Review | Casio G-SHOCK Rangeman GW-9400-1ER
The Rangeman is packaged in protective foam, sitting snugly inside a metal G-Shock tin. We’ve never been a big fan of these, for watches that sit higher up the G-Shock range. Yes, we understand the no-nonsense image, but surely for watches that cost upwards of £250, Casio could invest in something a little less basic and considerably more stylish; and still maintain that outdoor, do-anything mantra that G-Shock is renowned for. However, collectors of G-Shock watches seem to love these hexagonal tins and whilst we’re not 100% convinced by this back to basics approach, we accept that it does lend a certain rugged simplicity and charm to the initial experience of owning a G.
Until we handled one, we were not sure what we would think of the new G-Shock Rangeman. Sure, it carried a great specification on paper and it follows a very successful line of adventure watches from the popular sub-brand of Casio, with a similar feature-rich specification as a top of the range Protrek; but would it deliver where it matters most - out on the trail.
Holding the Rangeman for the first time, it's evidently a well designed watch. Bulky yes, but not overly so and certainly not cumbersome. Distinctive, fit for purpose, robust and of good quality. Visually we liked it and it has a good weight, especially when you consider its overall size. The Rangeman is well balanced and it's light enough to be worn all day without it interfering with your level of comfort; and importantly, nor hindering in your activity. We're off to a good start then.
The resin case and band are integrated extremely well and despite that substantial case, which is 55.2mm at that widest point, it wears much smaller. Yes, this is often said about oversized watches, but the way that Casio have designed the band and watch face to meld in to one means its virtually impossible to see the join, save for the (metal) screw heads to either side of the fixing points.
Design & Finish
As this is part of the legendary Master of G range, it has a few choice upgrades over those lower down the assembly line. Metal pushers, two to the left and two of the same size to the right, flanking one larger button at the 3 o’clock position, which cycles through the various modes. The pushers are knurled to make them easy to operate, even when wearing gloves. They are positive and react instantly to a firm press and as we found later, even in heavy rain and when muddy after a particularly weather-beaten mountain bike ride. There is a metal button on the face of the watch, again, knurled to make for a positive contact, whatever the elements throw at you. It's easy to use and operates the LED backlight. This light can also be set to auto - a great feature which means that it will switch on automatically for 2 seconds, if you angle your wrist to check the time. Surprisingly useful as we found, when hiking through the woods at dusk but equally so, when you're checking the time in the cinema!
Whilst the strap is fixed by bright silver crosshead metal screws there is also a flathead screw in each corner of the watch face, but it appears their only purpose is to aid the industrial visual elements of the Rangeman, rather than the structural.
The strap keeper is metal, polished silver on the sides and brushed to its surface with G-Shock embossed cleanly into the metal. Whilst it is nice to see further traces of metal on a G, this feels cheap and as we soon found, is easily scratched. The double buckle is also bright silver metal and offers a good level of security when fitted and with the usual range of adjustability of a G-Shock strap, should suit most, if not all wrist sizes.
The back of the Rangeman is stainless steel and screwed down, with some of the main functions etched in to its surface. However, the most notable part of the design is the centre of the caseback, featuring a new character which is exclusive to the Rangeman - an electric cat wearing a compass. It’s different, but we like this attention to detail and it certainly adds some fun.
Next | Features >