For the majority of people into higher-end Casio G-Shock watches, the Gravitymaster GPW2000 (GPW-2000, GPW2000-3A as seen) collection is going to be the best timepiece for 2017. Sure, you can get the also new G-Shock MRGG2000HT with its fancy hand-hammered titanium case for $7,400 – but for that price, you get a very similar movement and could buy nine G-Shock GPW2000-1A timepieces. This new Gravitymaster builds upon the previous generation Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GPW1000 that was the first to contain a GPS signal module (all produced in-house by Casio), and it even manages to reduce the price.
When the G-Shock GPW1000 came out, the big news was that a G-Shock finally contained a GPS module that allowed the time to be updated anywhere in the world that has a line of site to satellites. Moreover, it was a hybrid technology watch that also contained an antenna to receive radio signals from any applicable local atomic clocks. The Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GPW1000 did its best to beat the competition from Citizen and Seiko through the legendary durability of the G-Shock case, as well as having as many features as possible. Unfortunately, the GPW1000 was an enormous watch to wear being both extremely wide and very tall.
For 2017, Casio was not only able to add functionality but also reduce the size of things in the movement such as the GPS module, rechargeable battery, and other essential hardware. I believe Casio informed us that the movement is about 20% smaller in size, which allows for a case that is much more wearable in the GPW2000 collection, including this Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GPW2000-1A flagship device.
On the wrist, the 2017 Gravitymaster is no svelte object, but it has one of the most elegantly designed modern G-Shock cases and wears very comfortably without looking too massive – even though the case is 57.1mm wide. Again, even at these dimensions, it is still smaller than the GPW1000 (GPW-1000) that was before it. For my wrists the older version was mostly unwearable. New features also include Bluetooth connection functionality – which we discussed a bit with the limited information we had in our initial article on the Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GPW2000-1A watch here. At the time, it was a bit unclear how Casio intended on using Bluetooth functionality, but now we know a lot more. With that said, I want to hold off on a final overview of the Bluetooth functionality until I review the GPW2000. Why? Well, it will come with a companion smartphone app that in many ways might refine how we watch lovers think about an “activity tracker.”
For more information on how this new generation of GPS + Bluetooth G-Shock watches is intended to work, see my above linked-to article on the MRGG2000, as I attempt to discuss it at length there. In short, this isn’t about missed call or e-mail notifications on your watch, but rather a very intelligent use of establishing a connection between watch and internet-connected phone while not having to sacrifice the core light-powered energy independence of a G-Shock. Of course, at the same time, Casio isn’t focusing entirely on this unique interpretation of a smartwatch. 2017 also sees the release of the Pro Trek WSD-F20 GPS Android Wear smartwatch that includes much of this functionality with a modern smartwatch experience.
Bluetooth in the GPW2000 Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster (as well as a handful of other new-for-2017 Casio watches – that will grow in the coming years) includes an additional set of features which allow the watch to be accurate anywhere in the world. The watch will use internet time through your smartphone to update itself up to about four times per day. If that fails (meaning the phone does not have internet connection) it will then try its atomic clock radio signal antenna, and after that, GPS. That is the order of steps it will take in order to keep the watch accurate, as well as the correct time as you travel around the world.