G Shock Rangeman

Casio G Shock Rangeman | GW-9400

Now and then, I see a watch that I have to have. Not often, mind you, but once in a blue moon, the urge does strike me. My taste in timepieces is for those that are large and durable. Enter the Casio G Shock Rangeman, G-Shocks are well known for their durability among several communities: hikers, campers, law enforcement, military, and everyone. If you have a “cool guy” occupation, G Shocks are pretty much standard issues (actually, there’s a secret rule that says you have to own one).

Why is the G Shock Rangeman so popular?

Well, they look cool, like seriously high-tech cool. Most of them are large, which appeals to a lot of people.

Probably the most attractive aspect of The G-Shock Rangeman is durability; they will take a veritable beating, and nothing seems to kill them. But, of course, this is by design, and the company has earned a well-deserved reputation in this area.
The moment I laid eyes on the Rangeman, I knew I wanted one. It just looked so cool! The fact that it was a G Shock Rangeman already told me everything that I needed to know about its level of quality; this is one brand name that you can buy without the slightest question or doubt.

We’ll take a look at some of the features that Rangeman offers. To be honest, I’ve had mine for a couple of years now, and I still do not know all of its features because there are so many of them! The watch comes with a thick instruction book that you could literally spend a couple of hours reading because it is chock full of instructions. If you intend to take full advantage of all this tactical watch‘s features, you will indeed spend time reading that book. I’m not that kind of guy, being more of a simpleton.

Here are some features and modes:

  • Timekeeping (Home city, as well as a Daylight, Saving Time mode). Day, Date, Time, Year.
  • Altimeter (View altitude at your current location, determine the difference between two different locations).
  • Digital Compass (Determines your current bearing or direction).
  • Barometer/Thermometer (View barometric pressure and temperature at the current location, view a barometric pressure graph, and record the current barometric pressure and readings along with the reading date and time).
  • World Time (View the current time in one of 48 cities in 31 time zones around the globe).
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown Timer
  • Alarm (six of them, actually).
  • Sunrise/Sunset
  • Receive Mode (The watch receives atomic signals, which calibrate it).
  • Sleep Mode (If the watch is in the dark for a while, it will go to sleep to conserve the battery).
  • Solar (This watch charges by solar power). The battery power will last about seven months without additional charge when fully charged.

Naturally, a large button is located in the center of the watch to illuminate the screen. It’s metal and very easy to use, given its size. In fact, all of the buttons on the Rangeman are metal, adding to the durability. Illumination is via a blue LED, and it works great!

The band of the watch is resin with sturdy metal hardware. The whole thing is very robust and secure. The watch case is also made from resin, which absorbs impacts very well, and contributes to the watch’s durability. Finally, the watch is sealed to keep out mud, water, dust, and any other extraneous gunk that might try to invade the watch.
The unit is water-resistant to 20 BAR (200 meters), so it will take about as much as you can throw at it, and it should stand up to diving use, although it’s not purpose-built for that task.

About my G Shock Rangeman

My Rangeman is a green color with a black face and orange highlights. I prefer the light face configuration with dark highlights, but that was not available for the green watch, and I love the green color. The watch simply looks badass! It’s enormous, and you could probably take out an enemy sentry with it if you forgot to bring your knife. On the other hand, the overall weight of the watch is 3.3 ounces, so it’s lighter than its size suggests. That said, when you pick it up for a digital watch, it has a distinct feeling of being solid, which it certainly is.

The G shock Rangeman has been my “work watch” for several years and has been subjected to more abuse than I can recall. I’ve worn it in the prison where I worked, and it had survived a few altercations that included being slammed into concrete walls while I subdued violent felons when we had differences of opinion. I also wore it while delivering merchandise, and it was banged around more than its fair share (I still wear it daily in this role, and I will never question its durability. In this day and age, I love being able to count on a piece of gear and know that I can deliver ridiculous abuse to it (although I make a point of taking care of my gear and not neglecting it). Still, it’s nice to know it can handle it.

My Opinions

To be honest, I only use a fraction of the features that this watch has to offer. For instance, I’m not smart enough to interpret barometric pressure, so that feature goes right over my head (as Inspector Harry Callahan used to say, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”).

If you intend to use the thermometer, you should remove the watch from your wrist for about a half-hour beforehand so that the reading is accurate. Despite that, it’s a neat feature to have if you’re in the wilderness and wonder about the temperature.
The Rangeman sells for $330 retail at the time of this writing, but it can be had for considerably less if you shop around. Yes, the price is considerable, but the adage, “Buy once, cry once,” applies here. Considering that you will receive years of faithful service from this watch, the price isn’t as bad as it sounds. It is a member of the “Master Of G Series.” If you’re into ultra-durable monster watches and look cool, look no further; you’ve found it. This one gets two thumbs up!

About the Author:

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities.

1 thought on “Casio G Shock Rangeman | GW-9400”

  1. Regular army type here:

    The barometric pressure can be displayed as a graph on the main watch face, in place of the day of the week. Line going down? Winds, precipitation on the way. Line going up? Weather stabilizing. Simple as it gets.

    The altimeter needs to be periodically calibrated with known elevation because it’s basing potential elevation changes off of changes in barometric pressure. The more weather change, the more calibration required. If you really need an altimeter, the one on any smartphone will be more accurate (barometric pressure + GPS confirmation.)

    The compass reads in degrees only and while you can adjust the magnetic declination, this is at most a secondary backup to a folding mils compass and a GPS. Make this more accurate by painting a small white line on the internal bezel as an aiming reticle for the compass.

    Last layer: this watch’s altimeter + (actual) compass and paper map would be an effective solution in a degraded signals environment. Plan your route card with elevation at the nav points (should be there anyway) and you can recalibrate at each stop, maintaining a pretty accurate running measure on altitude changes.

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