I have a lot of watches. Not as many as some of you but more than random person on the street. Enough that I don’t know the exact number, and don’t care to find out. As the Apocalypse or Covid19 Pandemic was really picking up steam earlier this year I was thinking about what watch I can safely wear at home with two young children around all day, as offices were closing around the world. Well, that became my reality for me around March 12, the last day I worked in an office.
Riding the L train. Alone.
It just so happens that I ordered the Casio GShock GA2100-4A – the red CasiOak about two weeks before. I wanted the red reference and had to look around for a while to find one in stock. Finally I came across a Spanish watch site and pulled the trigger. The watch arrived about a month after everything in NYC shut down. I was shocked it made it through JFK customs in less than three weeks!
Launched in Fall 2019, the WIS community instantly noticed the similarities to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak models. I see it too, it’s not hard to. So why not give it a fun nickname? I like all the Gerald Genta designed portal watches, of which, I own none.
I’ve never owned a G-SHOCK before. Hard to believe, I know. I had no idea what to expect when I opened the brown package of horological goodness. This G-SHOCK ships in a hexagon shaped metal box lined with foam, much like other Casio watches. (The box since lost to the sands of time a.k.a.the great Covid-19 purges.)
Upon taking it out I was surprised by how light it felt. Then I remembered part of the case is actually carbon fiber, which weighs, well, nothing. It’s thicker than I expected but that’s not a problem. This watch, in red, isn’t meant to be hiding from anyone. Nor will I be wearing it to my friend Kanye’s inauguration party. One thing I’ve really enjoyed is being able to place the watch, dial down and it sits flush to the nightstand or table. The rubber straps pointing to the heavens like Willem Dafoe’s outstretched arms at the end of Platoon (1986).
The strap was much more robust than I’d imagined. The red color of the strap perfectly matches the hard plastic of the case. The depth of the color of both the case and the dial aren’t easily captured on film. Or, RAW file as is the case here. Any amount of necessary editing makes it look unreasonably fake and unnatural. But even with your eyes it looks unnatural, and that’s one of the things I like it about. The color is just so vibrant.
Setting it required looking at the manual, then finding a video online showing how to set it. It’s cool how the watch takes over once you set the timezone. While it’s nice to have the timer function, I doubt I’ll ever use it. The buttons on this case aren’t exactly easy to press in. The day indicator is genius, however. I like the Mercury capsule shaped “hand”. The hour and minute hands are clunky in a way that I don’t mind. It’s a G-Shock, not a million dollar Swiss tourbillon.
So here, as I write this in mid July 2020, I can say this watch is THE watch for 2020. I literally haven’t worn another watch for four months. I can wear it around the kids and not worry about it at all. I wore it when I took my son to see the people protesting George Floyd’s death in May. The CasiOak performed beautifully at a beach day on Long Island’s North Shore. It’s been through diaper changes, honey/chocolate/jam-covered fingers, and many, many kids baths. (I’ve wondered if the shock of being hit into the side of a bathtub could damage this watch.) A beach day didn’t prove an issue at Rockaway Beach. Thanks for the recc, Ramones. (see below)
At launch it shipped in black, red, and green. A few more colors have been added, see the most up to date references on the G-SHOCK site. I’ll probably pick up another one in a couple years. I don’t know what the next six months or two years will bring, but I feel pretty certain this watch is a great watch for these times. At $99- USD it really can’t be beat. That being said I’d gladly take an AP Royal Oak to test in these trying times.
- Size of case: 48.5×45.4×11.8mm
- Total weight: 51g
- Mineral Glass
- Shock Resistant
- 200-meter water resistance
- Case / bezel material: Carbon / Resin
- Resin Band
- Double LED light