It’s just hard to beat a Casio watch. I used a basic Casio in the military because you could beat the green snot out of it and it just kept on trucking. That, and we’re not the types to ever consider spending stupid amounts of money on something so basic – that’s for GQ readers, not Gearfloggers. Casio always hits the sweet spot by providing a tool that gives you everything you need and more at a reasonable price point. Their PRO TREK series of watches is a perfect example.
For mountaineering use the ABC functions on the PRO TREKs are a useful level-up: that’s altimeter, barometer, and compass for the uninitiated. Accurate altitude readings are often necessary to determine exactly where you are on a route. Barometer readings help predict short-term weather patterns. And a compass is always useful for wayfinding.
The PRW-61 watches are designed for mountaineering. The PRW-61-1A that we’ve been testing is also the first-ever Casio watch to use biomass plastics for both the case and band instead of traditional resin. Biomass plastics are more ecologically friendly because they’re based on plant-sourced materials. Based on our testing of the PRW-61-1A the material is also tough as nails and wears great.
The PRW-61-1A is actually a small watch by Casio standards, with a case size of 54.2 × 47.4 × 14.7 mm, and it’s light on the wrist at only 53 grams. It’s also a damn good-looking watch, with the black set off by a subdued stainless steel bezel and other steel accents.
Don’t let smaller fool you, because this little powerhouse includes a bevy of useful features on top of the ABC functions:
- Battery indicator plus solar power
- Multi Band 6 automatic time correction
- 10 Bar (10ATM, 100m, 330ft) water resistance
- Auto-logging of trip altitude data
- Up to 30 manual altitude date-time logs
- 29 Time zones
- Double LED lighting modes
- All the usual uber-watch timekeeping features
All that power does come with a bit of a learning curve, so make sure you RTFM before you get caught mid-epic. What you end up with is a heck of a timepiece.