Introducing the Triple Sensor, Ver. 3 Casio Protrek PRW-3000
In the era of mobile and smart phones it’s probably not unsurprising to read that I have not worn a watch for more than ten years now. The downside however is when you have to rely on a mobile phone battery that has barely the stamina to last out a day or worse still having to turn it off intermittently during longer trips.
Late last year I finally decided to bite the bullet and invest in a quality ABC watch which provide Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass readings. Traditionally, these watches were large and somewhat cumbersome with some of the older Suunto Core watches springing to mind. With sensor sizes rapidly decreasing and internal electronics miniaturising there has been a paradigm shift with ABC watches now sporting thinner bezels and consequently looking more like elegant sport watches than clunky time pieces.
First announced at Baselworld 2013 the Casio Protrek PRW-3000 is a slimmed down version of its predecessor the PRW-2500 and is the first to incorporate the Triple Sensor, Ver. 3. According to Casio, advancements in the sensor translate to a 95 percent downsizing and 90 percent reduction in power use.
As a well-appointed ABC watch my first impression of the PRW-3000 was overwhelming positive. It comes in an attractive box, though as it was purchased in Japan the user manual is in Japanese – the English language version can be downloaded here. The urethane band fits comfortably and importantly its compact size and rugged design makes it look for the most part like a regular sports watch. Another thing I like about this watch is the large easy to read display which combines the day and date on the home screen. The watch is highly customisable including the length a specific setting is displayed. The light has excellent luminosity and can even be set to actuate automatically when you tilt the watch towards you more than 40 degrees.
Performance in the Field
The watch of course contains a multitude of functions to make your life easier out in the field. The compass bearings and altitude readouts are quick to compute and correspond accurately to field maps I have used. The ABC direct buttons on the right of the watch are large with an anti-slip coating enabling them to be accessed using gloves. Icons positioned around the frame also make it easy to quickly identify the function of each button. After a couple of month of use the soft urethane band shows little sign of wear and appears durable and mostly scratch resistant. One issue worth highlighting is the metal bezel which along with the mineral glass case are prone to scratching. In the first week of using the watch I managed to introduce a couple of slight nicks. Sapphire glass is the best material for watch faces in terms of scratch resistance and sadly only the more expensive Japanese made Protrek watches have this additional level of protection such as the analogue Protrek PRX-7000T.
Overall I am more than satisfied with the Casio Protrek PRW-3000. The style and functionally of the watch make it a perfect choice for a variety of outdoor activities where reliability and accuracy are needed. The compact size of the watch makes it unobtrusive to wear and I have even started to wear it as a daily watch. The time calibration signal reception means you never have to worry about setting the time while you remain inside of one the six radio controlled reception ranges. The only minor drawback is the unfortunate decision to omit the tide and moon phases which were available on the older PRW-2500 model. A more hardy sapphire glass screen would have also been appreciated. To make up for this oversight some users have wisely decided to affix a clear protective screen cover.
Casio Protrek PRW-3000 watch key features:
Triple Sensor: Compass, Barometer/Thermometer, Altimeter
Water resistant 10 BAR
Low temperature resistant (-10ºC)
Size of case: 56 X 47 X 12.3mm
Bezel material: aluminium
Tough solar ensures stable operation
Time calibration signal reception
Measuring range: -700 to 10,000m
Choose between Celsius (ºC) and Fahrenheit (ºF)
Country of origin: Thailand
Casio Protrek PRW-3000-1: 28,800 yen ($312 AUD) (as at Jan 16, 2014)