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Hands-On: G-SHOCK’s GMB2100GD-9A is a Top-Shelf Spin On the Brand’s Signature Formula

Hands On GSHOCK GMB2100GD9A Full Metal Gold IP 0 Hero

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Since first coming onto the scene in the 1980s, Casio’s G-SHOCK brand has gained a reputation for delivering ultra-tough timepieces praised by everyone from athletes to active service military personnel. And while the company is probably best known for its resin-cased digital watches, it opted to take things in a new direction last year with the debut of the GA2100. Aiming to help the company tap into a younger demographic and attract the next generation of G-SHOCK collectors, the GA2100 was a unique model for the lauded brand, being a newer carbon core guard construction analog item, however, if you begin to scratch just under the surface, you’ll find the GA2100 is a bonafide G-SHOCK through and through, retaining the traits and characteristics that have come to define the company and its watches over the last 40 years. 

More recently, the Japanese watchmaker has launched a handful of new GA-2100 references, including the gold-finished GMB2100GD-9A. In an effort to explore how it’s venturing into novel horological territory while staying true to its roots and core identity, we’ve gotten our hands on G-SHOCK’s new GMB2100GD-9A and have spent the last few weeks getting to know this full-metal 2100 Series timepiece. Below, we’ll be unpacking our impressions of the all gold G-SHOCK GMB2100GD-9A, as well as our thoughts on how the company has managed to pull off one of the most impressive balancing acts we’ve seen in recent years with a watch that honors G-SHOCK’s past while looking to the future. 

Hands On GSHOCK GMB2100GD9A Full Metal Gold IP 1

Case, Bezel, & Band

The GMB2100GD-9A's Outward Apperance

The latest addition to the 2100 Series, G-SHOCK’s GMB2100 reference is an evolution of the brand’s very first model — the DW-5000C — that is constructed around a 44.4mm case that maintains the 1983 original’s iconic octagonal bezel, albeit in a more robust and modern form. The placement of the GMB2100’s buttons at all four corners of the case also mirror that of the DW-5000C. Meticulously finished with a circular hairline treatment on the top surface and a mirror-polished finish running down its slopes, the stainless steel bezel is formed three-dimensionally through a process that utilizes a myriad of different forging, cutting, and polishing techniques. 

Another signature trait that the GMB2100 carries over from countless models from G-SHOCK’s archives — including the original  DW-5000C from ’83 — is the hallmark dimpled bracelet design. Like the octagonal bezel and case, this dimpled motif has been brought to life using a stainless steel construction and a single-row Y-link bracelet with a one-touch three-fold clasp. Weighing less than 6oz, the case benefits from a high-density mounting process that helps in keeping the quartz analog module’s footprint incredibly slim while also being well fortified from bumps and impacts. The watch’s screw-back case is crafted entirely from stainless steel before being hit with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) treatment — a process that’s reserved for G-SHOCK higher-end timepieces.

Hands On GSHOCK GMB2100GD9A Full Metal Gold IP 2

Octagonal-Cased Analog

The GMB2100GD-9A's Dial

Weighing less than 6oz, the G-SHOCK GMB2100GD-9A’s dial sees the Japanese brand shift the design language of the faces of its watches, going in a more elegant and less cluttered direction. Built atop a very lightly textured matte black background, the dial sports beautifully-crafted grooved, raised indices at every hour that encompass the dial’s main focal point; its handset. Devoid of a seconds hand, this two-hand pencil-style set has been coated in Neo-brite luminescent paint and glides above a sub-dial with a circular groove pattern at 9 o’clock and a digital display occupying the space between 3 and 5. 

Hands On GSHOCK GMB2100GD9A Full Metal Gold IP 3

A Utilitarian Powerhouse

Features & Functionality

The GMB2100 may sport a more minimalistic look and dial, though the watch unquestionably retains the laundry list of features and functionality that G-SHOCK watches are known for. On top of basic 12 and 24-hour timekeeping duties, stopwatch, countdown timer, world time, and alarms, the watch also includes a Bluetooth connectivity and Tough Solar power. The ability to pair the watch with a dedicated smartphone app via Bluetooth opens up additional features, and its solar-power with power-saving feature, allows the battery to operate for up to 7 months (with regular exposure to the sun), a day display (offered in six languages), and a hand shift feature that moves the hands out of the way in order to better see the dial’s digital readout, just to name a few. 

Hands On GSHOCK GMB2100GD9A Full Metal Gold IP 4 copy


Our Final Thoughts On The Watch & A New G-SHOCK Legacy

Even more so than the original resin GA-2100, the full-metal 2100 Series’ GMB2100GD-9A represents G-SHOCK turning over a new leaf, delivering a showier timepiece that affords the weight, look, and feel of a luxury watch while holding onto the hallmark traits and signature qualities that make a G-SHOCK, well… a G-SHOCK. Most importantly, the thing wears like a G-SHOCK. That is to say, that it …. it’s robust, eye-catching, and generously sized, though still simultaneously feels sleek and comfortable on the wrist. So, while it may sport a more premium finish, a less busy, analog dial, and an all-gold-ion-plated stainless steel case, bezel, and bracelet, we imagine it’s only a matter of time before the GMB2100GD-9A becomes a modern-day classic in its own right. 

The G-SHOCK 2100 Series GMB2100GD-9A watch is available now with pricing set at $600. G-SHOCK is also selling a silver version of this full-metal 2100 Series reference at $550 as well as a fully blacked-out model and bronze version at $600.