Hands Up For The First Fully Analog Generation Of The Casio G-Shock Frogman
The analog display is something completely new for the adventurous Frogman. From digital to analog is reverse evolution some might say, but looking at revolving hands works very instinctively for numerous people. It seems like the development of “do-all” professional diving gear is taking an unexpected (but strangely satisfying) U-turn in the case of the newest Frogman watches. So, hands up for the first fully analog generation of the Casio G-Shock Frogman! Resistance is futile; it’s going to conquer the sea with or without you.
Our in-house photographer Bert is the proud owner of a digital Casio G-Shock Frogman, and he loves that asymmetric watch because of its size, design, robustness, AND the absence of hands. Only one thing comes to mind when you look at any Frogman and that’s “device”. When Casio presented the GWF-A1000 last year, the analog display was not only a first for the Frogman, but it also gave the utilitarian diver’s tool a more watch-like appearance. The first-generation Frogman initially came in three colorways. And after that, with the introduction of the green, blue, and yellow GWF-A1000BRT-1A “Borneo Rainbow Toad”, Casio made something that would even look good on the stage of a high fashion runway show.
… there’s another exotic creature too in the shape of the GWF-A1000C-1A with a blue ion-plated stainless steel bezel …
This year, Casio expands the G-Shock Frogman collection with the GWF-A1000C-1A and GWF-A1000XC-1A with a composite bracelet in resin and steel for the C and XC, and a high-tech carbon bezel just for the XC. And there’s another exotic creature too in the shape of the GWF-A1000C-1A with a blue ion-plated stainless steel bezel and white composite strap.
The over-sized hands of the Frogman tell it all
Later this year we’re going to send or own Fratello in-house diver Gerard into the deep with a new analog Frogman on his wrist for a proper test. Preferably, we’ll be sending him to either in Croatia or Curaçao, but it could just as easily end up being the harbor just outside the new Fratello HQ. Being a landlubber myself I will keep my feet dry and just stick to wearing the new “Froggies” on the shore, and by going through the specs.
What becomes perfectly clear at once, is that the new Frogman is all about the hands — they indicate everything there is to know. For the dive time function, the oversized hour and minute hands overlap each other and move in unison as a single hand making the dive time measurement easily readable — intuitive as only traditional/ancient hands truly are.
Every setting can be personalized and configured via your mobile phone.
To power the different hands Casio uses three dual-coil motors to allow the central hands to quickly switch from the current time to the elapsed dive time, and the world time hands to move rapidly, so you can quickly switch modes. Since we’re first and foremost dealing with a proper tool watch, the analog Frogman can also log diving spots and times automatically. The link with the smartphone makes diving records viewable through an easy-to-use app. Every setting can be personalized and configured via your mobile phone. The G-Shock Connected app provides a hugely detailed insight into dive logs, locations, and more.
Linked for ease and accuracy
Back on the boat, the Frogman wearer can read the surface interval indicated by the hour and minute hands. Also, the tide is kept in check by the new Frogman. The sub-dial at 3 o’clock displays tide data for a specified location and date. And the sub-dial at 8 o’clock shows the current local time. Luckily you don’t have to memorize time and tides worldwide. Instead, you just look in the app that comes pre-set with a number of the world’s major dive spots.
A clever enough watch
The Frogman may not be a proper smartwatch, but it’s clever enough to communicate with your smartphone. Casio doesn’t use technology to make it possible to read your emails underwater; rather, the brand prefers to use it to create an accurate and practical time instrument. For example, time correction works through Bluetooth communications or standard time radio waves (Multi Band 6), depending on your geographical circumstances. Reception of the actual time zone and Daylight Saving Time (DST) information assures you’re always looking at the correct time.
A seriously large monocoque carbon case
Since we’re dealing with an instrument rather than a traditional wristwatch, the measurements also look like they belong on the spec sheet of a piece of industrial equipment. The monocoque case measures 56.7×53.3×19.7mm; that’s the size of a serious pocket watch and even bigger than Breitling’s 51mm Emergency, just as The Truth About Watches already sharply pointed out.
Monocoque means that the case is made from a single, seamless lightweight chunk of carbon fiber reinforced resin. And the tough case shows the frog icon on the back – plenty of room there, so it’s quite a sizable creature. Back to the front of the watch, you will see six screws that securely fasten the metal ring that is press-fit to the glass. This component helps ensure water-resistance to 200m.
Look! There’s a small whale in the sub-dial
Now you know what these watches can do, it might be interesting to explain the differences between them. Let’s start with the odd one out. That’s the very bright Frogman GWF-A1000K-2AJR that commemorates the 30th anniversary of I.C.E.R.C. Japan (International Cetacean Education Research Center). This Frogman with a blue IP steel bezel and translucent resin bumpers has an engraving saying “Love The Sea And The Earth 2021” engraved on the case back. And please take a closer look at the sub-dial indicator in the shape and image of a whale.
The bright white strap is outfitted with a steel keeper with a silhouette of a whale and is made of stain-resistant fluorine rubber. Stain resistance in the case of white rubber is no bad thing, and the same goes for being soft but not floppy, and the fact that it’s resistant to hydrolysis. To cut a long story short, it’s comfortable and durable. And it needs to be because the watch weighs 124g. It sounds heavy. It looks heavier. But for a watch this size, it isn’t too excessive, really. When it comes to wearing comfort, it balances on the wrist rather well.
Weight-watching the Frogman
Since we’re on the topic of weight, the black GWF-A1000C-1A weighs 147g, and the GWF-A1000XC-1A 7g less. It would seem that the use of ultra-light carbon for the bezel and mid-links makes a difference not only to the appearance of the watch but to its wearability also! Looks-wise, however (because let’s face it, what’s 17g between friends?), the GWF-A1000XC-1A is more stealthy with its carbon fiber bezel (a first for the Frogman) and middle links in the bracelet and subtle orange details.
The GWF-A1000C-1A is more outgoing with a blue IP bezel and yellow and red details on the dial. These two models are the first Frogman variations with a resin and metal bracelet. A nice technical and functional touch is the folding clasp on both bracelets. It’s solid, has a diver’s extension, and a smooth and accurate fine-adjustment system you operate with a small wheel.
All new Tough Solar Frogman variations have a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. And the Super Illuminator (high-brightness LED light) lights up the dial to ensure readability in the dark – it could even serve as a mini-flashlight! Apart from the light, these watches also have plenty of luminous material on the hands, indexes, and the 20-minute bezel scale on the dial for a safe, glow-in-the-dark dive.
Thumbs up for the first fully analog generation of the Casio G-Shock Frogman, or thumbs down?
So, what makes the G-Shock Frogman GFW-A1000 variations proper dive watches, and what do we think of them? Let’s start with the instrumental side of things. The analog Frogman models are ISO compliant when it comes to the water resistance to 200 meters. What the modern Frogman lacks is a depth gauge. But does this absence disqualify the analog “Froggy” as a “serious” diver’s watch?
Not really, I would say. Every diver who means business wears a dive computer on the other wrist. And because hands read more intuitively than numbers, the latest incarnations of the Frogman are not a case of regression, but evolution. That’s because it’s now much suitable to wear as an omnipotent sports watch.
I would qualify these new “Froggies” as very capable pros …
You could call the new Frogman more playful. The black versions are serious pros, the colored one plays more casually. And by the way, that last version with white strap looks awesome in combination with a casual denim look and sneakers. Is this new analog Frogman better than the digital predecessors? I’ll leave that to the divers among us. I would qualify these new “Froggies” as very capable pros who also have a playful side. And when they play, they can play hard.
Prices and availability
The black and blue Frogman GWF-A1000C-1AER has a price of €999 and is available online and through retail stores. The same goes for the more sinister looking GWF-A1000XC-1AER with its new carbon fiber bezel that costs €1.199. The most frivolous of the three new variations, the GWF-A1000K-2AJR, has a price of €999 and will only be available in official G-Shock boutiques.
Please find and follow me at Lex Stolk • Instagram
This is a preferred position post. Learn more.