One of my best viewed article on the site has been the in-depth review of my Casio G-Shock 35th anniversary metal watches. When Casio released the 35th anniversary G-Shock watches last year at Baselworld, I was excited to get a chance to finally see and try them on. After seeing them in the metal at COUTUREtime 2018, I was immediately enamored and had to have at least one.
I found two models that I liked and got them from a Japanese seller on eBay before they were for sale in the US. This is expected, as Japanese watch brands often release new models for the home market first. I was not disappointed as my detail review discusses. Are they perfect? No, however, for a sub $500 dollar beater watch each, nearly indestructible, that virtually needs no maintenance, what else could you ask for?
Well, for 2019, taking advantage of the huge success of this revived classic model, Casio released yet another version of the metal G-Shock watch, the GMWB5000, along with a few other new models. Will these new releases catch my attention as the first models did? Will I be adding more to my small G-Shock collection? Read on for a brief summary and some initial thoughts seeing the Casio 2019 novelties in the metal and plastic.
Casio G-Shock Metal Vintage LE
With the success of the metal G-Shock 35th anniversary edition it was not surprising to me to see Casio release a few limited editions last year for some markets. For example, the limited gold version (GMW-B5000) and the resin with metal versions were released as soon as the excitement about the 35th anniversary model releases reached its peak.
For 2019, the new release of the 35th anniversary G-Shock is measured but also seems to priced in order to test the market. The new model (GMWB5000V) is essentially like the metal G-Shock (all features included) but with one important change. Instead of a shiny metal finish, Casio is using an aged, vintage (faux patina), black ion-plated metal. Almost like an aged gun metal look.
Overall, the watch looks good on a G-Shock, especially if you don’t have issues with fake patina. For me it’s certainly nice but stirs no emotions. I personally dislike faux-anything, so from the start it already has low approvals in my book. I will gladly admit that the resulting look is nice, but I cannot remove in mind that this is a new watch that looks old... And this is a contradiction I cannot square.
And here is the kicker, Casio while limiting these, I believe under 1000 units, the price has now ballooned to about $1,000. That’s more than double the other metal G-Shock! Even as a limited model, I think this is not the model to go after, unless you really like the aged metal look or if you are a Casio ardent fan and collector. I wonder if beat up, my metal model would not result with something I would appreciate better?
Casio MT-G and MR-G
The next model that grabbed my attention was the MT-G models. Generally, the MT-G and MR-G models are not necessarily a Casio models I find appealing, however, Casio released two limited edition that are well executed and will likely find a niche market to attract, more than the existing Casio enthusiasts.
First, the MT-G rainbow limited edition MT-G Rainbow Colorway MTGB1000RB-2A was unexpected and is truly remarkable. I wonder why more watches have not been done in that fashion. Using a special treatment to the metal the resulting watch glows with all the colors of the rainbow. It seems to almost be made of a material with a liquid that changes color as you move it.
At $1,000 it’s in the expected high price point for a G-Shock. However, you are getting a unique model that will represent a truly different style and statement. While it includes all the features you’d expect from a G-Shock (including 200 meters water resistance, 10 meter drop resistance, connected watch features) It’s not for everyone and not for all occasions, but it also fits a perfect group of enthusiasts. So I expect Casio will have no problem moving these and they should sellout.
Similar to the rainbow MR-G, Casio released a MR-G that also uses color to impress. This time a purplish hue that imbues the case. Definitely for those Casio collectors that might want yet another special edition from the high-end collection of the brand. Using special Japanese artisan, and techniques passed for generation, Casio keeps releasing MR-G models that are interesting.
The price point however for MR-G watches have never been on the affordable side. The limited edition MRGG2000GA model above come is $7,400 each and will only have 300 exemplar. Clearly not playing in the same segment has what one would expect for Casio. But perhaps that’s the appeal since you get all the features of a Casio but a price point that verge on the absurd and therefore likely make it desirable as a luxury item.
Finally, the last watch Casio showed me is the novel release of the Mudmaster. This is an evolution of a beloved watch that seems to be made for all hunters or military personnels and those living the outdoorsy lifestyle. I’ve owned a few of the earlier editions and have given them away off my wrist to family and friends.
For this year’s model, Casio again has added a splash of color with orange resin mixed with carbon fiber case. Casio’s technical watches are already quite light and as we know still indestructible. Well, this Mudmaster is even lighter and with the bright orange perhaps less technically oriented and better suited for casual wear as well.
Like all Mudmaster editions, this Master of G Mudmaster GGB100 one comes with analog display for time but also includes digital connected features and the various “though” technology you would expect from Casio. This means rechargeable via sun (ThoughSolar), survive 10 meter drop and 200 meters water resistance.
While none of the releases that Casio showed me have tempted me to consider adding any to my current three Casio watch collection, I believe the releases are interesting and should find a place with many buyers. I think that Casio, by going up market with the MR-T and especially the MR-G and the limited edition metal watch, is testing how far luxury watch collectors are willing and able to add more expensive Casio watches to their collections. While interesting, I also think it’s dangerous endeavor, as the appeal of Casio has always been because they offer a cheap but solidly made watch.
I don’t believe I am in he minority with this sentiment. When Casio first released the MR-G it was clear that this was a product meant as a test to see if the watch buying public would accept a Casio priced in the several $1,000. I guess perhaps the sales results show that the market does exist? Not sure.
However, while I can appreciate the artisan techniques that goes into these models, especially the rainbow version of this year collection, I could never see myself paying that price for a Casio. It’s not that it’s not deserving, it’s simply that the opportunity cost is too great for that price point. Though, again, maybe I am in the minority. gshock.com