Casio Pro Trek PRW-50Y Review

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Casio Pro Trek minimalist dial

Casio touts the Pro Trek line as watches for adventurers: hikers, climbers, kayakers, fishers and all manner of outdoorsy people. Of course, most of us aren’t kayakers or mountain climbers. The last time I fished I hooked a compliment. Who cares? How many owners of dive watches are divers? Almost none. How many Casios does the average Casio owner own? Loads . . .

The Casio Pro Trek “Climber Line” PRW-50Y was my fourth Casio and my first Pro Trek. Having owned it for four months, I’ve had plenty of wrist time with the Japanese ana-digi watch. Plenty of time to “feel the field” – although I have a sneaking suspicion that practitioners of that particular behavior are listed somewhere in the DSM.

Casio Pro Trek Feel the Field

I chose the basic black model over antique white. Although I’ve been accused of being the latter, I assure you my choice had nothing to do with politics. The PRW-50Y-1A better resembles an aircraft altimeter – a device I relied upon during The Battle of Britain. I also  admire the dashes of orange on the second hand, and the barometer and home position marks on the [mostly unnecessary] mode-indicating rehaut.

The Casio Pro Trek’s a Paneristi pleasing 47.2mm, according to Casio (who apparently included the sensor and the crown). However, for reference, my calipers measured 42-mm on the bezel. The XXL white-on-black dial indices and hands make the CPT easier to read than Go, Dog. Go! Even driving down a dark desert highway with cool wind in my hair the indices’ lume played out and the LED light unmolested, I could still see the time well enough to know I wished I’d stayed in bed.

Speaking of cars, some Casio Pro Trek and G-SHOCK models resemble a “riced” Honda Civic festooned with graphics and labels (each sticker adding 10 horsepower). Not this watch. The PRW-50Y-1ACR is more like a Mercedes AMG product – occupying the strange but wonderful realm of all-business bling.

The world time zones (cities), for example, are engraved on the black bezel. They’re there if you need them, easily ignored if you don’t. Casio’s designers also placed function indicator labels with equal discretion; they linger on or near the chapter ring. They’re there if you’re young enough to see them, easily missed if you’re 57-years-old. (Ask me how I know.)

The Casio Pro Trek’s resin case and steel bezel make for a lightweight watch with a substantial feel. The PRW-50Y’s soft silicone rubber strap cinches the watch comfortably on my seven-inch wrist. Despite its large-ish size, the CPT’s one of the least obtrusive watches I own (and that’s saying something). Like the calorie label on my favorite ice cream, I barely know it’s there.

In Time Mode the Casio Pro Trek’s positive LCD digital panel offers a choice of three displays: Day/Date, Barometric Trend Graph/Date, or Digital Time. Buyers who “feel the field” will no doubt be barometer biased, Pro Trekkers with friends and family in foreign climes with appreciate the digital GMT (second time zone) mode and the COVID confused will appreciate the day-of-the-week reminder.

In World Time mode, the destination time is displayed on the analog face, while your home time is displayed in the digital panel. They can be swapped with the push of a button.

When using the stopwatch or timer, a manual “hands shift” function moves the hands out of the way of the digital display. When you activate the barometer or altimeter functions, the hands automatically shift for a few seconds if they’re blocking the display.

The Casio Pro Trek’s hour numerals and hands are generously lumed. Failing that (as mentioned previously), a standard LED backlights the digital panel. Failing that, hit the  neon LED located at 6 o’clock and make it glow (right). Be aware that the antique white colorway has lume only on the hands.

The PRW-50Y features solar battery charging and atomic clock synchronization (Multi-Band 6). Choose a home time zone/city, set the DST (Daylight Saving Time) to automatic. After that, it’s “set and forget.” Well, not entirely . . .

If you want to access the PRW-50Y’s numerous functions, forgetting which button to push and when to twist the bezel isn’t an option. Features include the standard array of Casio chronograph functions (stopwatch, timer, day/date, time, world time), barometer/altimeter, thermometer and compass. They’re accessed via five buttons (including the light button at front and center) and a screw-down “smart access crown.”

Casio Pro Trek functions

The “triple sensor” functions provide manual and automatic logging of high/low altitudes and cumulative ascent/descent. The barometer also includes a pressure trend graph and alarms for sudden changes of pressure that may portend stormy weather.

The Casio Pro Trek PRW-50Y is a quintessential “GADA” (go anywhere, do anything) watch. OK, it’s not G-SHOCK-tough. But I’m 22 watches deep into this rabbit hole. Call me a traditional watch lover, but if I could only keep one Casio, it would be the PRW-50Y. Hey, it came as a SHOCK to me too.

Model: Casio Pro Trek PRW-50Y-1ACR
Price paid: $303

SPECIFICATIONS:
Case / Bezel:
Resin / Stainless Steel
Crystal: Mineral Glass (flat).
Strap: Silicone rubber strap with pin buckle.
Lume: LCD panel backlight and Neon LED for analog face (lumed numerals and hands).
Dimensions
: 47.2 x 50.5 x 13.3-mm / 70 g.
Movement: Casio Quartz Module #5620.
Time sync: Multi-Band 6.
Battery life: Solar rechargeable. 6 months (normal functions without exposure to light after a full charge). 25 months (when stored in the dark with the power save function).
Water resistance: 100 meters.

Functions: Analog and digital Hour / Minute / Seconds, Day-Date, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, 5 Alarms, World Time, Barometer / Altimeter, Compass, Thermometer, Hourly Signal

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Design * * * * *
Tough, yet elegant. Crunchy “field” watch on the outside. Chewy high-tech center. Minus 0.1 stars for the unnecessary mode indicating subdial.

Legibility * * * * *
Excellent – The binary color scheme of large white Arabic numerals and white hands on a black background make reading the time at a glance easy in all lighting conditions.

Comfort * * * * *
Comfortable and light on the wrist with a soft silicone strap.

Overall * * * * *
The PRW-50Y is a gentleman’s “adventure watch,” offering a cornucopia of functions that might easily be born of the Q Branch at London Headquarters and fit for Agent 007.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Pro Trek’s are something I’ve looked at, but haven’t purchased (yet). I’m getting my fifth Casio, a stainless steel MRW, delivered this Monday. I didn’t plan on buying a lot of Casio’s, but in between the retro appeal of some of their digital watches, and the fact that a lot of their analog offerings look as good as but are priced much more reasonably than other more high end brands, I keep on adding more Casio’s to the watch box. After reading that Heur Bamford post, that Oceanus looks fantastic.

    • The older my eyes get, the more I appreciate easy-to-read analogs. Casio has done a nice job of combining analog with the “digital tech.” Best of both worlds. And they don’t break the bank. At least not on an individual basis! 😉

      I really like the Oceanus T200, as well.

  2. Their unique stencil look on the number indices is interesting, especially the 8.
    The little metal parts by the lugs, those are lug guards that are part of the case back?

    • Good question! I don’t remember, and I’m at the office, away from that watch at the moment. I’ll take a peek and get back to you on that.

      • Funny… I didn’t even realize that the numeral font was a “stencil.” I knew I liked them. But, I never noticed that.

        • Next you’ll say you didn’t notice that neato wide buckle prong with the slot in the center, which is a neat way to have a wide prong without it looking like a cheap formed metal blank or getting too sculptural.

          • I kid, because I know that small details are much more noticeable in oversize images than in reality.

    • OK, Oscar… I flipped the watch over to figure out the answer to your question about the metal lug thingies. It turns out those ARE the lugs. And, they are extensions of the metal caseback. I don’t know if we can (or how to) post photos in the comments here. But, yeah… the caseback, which is attached the case with four screws, has little “ears” in the four corners that make up the lugs. The lugs, in which the strap pins attach, are integrated in the caseback. Hope that made sense!

      • The case integrates into the band so well that I mistook where one ended and the other began. If I’m seeing it right, the case covers the band somewhat.

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