Introducing the Casio GMW-B5000GD-4By Adam Craniotes
Since the brand’s debut in 1983 G-Shock has been synonymous with hard use, and the classic “square” design has been its standard bearer. As envisioned by its creator, Kikuo Ibe, the original DW-5000C was a supremely rugged and eminently capable timepiece that could be relied upon to deliver quartz-accurate timekeeping for years on a single battery. And though its design would prove to become a proper icon in the years that followed, what it was not was fashionable.
Now it’s true that there is something to be said for good design, which, by its very nature bends fashion to its will, and there is also something to be said for the myriad of colors that the square was eventually offered in, but if you wanted a G-SHOCK that could dress up or accessorize properly with office wear you had to look elsewhere within the brand.
To this end, all-metal G-SHOCKs have been in production in some form or another since the introduction of the premium MR-G line in 1996, but the venerable square had yet to get the treatment. That all changed in 2018 with the introduction of the GMW-B5000, which, in spite of a price point that was considerably higher than what casual G-SHOCK owners were used to paying, was a runaway success. Indeed, there were waiting lists at ADs and the usual sort of speculating that one more closely associates with certain Swiss brands than with a Japanese digital quartz watch. Clearly the time had come for the full metal square.
Initially the GMW-B5000 was offered in untreated stainless steel alongside a limited edition 35th anniversary version in ion-plated yellow gold and an ultra limited edition collaboration with the Japanese brand, Porter, in black DLC. The latter two sold out almost immediately and now command significant premiums on the secondary market.
Since then, G-SHOCK has gone on to introduce several new models in a variety of IP color treatments – black, blue, red – and yes, even materials, with two limited edition titanium versions that up the ante further with sapphire replacing the standard mineral crystal. (These last two models required an entirely separate production line at Casio’s famed Yamagata manufacture.)
Now, we can add rose gold IP to the mix. However, before we can talk about the new rose gold GMW-B5000GD-4, which is part of what G-SHOCK is calling the “Rose Gold Ingot Series”, we have to swing back to the original 35th Anniversary GMW-B5000TFG-9, which remains a much sought after piece, even nearly three years after its limited run. Aside from the color, what appealed to many G-SHOCK fans was its positive display, which features black LCD segments against a grey background. The production gold IP version that followed, and which is still in the catalog today, sports a negative display, which some find to be less visible in certain lighting conditions. So, it is for these individuals that the GMW-5000GD is a game changer of sorts.
In person, the color leans towards coppery, and stands out in stark contrast to the yellow gold IP, but when worn independently the difference is less noticeable. As with all GMW-B5000 models, the watch features a Bluetooth link which allows it to connect to the user’s phone via a dedicated G-SHOCK app (available for both iOS and Android). Unlike a true smartwatch, however, the GMW-B5000 doesn’t deliver notifications or any other such nonsense. Rather, the app exists as a companion to the watch which allows the user to set the alarms, world timer, countdown timer, etc, without having to memorize a fussy button press sequence. It also syncs the time, though, it should be noted that if the watch isn’t connected to the user’s phone, the 3459 module sports Casio’s Multiband 6, which can connect with six atomic clock signals around the world. A solar powered battery and phone-finder function rounds out the package.
For those who are looking for a positive display in a gold-tone full metal square, their watch has finally arrived. It’s a stylish addition to and already diverse lineup, and in spite of its elegant duds, it remains a G-SHOCK at heart, which means that even if you’d think twice about putting it through the same paces that its great-grandfather, the DW-5000C was designed for, it can take it, and do it in style.
Movement: Tough solar powered battery
Functions: Bluetooth® Connected; Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping; Full Auto Super Illuminator LED Light; World Time (39 Cities + UTC); 1/100th Second Stopwatch; 5 Daily Alarms
Case & Bracelet: Stainless steel band and a screw-back with a diamond-like carbon finish for outstanding water resistance.
Availability and Price: The GMW-B5000GD-4 is available now and retails for USD600.