G-SHOCK Rangeman: One to Rule Them All

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G-SHOCK Rangeman: One G-SHOCK to Rule Them All

Ask any self-respecting G-SHOCKer, and they’ll tell you that the G-SHOCK Rangeman GW-9400 is a MUST HAVE in the collection. Previously, I designated it one of the “Essential G-Shock Power Trio.” It routinely receives unanimous high praise in the Casio forums and social media groups. And for good reason . . .

Part of the G-SHOCK “Master of G” professional collection, the Rangeman isn’t a new model. It’s been around for years, and I expect it will stick around for many to come. It has been produced in more colorways and special editions than a bag of Pixie Stix.

The G-SHOCKiest of them all

The design of the Rangeman stands out as even more G-SHOCKier than other G-SHOCKS. If Hummer and Marvel’s “The Thing” had a lovechild in the form of a digital watch, it would be the badass Rangeman 9400.

G-SHOCK Rangeman up close and personal

The resin case and bezel are a 55.2 X 53.5 X 18.2-mm castellated fortress around the timekeeping bits. It’s got more angles than a desperate team of impeachment prosecutors.

The Rangeman is an imposing purpose-driven presence on your wrist, but it’s surprisingly comfortable. The lug-strap angle is fixed at nearly 90-degrees. Despite the lug-to-lug dimension being 55.2-mm, it doesn’t feel like a plank strapped to my seven inch wrist. It blends . . . as much as it can given the monstrous proportions.

G-SHOCK Rangeman – Size matters

French-cuff-UNfriendly, the Rangeman dwarfs the Seiko SNJ025 “Arnie” by 4-mm lug-to-lug and almost 6-mm in width. It’s also nearly 4-mm thicker. It begs to be banged around. Instead of “G-SHOCK Protection,” the graphics on the bezel should read, “Is that all you’ve got?” If you smack a door with it, don’t worry about the watch. Check the door for damage.

The SIX large glove-friendly diamond textured metal buttons beckon, “****ing push me! Push me hard!”  They are reported to be “mud-resistant” by the manufacturer.

If there is such a thing as a “digital tool watch,” this is it. Or maybe it’s a “weapon watch”? If you run out of ammo, just bop’em on the head with your G-SHOCK Rangeman.

The resin strap is a double-wide double-pin buckle affair with a metal keeper, all appropriately robust for the Rangeman 9400.

Legibility of the positive LCD is adequate. The size of the digits is exactly the same as a traditional G-Shock “Square” – just barely big enough to be read by my 57-year-old eyes.  The button for the backlight is front and center on the case.

G-SHOCK Rangeman: Conjunction junction

The GW-9400 Rangeman has the usual set of G-SHOCK functions: time, day / date, countdown timer, stopwatch, 5 alarms, and World Time. It’s also solar-atomic, which makes it a set-and-forget watch, like many G-SHOCKs. What sets it apart from other G-SHOCK watches (as a member of the Master of G Series): the additional specialized functions. Some are useful, others not so much, but all of them cool nonetheless.

G-SHOCK Rangeman on board

The Rangeman’s quiver of he-man high-tech horological arrows includes the “Triple Sensor” – an array of barometer / thermometer, compass and altimeter activated in sequence by pushing the single large button at 3 o’clock. The barometer is the most useful (and accurate) of the bunch. I’ve found it to be dead-on accurate compared to the pressure reported by the national weather service.

While the numeric barometric pressure measurement is virtually meaningless to non-meteorologists, the barometric pressure trend (displayed in the upper right quadrant) can predict weather changes. An increasing pressure trend means clearing weather. Trending downward means inclement weather may be coming. You can even set a barometric alarm to warn you of imminent bad weather.

The thermometer (displayed concurrently with the barometer) is accurate- if it’s been off your wrist for at least a half hour (due to the influence of your body temperature). If you pick it up and touch the back plate, you’ll see the temperature immediately rise by a few tenths of a degree. It’s that sensitive.

In Time Mode, you can choose between the day of the week or the barometric trend graph in the upper part of the display.

G-SHOCK Rangeman altimeter - meh

The altimeter effectively converts barometric pressure to altitude. As such, it’s not accurate. The altimeter’s utility is a general reference. You can zero it out at the beginning of a hike and use it to monitor (and even record) your change in altitude in relative terms. It’s an approximation.

The compass is another somewhat crude instrument. It uses the little pie graph “eye” thingy at the top left of the display to indicate your direction along with a numerical readout. If you’re into orienteering or need to find your way out of enemy territory, get a real compass. The pie graph compass pointer on the upper left is small and hard to see, though the numerical bearing is easy to read.

Should you need, the G-SHOCK Rangeman can record up to 40 of the screens from any of the functions in the memory for later recall.

Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset. Since the Beginning It Hasn’t Changed Yet.

The the sunrise / sunset time function offers real utility to those who indulge in outdoor activities. The Rangeman will give you those times for the current day. You can also advance the calendar to see the times in the future.

If Mom’s not around to call you home from the lake before dusk, the Rangeman can do the same thing with precision. But, it won’t have a hot dinner waiting for you.

G-SHOCK Rangeman time

The “instant start” stopwatch is one of my favorite features. When in Time Mode, if you suddenly need to measure elapsed time, just push the lower right button. The G-SHOCK will instantly switch from Time Mode to Stopwatch Mode and start timing.

Many will also like that the current time is displayed while using the stopwatch, countdown timer, alarm and world time functions.

The G-SHOCK Rangeman 9400 is a beast of a watch, ready for the zombie apocalypse or a day at the park. For the money, it’s the most feature-packed G-SHOCK on the market. If you wear it, wear it like a boss. ‘Cause you are.

Model: G-SHOCK Rangeman GW-9400-1
Price paid:
$232

SPECIFICATIONS:
Case:
Resin
Crystal: Mineral glass (flat).
Strap: Resin.
Lume: LED backlight
Dimensions / weight
: 55.2 X 53.5 X 18.2-mm / 93 grams (3.3 oz)
Movement: Casio Quartz Module #3410
Accuracy: Multi Band 6 atomic reception. Without nightly atomic sync: +/- 15 seconds per month.
Battery life: Solar rechargeable. 7 months on full charge (without further exposure to light).
Water resistance: 200 meters.

Functions: Digital Hours (12 / 24) / Minutes / Seconds, Day / Date, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, 5 Alarms, World Time (29 time zones / 27 cities), Triple Sensor (barometer / altimeter, thermometer, compass), sunrise / sunset times.

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Design * * *
A quintessential G-SHOCK shape: big, bold form-follows-function tank. Fugly but lovable, like a bull dog.

Legibility * * * *
The positive LCD is easy to read. I wish the digits were bigger. The backlight for the digital panel is bright.

Comfort * * * *
Far better than you’d expect by just looking at it. At 3.3 ounces, it’s light on the wrist.

Overall * * * *
This is the watch you’d want for the apocalypse. Like a zombie, it will never die. While waiting for the apocalypse, you can enjoy all its features camping, fishing, kayaking, jogging, watching your son play hockey or just going to the market for groceries.

10 COMMENTS

  1. To be honest, whenever I heard/read “G-Shock”, I put on the blinders and stuck the cotton balls in the ears. But, I guess I’ve gotten a bit soft and little less conceited in my older years. Damn thing seems fun. Pretty cool actually. I ain’t fit enough to have use for most of the features, but then again the extra complications I’ve got on other watches also have no utility for me. Utility is a big deal, especially if we’re at the end of days. I like it, as long as it still powers through the zombie apocalypse.

    • Thanks for reading it! The G-Shock line – and other Casio lines like Oceanus, Lineage, and Pro Trek – have a LOT to offer. So much variety… and they are FUN, as you mentioned. There’s something for everyone, including those who run in the higher horological circles.

  2. Before the days of ubiquitous cell phones, I’d be all over this as the features also lend themselves to pedestrian city visits,The wrist tricorder presumably would badly overhang my wrist though. I’m glad these wonders exist though, and presumably they are actually useful to truly outdoorsy people.

      • I’m no cell phone apologist, but the capabilities that appeal most to me are also on that thing in my pocket, killing the must-have factor for me. Advantage on wrist-mounted handiness and non-reliance on infrastructure though.

        • I have almost no use for a cell phone. I have one because I pretty much have to. I’d bet that I use my cell phone about 0.1% as much as the average American. Probably less than 5 minutes per month of voice time. I use texting for my kids. Other than that… it’s for “emergencies.” I don’t use it for social media unless I’m out and about. I use my laptop for 99% of social media.

          Hell… the reason I ended up going down this Casio rabbit hole was because my Breitling and Rolex were kaput. For several months I had to drag my cell phone out of my pocket just to see the time or date. What a pain in the ass that was. I got tired of it VERY quickly. So, I figured I’d get a “cheap Casio” to hold me over until I could get my “fine Swiss timepieces” up and running for an exorbitant price. I was just going to get ONE! You know the rest of that story!

          But, yeah… dragging out and using a cell phone for a task that would otherwise require me to only glance at my wrist?? No thanks. Hate it. Give me a wrist watch… ANY wrist watch… any day and twice on Sunday.

          Crap… I went there. 😉

  3. Much as I enjoy and endorse the Rangeman (I own several,) the real Big Daddy G-Shock is the GWG-1000 Mudmaster. It’s even more over the top.

    • I just haven’t been able to pull the trigger on that one, sight-unseen. I haven’t seen one in the flesh, and I just can’t bring myself to hit the “buy” button, yet. And, it’s a pricey bugger. There’s a big difference, price-wise, between the $800 (MSRP) Mudmaster and the $230-ish Rangeman. I think the Rangeman is unsurpassed when it comes to features / functions per buck spent. If I’m not mistaken, there are no functions that the Mudmaster has that the Rangeman doesn’t.

      I have the “Ana-Frog,” which I like quite a bit.

      That said… my anecdotal experience on the forums is that the Rangeman gets the universal nod. A lot of GWG-1000 fans, but it’s not a unanimous, “everyone’s got one” or “gotta have one” watch like the Rangeman.

  4. The Rangeman is an excellent tool watch and a great value, especially if you can resist the pricey limited editions (which I can’t.) But I do hope you get the chance to try on a big Mudmaster. Think you’ll find it has a presence, a higher level of G-shockiness. As well as of quality (sapphire crystal, Japanese build) and cost. And while the Rangeman is probably the better beater watch for almost everyone, when the Zombie Apocalypse comes I want to be wearing the Mudmaster since I can use it to bludgeon the undead into submission!

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