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It’s probably no wonder that the 40th brand anniversary coincides with the release of the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500. Three references appear at the market launch of the new generation. And of course, nothing interests me more than the question: MUDMASTER vs. MUDMAN – who has the edge?
The MUDMASTER light?
The MUDMAN is something like the little sister of the MUDMASTER. As a die-hard fan of the big outdoor watch, I have long neglected the smaller, lighter and cheaper watch in my videos and watch reviews. I would like to make up for that now. The timing couldn’t be better, because recently G-SHOCK released four new models of the series, which is not just since yesterday in the model range of the Japanese cult brand at home. The DW-8400 made the beginning in 1995, so there is already plenty of history. Actually, I had planned “only” one video. In the meantime, the original idea has turned into two YouTube videos (with display comparison). And since I notice that the watch is so well received by you in the community, this watch review should now round off the topic.
Most of us (G-SHOCK fans, because the MUDMASTER is also not a volume model like Casio’s dresswatches, for example) have saved the term MUDMASTER as a real outdoor watch. When other watches reach their limits, this timepiece is really fun – a functional digital watch of the extreme. The MUDMAN is a very similar watch. Here, however, everything is a touch simpler, more down-to-earth and not as loud. The MUDMAN is modest. This makes it particularly interesting for those who perhaps don’t plan to cross the Amazon, but who do heavy physical work on a daily basis. Whether in wind and weather, rain or at dizzying heights. Possibly the MUDMAN is the right watch for you.
Generation change at MUDMAN
And also for me, whose heart beats for the MUDMASTER? A MUDMASTER light, so to speak? As already mentioned, the new GW-9500 generation is my first contact with the MUDMAN world. So I can’t comment on and compare it to the previous series. Therefore, let’s rather focus on whether the MUDMAN is a good watch.
For the generation change, Casio left no stone unturned and thoroughly revised the MUDMASTER. The main focus was on the now significantly lower height. In return, the MUDMASTER has slimmed down several millimeters in height.
Casio offers these references
Casio launches a total of three references in different colors and – this is where it gets interesting – with different display designs. The GW-9500-3ER comes in timeless military green. The GW-9500-1A4ER is a bit more daring and impresses with its orange accents. Unlike its sisters, the GW-9500-1ER doesn’t have a negative display, but a “conventional” display. Whereas conventional is actually the wrong term chosen here. All three references were equipped with a double-layer duplex LCD display. This is primarily to improve the readability of the digital compass, one of the most important MUDMAN functions.
The GW-9500-1ER manages this best. The contrast of black digits on a bright background worked outstandingly well during my test time. The two sister models cannot quite keep up, although the readability of the display is certainly not a problem here. In return, the “dark mode” simply looks more sporty in my eyes. The MUDMASTER relies on an LED display in this respect, which is again even easier to read. By the way: my favorite is and remains the GW-9500-3ER in Military Green. Never before has a G-SHOCK outdoor watch looked so simple, timeless and cool!
The Casio G-SHOCK GW-9500 on the wrist
Although all three references are designed for professional use according to Casio, demanding professions and adventures are not the only occasions to wear a chunky MUDMAN on your wrist in my opinion. The iconic 90’s look, which has survived the last nearly 30 years, is an eye-catcher. With this, the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500 completes any street style outfit, for example with an oversize t-shirt and cargo pants.
I was really excited to compare the wearing comfort between MUDMAN and MUDMASTER. The new models measure 56.70 millimeters between the lugs and 52.70 millimeters wide, with a height of 14.80 millimeters. These are still considerable dimensions. Nevertheless, the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500 is significantly more compact than a comparable Casio G-SHOCK MUDMASTER GWG-2000-1A5ER. 81 grams are also barely noticeable on the wrist. The MUDMAN thus secures the lead in the wearing comfort category.
With the functional resin strap, the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500 sits securely and comfortably on the wrist.
Not only shock resistant: the case
To achieve such a low weight, you have to be resourceful and experiment with unusual materials. The case, case back and wristband are made of resin, a bio-based synthetic resin. An optimal choice for use in mud and sand. It’s hard to imagine how little fun you’d have with stainless steel. The price premium of the MUDMASTER is also partly due to the fact that Casio manufactures components there from carbon. The high-tech material has a higher value and more prestige. However, in my opinion, it doesn’t necessarily matter in everyday use. The resin fulfills its purpose, is robust and durable.
The case of the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500 is water resistant up to a pressure of 20 bar. This also classifies the timepiece as a diver’s watch. However, that is not the focus. Those who really want to dive will find more suitable models in the portfolio of the Japanese watch manufacturer. The terrain of the MUDMAN is characterized by, mud, sand and dust. Shock resistance is not the only quality of the MUDMAN.
An environmentally friendly drive
Like most G-SHOCK watches now, tiny solar cells have been incorporated under the dial to feed solar energy to power the battery in the watch’s module. Typical of Casio, the technology called Tough Solar System is very efficient. In energy-saving mode, the watch “survives” for several months without being hit by a single ray of light.
The functions of the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500 at a glance
With a wealth of practical functions, the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500 becomes a reliable companion on expeditions through nature. This does not have to degenerate into a survival adventure. Even on a leisurely day hike, the altimeter and compass will help you find your way in your environment. Of course, this is now also possible via an app on the smartwatch. But sometimes less is more. Speaking of the app, neither MUDMASTER nor MUDMAN can be controlled via it. What I sometimes criticized in the past, I can now understand. Somehow the utility value of such an app is quite low when you are miles away from the next village, on the high seas or a large construction site. During my test, however, I did not miss the constant look at the CASIOWATCHES app.
The most important data is clearly shown on the display behind the mineral glass. Other functions such as a barometer, a thermometer, sunrise and sunset display, charge control display or a world time can also be called up here. Radio signal reception ensures that the MUDMAN is accurate anywhere in the world. And as if that were not enough, timers, daily alarms, a stop function and a calendar complete the extensive overall package. The smaller sister doesn’t have to hide from the MUDMASTER here either.
My conclusion about the Casio G-SHOCK MUDMAN GW-9500
I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about the MUDMAN at the beginning. If anything, I’d rather have the flagship than an economy version, right? Wrong. This test taught me better and showed me that the MUDMAN does not have to hide from the “big” outdoor watch. Even for a few hundred euros, Casio provides you with a model that meets, if not exceeds, all the requirements of a modern outdoor watch. If the functions of the MUDMAN are sufficient for everyday use, you should go for a cheaper watch from G-SHOCK. In the vast majority of cases, they are easily sufficient. Hardly anyone will ever push one of the two models to its limits and notice a possible difference.
No matter which version of the MUDMAN you choose, there are no price differences between the individual references. They all cost 379.00 euros at market launch. For comparison. As of July 2023, a MUDMASTER costs more than twice as much at 799.00 euros. I have linked all further information about the individual specimens, the MUDMASTER as well as Casio watches in general in the following!