It was over 36 years ago when Casio’s lead watch designer Kikuo Ibe set out to develop a virtually indestructible watch. The year was 1981, and with a little inspiration and help from a team of just three additional engineers, 2 years of R&D and 200 prototypes would later yield the very first watch – dubbed the G-Shock DW-5000C – that boasted the necessary features and construction to handle the use and abuse it would inevitably face while worn by military personnel and action sports athletes.
Almost an immediate success, the G-Shock line soon became the go-to series of watches for those who refuse to live their lives based on limitations. And it’s from here that G-Shock developed a specific line of watches purposed to stand up to seemingly impossible conditions. We’re talking extreme cold, extreme heat, mud, and sludge – worn and trusted in these conditions without error or issue. Rightly so, G-Shock referred to this line of watches as their Master of G collection with the Mudmaster functioning as one of the more rugged and resilient series available for on-land operations and tactics. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on the newest member of the Mudmaster series – the GG1000-1A5 – to test ourselves and it almost immediately became clear that the brand has themselves another winner here.
More Than Meets The Eye
On the surface, this is a watch that’s larger than most other G-Shock offerings available today – which is saying a lot. Fully measured the timepiece clocks in at 56 x 55 x 17 millimeters so there’s no shying away from the size of this timepiece. The construction is a rugged one as well to say the least, featuring that classic Mudmaster silhouette and complemented with a fitting Desert Tan wristband to round out the handsome black resin case and stainless steel bezel. Moreover, it’s quite clear G-Shock placed legibility as a key design principle thanks to large Arabic numerals at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. The size of the watch also really helps the wearer discern it’s myriad of features – making navigation a breeze once they familiarize themselves with its functionality (we’ll dive into that a bit later).
Moving on to the bezel, it’s marked with 360-degree hashes that help interpret the compass readings (a handy feature included in the watch’s Twin Sensors) and is wrapped around a handsome black dial face that’s tactical-like in appearance and protected by high-quality scratch-resistant mineral glass. Additionally, similar to other iterations in the Mudmaster series, the dial hosts analog timekeeping and a digital day/date panel for at-a-glance legibility. Both features come in quite handy at a moment’s notice. The bottom right quadrant of the watch also hosts what looks to be a gear dial with indicators denoting specific features such as “alarm” and “timer” where an orange arrow turns to match the whatever function has been set. It’s an interesting feature that adds a technical feel to the timepiece and one that will certainly catch the eyes of any gearhead who picks up the watch for themselves.
The construction is a rugged one…featuring a classic Mudmaster silhouette, complemented with a fitting Desert Tan wristband and a handsome black resin case with a stainless steel bezel.
What’s also notable here is the watches sturdy construction, which is something you first notice when unboxing the device. Everything from the case structure to the checkered buttons on the side is well thought out and executed. The Mud Resist feature is also worth noting – functioning as a full barrier to prevent any mud, sludge or dirt from compromising the internal mechanics of the watch. Meaning, this newest iteration will stand up to some serious use and abuse.
Speaking of internal mechanics, thanks to Casio’s proprietary Japanese Quartz movement, the Mudmaster GG1000-1A5 boasts an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month and both a 12/24-hour format for those who prefer military time over standard. Even for those who have never used purchased a G-Shock, the user experience here is easily navigable. It’s shock resistant properties also enabled us to really test out the functionality of the timepiece along a series of backcountry trails. Needless to say, the Mudmaster passed with flying colors. We were also able to take advantage of the Twin Sensor technology via the embedded compass and access to temperature info literally at the push of a button.
These were also fairly shouldered buttons as well, which prevented an accidental altering or adjustments to another one of the many features such as access to 31 time zones across the world, a 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer or 5 daily alarms. The Super Illuminator Led backlight also came in handy once the sun began to set on us and even in pitch black overnight conditions the watch illuminates for up to 3 seconds without any issue. It also stood up to countless interactions with dirt and mud with assertion and we didn’t think twice when washing it clean with a bit of water thanks to the watch’s 200-meter water-resistant rating. Too bad not all electronics boast this sort of security.
Final Thoughts and Feel
All-in-all, the Mudmaster GG-1000 1A5 felt great, stood up to the challenges we presented it and looked mighty fine when paired with some gear. Sure, the size might be a little intimidating at first, but once you fully understand the reasoning behind the design – utilizing the handful of outdoor-friendly features in the process – do you truly begin to appreciate what G-Shock has to offer here. From the wooded wilderness and back, there wasn’t a moment where we didn’t find use for one of these features, which is something that certainly can’t be said for all watches on the market.
What we have here instead is something highly utilitarian in nature and tough/rugged enough to stand up to challenges presented to it by both star actions sports athletes and special operations military and law enforcement personnel alike. It’s no wonder G-Shock has been a trusted name in the watch world for so long, worn by extreme outdoorsmen who understand both form and – especially – function are paramount characteristics for a tough timepiece that can be worn with confidence no matter what muddy situation you may find yourself enduring.
© Photography by HiConsumption
The Watch: G-Shock MudMaster GG1000-1A5
After getting hands-on with the watch, it immediately became clear to us that G-Shock has really stepped up their game with this newest addition to the Mudmaster lineup. Not only does the Mud Resist construction speak for itself, but its Twin Sensor technology and resistance to outside influences makes the GG1000-1A5 a rugged timepiece up for just about any challenge at hand.