Casio Protrek PRW-5000Y

Casio PRW-5000Y Watch Image

Casio PRW-5000Y Watch

Behind all great people who are on-time comes a great watch, right?  Well, Just{elation} has started another long term review of the Casio Protrek PRW-5000Y, an ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) wrist watch powered by the sun…or lamp in your room…or…well, anything that gives off light…

Casio has made their mark in the durable watch market with the G-Shock line, proving they are serious about tough watches.  This watch is no exception to their rule, with the incorporated Casio Tough Movement analog display, put into check by the accuracy of an atomic digital display built into the lower portion of the face of the watch.  There’s simply something classy about having an analog watch that brings a certain degree of legitimacy to the wearer, right?

Now for the fun parts though.  You know, the type of things that either impress your friends at the bar or actually save your life if you’re paying attention to it all.  First the top right button, marked with a distinct “COMP” above it…one press and the second hand races to point to it, followed a couple seconds later with a point to magnetic north.  That’s right, the watch’s second hand turns into a magnetic north pointing compass…unless you program it to correct for declination, if you’re fancy like that!  The digital readout at this point isn’t boring either, with choices to have it read your direction (north, south, east, west, northeast, southeast, northwest, southwest) or the directional degrees you’re pointing…very handy if you’re lost in the woods and remember which way the way out is!

Then there’s the middle button (marked BARO), which a quick press races the second hand to point at it, then adjust to show the direction that the barometric pressure is heading, with an indication of how quickly it’s changing.  The digital display reads the pressure to you, user selectable to be either “inHG” or “hPA”, it’s really up to you!  The second hand is pointing to indicate how much change in pressure there was since the last reading, useful to see that it’s pointing sharply up or down which can indicate a storm is arriving or fair weather is showing up.  Don’t forget, however, that when looking at this information, if you’ve changed altitude this will change the pressure, so don’t start hiking downhill and get scared that there’s a storm heading in!  All this in the barometric mode, however, doesn’t stop there…press the “adjust” button on the bottom of the watch and you’ll get the ambiant temperature!  There are a few tricks to this though, as your skin temperature throws off the accuracy of the thermometer.  You can get accurate readings if you remove the watch for several minutes, and calibrate the thermometer (yes, you can manually calibrate it fairly easily) with a known accurate thermometer.  The problem being that you’d have to remove the watch for several minutes every time for accurate temperature measurements.  If spot on measurements aren’t as important, some people calibrate the unit to read correctly while on your wrist, though because your body isn’t always consistant in temperature by the time you get to your wrist, it’s not very accurate at this point, again depends on just how accurate you’re hoping to get!

The bottom button on the right side gets yet another fun or useful set of functions marked with “ALTI” which, you guessed it, stands for altitude!  The Casio Protrek 5000Y uses the barometric pressure to determine your altitude, so you have to calibrate the altitude from a known point if you want to know your current altitude at any given point.  If you’re more interested in the difference in altitude, no problem, just use the readings as they are.  After a bit of testing in various extremely non-scientific ways, the reading seems fairly accurate and responsive…while at an outdoor venue the other day I traveled up some stairs which I estimated to be a little over 2 stories high, and the altitude at the top read 20′ higher than at the bottom.  Feeling energetic I went back to the bottom where the readout dropped 20′ again, impressed, I decided to continue the testing and repeated 3 more times and got the same results consistently!

Now the features of the watch don’t stop there.  You can cycle through and get world times from up to 29 zones, there’s alarms, stopwatches, countdown timers…you know, the normal stuff you’d expect from a digital watch…but with all the intense functionality this Casio offers, it’s well worth getting one today!

Product Being Tested: Casio Protrek Watch – PRW5000Y-1

Purchase from Amazon: Casio Protrek Watch – PRW5000Y-1

Update: Was happy today to see that the Casio Protrek did indeed self-adjust for Daylight Savings Time!

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Posted in Electronics, Gear

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