Today, I go hands-on with the “red metal” version of the popular Casio G-Shock GMWB5000 watch collection known as the GMWB5000RD-4 (aBlogtoWatch debut with more product info). This is among the latest aesthetic variations of the popular “full metal” G-Shock collection that aBlogtoWatch originally debuted in 2018. The GMWB5000 watches were initially so popular that they were selling for over list price on eBay for a few months. Buying a GMWB5000 at a retailer proved very challenging, and G-Shock fans finally got a taste of what Rolex buyers have been complaining about for years.
Casio added a number of interesting variants to theGMWB5000 collection, including this titanium model, and of course a full 18k-gold variant with a price of $70,000. If that seems high, then don’t worry, because the standard steel version of the GMWB5000 costs an affordable $600. That might be more than some people are used to spending on a G-Shock, but this watch is certainly worth the fair asking price.
At a glance, the GMWB5000 looks like the iconic G-Shock GM5600, but there are a lot of important differences, notably with the module (Casio’s terms for its movements, since many of them don’t actually include moving parts), which here is the 3229. Retro in how it displays data, this system is fully modern with Tough Solar charging of the battery and Bluetooth connectivity via the G-Shock app. This isn’t a smartwatch in the traditional sense, but the connection to your phone makes sure the time is always updated (especially when you travel), and it allows you to do things like set the alarms and timers from your phone, so you don’t need to fiddle with the wristwatch’s operating system. For me, this is excellent, as it brings a classic wearing experience to the modern era without messing up the calm and reliable convenience of a classic Casio G-Shock.
In polished and brushed steel, and on a matching bracelet, the GMWB5000 is much more mature and high-end looking than your typical G-Shock. It is among the most adult G-Shock wearing experiences available, especially if you prefer the all-digital dial (as opposed to analog dials, which Casio seems to prefer on its higher-end “full metal” affairs). The case is 43.2mm-wide by 12.9mm-thick and has a lug-to-lug distance of 49.6mm. The watch weighs 73 grams, but if you really want to go lightweight, then consider the titanium version (though it is nearly three times as expensive).
Casio uses a black “negative” LCD screen, which has a modern backlight and is legible in direct sunlight. What makes the GMWB5000RD-4 watch special is the coloring of the case — ion-plated with an iridescent red color. The shade of color goes from maroon red to purple, depending on the light. It is a very auspicious tone and it draws attention without seeming brazen or showy. There are plenty of G-Shocks out there for people who don’t like some attention on their wrist, but this particular colorful flavor works because it is both masculine and a bit flamboyant at the same time.
I want to call out the bracelet, especially, for being in a higher-end class than some older Casio watches on bracelets. This is a much higher-quality bracelet that uses solid links and a well-machined deployant clasp. An interesting feature of the bracelet is how the links are held together. Rather than use standard tension bars, there are small spring-loaded bars holding the lugs together, similar to the spring bars used to secure bracelets to watch cases — though it still requires some tools and stable hands to size the watch on your wrist. Wearing comfort is predictably high, and the GMWB5000 family is actually among the smaller and more wearable of the full-metal G-Shock watches out there.
The GMWB5000 makes for an excellent daily wear or travel watch in this red, or pretty much any other form. In my opinion, it delivers a great mixture of classic looks, modern technology, stylish wearing experience, and solid value for the money. As a serious G-Shock that wants to flirt with fashion, there are few better options than the GMWB5000 at anywhere near this price point. Retail price for the reference GMWB5000RD-4 Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000 “red” is $600 USD. Learn more or order at the Casio website here.