I have a dirty horological secret that I’ve never admitted, particularly at any watch GTG. Here it is: I’ve never owned a G-Shock. 🤭 Is this (G) shocking? Years ago I thought no, but even amongst the NYC collector’s watch circles I’ve traveled in time and time again, these solar-battery operated icons have fans that hold them dear, even with cultish reverence.
Throughout my watch collecting and active life, I automatically reached for something mechanical (pun intended) and chose to put my watch safely in my locker or bag for sports or at the gym, never subjecting them to the terrible rigors of cardiovascular endeavors. Continuing to challenge myself through this hobby of ours, I thought it was long overdue to see what the hype is all about.
The G Shock GST-B100XA-1A has a stainless steel and resin middle case and caseback, with a carbon bezel. For this bezel, G-Shock has combined two different state-of-the-art materials, TORAYCA® and NANOALLOY®, resulting in a lightweight, rigid carbon bezel with outstanding shock resistance. The case measures in at a robust 58.1 mm × 53.8 mm × 14.1 mm, while weighing only 104 grams.
Scratch resistant, non-reflective coated sapphire glass and a screw lock crown providing 200-meter water resistance is used as one might expect due to G-Shock’s famed ruggedness. What may be unexpected is that the watch is equipped with a Bluetooth® wireless function link that lets it connect to your smartphone with a single button push. This provides, amongst other things, time information from an internet time server, securing millisecond accuracy. The G-Shock connected app further enhances smartphone capabilities allowing a variety of different Mobile Link functions (~300 World Time cities, alarm, timer, hand alignment correction, home city time swapping, phone finder) and also simplifies certain watch operations by allowing you perform them on your phone’s screen, which this author found extremely useful and just plain cool.
Something so satisfying, especially for this #watchnerd, is that when you remove the GST-B100XA-1A from its packaging, it quickly links to its geographic location and sets itself.
Something so satisfying, especially for this #watchnerd, is that when you remove the GST-B100XA-1A from its packaging, it quickly links to its geographic location and sets itself. Other functions include Casio’s “Tough Solar”. These watches have a rechargeable solar panel battery built into the dial of the watch. This converts even the weak illumination from your office fluorescent lighting into power that drives the watch. Depending on the model, a Casio Tough Solar watch can stay fully functional anywhere from 5-23 months without exposure to any light. This works in conjunction with Casio original power saving technology for a stable supply of power and a high brightness LED light illumination with a button push.
The urethane band has good heft while remaining extremely comfortable. A nice detail, the straps are produced using a bi-color molding process that makes it possible to decorate the outer surface with a pattern, while using blue urethane for a smooth inner surface. Blue accents on the dial play nicely with the blue of the inner band, bringing together the color scheme. There is are a lot of different textures from bezel to case to strap. These details should tickle even the most staunch conservative watch collector.
There are so many functions to this watch, as with most G-Shocks, including countdown timer and split time chronograph with the ability to measure up to 24 hours, daily alarm, battery level indicator, full auto-calendar accurate to 2099 with day and date displays, three analog hands that display hours, minutes and seconds (second hand moved every 10 seconds), second time zone with hour and minute display, and 24-hour indication with day.
This is a battery powered quartz watch that automatically recharges via sunlight that enters the dial. The approximate operating time is 5-months with normal use and no exposure to light after a full charge. When stored in total darkness with the power save function on after a full charge, an amazing 24-months can pass before another recharge would be necessary.
In a casual or sports setting, although robust on the wrist, the G-Shock GST-B100XA-1A wears very comfortably and even slips under a non-formal long sleeve shirt nicely. Due to its size, however, this particular tool watch would be best suited for a 7-inch wrist and up. That being said, it is a great choice for recreational activities and weekends with the family no matter the wrist size.
Personally, G-Shocks will never make me forget my chronographs, but this review has made me realize that they don’t need to and can have their place happily in most collectors watch boxes.
Retail price is $600. Learn more at G-Shock.