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The Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER is the second special model with which Casio celebrates the 30th anniversary of its iconic diving watch series. New ground is broken in the design, which is borrowed from the South American poison dart frog. Technically, the tool watch is state-of-the-art and – how could it be otherwise – can be paired with the smartphone…
An icon turns 30
Currently, Casio seems to be more active than ever before because the Japanese watch manufacturer is launching one model after the other. Possibly, this is also related to the fact that several anniversaries coincide in 2023. Not only the core brand G-SHOCK will be 40 years old. One of the best-known series is also celebrating a milestone birthday. In 1993, the first Frogman saw the light of day and became a favorite among customers, most of whom were in their teens. Those who wore the asymmetrical bling from Casio made it clear that they had enough money for a status symbol.
Hard to believe, but at a price of about 400 DM in Germany (about 200 euros), the Frogman was considered THE top model within the G-SHOCK family. The emphatically chunky design with the offset bracelet was a counter design to the established diving watches on the market and seemed downright reactionary.
30 years later, we see the Frogman with different eyes, although we love the second generation of the tool watch dearly. It is no longer THE top model. Other G-SHOCKs have caught up and partially overtaken it. So you have to reinvent yourself. This can be done in various ways. For example, you play the nostalgia bonus. Casio already did that at the end of last year. I have also already tested the new Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GW-8230B-9AER. This is a reissue of the iconic DW-8200, which is now considered a rarity. The shape and color are similar to the original, but at least in terms of material selection, Casio has adapted the black and gold Frogman to current developments.
A design from nature
Another option is the release of a provocative design. This is where the second anniversary Frogman comes in. The watch, with the bulky designation GWF-A1000APF-1AER, shares a case with the current generation Frogman, so it’s larger and less asymmetrical than the GW-8230B-9AER. It features a colorful pattern borrowed from the poison dart frog. Nature is still the most talented designer. Casio has apparently known this for quite some time because the Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER is not the first watch whose bezel is inspired by a frog’s skin. Ansonia latidisca, a species of toad in Borneo that was actually thought to be extinct, lends its rainbow-colored design to the Frogman GWF-A1000BRT-1AER. It is based on the current generation Frogman, too.
The Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER ergonomics check
If you wear the Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER, you’ll attract all eyes on you as a wearer. So, if you prefer more discreet watches and go for understatement, this timepiece is not the right one for you.
Dimensions of 51.70 millimeters in width and 56.70 millimeters in length (including lugs) are huge. The diver’s watch is also just under 2 centimeters thick! Again, everyone should ask themselves whether the case size still looks harmonious on the wrist and is practical. Personally, I liked the more compact GW-8230B-9AER a bit better. What the Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER lacks in everyday usability, it makes up for in use. Under water and possibly with diving gloves, the colorful tool watch with its large buttons on the side of the case is simply optimal to use. The conclusion in the ergonomics category is thus ambivalent. It depends on the size of the wrist and the area of use.
I liked the light weight. Despite its dimensions, the Frogman weighs just 110 grams. The wearing comfort is therefore consistently good.
How the poison dart frog gets on the watch
The case of the Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER is made of particularly light, flexible and resistant carbon. It is combined with the proven synthetic resin to the so-called Carbon Core Guard structure, which ensures the shock resistance of the case. The bezel, which stands out in terms of color, is also made of carbon. This material is otherwise used, for example, in the construction of car bodies in motor sports. The production of the colorful bezel pattern is interesting. Colorful carbon and glass fibers are randomly laminated. As a result, no single one is the same as another. This reminds me of the Casio G-SHOCK MTG-B2000XMG-1AER. Its bezel was made using the same process and is also inspired by a natural wonder. However, it was not a frog that was the godfather here, but a South American rainbow mountain.
It goes without saying that the frog must not be missing. It’s the distinguishing feature of the Frogman series par excellence. The new interpretation was printed in cartoon look with an arrow on the black case back. The lettering next to it indicates the anniversary. A Frogman is said to be water resistant up to a pressure of 20 bar. This is necessary to still pass as a diver’s watch and is usually sufficient. To protect the dial, the watch crystal is made of sapphire. Under water, it is advantageous because it hardly reflects and thus improves readability.
The most important functions of the Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER
The Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER brings numerous functions to the wrist, most of which can be operated without a smartphone, but also with one if needed. Especially with a tool watch like the Frogman, it can often happen that you don’t have your smartphone at hand all the time. On a sailing trip, in a downpour or under water, nothing beats proven buttons and haptic feedback. If you know your watch well, the GWF-A1000APF-1AER will be of great use in various situations. The prerequisite, however, is that you get to grips with the timepiece.
Here are the most important functions: unlike other series under the G-SHOCK brand umbrella, current Frogman models have an integrated dive mode. This measure dives up to a maximum length of 2 hours. The data records can be logged. A stopwatch and countdown timer are also available, as is an alarm. Radio signal reception ensures your Frogman is accurate. A second time zone turns the Frogman into a world time clock. Additionally, there is an automatic calendar. Bright LED light makes the dial shine even at night.
In the G-SHOCK Connected app, these functions can be displayed and activated even more easily. In addition, a dive logbook has been integrated, which processes the data of past dives. Helpful for recreational divers are the additional information on low and high tide at any location.
Sustainable solar drive ensures endurance
All functions are powered by the well-known Tough Solar System. If the solar cells under the dial produce more energy than is needed by the battery, a rechargeable battery stores it as a reserve. In normal use and without light incidence (which doesn’t happen), Casio claims a battery life of 5 months, and even up to 30 months in energy-saving mode. In this mode, for example, the hands also stop as soon as the watch is in the dark.
The most unusual bracelet material?
According to the skin of poison dart frog, the bracelet was sprayed with fluorine. Depending on the light and angle of view, it changes its color. It is made of fluoroelastomer, also called fluor rubber. This is extremely durable and long-lasting. Contrary to my expectations, the wearing comfort was very pleasant during my test period.
My conclusion about the Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER
Even though the Casio G-SHOCK Frogman GWF-A1000APF-1AER performs good to very good on the test bench, the decision to buy the watch stands and falls with the design. Either you love it or you can’t do anything with it. But the Frogman has its fans. There is no question that the main target group will like the watch.
Considering the countless functions, I would go so far as to say that the Frogman is one of the most versatile and practical G-SHOCKS around. Sure, a lot of the gimmicks can also be found on representatives of the MT-G or GMW series. What I like so much is the clear focus on divers and outdoor use. Here you’ll find the integrated dive mode, which forwards the recordings to the G-SHOCK Connected app, which then illustrates the data in turn. That’s just smart! Still, you never feel like you have to rely on a smartphone. Only the Mudmaster is similarly practical. It lacks the Bluetooth connection. When you use your smartphone to operate your G-SHOCK, you just don’t want to do without it.
The GWF-A1000APF-1AER, which will be available in February, will cost 1,100.00 euros. All further information about the watch and G-SHOCK in general can be found under the following links.