Casio G-Shock Frogman
Tim the Russian
Today we bring you a preview of the new G-Shock Frogman, a professional dive watch from Casio.
To start out, let me throw this at you: it’s a $1000 G-Shock. That’s fucking right.
It’s a Casio. It has a rubbery cover and a resin strap. It looks just like many other G-Shocks at your local Target. At first glance, its a $100 watch. So why is it ten times that? Case made from unobtanium perhaps ??
My initial reaction was WTF? How in your right mind could you expect to spend this much on a throwaway watch?? After a few weeks with this watch my mind changed – slightly. Do I think this watch is worth a $1000? No way. But do I think it’s worth $500? Absolutely.
Over the past fifteen years of diving, I was always on a lookout for minimal but highly functional kit. “Two is one, one is none” is a rule that will save your life while diving. I had a few really close calls, with one ending in death of my dive buddy. It changed my entire outlook on diving and equipment. I learned that your life depends on very simple things; for instance, how easily can you get to your secondary regulator? I’ve learned that it’s absolutely life-critical to avoid a clutter fuck on your buoyancy compensator and the rest of your gear. Minimal but redundant is the key.
A dive computer is a must. It measures and displays your depth, dive duration, and temperature. It calculates your no-decompression limits. It tells you if you are ascending too fast. Some really expensive models have a built-in compasses. It’s great technology, but it’s also very important to have a backup (since shit breaks). If you’re at 100ft, 35 minutes into your dive, and your computer goes dark, you’re royally fucked. Critical instrument backups are:
- Dive watch with ability to measure elapsed time
- Depth gauge
- Dive tables
In my experience, this is the beginning of the clutter. You can load your dive console with all the instruments above, or you can hang them off your gear, or you can wear them on your wrist. Low speed/high drag. Literally. Clusterfuck.
Casio combined the functionality of all of the above into the new Frogman.
At this point you may be thinking, why not just pick up another $500 dive computer? Well, daily wearability becomes a consideration. You can’t wear a dive computer as a daily watch, but you can wear the Frogman daily. It excels in this role.
I haven’t had a chance to dive with the new Froggy yet (Lake Michigan is not a nice place in February). That said, I can’t wait to get some dives in when this place unfreezes in June.
Now let’s take a closer look at this beast.
First of all: the size. Holy shit. As you recall, I don’t even consider a watch if it’s smaller than a hockey puck. Well, this guy is almost too big for me. I’m including a few pictures of the froggy next to another dive monster, Sinn U1. Sinn is a huge watch at 44mm. Froggy makes it look like a child’s toy. It’s 53mm across!
Although dimensionally similar to Casio’s Mudmaster, the Frogman was designed to be a tool first, and daily watch after. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s clearly made to be worn over a dive suit, not under a cuff of dress shirt (yep, I tried it – no fucking way). Speaking of the dive suit, the strap on the Frogman is the longest strap of any Casio, long enough to fit over a dry-suit.
Here is a quick dump of the features and functionality:
- ISO-rated 200m diver. While most G-Shocks are water resistant to 200m, they are not dive-rated. Frogman is.
- Buttons are fully rated for operation under water – up to 200M
- Sapphire glass. First on a Frogman. Keep in mind, if used for diving, some types of coral can still scratch it, but its pretty much scratchproof in daily use. The crystal is about 5mm recessed and is protected by resin bezel – I don’t see it getting scratched or shattered unless you really fucking try.
- Full metal and DLC-coated case with a screw-in back. It’s the only Casio model (other than the GW-5000) to have this.
- Carbon Fiber reinforced strap. Yep. They sandwiched a strip of woven carbon fiber between two strips of resin, then pressure-bonded the whole thing. You can hang a kettlebell off this strap.
- Thick carbon rods connecting the strap to the watch case
- Entire case is covered in thermoplastic/resin – you can’t really tell its a full metal watch, other than two small cutouts by the strap attachment points.
- Did I say it’s black-DLC coated? Fucking sexy
- One button has completely new functionality, never before seen on a G-Shock. The 9 O’clock button is a “stamp.” Press is for about a second during a dive, and it marks that very moment – depth, time, etc. What I thought was really great is that this button works in all other modes. For instance, you get home totally hammered late at night, and want to have an idea of what time you got in the next morning, so you can effectively have a wife-happy strategy. Boom. Push the button and go to sleep. Next morning it will tell you that you pushed the button at zero-dark-thirty…on February 11, 2017. After nine red bulls and Jamesons (trust us, that drink is the shit).
- Depth meter with fast ascend alarm, functional to 90m. Keep in mind, this works just like a dive computer, minus the no-decompression algorithms. It shows depth, dive time, temperature, compass, min/max values, etc. And it logs all of it. It’s the TITS.
- Moon graph. If the moon is out, you may want to wait few days to do ninja shit.
- 3D compass. You might ask, what is this crazy 3D shit? It’s quite brilliant, actually. Unlike any other watch or dive computer out there today, you don’t need to hold Frogman parallel to the ground to get an accurate compass fix; it works while tilted !! (up to 80 degrees from horizontal).
- Tide graph. Totally useless to me, but I hear it’s a great thing for the folks who live by the water.
- LED backlight – this is also new for a Froggy.
- The rest of the functionality is similar to other higher-end G-Shocks: Solar charging with two-year power reserve, atomic radio timekeeping, multiple alarms, stopwatch, timer, world time, etc.
Stay tuned for an in-depth review after I take it on a few dives. The Frogman is a real tool. If you’re a serious diver and are looking for a great dive watch – and have some cash to spare – this fits the bill very well.
Why should you wear a watch? Because if you don’t, you’re a dumbass. Read Six Reasons You Should Wear a Watch.
Now go read all our Watch Pr0n in this lineup.
[You can read more about the Frogman here]
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: Timur Aleksandrovich is former taiga-frolicking proud bacon- and big-dog-loving American who ain’t from around these parts. We can’t tell you where he comes from, but we can say he grew up wearing a fuzzy hat, loves vodka (which he pronounces WODka) and never does anything without a plan. Though his profession has nothing to do with anything tactically sexy (that we’re gonna tell you about), Tim knows his way around guns and gear. Luckily he made so much money in the 90s selling off Sukhoi Su-47s, souped up BTR-90s and that one cherry MD-160 Ekranoplan to Jacobim Mugatu he can still afford all kinds of cool toys. Timka is an extraordinarily proficient shooter and prefers timepieces that weigh as much as a small child. He is evil genius smart, retard strong and easygoing as an Amish guy stoned on Sunday. You may have read about him in a couple things written by Tolstoy and Mikhail Sholokhov (or maybe it was Pasternak, we can never remember). We hang around with him not so much because we like him but because he sounds like Col. Strelnikov when he talks, and because he lets his Great Danes wear shemaghs. We’re still holding out hope he’ll someday show up to the range with an original 1983 Jatimatic 9x19mm SMG and lots of ammo. A desultory meteorologist and member in good standing of our “Everyman Tactical” element, Tim is a graduate of Grosse Pointe High School and is a Martin Blank cynicist in good standing. Most of this we’re just making up of course, but he really does look good in those shaggy hats and he really is gay for watches and knives. If you’re the stalking sort you can creep on him by watching him on the live webcam he has in his outhouse on the steppe right here.