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Tue, May 21, 2024

Casio Updates Gravitymaster Pilot Watch

Robust Adventure Piece Gets an Upgrade

While it seems to be a ride of passage for young pilots to snag one of many slide-rule pilot watches, those who want something ready for a more rough-and-tumble lifestyle tend to jump for something a little more robust like the Casio Gravitymaster, a design that has been updated with all the latest and greatest from the brand.

Sure, it doesn't have the same busy, nearly inscrutable-for-old-eyes look of classics like the Navitimer, Skyhawk, or Flightmaster, but that's the point: Casio wanted to give travelers everything they'd actually use in a flight watch, and nothing they don't. Out is the tiny 1-inch E6b, and in comes a world clock, bluetooth connectivity, and a nigh impenetrable case of carbon fiber armor. Those who love to advertise their line of work or hobby to the world may find the Gravitymaster a little too quiet, but for those who like to blend in amongst the earthbound it's a thankful reprieve from the norm. 

The Gravitymaster offers a fairly traditional dial compared to so many G-Shocks, eschewing even a partial LCD in favor of an all-analog face with 3 sundials. That doesn't mean it does away with technology by any means, though. Core to the new Gravitymaster ownership experience is a phone app, usually not much to be excited about, but for a more complex watch it can be much simpler to just use an external instrument to set it up just right. Using the app, owners can bounce between time zones as is generally the use for a pilot watch in 2024. One novel addition is the Gravitymaster's flight log function, that records the location and time between activations. The new watches can handle all that bluetooth usage thanks to their solar cell, allowing them to go 5 months at a time without exposure to light. Unlike the last generation of Gravitymasters, that allows users to use the full function of the watch without concern, since they won't have to worry about looking down at yet another stopped watch - connectivity doesn't come cheap, in energy terms. 

The new design is certainly more or less similar to the last model, which attempted to give a pretty 'busy' dial with plenty of textured detail and legibility. The new versions are designed to evoke the flight deck, with one coloration of dusk grey and black aping the soft orange-red glow of a night flight. Another stays traditional with black and white accents, reminiscent of analog gauges, and the last, a vibrant blue-green color, riffs on the flight deck of the future and its calming HUD colorations. All the usual Casio 'Neobrite' lume is here too, which is likely passable for most circumstances, but somewhat limited by a pip of high-visibility color that matches the accents. It's an interesting choices for the blue coloration, almost prioritizing daytime legibility over additional luminous surface area. 

When shopping around, Casio model number GRB300 will net the full spectrum of options. GRB300-8A2 is the blue variant, probably the most unique of the trio. GRB300-1A is the more staid black and white iteration, and GRB300-1A4 is the more colorful red version.

FMI: www.casio.com
 

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