Casio will launch the Pro Trek PRW-3400 outdoor adventure watch in July, a dual LCD watch with navigation tools made from sustainable “biomass plastics”.
First reported by the Casio fan blog G-Central (opens in new tab) and outdoor location adventure (opens in new tab), the watch brings back the dual dual-layer LCD screens seen on previous Pro Trek models. The deeper, embedded layer shows the time like a standard digital clock, but the top layer reveals information for the included altimeter/barometer, compass, and thermometer, as well as sunrise and sunset times.
The compass heading is displayed across the entire round screen, with large heading markers that rotate with the watch bezel. He won’t plan your route for you like some of the best running watches or adventure watches can, but they will help you read a map much more accurately, calculating your position and altitude, as well as temperature and the amount of sunlight left to reach your objective.
The Pro Trek PRW-3400 also comes with solar charging technology with battery extension, ensuring you don’t get stuck in the desert. It also features automatic Multi-Band 6 radio time adjustment, 100 meter water resistance and a full LED light. It is tailor-made for the outdoors.
However, one of the biggest attractions of this watch that we have only covered is the materials it is made of. The watch case, urethane strap and caseback are made from biomass plastic, a renewable material made from oils derived from castor and corn seeds. Other Pro Trek models also use this material instead of petroleum-based plastics, such as the Pro Trek PRW-6611Y-1 and PRW-6621Y-1 released earlier this year.
The watch is slated to release in Japan only in July, priced at 44,000 yen (about $320 / £260 / AU$465) and coming in black and brown. However, like other Pro Trek models, we expect it to hit other markets later this year.
Analysis: The digital revolution continues
As digital watches become more advanced without relying on smart but potentially invasive fitness metrics, it seems we are on the cusp of another digital watch revolution. The built-in compass, barometer, sunrise and sunset times of this latest Casio Pro Trek offers plenty of specialist tools for adventurers without access to notifications, internet, GPS and all the usual smart functionality.
There’s something to be said for a move towards “dumb” digital watches over smart offerings: after all, you go out into the desert to get away from most of your screens. There is an element of satisfaction in returning to a more analogue way of life, but digital watches allow you to keep some handy tools for outdoor activities or for surfing and running, as was the case with these G-SQUAD and G-LIDE watches we covered last month.
All of this is compounded by the usual sustainability concerns that come with buying electronics. However, this digital watch comes with serious ecological credit thanks to the use of biomass plastics and a solar-powered battery. While you are in nature, you are also being kind to it.
It’s a great Casio story, built around what is sure to be a popular watch among rugged types as you swim, walk and run to other countries. So all you need is a pair of cheap running shoes and you’re ready to hit the trails.