It’s a strange state of affairs nowadays when some G-Shock watches come priced much higher than we’d expect, at levels normally associated with entry level luxury. This time round Casio is at it again, and has introduced yet another luxurious G Shock – the MRG B-5000, a new watch based on the first G Shock model from 1983 – the iconic DW-5000, coming at a quoted price of SGD$5,999.
Casio of course would not be offering a watch at such a price, unless it came with special attributes. Remember the G-Shock MRG-G1000HT-1A Hammer Tone Edition from 2016 that came in at a retail price of USD$6,200? The main selling point to that watch was the hand hammered surface of the bezel and bracelet links, giving a craftsman’s touch and making each piece unique.
The nostalgia effect might possibly explain why there are now Casio watches priced at levels we’d normally associate with luxury and that also come loaded with premium features. The full gold G-D5000-9JR limited edition celebrating the 35th Anniversary of G Shock from 2019 priced at USD$69,500 is one extreme example.
Think about it, those who grew up when G-Shock was in ascendance are probably arriving or have arrived, at an age and state in life when a discretionary multi-thousand dollar purchase on a watch is not uncomfortable. With this new MR-G B5000 referencing the iconic DW-5000, a model that has been around in various forms over many years, the nostalgia effect is likewise likely to be much stronger. This new watch thus gives a chance for the likely deep pocketed and older buyers, a chance to relive their youth certainly, but with a watch that befits their higher socio-economic standing.
So what are the headline features that would justify the elevated pricing? Well, how about polished surfaces, a new multi-guard structure as well as scratch resistant materials?
For those unfamiliar, this new G Shock is part of the premium MR-G line of metal cased G Shocks, which is good since these have a better chance of lasting for a long time. I’m sure many of us can relate to this – that the urethane rubber bumper that makes up the standard G Shock cases tend not to fare too well when it comes to longevity.
With the basic idea of this watch to offer different polished finishes on the case, it was necessary to redesign it since the standard one piece case was of a design with inaccessible inner surfaces that could not be polished easily.
To this end, Casio designed a new multi guard structure, breaking up the one piece bezel into 25 separate components with smaller parts that could be polished easily. The watch still retains its famous shock resistance attributes however. In this new multi-guard structure, the octagonal bezel sits on top of a T bar structure that is positioned at the four corners, cushioned by silicon buffers surfaces and a flat spring system that helps the bezel move up and down to resist shocks.
Next, we come to the interesting materials that make up this premium G-Shock. The top bezel is made of COBARION®, a biocompatible cobalt-chromium alloy that is 4 times harder than pure titanium. DAT55G, a special titanium alloy that is 3 times harder than pure titanium, makes up the bracelet components. And Ti64, a titanium alloy that is twice as hard as pure titanium makes up the case and bezel parts which are not as outward facing on the watch.
These materials are not only expensive and difficult to attain (COBARION® for example cannot be forged, only machined) but their hardness and scratch resistance also allows the beauty of the polished surfaces to be retained for maximum enjoyment over a long period of time.
Should you consider this watch? Well, it’s hard to say. The hardcore mechanical watch aficionado might give this one a miss, and that is understandable. Still, there’s no denying, despite the naysayers who insist, that the Casio G-Shock is an important part of horological history. They were the first brand, and currently still, the most prolific, that have dedicated themselves to the idea of the “unbreakable” watch, and the watches have been adopted and used in the harshest conditions imaginable where others would not be able to survive.
It’s nice to be able to have a choice therefore. You can still buy a basic G-Shock if you want to, for a low 3-figure sum to bash around if you want to be unafraid to lose your watch, or you can have this, the next evolution of the line and the pinnacle in performance right now. I mean, it is unique, a good under the radar “expensive” (in relative terms) watch, and its scratch resistance will mean that it will look beautiful for a long time.