Earlier this year, Paul reviewed the Casio PRW-5000 which is the analog flagship in the Pro Trek range. Paul found the 5000 to be his favorite model from the Pro Trek line up, enjoying the style and features it offers. Casio was kind enough to send us their newest iteration in the “all-digital” side of the Pro Trek line, the PRW-2500T. The 2500T aims to be the best featured and easiest to use of Casio’s tough-guy Pro Treks. This new model builds on the success of the PRG-240 by incorporating a titanium bracelet, an updated screen and an enhanced user interface which makes information more accessible and increasingly viewable.
The standard Pathfinder design and layout still applies to the Pro Trek 2500T. Its large case features a circular screen with dedicated compass, barometer and altimeter buttons flanking its right side while the left is dedicated to sensor (enabling many of the 2500T’s features) and the mode button.
The six o’clock section of the case houses the adjust and light buttons used for setting/augmenting values in the 2500T’s modes and activating the back light, respectively. The overall design is similar to all in the Pro Trek range and is nicely executed with good build quality and attention to detail on the 2500T.
The Pro Trek range is aimed directly at the outdoor adventurer types and it is in that application that it shines. The dedicated compass, altimeter and barometer buttons are large enough to be activated while wearing a light glove and the screen is large enough to easily show you two levels of data (such as a visual compass, numerical heading and current time, see video). The inclusion of tide data and 200m water resistance should make this model especially attractive to those with a seafaring lifestyle.
As with all Pro Trek models, there is a fairly significant learning curve, especially if you want to get the most out of the watch and all of its many features. For a brief overview please see the included video and for additional details you can download the entire manual as a 15 page PDF here. This watch is likely the most “tool” of any watch in existence; with its bevy of features, automatic calibration, solar power and 200m water resistance.
Even for a less-than-sporty type like myself, I found the five alarms to be very convenient and the active barometer graph (nine o’clock on the main screen) to be fun and accurate in predicting poor weather. Wearing the Pro Trek 2500T gave me a number of excuses to time or measure even the most remedial of events.
Features are cycled using the “Mode” button and once on screen, most features can be manipulated using the function buttons on the right side of the case (such as starting/stopping/resetting the chronograph). In fact, while wearing the 2500T I found it to be a very handy watch, something of a swiss army knife for measuring or counting the minutia of my day. The stopwatch and countdown timer are simple to use and quite convenient when cooking or attempting to avoid leaving a fresh coffee to cool in the machine.
The 2500T is surprisingly nice to wear too. Its resin case and titanium bracelet are light, nicely finished and make the 2500T’s large profile much more practical for everyday use. The 54 mm lug to lug size is almost too long for my 7.5 inch wrist but thanks to the clever plastic shoulders on the underside of the case I didn’t find the 2500T hard to wear or difficult to keep centered on the flat part of my wrist.
I think the Pro Trek would also make an excellent travelers watch, especially for the more intrepid and “off the beaten path” variety of globetrotters. The compass would be helpful in an urban or a rural environment as would be the barometer, which can provide forewarning of poor weather. The 2500T is also complete with a world time feature that allows the user to customize a second timezone by major city (ie – NYC is GMT/UTC -5). I could definitely see additional value in the Pro Trek’s feature set were I in a situation where I could not rely on my iPhone for navigation, weather and local time adjustments.
The Pro Trek 2500T sells online for $400 USD and it does not have many peers with a comparable user interface or feature set. The Suunto Observer TT sports titanium construction but lacks solar charging, atomic calibration, and has only 100m of water resistance, all while being only slightly cheaper at $377. This is a pretty simple conclusion, if you’re an adventurous outdoor type or an international backpacking globetrotter you likely need a PRW 2500T (or something else from the Pro Trek family) and the $400 price point is very fair given its feature set and quality. If you’re more like me and prefer a comfy desk chair and warm keyboard, you likely don’t need most of the features packed into the 2500, but that doesn’t make them any less cool. We really like the Pro Trek line as they are unique and their design is not effected by any trends in the general horological atmosphere. The Pro Trek is much like the Jeep Wrangler, whose looks and basic design has gone unchanged for years. The Jeep (much like the Pro Trek line) continually improves its build quality and feature set and, while still being a decent daily-driver, has a versatile and capable feature set lurking underneath, just waiting to get you out of a jam and home in one piece.
We would like to thank Casio for providing a review unit of the Pro Trek 2500T.
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