The PRG340 family, which currently consists of three models, including the pictured PRG340-1, PRG340-3 (which has yellow versus red colour accents), and the slightly more expensive (by only $50) PRG340T-7, which has a case fitted with titanium sections, as well as a matching titanium bracelet, is one of the latest watches in the Casio Pro Trek collection. From a technological sense, Casio does not tread new ground here. Still, these watches are a slimmed-down and modernized version of a traditional outdoor clock that many hikers, campers, trekkers, hunters, anglers, and others have relied on for years. I went the Casio Pro Trek PRG340 into the mountains to review it, as one should with a watch of this calibre.
The PRG340 family, which currently consists of three models, including the pictured PRG340-1, PRG340-3 (which has yellow versus red colour accents), and the slightly more expensive (by only $50) PRG340T-7, which has a case fitted with titanium sections, as well as a matching titanium bracelet, is one of the latest watches in the Casio Pro Trek collection. From a technological sense, Casio does not tread new ground here. Still, these watches are a slimmed-down and modernized version of a traditional outdoor clock that many hikers, campers, trekkers, hunters, anglers, and others have relied on for years. I went the Casio Pro Trek PRG340 into the mountains to review it, as one should with a watch of this calibre. It all started when Casio decided to include all ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) features in the G-Shock Range man. Since then, customers have been perplexed by the Pro Trek vs. G-Shock debate, and I understand why. Having said that, there are still several essential areas where Pro Trek goods are beneficial.
Some of these criteria are legibility and usefulness. While G-Shock watches can have a learning curve to grasp all the capabilities, Pro Trek watches are comparably straightforward to understand and operate, with convenient dedicated buttons to access key features and a prominent and legible display. Casio defends its G-Shock collection by making the watches more water-resistant and robust on average, but I think you can agree that Pro Trek and G-Shock watches are two different creatures. However, Casio product managers must walk a fine line to ensure that the G-Shock and Pro Trek model worlds do not step on one other’s toes.
As a child, I used to fantasize about Pro Trek watches. The multitude of capabilities and sensors caused the 10-year-old in me to assume that they were the world’s most sophisticated gadget watches. They were in many ways. The most excellent Pro Trek watches are now a relic of the non-connected wristwatch world – gadgets that can execute all of their functions in the middle of nowhere without the need for civilization. When you’re out in the wilderness, core features like the compass, altimeter, and barometer are meant to help with navigation, weather prediction, and general safety. You will need some talent to grasp how to interpret all of this data (for example, understanding what changes in barometric pressure indicate), but overall, these are valuable tools. These are capable wrist devices that are not overly pricey and can provide years of service.
While the PRG340 may resemble older Pro Trek models, the casing is new and made from sustainable biomass polymers. The case is smaller than it seems, measuring 51.7mm wide, 54.7mm lug-to-lug, and 15.1mm thick. Take note of the brand-new articulating lugs, which make the watch more comfortable to wear even on smaller wrists. The casing is water-resistant to 100 meters and has a mineral crystal under a protective bezel. The free-moving rotating bezel is utilized for navigation. Casio also adds quick-release strap bars, which are becoming more frequent on these models. The strap resembles vintage Pro Trek polyurethane but is surprisingly thin and supple, providing excellent wearing comfort. The complete watch and strap weigh only 54 grams.
One of my favourite aspects about Pre-Trek watches is the emphasis on readability. Not only is the time display vast and easy to see, but the rest of the information on the dial is also. This includes everything from the little multi-purpose graph area on the dial to how to use and interpret the many sensor functions like the altimeter and compass. The information on a Pro Trek may appear straightforward compared to current smartwatches and other linked items. But that’s essentially the idea of a device like this – it’s for individuals who don’t want a connected product, either because they are regularly out of the cell service area or don’t want to pay for it. Because they don’t want to worry about whether the battery is charged or whether there will be a software problem, Casio’s Pro Trek delivers rock-solid dependability. While the PRG340 is not a linked watch, it has long had the capacity to accept radio signals from a nearby atomic clock to update the time. This does not operate everywhere but is a heritage function in many Casio models.
Casio’s “duplex LCD panels” for the compass function are one of the most aesthetically appealing aspects of the PRG340 models. This overlays a secondary LCD panel over the primary one and is utilized for the compass needle indicators that appear on the main screen. This isn’t a new feature, but it’s one of the most spectacular Pro Trek ideas, and I’m glad to see it in this PRG340. To my knowledge, this mechanism has yet to make its way into a Casio G-Shock model.
Hiking over 7,000 feet in an area where it frequently rains (I was rained on) was an ideal setting for putting the Casio Pro Trek PRG340 through its paces. I could correctly monitor both my present altitude and altitude increases and rely on the compass to assist me to retain my bearings in new territory. The barometer (and thunderclaps in the sky) indicated that it was going to rain, and knowing that was useful. While the Pro Trek family is very much “vintage” by today’s gadget watch standards, there is still a lot of attraction here. Many people could utilize a watch like this while participating in a suitable outdoor activity. It was a friendly flash from the past, and I look forward to hiking with it more. The Casio Pro Trek PRG340-1 costs $280 at retail.