Casio has unveiled the Casio Pro Trek PRG-340 range, a collection of three new adventure watches with easy-to-read compass, barometric, and altimeter graphics.
The watches are equipped with Casio’s Tough Solar charging technology and 10ATM water resistance, are easy to read in sunlight, and are designed to help you navigate your way through the wilderness with old-school orienteering techniques, rather than the GPS offered on the best smartwatches.
Two of the three watches, the PRG-340-1 and PRG-340-3, have black and khaki cases, backs, rotating bezels and straps comprised of Casio’s biomass plastic, a polymer made from renewable raw materials castor seeds and corn. The third model, PRG-340-7, has titanium alloy parts instead.
The metal lugs of the watch are the parts that connect the straps to the case. Normally, these are slightly raised to better fit the contours of a wrist, but these lugs are hinged to allow the watch to lie completely flat, making it great for laying across a map and using its compass function more effectively.
The watch also contains dual-layer LCD screens, designed for easy readability in sunlight. The bottom layer displays the time, date, barometer, and altimeter measurements, while the top layer shows the compass. A rotating bezel allows you to record compass measurements and align your destination with the compass readings. Check out the announcement video below.
Analysis: What’s old is new again
The Casio Pro Trek might have the solar charging capabilities of some of the best Garmin watches, but it’s not going to record your runs, rides, swims or sleep in quite the same way, nor offer advanced GPS navigation.
However, there’s no question that the movement to go analog is picking up steam in our increasingly connected world. Digital watches are coming around again in the streetwear and fitness scenes thanks to efforts from G-SHOCK and Casio to keep the trend alive and stylish. But there’s substance to this latest Pro Trek entry, not just style, and it represents the whole reason digital watches are enjoying this miraculous second life.
We constantly have notifications and internet connections pushed on us every day. If you’re heading out on an adventure, there’s no need to get lost: there’s GPS on our phones, our cars, and on our wrists. Perhaps it’s making us lazy.
If you’re really looking to hit the great outdoors for a weekend of solid adventuring, why not channel your inner explorer and unplug with an old-school digital watch designed to work in tandem with maps and the sun? You can always stow your phone and keep it in your best backpack for emergencies.