lukman,
I'm gonna try to help sjors to answer ur question :)
Before that, i doubt it if u said u scroll 30 times. Actually u just scroll exact 28 times, because logically there were just 28 days on february in this year.

3.3 or 1.9 is the number of days of the moon age. So, it should be written 3.3 days or 1.9 days. We know that there were 28 days on february in this year. We should know too that the maximum moon age is about 29 days (basic knowledge). It means, the day of our calender 1 day sooner then the moon age calender becoz of february.

ok, let's do analysis.
If we take day "3rd" as a strarting point , it means we will see same day "3rd" on the next 28 days (because february). At the view point of moon age calender, we will see the day 3.3 or about 3.3 on the next 29 days. So logically, because u see 3.3 on 3rd feb, after 29 days (moon age calender), u will see same moon age "about" 3.3 or equals ~ day 3. It means 28 days after our starting point (feb 3rd), u will see "about" day 2 (equals ~ 1.9 ) because of 1 day sooner then our calender.

I said "equals" because I mentioned "about" 29 days (maximum age of moon) before, or in another words no precise value of it.

Sanjeawa Galathara Arachchi said...

i bought one from one of my friend.
gw9300gb

but, compass and thermometer function is not there.

do u have any idea about this?
I checked inside and found there is no contact plates for that function too.

sanju.
sanjeawa1978@gmail.com