...i MUST have the GY version!
this model is a triumph for Casio. i have found several things on this model that other models were missing, keeping them from perfection. this, in my humble opinion, may end up becoming one of the quintessential G-Shock designs.
the feel, fit, hug, width, and weight are all just about perfect. we all know what it's like to have an elusive sweet spot between 2 holes on the band, or the wings-vs-no-wings debate, or the balance of a large case vs weight; none of those apply here. the balance of every aspect on the 9300 is absolutely spot-on.
the display offers a solid amount of info at a glance without being cluttered, sparse, or difficult. the circle graph is the first G-Shock i've seen to have a 60-count display marker, one for each second that passes. even the Frogman, arguably the top of G-Shocks line, hasn't seen this feature yet. for 60 separate display markers to occupy the same small space, it still remains amazingly sharp and clear to the eye. whether this retains its sharpness over time remains to be seen.
the home screen covers a LOT of bases; power save, auto el, day, date, month, hourly signal, solar charge level, hours, minutes, seconds, seconds display graph, moon phase, alarms set, daylight savings time, and am/pm, ALL in the same 1-inch space without being squished or difficult to read.
while it appears to be a 4-button in pictures, this actually is a 5-button G; adjust and mode on the left, and light, search, and compass/thermometer on the right. i believe this marks another first, a 5-button G-Shock that doesn't put a light button midway below the screen. the button layout is similar to some pathfinders, 3 on one side and 2 on the other. but again, without feeling mashed together, everything has it's place.
one thing that strikes me is that the overall case design is a bit Frogman-inspired in regards to both left and right not being equal dimensions. most every G-Shock besides the Riseman and Frogman is perfectly symmetrical from left to right. the 9300 leaves this symmetry behind without feeling oddly shaped or impractical.
the Riseman comparison, as duly noted in other threads, is fairly heavy. the placement of the eyes as well as their functions, the color scheme of black and dark gray with red detailing, and other things are all readily reminiscent of the Riseman, yet the 9300 still manages to feel very much like it's own design.
the greatest notion about this model seems to be that it's an amalgamation of the best parts of all the other G-Shocks that have already earned their place. if i took a favorite feature from several other G's and combined them in one watch, likely i would end up very close to this Mudman.
-screws instead of springbars from King
-compass eye from Riseman
-build quality and offset case design from Frogman
-comfort and light weight from previous Mudman
-clarity and sharpness from 5600
-height and thickness from 7900
-band and caseback from Pathfinder
add all that to a moon phase, solar, compass, thermometer, lengthy stopwatch and timer, current time in all modes, etc, honestly if i had seen this in person before knowing the price, i would expect to pay ProTrek or even Frogman prices. further, on paper this watch really SHOULD be a pathfinder or protrek given all it accomplishes. but you add the 3 x 10 "rules of G-Shock" (battery life, water resistance, gravity shock resistance) and we get a high class watch in a tough black resin package.
i haven't thoroughly tested the deeper functions of the finer tools in this model, as i've only had it about 12 hours, but i see no reason why they wouldn't hold up to par. i did, however, match the compass of the 9300 against my Suunto Core Extreme Silver, and right out of the box with no calibration, it gave the exact same readings with the added bonus of double the cardinal designations. where a normal compass on a digital watch will give you N, NE, and E for north through east, the Mudman gives an extra designation in between those to further refine your direction. the same journey on the 9300 will read N, NNE, NE, ENE, E.
the 9300 gives a sense of confidence in it's own toughness; no loose corners or ill-fitting edges are anywhere to be found. the machining on this model is very tight and precise, giving a feeling og high quality usually reserved for a Frogman; certainly if any G does, this Mudman fits in the "Master Of G" territory.
i forgot to take a picture of it but the character on the caseback is hilarious; a mole wearing sunglasses and a drillbit on his hand, holding a north/south cardinal star in his other hand for the compass. i would have loved for this to be in the backlight as well, but it's understandable as this isn't a special edition. the backlight is the same old tried-and-true blue-green Casio standby, which is fine i guess. would have been nice to get the super-LED given to the GD-100's, but they made not have had the space with all the other considerations stuffed into this watch.
the band was taken straight out of the Pathfinder/Protrek book; very flexible and pliable, and the hole design could have come right off a PRG-110. the inside of the band is quite a unique story (again, forgot to take a photo), as the short end has G-Shock Protection stamped fairly large in it, and the long end has Shock Resist stamped also very large. i don't knwo why this is necessary since you will never see this while wearing it, but i suppose you could make the same argument for a caseback picture. the classier version of the 9300, with atomic reception and so forth, has a carbon fiber band, but honestly the band on this base model 9300 is extremely comfortable.
the one thing other people may not like about this model is the thing i really like; this watch is TALL. granted this next pic is at an extreme angle to show to height, but still, it's a very thick watch, definitely not for anything with restricting cuffs. it may or may not be as tall as a GX-56, but it's definitely taller than a 7900, which was tall to begin with.
sorry this was so long, but it's a damn fine G-Shock, and i hope we see many more versions/colorways in the future. i think this is a wonderful addition to any collection, for any purpose, suitable for nearly any environment, and covers a wide range of needs. comfort, tools, aesthetics, and little tips from a few other models make this one hell of a G. if you were thinking of buying one, you're already wasting time :)
Thanks for Watching :)