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Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR ‘Dream Project’ at Topper Jewelers

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

It started with a box. A big one. One of those kinds of shipping crates that comes nailed to a wooden pallet, inside of which is a series of increasingly smaller boxes, each with bits of straw and packing peanuts layered in between. And inside the smallest box of all would be a long lost golden artifact of perhaps Egyptian origin, completing its long journey from some distant corner of Mesopotamia. Inside this particular matryoshka though, was no priceless artifact but a watch — and a digital one at that.

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

Satisfied that the delivery had been completed, the courier’s armed guard left the way he’d came — out the service exit belonging to Topper Jewelers, in Burlingame, California. Deep inside the center of the crate wasn’t just any watch, but a Casio G-Shock. A solid 18k-gold one — reference G-D5000-9JR, which, without a doubt, would have been the envy of all the pharaohs had it belonged to that particular epoch in history. You might remember this particular reference from a video that surfaced early last year of its prototype being tested. Violently.

The G-Shock “Dream Project” was never supposed to be a reality. Teased at Baselworld back in 2015, a concept piece was produced and tested, creating a small viral sensation wherever it cropped up at the brand’s in-store events around the world, but for nearly four years, it was just that — a wild concept and a show piece. But in early 2019, Casio’s tone changed, and the manufacture announced that the watch was, indeed, going to be produced in extremely limited numbers. And it was going to be expensive. $70,000 to be exact.

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

Three boxes and a short intermission for refreshments later, we arrive at the center of the crate, where the physical watch box awaits: a light-colored bamboo affair with a bright red “hanko” stamp whose kanji reads “Dream Project.” Inside it, we discover a traditional Japanese tea kettle, called a “tetsubin.” And inside this extremely cool cast-iron vessel is a black conical bag that finally holds the watch itself. We remove it from its velveteen sarcophagus, and the room is immediately bathed in a soft yellow light. Dramatic music begins to echo from somewhere deep in the store. (Well, not actually, but you get the idea.)

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

In total, 35 of these Dream Project G-Shocks were made, and of those, only 10 made it out of Japan. Of those 10, only two were allocated to the United States. Topper Jewelers rightfully earned the distinction of being able to sell one of them to an equally lucky client, and as it sits on my wrist reflecting my own gaze in a bezel-shaped halo of orange and yellow, I’m struck by how incomprehensibly heavy it is. The tactile trick your wrist is playing on your brain is more or less a visual one — G-shock’s familiar 5000-series plastic cases weigh next to nothing, and this watch — for all intents and purposes, looks exactly like a resin-cased variant — from the familiar rectangular liquid crystal display framed by a smooth bezel into which “PROTECTION” and “G-SHOCK” are etched, right down to the little dimples that punctuate each side of the lugs and trail down the sides of the strap. Except a basic GW-5000 weighs around 70 grams. This one is a little over quadruple that, and double the weight of the “Full Metal” stainless steel GMW-B 5000 variants, topping out at a little over 300 grams.

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

Despite the obvious similarities in case shape, the biggest “tells” that this isn’t the IP gold plated steel variant from 2018 are the smooth, polished bezel, and the inverted “negative” display, around which there’s considerably less text (gone is any information relating to Bluetooth functionality) than we saw on the initial press images released around the watch’s launch. Oh, and it’s heavy. Did I mention that already? The reasons behind the more visually pared-down dial are subtly reflected in the movement used inside, which, again, is not a Bluetooth-equipped module but Casio’s standard solar-charged movement that bears all the traditional expectations for a G-Shock with regard to water- and shock-resistance and timekeeping autonomy.

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

And therein lies what’s probably the most impressive — and equally polarizing — thing about this watch: it’s still a G-Shock. Lest we not forget that every G-Shock must be subjected to and survive the same battery of torture tests undergone by the same cadre of Casio’s affordable tool watches worn by men and women in the military, first responders, surfers, sailors, and all of us in between. Except this one is cast in gold, and costs 70 thousand dollars. It leaves us with the question: At what point is a watch no longer just a watch? G-Shock is, arguably, one of the most purpose-built timekeeping tools ever conceived (shoutout to Mr. Kikuo Ibe), and here, in solid gold, it betrays those trappings with spectacular aplomb. It’s a precious metal engineering marvel at best and conceptual pop art at worst, and regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, both of those things are extremely satisfying.

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

In all likelihood, this isn’t the last we’ll hear of the Dream Project. At G-Shock’s 35th Anniversary event in New York City last year, attendees might have caught a glimpse of another incredible reference: a full sapphire G-Shock, complete with the platform’s familiar Multi-Band 6 timekeeping and Tough Solar capability. Though there’s been no word on its release just yet, Casio will be trotting out its 2020 news over the course of the next few months, and we’ll be waiting with bated breath.

Unboxing the Solid Gold G-Shock G-D5000-9JR 'Dream Project' at Topper Jewelers Hands-On

“So are you going to wear it?” I had to know. There was an audible pause and then a chuckle on the other end of the line, where the watch’s new owner eagerly awaited images of the unboxing process. There was a smile behind his tone, but still an air of uncertainty. Casio’s now-iconic tool watch — which covers the full spectrum, from unique but markedly affordable JDM pieces like his “daily driver” GW-5000-1JF to what is unequivocally the rarest G-Shock ever made — became the focal point of his collection since coveting his first G-Shock as a child in grade school.

“Oh man, I haven’t decided yet,” he finally relents.

Once again, the price for the Casio G-Shock G-D5000-9JR “Dream Project” is $70,000 USD. You can learn more about this, and other G-Shock watches at gshock.com.

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  • What fresh hell is this?

    I’ll wait for the AliExpress knockoff

    • commentator bob

      There already is a genuine Casio gold plated knockoff.

  • IanE

    Oxymoronic concept!

  • Ugo

    i’ve never found yellow gold cases particularly compelling.
    nonetheless…

    at least they’ve refrained from using the girlish mother of pearl dial seen on the last full metal steel watches.

  • SuperStrapper

    People always ask me if mine is a gold one, and you should see the jealousy in thier eyes when I confirm:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c2652c3ba882bd6c965b89b24737ddf95f4fe6f749da8cb20ab8813d1a7f7aa5.jpg

    It has nothing to do with poutine t shirts so don’t ask.

    • commentator bob

      Those case dimples look a lot like the ones on the gold plated version.

  • Raygun

    And when the battery dies you go to the nearest mall kiosk.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Nothing makes sense anyomore.

    • Joe

      Nothing ever did make sense 😉

      • Berndt Norten

        Same as it ever was.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      You’re doing my nut in now Mr Sir Willie Stroker III. Am i being trolled?

    • NaJo

      In your sense in todays digital world entire swiss watch industry doesnt make any sens!

  • •L•E•O•

    I don’t get it. Who would buy this, at this price, over a Lange, a PP, an Audemars, etc ?

    • Independent_George

      Well, this guy did, along with 34 other individuals.

      I guess you meant to say “I would not buy this, at this price, over a Lange, a PP, an Audemars, etc.”

    • proudAmerican702

      Probably a guy who grew up wearing G-Shocks, and who already has multiple Lange’s, PP’s, AP’s, VC’s, Mille’s, etc.

  • Joe

    I get it…the DW-5000 is the ancestor of all of today’s G-shock variants, so why not celebrate it?
    I don’t have the money to buy one (and probably wouldn’t buy one, even if I could) but I understand why they would want to make it.

    I think this was a watch by Casio for Casio, and not necessarily for consumers, although there must have been sufficient interest for them to make a small batch.

    Good on them, I say.

    • Couldn’t agree more. The fact that it was entirely just a concept/showpiece is more or less proof of this – I think the demand for them to produce it was just too great to ultimately ignore.
      Now the sapphire one – that’s the one I’m waiting to see.

      • Gokart Mozart

        What you mean the hammer and drop test?

    • Couldn’t agree more. The fact that it was entirely just a concept/showpiece is more or less proof of this – I think the demand for them to produce it was just too great to ultimately ignore.
      Now the sapphire one – that’s the one I’m waiting to see.

  • Berndt Norten

    It probably has too much competition

  • Gokart Mozart

    I would rather have a Casio f91

  • Chaz

    Audacious!! Brass balls!!! In your face!!!!

    Love it!!!

  • Carmen Brisante

    Well, why the hell not? I hope the owner does end up wearing it, it would be such a shame if it just sat in the box. Or kettle.

  • Carmen Brisante

    Well, why the hell not? I hope the owner does end up wearing it, it would be such a shame if it just sat in the box. Or kettle.

    • egznyc

      Just make sure you don’t boil the watch in that kettle. Then again, it’s a G-Shock, right? 😉

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    I like it…. but will wait for the rose gold version.

    • SuperStrapper

      Dude…

  • Gokart Mozart

    The kettle is nice but the packaging on the whole is pointless, if the pictures are accurate.

    It Is a tough watch so it can withstand being dropped etc, so all the extra packaging is to protect the bamboo box. And yet they have put the watch in a cloth bag, in an iron kettle so that if you give the box a shake you can ding the case or bracelet.

    Like the RJ Spiderman another watch where the packaging outdoes the contents

    • spice

      Yes, prefer the teapot, but not at $70K.

  • Berndt Norten

    That’s precisely the sort of ‘food’ I was thinking of

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Your point?

    • Berndt Norten

      Break.

  • NaJo

    Haha

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    Thanks…. now I have to buy two! ; )

  • Timothy Sou

    I’d wear the hell out of it lol

  • JacobC

    This is firmly in the “why not” category of things that get made.

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    Long story short, it’s a gold watch.

  • Joe

    Absolutely. No scales within a mile of this watch!

    I guess the buyer needs to keep repeating “my purchase is worth more than the sum of its parts”.
    At this price and rarity, you’re buying exclusivity and “because I can” and it’s not a rational purchase. That’s not to say that it’s wrong – there’s an intangible element – probably a reason that only the buyer can justify to himself.

  • Svetoslav Popov

    Nobody will ever try to rob you, because nobody would even think this type of watch is but gold plated :))

    • commentator bob

      There are a couple good tells for the gold version vs the much more common version that is ion plated with a gold colored material:

      -The real gold version has a polished bezel, not a brushed bezel.
      -The real gold version does not have Bluetooth, and therefore does not have any Bluetooth references on the screen.
      -The real gold version has a different shape for the two dimples above and below the bezel, instead of being completely concave they almost look like there are little buttons in them.

  • SuperStrapper

    You should see how much people pay for cars. Lmao there’s like $200 worth of steel in them.

    • commentator bob

      1) That is a way low estimate of the raw materials content of steel, high strength steel, aluminum, iron, platinum (catalytic converter), and gold (electrical connections) in a modern car.

      2) A car is incredibly complex to build compared to a quartz watch. This same watch costs $550 in stainless steel on a stainless bracelet, which is indicative of its actual cost to build.

      • SuperStrapper

        Well, it was a meme basically, so I don’t know that it needed that level of analysis. But, needless to the the actual value of raw materials is nothing compared to the value of a finished car. And they aren’t incredibly complex to build, not by at all. Cars get churned out easily all over the planet every day, most of them through automation.

  • Devonian Wrighton

    Along with Bruce Lee model very coveted investments.

  • cluedog12

    When good fortune births you into a family where you have so much money that you could never possibly ever spend it, your fortunes can only go one way. This existential realization, coupled with the lack of real challenge around survival, leads to a different sort of one-upsmanship, where the biggest challenge in life is to secure objects of extreme scarcity, before your friends can. The G-Shock, being an object that will be recognized by almost anyone on the street, has great branding. Imagine having all the money in the world, but there’s only 50 of these. Call around, get a lead on a piece, hop on a last-minute flight to an random city in the US. Do some there, snap some Insta photos and plunk down a cool $70,000 to be the only one amongst your amazingly influential and well-connected friends to own THIS G-Shock. You may even be working against the clock with other friends who are extreme G-Shock collectors, so winning the opportunity to buy one of these will be a big win.

    The crazy price is all part of the experience and who amongst us wouldn’t want to live that life for a week or two?

    • Esteban

      What, you mean you are poor? Come on, it’s just 70k.

  • Agnar Sidhu

    The perfect watch for Ali G!

  • Ulysses31

    The juxtaposition of housing a few dollars-worth of watch movement in a solid gold case is… interesting. This would have to be the most babied G-Shock ever, lest you accidentally scratch the thing while riding your dirtbike. Kinda defeats the point of a G-Shock, and reduces it to the role of an ornament. Not that I care; teenage schoolboys wore these watches, and along with wearing Axe body spray, is something best left behind, whether it is housed in gold, platinum, or anything else. That is, unless you actually need a durable watch, in which case you’d never even consider getting this one.

    • egznyc

      Brings to mind that ’90s song by Alanis Morissette (don’t you think?) …

      • Independent_George

        A gold watch that cost 98
        A cheap movement that died the next day.
        It’s like a mod on a Sub
        A Patek on a NATO
        Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

  • Berndt Norten

    I heard one guitar
    Just blew me away…

  • egznyc

    That might be preferable to finding yourself living in a shotgun shack. Or for that matter, living – or loving – in an elevator.

  • egznyc

    I’m sure you can get a watch modder to take care of at least the diamonds … the icing on the cake, so to speak. (I’m really kidding, but okay, I guess one COULD do this …)

  • Steve_Macklevore

    I just love this watch – there’s something about the solid gold chunkiness and the classic design. A crazy combination of a cheap watch made in the most expensive material.

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