Much like the Rolex Submariner and Patek Phillipe’s Nautilus, G-Shock’s affectionately known CasiOak is one of those rare watches that’s almost become bigger than the brand that created it. Such is its phenomenal appeal, G-Shock has been busy spinning off a remarkable number of variants on its rugged, octagonal theme since its introduction in 2019—to the extent that there have almost been as many as new Manchester United managers during the same timeframe. Although we recently fell hard for the summer-ready pop of the G-Shock GA-B2100, its full-metal successor is the watch we’ll be wearing all year round.
Yep, you read that right. A watch that was already inspired by Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak—an icon that’s beloved by everyone from Drake to Chris Hemsworth—has stopped playing footsie with those comparisons and fully embraced the homage. The big difference? While a Royal Oak will set you back the best part of $20,000, the G-Shock GM-B2100 is going for a supremely tempting $550. That makes it one of the hottest deals in watches, as well as a striking timepiece in its very own right.
Perhaps wisely, G-Shock hasn’t done much to deviate from a good thing with the GM-B2100. It’s still the same slab of rough and ready wristwear you’d expect, only now with a metal case that’s available in black, silver, and bronze color variants. That means you get Bluetooth connectivity with your smartphone, ToughSolar charging to extend its battery life and an LED light for viewing the time when you’re stumbling out of the pub at some god-forsaken hour.
Having tried on the watch for ourselves, we’re happy to report that it’s exactly what you’d expect from a full-metal CasioOak. It feels substantial on the wrist without overwhelming your entire ‘fit. Better still, it’s got a lot more versatility than its classic cousin, which leans so hard into the casual side of ‘smart-casual’ that it’s not really fit to be worn in the company of your boss or mother-in-law.
For those who truly live to flex, a two-tone black and gold variant of the watch on a resin strap is also soon to be available but we reckon that full-metal is the more elegant way to go. That bronze model is calling to us right now and cost of living crisis be damned, we’re not sure if we’re going to be able to resist.
The G-Shock GM-B2100 is available from $550. At casio.com
This story originally ran on British GQ with the title “This £499 G-Shock is 2022’s next big grail watch”