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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Crystal: Mineral glass (flat).
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.