“Be careful what you ask for.” This English expression is very applicable to Casio’s new GWF-1000 Frogman. For as long as I’ve been reading the WUS G-Shock Forum, I’ve seen posts begging Casio to update the Frogman with a new design, updated case technology and atomic timekeeping. However, as soon as Casio announced the new Frogman a couple of months ago, the complaining started.
“It’s too expensive”, ”the display is too crowded”, “it’s too big”, it’s too heavy”, and “it’s not titanium.” These seem to be the most common criticisms of the watch. To be honest, I too have had a few concerns about this new release, specifically the price and the size. The display however, was the least of my worries. I’ve never been a fan of the dial layout of any Frogman release. So for me, any change would probably be an improvement, and being a fan of the older all steel 82XX Frogman designs; size, stainless steel construction and weight were other issues that didn’t worry me. Regardless, I’ve been very anxious to see how Casio would go about improving their iconic top of the line G-Shock dive watch.
Yes it’s big and while it is heavier than a titanium GW-200, the weight feels very close to that of a DW-8250. On the wrist, it’s not uncomfortable at all. It certainly doesn’t feel heavy like a Panerai. Sure it looks goofy on my little (less than 7 inches) wrist, but pretty much all the Frogman releases did already. The wrist presence audacity of the Frogman releases, and many other G-Shocks for that matter, have always been a hallmark of the brand. Why should this one be any different?
The new 3184 module adds some new features for the recreational diver. In addition to the normal Frogman functionality, we now get a ten interval dive time logbook, tide functions and also a moon phase indicator. Should you wish, you can also display a second timezone on the main screen instead of the day and date.
The display doesn’t seem cluttered at all when viewed live. To my eye it’s considerably more legible than my other Frogmen. In fact, I would not be surprised if the area of the LCD panel on the GWF was at least 30% larger than that of the GW-200.
The DLC treatment on the stainless steel case is probably the major factor in the increased cost of this watch. Stainless steel can rust, and anyone who’s taken apart enough older screwback G’s probably has encountered rust spots on the watches under the plastic housings. While the plastic bezels do a great job in protecting the watch, they also can trap water for long periods of time. Presumably, the DLC treatment could provide enhanced rust protection. If nothing else, it looks cool.
The buttons are the nicest seen on a Frogman, and yes, the large ones are metal. They are considerably larger than standard G-Shock buttons. The operation is the best yet that I’ve encountered on a G. These pushers are silky smooth. The left side pushers have a high shine finish (I think they might be DLC coated) with a circular bevel.
Why does it say “Zoom” on the side of the watch?
Like many newer G’s, there is a two tone design to the plastic area on the back. I’m not sure what to make of this new Frogman logo on the caseback.
Only you can decide if this new Frogman is an improvement and/or worthy of it’s increased cost. For me, it’s a natural progression of the line. For those overly concerned about the cost and weight, I’d be surprised if we don’t see a less expensive titanium version released in the next year or two. In the meantime, I’ll happily walk around with this big ugly watch on my wrist probably looking a bit ridiculous to everyone but myself.