Is the GW-9500 a Pro Trek in a G-Shock case or a G-Shock with a Pro Trek module?
The Mudman GW-9500 is basically a G-Shock-ified Pro Trek PRW-3400, which may diminish it in the eyes of those hoping for something shiny and new, while at the same time making it a welcome upgrade for others that are not so keen on the smaller LCD displays found on most G-Shock watches.
In comparing both watches, we should start by mentioning that the Pro Trek PRW-3400 was only released in Japan and China. So unless you’re willing to buy one as an import, this comparison may be moot.
Structure and Exterior:
The PRW-3400 measures 54.7 x 51.7 x 14.6 mm and weighs 63 grams, while the GW-9500 measures 56.7 x 52.7 x 14.8 mm and weighs 81 grams. Despite being a G-Shock, the GW-9500 is only slightly larger than the PRW-3400. The lower weight of the PRW-3400 is due to the case back being made of bio-based resins, while the GW-9500 has a stainless steel case back. The PRW-3400 has a stainless steel rotary bezel which can help when trekking with the compass, while the bezel on the GW-9500 is full resin and stationary.
Both the G-Shock and the Pro Trek have a mineral glass display. The Mudman GW-9500 is available with an inverted LCD display with the GW-9500-1A4 and GW-9500-3 models. There are currently no PRW-3400 or Pro Trek models with both a duplex LCD display and an inverted display. The PRW-3400 has a soft urethane band made of bio-based resin, while the GW-9500 band is listed as standard bio-based resin. Both have a wearable band size of 145 to 215 mm.
The PRW-3400 does not have the shock-resistant specification like the GW-9500, and GW-9500 has a protected cylindrical button structure that is resistant to mud and dust. The GW-9500 is 200-meter water-resistant, while the PRW-3400 is 100-meter water-resistant. The GW-9500 does not have the low temperature resistance specification (-10°C/14°F) like the PRW-3400, but we suspect that it can handle low temperatures.
Both the GW-9500 and PRW-3400 have the exact same functions (but use different modules). Some of the major functions include Tough Solar power, Multi-Band 6 automatic radio time adjustment, Triple Sensor (pressure with altimeter and barometer, compass, thermometer), sunrise and sunset time, and a full auto LED backlight. You can view the specifications for the GW-9500 in our Specs Catalog.
Although the module functions are the same, the LCD displays are not exactly alike. The PRW-3400 appears to have digits that are bolder and slightly larger than the GW-9500, although the images above may not be exactly to scale.
In Japan, the GW-9500 is more expensive with a price of 55,000 yen, compared to 44,000 yen for the PRW-3400-1JF. The GW-9500 charges a significant premium for its ruggedness.
On the inside, the G-Shock Mudman GW-9500 and the Pro Trek PRW-3400 are essentially the same, but on the outside, the Mudman is much more durable and protected from the elements. The GW-9500 is positioned as more of a survival watch designed for explorers, rescue workers, and extreme athletes, while the PRW-3400 is part of Pro Trek’s Climber Line. Both are great watches, and in our opinion, neither is diminished by the existence of the other. As with all watches, it all comes down to the needs of the individual user, and having another G-Shock option for an all-digital Triple Sensor watch with a more functional display and thinner size is nothing to complain about.
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