One of the greatest strengths of the Casio G-Shock family, besides its physical durability, is the sheer scope of the sub-brand itself. There are options within the same classic octagonal “5000/5600” silhouette than range from around $100, all the way to deep four-figure offerings competing directly with established Swiss luxury brands, and each of them has a distinct, successful place in the market. With this broad variety of features, materials, and levels of finishing, however, there’s likely to be a sweet spot for most enthusiasts. The G-Shock Full Metal line is liable to be this sweet spot for many, combining many of the brand’s higher-end technologies in an attractive, all-steel package that still comes in at around a $500 price point. The new Casio G-Shock GMWB5000D-2 is a prime example of this sweet spot in action, with a punchy new colorway mated to an impressive array of complications and G-Shock’s most famous silhouette.

As the sub-line name might suggest, the Casio G-Shock “Full Metal” GMWB5000D-2 begins with a full stainless steel case. On paper, this is a relatively direct translation of the octagonal “5000/5600” shape from resin to steel, but this shift results in an almost totally different experience on the wrist. First and foremost, the GMWB5000D-2 is surprisingly heavy. Tipping the scales at 167 grams, this metal variant weighs in at nearly four times the mass of a traditional resin G-Shock, and this added bulk absolutely makes itself known during normal wear. A basic resin “5000/5600” case is light enough to seemingly disappear on the wrist, but this stainless steel example offers a similar sense of weight and wrist presence to a traditional mechanical, bracelet-equipped sports watch. There are also notable shifts to the overall case dimensions here, both real and perceived. Although the 43.2mm wide case diameter and 13mm overall thickness are near-indentical to its resin G-Shock counterparts, the GMWB5000D-2’s signature hooded, dimpled lugs are slightly longer than other iterations, leading to a lug-to-lug length of 49.3mm. That’s more than a 2.5mm increase from standard resin G-shock cases, but the larger effect this lug design has is in conjunction with the stainless steel bracelet. Traditional resin G-Shock straps are light and flexible, effectively wrapping around even very small wrists. By contrast, the stainless steel bracelet endlinks here have virtually no articulation and stick out far past the lugs themselves, giving this case a far broader stance on the wrist.

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Lastly, there’s the simple fact of the finishing to consider. Nearly every surface on this rugged, geometric case is mirror-polished, with the exception of strong linear brushing on the case sides and atop the bezel. Without the visually slimming power of black and with a far more eye-catching finish than matte resin, this steel interpretation of the case stands out far more during wear. None of this is to say that the G-Shock GMWB5000D-2 is oversized or unwieldy. On the contrary, this bolder, more massive presence makes the “Full Metal” variant feel like a much more premium product than its resin counterparts, with a more vibrant personality to match. With that said, this is still a G-Shock, and the watch loses none of its legendary durability in the transition to steel. In addition to a heavy-duty level of shock resistance, the GMWB5000D-2 also offers a hefty 200-meter water resistance.

Casio opts for a darker, more aggressively styled “negative” LCD dial for the G-Shock GMWB5000D-2. The overall look here should be familiar to fans of the brand, with a rectangular digital dial surrounded by a brick-pattern internal bezel (which doubles as a charging panel for Casio’s Tough Solar battery charging system), but like the case, these familiar elements take on a new life with a sharper, more elevated execution than the classic resin G-Shock. The first thing that catches the eye, naturally, is the vivid cobalt blue PVD internal bezel. While it contains the usual printed suite of functions around its surface, the flash of color it brings in direct light further emphasizes this model’s bolder visual presence on the wrist. In addition, the LCD dial itself is sharper and more dramatic with its white-on-black layout and remains legible even at oblique angles where more common “positive” LCD variants become totally unreadable. However, this darker presentation does come with drawbacks, as the low-light legibility of the GMWB5000D-2 suffers even when the LED backlight is engaged.

Casio equips the G-Shock GMWB5000D-2 with its in-house Module 3539 multifunction solar quartz movement. Like so many modern G-Shock powerplants, the Module 3539 offers an impressive suite of complications, ranging from Multi-Band 6 radio-controlled atomic time adjustment and Bluetooth mobile device connectivity to a variety of more traditional functions. These include a 1/100-second split-seconds chronograph, a world timer, five programmable daily alarms, a 24-hour countdown timer, and a perpetual calendar. Provided the radio-controlled atomic time adjustment is functioning properly, the Module 3539 is for all intents and purposes perfectly accurate, but even without this complication active the movement still offers a respectable +15/-15 seconds per month in accuracy alongside an up to 22-month battery life.

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Perhaps the Casio G-Shock GMWB5000D-2’s greatest departure from its entry-level resin siblings is its stainless steel bracelet. Casio continues the tapering, dimpled motif of the hooded lugs all the way around the wrist here, emphasizing the form with polished dimples and chamfers against strong, vertically brushed main surfaces. The overall effect is bold and dynamic, with a unique set of reflective highlights and a suitably muscular on-wrist feel.

In the over 40 years of the Casio G-Shock line, this series of durable quartz sports watches has expanded to fill nearly every conceivable niche and market segment. With such a massive list of options, however, it can be difficult for enthusiasts to find the right balance of features and value. But ith the new Casio G-Shock GMWB5000D-2, the brand seems to have found an impressive inflection point, delivering some of its most sought-after features in a bolder, more premium variant of its original case design at a very attractive price. The Casio G-Shock GMWB5000D-2 is available now through authorized dealers. MSRP for this watch stands at $550 USD as of press time. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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