When it comes to a watch to head into the outdoors with, there are a number of smartwatches you could go with, or you could opt for a no-nonsense digital watch to keep things simple. If you feel like you need something that’s somewhere in-between, it would be hard to argue against the Protrek lineup. Just recently, they released another model that relies on bioplastics, the Casio Protrek PRG340.
What is a bioplastic, or biomass plastic? Basically, it’s a plastic that is created from plant matter (or other organic sources) rather than petroleum. Frankly, using a material that’s a bit more eco-friendly just makes sense for a watch that’s meant to be used in the outdoors. This shows up in the case, of course, but it’s also used for the rotating bezel (albeit in a more durable formula).
That rotating bezel on the Casio Protrek PRG340 is something I can’t recall seeing on a Protrek before. Sure, they’ve always had the digital compass, but the compass bezel hasn’t been there. Why would you want that? Well, you could orient your direction against the digital compass, set the bezel, and then you can navigate using your paper map. Speaking of the compass, that’s another change in this model.
For the Casio Protrek PRG340, they’ve actually got layered displays, so when you activate the compass, it will display right over the main display. A small thing, but should keep things a lot more legibly. The third innovation I can see on the watch are the buttons along the right-hand side of the case. Not that getting into the various functions (or cycling through them) was tricky, but this makes it much simpler. Press the button for what you want to get into, and away you go.
So, all in all, a lot of nice upgrades available here in this new Casio Protrek PRG340. This is along with the tough solar charging (always a solid option for your outdoor adventures), and all the great functions (see the full list below) that the digital movement affords. For the two resin models, those come in at $280, and the version with the titanium band (and steel clasp) comes in at $330.
Tech Specs from Casio
- Case size (L× W× H): 54.7 × 51.7 × 15.1 mm
- Weight: 54 g
- Water resistance: 100-meter water resistance (10-bar)
- Mineral crystal
- Low-temperature resistance (-10?)
- Tough Solar (solar powered)
- World time (48 cities)
- Digital compass
- Sunrise, sunset time display
- 1/10-second stopwatch (measuring capacity: 1,000 hours)
- Countdown timer
- 5 daily alarms
- Full-auto LED backlight (Super Illuminator)