Casio is going to release the Pro Trek PRW-3400 outdoor adventure watch in July, a dual-LCD watch with navigation tools made of sustainable “biomass plastics”.
First reported by Casio fan blog G-Central (opens in new tab) and outdoor site Advnture (opens in new tab), the watch brings the dual-layer, two LCD screens back, seen on previous Pro Trek models. The deeper, embedded layer shows the time like a standard digital watch, but the upper layer reveals information for the included altimeter/barometer, compass, and thermometer, as well as sunrise and sunset times.
The compass direction is displayed across the entire round screen, with large direction markers which rotate with the watch bezel. It won’t plan your route for you like some of the best running watches or adventure watches might, but it will help you read a map much more accurately by calculating your position and altitude, as well as the temperature and amount of sunlight you have left to make it to your goal.
The Pro Trek PRW-3400 also comes with battery-extending solar charge technology, ensuring you’re not left stranded in the wilderness. It’s also got Multi-Band 6 auto radio time adjustment, 100-meter water resistance, and a full LED light. It’s tailor-made for the outdoors.
However, one of the biggest draws of this watch we’ve only touched on is the materials it’s made from. The watch case, urethane band, and case back are made of biomass plastic, a renewable material made from oils derived from castor bean seeds and corn. Other Pro Trek models also use this material rather than petroleum-based plastics, such as the Pro Trek PRW-6611Y-1 and PRW-6621Y-1 released earlier this year.
The watch is only scheduled to be launched in Japan in July, priced at 44,000 yen (around $320 in the US, and £260 in the UK) and arriving in both black and brown colorways. However, like other Pro Trek models, we’re expecting it to hit other markets later this year.
Analysis: The digital revolution continues
As digital watches become more advanced without relying on smart, but potentially invasive fitness metrics, it does feel as though we’re on the cusp of another digital watch revolution. The in-built compass, barometer, sunrise and sunset times of this latest Casio Pro Trek provides plenty of specialist tools for adventurers, without notification access, internet, GPS and all the usual smart functionality.
There’s something to be said for a move towards“dumb” digital watches rather than smart offerings: after all, you get out into the wilderness to get away from most of your screens. There’s an element of satisfaction about returning to a more analog way of life, but digital watches allow you to keep some useful tools for outdoors, or surfing and running as was the case with these G-SQUAD and G-LIDE watches we covered last month.
All this is compounded by the usual sustainability worries which come with buying electronics. However, this digital watch comes with serious eco cred thanks to its use of biomass plastics and a solar-charged battery. While you’re out in nature, you’re also being kind to it.
It’s a great story from Casio, built around what’s sure to be a popular watch amongst rugged types as it swims, hikes and runs its way to other countries. Then all you need is a pair of cheap running shoes and you’ll be ready to hit the trails.