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Casio ProTrek PRW6900YL-5 Review: A Swiss Army Knife for Your Wrist

Casio PRW6900YL-5 Watch(Photo/Josh Wussow)
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Solar power, atomic timekeeping, and a unique design carry the day for this purpose-built timepiece.

How many features can you cram into a watch before it’s considered “smart?” Because while it can’t reach out to pair with your phone, Casio’s new ProTrek PRW6900YL-5 ($500) has a tool list almost as long as its name.

This latest entry in the company’s outdoor line encourages users to “Get out into the great outdoors” with a timepiece featuring “solar-powered radio-controlled precision and eco-friendly materials chosen for their environmental performance.”

But the PRW6900YL-5 is more than the sum of its specs. Its entire design language revolves around pursuits like hiking, camping, and bushcraft, with a “solid structural and functional beauty inspired by survival tools.”

I’ll admit it — this one was love at first site. And when Casio’s PR team offered to send a loaner my way late last fall, I eagerly awaited its arrival. But could the 6900 live up to its billing? I took it to the gym, a campground, and a frozen lake to find out.

In short: The Casio ProTrek PRW6900YL-5 is a large, all-new design with a spec sheet that reads like a campsite dream. Solar power, atomic timekeeping, and triple-sensor tech join with a bushcraft aesthetic to make a watch that feels truly at home in the wilderness. The mineral glass and high price point, however, take a bit of the shine off its edge.

Casio ProTrek PRW6900YL-5 Watch Review

wearing casing protrek PRW6900YL-5
(Photo/Josh Wussow)


  • Case size: 49.6 × 44.8 × 14.7 mm
  • Case/bezel material: Resin/stainless steel
  • Crystal: Mineral glass
  • Weight: 63 g
  • Movement: Tough Solar, Multi-Band 6
  • Water resistance: 100 m (10 ATM)

We begin with an examination of the dial and case. Casio went all-in on the outdoor ethos, as its marketing copy attests:

“In a rough and rugged outdoor style, this timepiece features a metal bezel with sharply tapered edges reminiscent of a wood axe. At the 10 o’clock position, the inset dial indicator hand recalls the blade of a camping knife, and the second hand features the orange gradation of campfire flames.”

Campfire flames, is that what it’s supposed to be? To me, the orange, yellow, and white were more reminiscent of candy corn. But while I may not enjoy that particular treat, I’m a big fan of the 6900YL’s second hand.

Its ticking is steady and precise, and swings easily when cycled through its various functions.

Pro Trek PRW-6900YL-5 Surface
(Photo/Josh Wussow)

Beneath the hand, “the base of the dial has a textured cast iron-like surface evoking a Dutch oven, bringing together a design that epitomizes all there is to love about bushcraft.”

This sounds a bit far-fetched, but you know what? The coarse look actually works here. Combined with a recessed screen, thick indices, and brushed hands, the dial as a whole is one of the more legible and interesting analog/digital combos I’ve seen.

And while I usually find Casio’s “PRO TREK” logo a little too basic, its soft font and touch of orange genuinely seem to pop.

The rest of the case is composed of resin, “biomass plastics,” and a newly developed flame-retardant leather band, which Casio claims will ward off errant campfire sparks.

Now, leather bands aren’t really my thing. Whether I’m cooking, swimming, or working out, I find them harder to clean and dry. But for what it is, this ProTrek band is a good one. Its hide is thick, supple, and eminently comfortable. And if we’re sticking with the “natural material” theme, it fits with the rest of the timepiece.

More Features Than a Swiss Army Knife

Quite frankly, I don’t have enough space to go into each and every bit of tech Casio has crammed into the 6900YL. So, let’s condense some of the highlights: A 10,000m altimeter, a barometric pressure sensor, a thermometer, and height gain tracker, along with the stopwatch, world and countdown timers, and five-alarm setup you’re used to.

One of the watch’s most useful features is also one of its most accessible. A quick press of the 2-o’clock button activates the 6900YL’s compass, with the seconds hand swinging toward magnetic north.

Direction and degrees pop onto the screen below, and users can return to timekeeping mode with a simple press of the 8 o’clock key.

Other features, such as time zone setting or altering the countdown timer, are accessed via the screw-down crown. And while lume is present on the indices and hands, the 6 o’clock button activates an LED at the dial’s base.

But there’s more working here in the background. The 6900YL runs Casio’s Tough Solar module, along with its Multi-Band 6 Radio.

So, not only will all of these features operate with energy from the sun, but the watch also reaches out to the world’s atomic radio towers each night, making sure it’s ticking with accurate time.

A Brief List of Complaints

Casio Men's Pro Trek PRW-6900YL-5 Watch
(Photo/Josh Wussow)

Only three negatives stand out here, apart from the choice of leather for the band. First, comes the water resistance. While 100 m is definitely acceptable for hiking and swimming, 200 m is usually what I’m looking for in a go-anywhere timepiece. But I get it — with the sensors listed above, some of the components need access to air. No big deal.

Next, the thermometer. In general, found it to be less than useful. So long as it’s mounted on your wrist, body heat will interfere with the reading. This isn’t just a Casio problem, as this persists across every watch (smart and otherwise) on which I’ve seen a thermometer equipped.

The last complaint is a two-parter: the crystal and the price. Look, I’m okay with mineral glass, but not on a $500 watch. Is it a dealbreaker? No, not given the embarrassment of riches in its feature set. Even so, I feel that the pricing should be more in line with the $300-ish on Amazon, rather than the higher figure from Casio.

Casio ProTrek PRW6900YL-5: Conclusion

casio protrek prw-6900
(Photo/Josh Wussow)

There’s a saying I recall from working in construction: “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

And the ProTrek PRW6900YL-5 is really, really good. Over its week on my wrist, I found it to be one of the most fun, capable, and visually appealing watches that I’ve sampled in quite some time.

And that’s saying something, with the Apple Watch Ultra, Raven Airfield, and Timex Q Chronograph still fresh in my memory.

But with its thoughtful design language, useful toolbox, and distinctly outdoors personality, this is one ProTrek that I can certainly recommend. Aim to pay less than $500, though, even if it means waiting an extra week or two for shipping.

Check Price at AmazonCheck Price at Casio

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