In the few months I’ve spent with the Mudmaster GG-1000-1A3—one of Casio’s extremely rugged G-Shock watches aimed squarely at folks who work in the construction industry and trades—the thing that stands out most to me is the number of compliments I’ve received while wearing it.
It’s my experience that guys don’t typically compliment other guys on what they’re wearing. But I’ve had at least a few ask me about the Mudmaster before telling me how sharp it is.
And they’re right. It’s a striking watch. This thing can survive just about any type of beating you can throw at it, and it looks the part.
All of the G-Shock watches have a very distinct, masculine design and the Mudmaster adds a tactical, military look that demands your attention. (The green-banded model I tested is one of three Casio is offering. The other two models include one with a black band and one with a band in khaki/sand. They all look great.)
But as I said, this is a watch designed to get dirty. Hunters, fishers and mudding/off-roading enthusiasts will love this thing. And if you’re dealing with the slop, dust, bumps and bangs of a construction jobsite, it’s a timepiece that will stand up to it all and look great while doing it.
Before I get too much further, here are the specifics on how rugged the Mudmaster is.
- Shock Resistant thanks to a gel-surrounded timekeeping module
- Mud Resistant – Buttons use cylinder type guard structure with gaskets for shafts and cylinders to prevent mud and dust from getting into the watch
- Extremely durable watch face thanks to Sapphire Crystal
- 200M Water Resistant
- 2-year battery life
And while it’s nice for a watch to draw eyes and offer durability assurances, it’s important that a watch of this kind be comfortable and intuitive. And Casio has largely done a good job in those areas as well.
With all of the Mudmaster’s ruggedization, this is a big watch. Unless you’ve owned a G-Shock watch in the past, it’s likely a good deal larger than any other watch you’ve worn. The good news is, despite its size, it’s fairly light weighing in at only 92 grams (3.2 ounces). And because of that and the rounded case back protectors at the points where the band connects to the back of the case, it sits nice and even, albeit a bit high, on your wrist.
My only quibble on comfort is the band. It’s a thick, sturdy rubber that was extremely stiff upon first putting the watch on. I figured it would soften a bit over time and while it has slightly, it still tends to cut into my wrist a bit and has the feeling of a hard plastic. That being said, the material is extremely easy to clean dirt and mud from, which likely explains why Casio opted for it. Plus, this is likely more of a problem if you’re like me and like to wear your watch a bit tighter. If you like to wear it a bit looser, it’s probably no biggie.
In terms of ease of use, Casio does a good job of explaining all the functions of the watch in the accompanying instruction manual. By selecting your home time zone, the watch is able to set itself upon setup, so there’s no twisting knobs or pushing buttons to the right hour or minute. However, if you do need to make minute or hour adjustments you can.
The watch also features a handy World Time mode that allows you to display the time of whatever time zone you’re in currently on the digital display near the top of the watch face. Meanwhile the hands display the time from your home time zone.
Another cool feature is the compass. A tap of the button at 3 o’clock on the watch sends the second hand flying to 12 o’clock before then moving to a position on the watch to indicate which direction is North. The digital display at the top also shows the degree of your direction while the display at the bottom left of the watch face shows the current temperature.
Other features include a timer, stopwatch and alarm and all are easily accessible with a few taps of the Mode button on the watch.
Overall, the Mudmaster is a great watch that will last you a very long time. If there’s anything I would improve it’s definitely the backlighting. While the watch does have an LED to provide a view of the time in the dark, it’s very dim and it’s location at 6 o’clock allows it to only illuminate the numerals and hands. The digital displays aren’t illuminated at all. And only providing illumination for the hands makes little sense to me as the hands and hour markers are already coated in a glow in the dark material that makes it fairly easy to read the time in the dark without pressing the Light button.
Casio has even taken a page from the smartwatch playbook and included the option to turn on this LED anytime you raise your wrist. However, while that raise feature works rather well, the poor lighting makes it ultimately useless.
The Mudmaster retails for $320.