For late 2021, Japan’s Casio is upping its game when it comes to some of the recent popular octagonal-cased watches that debuted in the Casio G-Shock GA2100 collection (aBlogtoWatch hands-on here). Now, the “Casio-Oak (Casioak)” watch that previously came in a resin now arrives in a full metal case, making it one (small) step closer to actually trampling on the feet of the Audemars Piguet Royal (which features a similar octagonal bezel design. After debuting in the resin case, Casio decided to produce a metal-cased version of the watch that falls under the GM2100 collection for men, and the GMS2100 collection for women. I go hands-on with each of them in this article.
While the watches have metal cases (nicely polished, I might add), they are supposed to be just as durable and shock-resistant as resin-cased G-Shock watches — but indeed, they are a bit heavier as a result of the metal case construction. The metal outer case actually sits over an inner glass-fiber-reinforced case that protects the in-house-made Casio quartz time module.
In these watches, Casio is going for maximum style and svelteness with a relatively thin case and profile that is not nearly as chunky as many of the G-Shock watches we know and love already. The steel case of the GM2100 is 44.4mm-wide, 11.8mm-thick, and has a 49.3m lug-to-lug distance. The cases are water-resistant to 200 meters and have dials covered with a mineral class crystal. The dial designs are simple compared to many G-Shock watches, but Casio was intending for that on purpose in the pursuit of a trendy, minimalist design (Casio-style minimalism, of course) .
The GMS2100 is a bit more than just a sized-down version of the GM2100. Visually, this is not true (since they are very similar in look), but these men’s and women’s watch collections also have different movements. The GM2100 has the more high-function movement since it includes an additional subdial hand and corresponding scale for the day of the week. Both the GM2100 and the GMS2100 have easy-to-read analog hour and minute hands on the main dial, but also small LCD screens (negative-colored LCD screen on the men’s models) that provide additional data. As well as the time, the GM2100 watch has a full calendar, stopwatch, countdown timer, five alarms, and a 48-city world timer feature. The dial also has a bright LED-based illumination system (two LEDs on the dial, actually, according to Casio) — for reading it in the dark.
In addition to the very good design of the octagonal bezel and related case, the dial of the GM2100 watch (and its sister product) is quite good. There is a deep flange ring that slopes down into the dial, with corresponding applied hour markers. The design is modern but not overly decorated or distracting. The Japanese took a lesson from the Swiss watch designers in focusing on colors, shapes, and textures, as opposed to merely introducing more and more “stuff” packed into each design. I really like to see an evolving and continually refined Casio.
The current Casio G-Shock GM2100 watches include four versions that all come with steel cases and textured resin straps. This reference GM2100-1A has the “naked” polished steel case and matching gray-toned dial. It is handsome and comfortable on the strap but, in my opinion, this is a design that is begging for a matching metal bracelet. Casio coyly suggests one might be coming soon. The GM2100 collection includes another version with hard IP coatings in blue or gunmetal gray. Note that the coated-case versions of the GM2100 have a slight $20 price point premium.
The GMS2100 (here as the reference GMS21000PG1A4) is a very similar wearing experience with a slightly smaller case (4mm narrower) and a simpler dial (one less hand). The watch movement has more basic functions, but this isn’t the G-Shock watch to get for women who are seeking maximum utility. This is, however, one of the prettiest and trendiest-looking analog-digital women’s Casio watches right now, and in this rose-gold tone (or otherwise for the other references), I can’t see Casio having too much trouble moving these little beauties.
The slim, wearable, and highly “Royal Oaky” (along with affordable) Casio G-Shock GM2100 and GMS2100 watches are going to be popular products for Casio in 2021 and beyond. While it might be worth it to wait for a metal bracelet version of these watches (not something that is promised to happen), the overall fun and affordable price will be hard not to pass up. At the end of the day, Casio makes the world’s most universally acceptable watches for utility purposes. Now, the brand is just adding more high-style choices to its diverse list of practical products for daily wear. Both the Casio G-Shock GM2100 and GMS2100PG1A4 have a retail price of $200 USD. Learn more or order at the Casio G-Shock website here.