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Today I'm back with another watch review. This time its a ProTrek and actually one of the very few twin sensor models. This one is the PRW-500-TJ.



Launched sometime in mid-2000s, the PRW-500-TJ is the JDM model of the PRW-500-T which was in turn available in ProTrek and Pathfinder guise.

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Coming back to the watch in question, it came in two variations, a resin strap varaint and a titanium bracelet variant. Due to the interesting lug design, it is difficult to change straps without installing a strap adapter. The desin is a mix between elegant and bulky. The round lines of the case are distorted by the protuding version 2 air pressure sensor. The case itself is made of resin and is painted silver, with a stainless steel chapter ring. The bracelet has titanium links and a stainless steel and titanium clasp with words "Casio Sport" etched on it which is usual for the ProTrek line. On the end links, there is a plastic surround where the band attaches to the case for extra stiffness at the lugs of the watch. The case is a five button design with the light button placed on the right side rather than being placed on the front. The watch has two sensors, barometer and altimeter with their dedicated buttons. The big black buttons are large and easy to press and have a good looking design. The watch is comfortable to wear and is lightweight. The quality of the materials is great and can withstand the test of time. The 100 metre water resistance ensures it handles daily use well. Overall, the watch looks like a sci-fi movie prop.



There is a large solar cell surrounding the medium size STN display with additional information and markings printed on it in addition to the outer bezel. This watch is a "Wave Ceptor" model which means it will receive signals from the radio towers in Japan and in the US of A (Fort Collins, Colorado).



On the homescreen we have hours and minutes displayed in the larger, middle part of the display while the seconds are displayed in a small font below. The top part of the display can display either day of the week with the date, the whole date in the American date format or a barometric pressure graph. The displays are switched by the top left button. The display has a wide viewing angle and is complemented by a nice EL backlight with a 2 second afterglow and an autolight feature. Unfortunately, you cannot set the illumination duration of the backlight.

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Pressing the mode button takes us to the altimeter recording screen which comes in useful if you're hiking on a mountain or doing an activity which requires you to keep track of your altitude. The recording screen can record up to 10 logs of data. You can scroll through these by pressing the upper and lower right button. Pressing the adjust button on any of the 10 records will display the Ascent reading, the Descent reading, the minimum height and the maximum height. The records are time stamped so you know the exact time of the record you're viewing.

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The next mode is the world time mode. This watch has a total of 29 time zones and 48 cities. A thing which I really like is that the home time is displayed at the bottom of the screen in addition of the time of the city selected in the middle part of the display. This makes it sort of a dual time mode in which you can keep track of your home time and the time of a certain city. It is a feature you'd rarely find on Casio watches these days.

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The next mode is the stop watch mode. This watvh has a 24-hour stopwatch. An interesting thing to note is that it doesn't sacrifice the home time display for 1/100th of the second. They are displayed right next to the hour indicator of the top right corner. Very thoughtful.

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The next mode is the countdown timer mode which can be set from one minute to 24 hours. You cannot set the seconds on this one. The minutes and seconds are displayed in the middle of the display, the hours are displayed at the top while the home time is displayed at the bottom of the display.

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Then there is the alarm mode with a total of five alarms and an hourly chime, followed up by the "Receiving" screen mode in which you're able to see the last time the watch synched with a radio tower. You can also initiate a manual reception in this screen by pressing the lower right button. There is no "quick jump" to the home screen when you press and hold the "Mode" button, instead this action activates the Mute function indicated by an arrow in the bottom right of the screen alongside the Alarm and Hourly signal indicators.

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The altimeter and barometer work when you're in the home time mode. With this being a JDM model, you cannot switch units unlike in the PRW-500-T. The only units available are Hetropascal for the barometer, Celcius for the thermometer and Metre for the altimeter. Unlike battery powered sensor watches, they provide continous measurement. Pressing the "Baro" button also activates a thermometer which works when the watch is off your wrist. You can configure the barometer and thermometer according to the readings from your weather station by pressing and holding the adjust button. The barometer also displays variations in the readings by 5 hPa indicated by the top right display. In the altimeter mode, the recording starts when you press and hold the "Alti" button for more than 5 seconds. The watch beeps and a flashing "Rec" symbol indicates that the altitude data is being recorded. You can calibrate the altimeter by pressing and holding the adjust button. the home time is only displayed in the altimeter with the space for the home time taken up by the thermometer reading in the barometer mode.

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Overall its a nice watch with a big and practical display. The home time display in the essential modes really is a refresing sight to see while the wide angle clean STN display with crisp digits makes for excellent visibility. Sadly, this watch cannot handle temperatures well and the display malfunctions which is a shame for a watch packed with tons of features. It gets a 9/10 rating from me with a point being deducted for the weak display. Other than that, Casio should introduce a more compact ProTrek following this design language.
 

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Nice review! I just got the PRW3100. Have to admit I was expecting a little more from the STN display. Is good, especially off angle, but I feel like the lcd on my GWM5610 has more contrast. Any thoughts on that?


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The 5610 has more contrast but it washes out when it is tilted which is annoying. The newer STN displays are great I have to admit. The one on this has its shortcomings as it doesn't handle temperatures well.
 
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