The new kid on the block
Casio release variations of its G-SHOCK line with dizzying frequency and they are usually stylistic changes to existing models. Spend a short amount of time looking at their range of classic square models, and you will see so many variations in terms of colours and slight module differences that it’s easy to get lost in a swath of G-SHOCK options! Need I mention the square variety only makes up a small proportion of their offering!
So when G-SHOCK releases a genuinely new model, people who love the brand tend to take special note. I certainly did! I think at this point, I own around five G-SHOCK square models, and they have become my go-to watches for fun and when things are going to get rough. In short, they are robust, reliable watches at a fantastic price point.
I was reasonably satisfied I had my G-SHOCK bases all covered until I saw the initial images of the GA-2100-1A1ER. All of a sudden, I felt that G-SHOCK itch that needed to be scratched and I knew I needed one. Ok didn’t “need” but that’s beside the point isn’t it?
So what makes this new model such a draw? Because if you have already tried to order one, you will know how popular this model is and hence how hard they are to get hold of. Well for a start this must be one of the best wearing G-SHOCK releases. It’s almost understated from a G-SHOCK perspective. This is the thinnest G-SHOCK in production at 11.8mm, and although the case is 48.5mm in diameter, because of that octagonal shape, it wears far smaller than anything else they currently make.
This model also features what G-SHOCK calls its Carbon Core Guard technology which means essentially there is a layer of Carbon Fibre inside the case that provides extra strength and rigidity. In turn, the plastic used for the case can be thinner with no compromise to the overall strength. The result is a G-SHOCK that holds onto its famed durability, but that is incredibly light.
They were initially released in three colourways, a red a black with white details and then the model shown here, a full black stealth model. All have identical modules and the same essential functions available.
- Alarm Function
- Auto Calendar
- Countdown Timer
- Date & Weekday displayed
- Neobrite coated hands
- Hand shift Function (Push a button to move the hands from obstructing the LCD)
- LED illumination
- World Time
These models also feature the primary function of telling the time as an analogue display as well as the day of the week at the nine o’clock position. While this stealth version may not be the most legible, you have got to say the aesthetic of it as a whole does shine. The dial has an almost sculpted look with the 3d indices, thick heavily Neobrite coated hands and then a small cut out for the digital functions.
As an ana-digital piece, it is hard to fault this release from G-SHOCK. With the press of a button, you can illuminate the digital section at night, and it has a helpful hand shift function if the hands are obscuring the digital display which neatly moves them for you to see. It really is a well thought out ana-digi display, but then you would expect that from the king of digital watches.
Nothing at all really suffers from this smaller form factor. It’s still 200M water-resistant, it’s still shockproof, vibration resistant, low temperature resistant and runs well within COSC limits with a deviation of 15 seconds a month. It’s still everything a good G-SHOCK should be but smaller, lighter and in some cases cheaper.
And that brings us onto the price. I remember reading about this model when Casio announced it and I was sure it was going to be priced at the higher end of the G-SHOCK line like some of the more complicated module equipped square models. When the price was released as £99, it’s no surprise that this one really caught fire in the watch community. This puts it as a viable alternative to many of the classic square models with the basic modules. And for anyone who maybe found those still wore a little too cumbersome for them this is now an excellent alternative.
It’s hard to argue against the new GA-2100 series of G-SHOCK’s while this “stealth” version may not be the most legible in some situations its has an aesthetic that is clearly very very appealing to quite a broad range of people, including those who would of maybe previously shied away from some of the other models due to the size and mainly the height of them. This is a condensed well packaged G-SHOCK. With all the typical functions and features that have made G-SHOCK an institution in watch circles for a very long time, but now it’s also very wearable for more people. Throw into that mix the new Carbon Core Technology, and you also have a very light watch that can still stand up to the punishment it was designed for.
If opening up G-SHOCK to new wearers was a primary concern for Casio, then they have undoubtedly done this with this new range. The fact that getting hold of one of these in most colours is currently very difficult is a testament to the popularity of them. If you do manage to get your hands on one, I doubt very much if you will be disappointed, this in my book is a definite win from Casio G-Shock.