In front of my tired eyes the words "instant get" started flashing like the dazzling billboards on the streets of Tokyo when I saw this news: the awesome-looking G-Shock 5000-Series, the daddy of all G-Shocks, is getting a full-metal case in steel with the Casio G-Shock GMW-B 5000 D-1 and in IP gold with the GMW-B 5000 TFG-9. They both also sport all the tech I've been missing from, say, this otherwise cool Mudmaster. Let's take a quick glance at the details of these two new 5000-Series bad boys, accompanied by Casio's traditionally, famously and consistently crappy, horrendously low-resolution official images – none of which, no matter how awfully bad, can turn me off of one of these.
Steel, or any metal for that matter, is the least G-Shocky material I can think of and that is one of the two reasons that makes these two watches get on my "want" list. The first G-Shock, technically, was what you see right above: a plastic ball with a display in it. It was this ball that, many drops from Casio HQ's 3rd floor bathroom window and some 200 prototypes later, had finally taken the shape of the first G-Shock introduced to the masses – the DW-5000C. Since then, though there have been some rather intense metal G-Shocks (like the MTG-S1000 for $1,000 shown here, or the MRG-2000 Hammer Tone discussed here), G-Shocks have remained associated with their plasticky, rubbery exteriors. The 5000-Series getting a metal case and bracelet has some heft to it (pun intended), because it shows how far G-Shock has come in terms of technology, design, and the sophistication of its audience – i.e. us idiots, who have not only fallen in love with a plastic watch, but who are also somehow strangely attracted to the idea of buying it for many times its base price to get it in what otherwise is the most ubiquitous material in watchmaking. Oh, the self-contradictions and ironies attached to love – and anything watchmaking.
The 5000-Series case will measure 49.3 by 43.2 by 13.0 millimeters and will weigh around 167 grams – with the bracelet attached, of course. All stainless steel was used for the exterior, i.e. the bezel, case, caseback, and bracelet, while a new impact-resistant structure has been adopted in the design of the steel case to absorb shock. This features a durable resin material that fits between the polished and brushed bezel cover and the metal core that houses the movement. The bracelet is also secured to this inner black metal core with a massive, screw-headed pin to ensure the durable, but comfortable movement of the bracelet. Even the pushers appear to be metal. Water resistance, but of course, remains 200m, no drop in that, unlike the BS water resistance we have to endure in so many of the recent Swiss luxury watch releases.
The typical G-Shock tech featuring a world time, 1/100th second chronograph, perpetual calendar, daily alarms, and so on is spiced up with Tough Solar charging – autonomy is about 22 months after fully charged – Multi Band 6 automatic reference time synchronization for atomic accuracy timekeeping (synced up to 6 times per day, 5 times per day in China), as well as Bluetooth 4.1 low energy connectivity with a communication distance of about 2 meters.
The Bluetooth connectivity allows for the use of the "G-Shock Connected" app available on Apple and Android devices. This makes for a 2-way communication: you can set your watch via the app for 300 different cities when traveling, as well as for alarms or sync it for accuracy. With the watch you can find your phone (not sure how you could lose it within 2 meters reach, but if you do, you're in luck, I guess) as well as create logs – the phone will mark the time and location and you can edit these later.
The new Casio G-Shock GMW-B 5000 D-1 in stainless steel will retail for around $500 and the new Casio G-Shock GMW-B 5000 TFG-9 with the IP coated gold exterior will retail for around $600 – note that this is updated pricing based on feedback from Casio. Both watches will be released on April 13th, and while there's no official wording on these being limited edition or Japan-only, given our experience with G-Shock releases, I'd be surprised to see these on international markets as early as that date. Nevertheless, I can't wait to see in person what the 5000-Series looks and feels like in the metal and out in the wild. gshock.com