I am going to be honest right off the bat, this will be no normal review. The reason being that this watch I actually bought for myself and is part of my current two watch collection. Why a G-Shock? Well, because this is not any G-Shock, but the 35th anniversary limited edition which is the first time ever Casio made a G-Shock completely out of metal. Why that matters, and how it changes and at the same time preserves the spirit of this icon is what we will look at today.
But first a little history lesson. It was in 1983 that the now legendary Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe invented the first G-Shock ever: reference DW-5000C. It truly was the first of its kind, the most durable watch the world has ever seen by a wide margin having a 10-year battery life, water resistant to 10 bar and able to survive a 10-meter fall. All that in an affordable rubber package it was a complete contrast to what we previously considered reliable watches: expensive mechanical timepieces made out of metal.
The quirky Japanese watch with its square design and rugged antics sent tectonic shockwaves through the community and managed to establish itself over the years as an icon in the truest sense. The cheap cost, a tirade of different designs, and evolutions in its functionality has resulted in the G-Shock becoming the worlds most versatile watch. It can be spotted anywhere from the wrists of rap-stars on the red carpet, soldiers in Afghanistan engaged in combat, and in the watch boxes of enthusiasts and collectors.
Enough history lets jump back to the present. At the 2018 Baselworld, the release of this watch was a surprise to many. Sure, it may not have excited on the level of the Pepsi, but once all the releases where out it was the G-Shock that left me most excited on a child-like level. While initially shocked by the insane resale prices I did not give up the hope on getting my hands on this watch. I decided to compose a list of all G-Shock retailers in my area and called each and every one of them until I found one available. Less than an hour later I had 168 grams of golden bling on my wrist and have since then not taken it off.
Functionally there is not too much to say here. It comes with Casio’s tough solar and all normal functions you’d expect like a chronograph and an alarm. A bit more special but not unique to this piece is its Bluetooth capabilities. These are slightly disappointing in my eyes, mainly because the accompanying app drained my battery beyond belief and sent annoying notifications I could not remove. Regardless it can come in handy to adjust the settings on the watch instead of having to deal with the notoriously finicky integrated menu.
When picking up the G-Shock for the first time you notice an unmistakable weight and heft that is unique to this piece. While I would not consider it exorbitantly heavy, it is a reassuring weight which gives the watch a lot more presence on the wrist than you would expect from a G-Shock. Most of that is due to the bracelet which deserves some attention. First of all, I have to say that I fell in love with the clasp. A place where usually brands try to save money, Casio seemed to have made double the effort as it feels tight and solid, and is accentuated by a matte finishing. The bracelet itself is fine in my eyes for the price you pay. It has a bit too much play in my eyes, but it is forgivable and the finishing while nothing to brag about it does the job.
What really knocks the ball out of the park is the case though. Unique to the gold version there is a mirror polish for the bezel which really pops as soon as it is exposed to any light. Additionally, behind the crystal, there is more polished gold which blends in great into the carbon fibre like optic of the solar panels. All in all this model has a lot of polished elements to it which works in great harmony with the gold colouring. On the backside, there is a black caseback with an inscription to mark the 35th anniversary.
599 Euro is a steep price to pay for a G-Shock, but is it worth it? In my eyes, it is a resounding yes. Casio really made an effort with this watch and you can tell, for example from the unique presentation box which really emphasises that this is a special occasion. From a long-term perspective, it will be of course interesting to see how scratch resistant the many polished elements will be however so far I have no major scratches to report. All in all, I consider this watch already a future icon. It is stylish, functional, and most importantly fun. While expensive in relation to other G-Shock, this watch offers a great opportunity to have one of the most desirable watches right now at an affordable price.