Casio's new sports watch is made from beans, and makes map-reading a breeze
Casio has released a new rugged outdoor watch made using bioplastics, with a rotating bezel for use with maps
Casio has revealed a new rugged outdoor watch line designed to help you navigate using a map, and containing materials derived from castor beans and corn to reduce use of virgin plastics.
The new PRW-3400 watches are built specifically for outdoor adventures, and as Casio fan blog G-Central (opens in new tab) explains, have a compass and dual-layer display for easier navigating. Unlike the best GPS watches, they don't offer turn-by-turn directions, but they can still help you find your way using a map.
The two watches feature Casio's triple sensor package (altimeter-barometer, compass, and thermometer), which you'll also find in several G-Shock watches, but with an important difference. While most of Casio's watches only indicate the direction of north in a small portion of the screen, the PRW-3400 watches use the entire watch face, with large, needle-style markers indicating all four cardinal points.
Once you've got a bearing, you can rotate your watch's bezel to line up with the needles, and the specially designed case back allows you to place it flat on top of a paper map.
The two new PRW-3400 watches also include solar cells to extend battery life, and are water-resistant to 100m (twice the rating of many smartwatches). The time and date are set automatically using a radio signal, and you get the typical stopwatch, alarms, countdown timer, and sunrise/sunset times.
Like several recent Casio sports watches, including the PRW-61, parts of the two new watches are made using bio-plastics derived from castor bean oil and corn to reduce the use of virgin oil-based plastic.
Bio-plastics are often used to make 'green' disposable items like cups and cutlery, but they don't necessarily break down more quickly or easily that conventional plastics. Even bio-plastics that are compostable usually require specialized industrial composting facilities, and would sit unchanged for years in a home compost pile.
That's not an issue for an item like a watch, which is expected to last many years. The amount of oil-based plastic saved is very small, but if you were intending to buy a watch anyway, it's one way to reduce your consumption a little.
The silver and black Casio Pro Trek PRW-3400-1, and the red and black Pro Trek PRW-3400Y-5 will soon be available to buy in Japan for 46,200 yen. The company has yet to announce international pricing and availability, but considering the prices of other similarly specced watches, we'd expect them to be around $300 / £250.
- How to use a compass: get your navigational bearings
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).