It’s been a while since I’ve been up close and personal with IFL’s customized takes on the evergreen G-Shock, and this time, it’s personal. After all, I do live pretty close to the Arctic, so I feel an affinity for the CasiOak Orca.

But we have plenty of readers far away from Europe, let alone the chilly Arctic region. Yes, I do feel a kinship with orcas and ice floes, but we have summer here too. And neither orcas nor polar bears roam our beaches. That would be pretty cool, but it’s beside the point of this cool octagonal G.

CasiOak Orca

Evocative and evolved dial art

IFL Watches in Sweden has evolved from its first forays into custom Casios and is now a force to be reckoned with. I’ve had an up-close relationship with its first take on the PRX and the G-Shock Black Metal Galaxy, but this is different. IFLW has evolved, while ironically, other big brands have released similar color-popping takes on the company’s dot-colored watches.

CasiOak Orca

And by going from pointillist graphic cool to cartoon-like artwork, IFLW has become more personal with customization. Even for me, the releases can be quite polarizing, but not pleasing everyone is the hallmark of any great design. The brand has been adding big wrist charm to everyday tool watches on the way and carved a niche of its own. And with the new style of expressionist dial art, there is no real alternative. Well, that is except for mortgage-priced Métiers d’Art pieces from Vacheron and JLC, which are in a different stratosphere in terms of value. And a G-Shock happens to be a rock-solid tool watch to boot, so welcome to Juxtaposition City.

The G-Shock CasiOak Orca Limited Edition

Juxtapositions can make for great watch designs or tip the scales toward pastiche. But this latest edition from IFLW features the brand’s best dial art in a while. At first glance, you’ll just see a blue and white summer watch with a fresh vibe until you look closer. By practicing restraint with the use of color and a very evocative picture, it all gels. One hundred of these watches are available for €1,190 each, and due to their hand-painted nature, all will have slight variations, rendering each one unique. The graceful shape of the orca, one of the most majestic creatures of the Arctic seascape, is true to life. It is painted in a black and dark blue tone, with its white patterns lifelike as its head appears to break the freezing water’s surface.

The blue metallic color adds a sparkly depth to the frozen waters, while blue ice cracks are carried onto the minute track on the rehaut. The OG CasiOak is a design that started ironically referencing Genta’s grail creations but took on a life of its own and is now a Casio staple. The broad steel bezel still marks out a case that punches above its weight, with blue infills connecting the function markings to the dial scene. Twelve bold hour markers stand out in a crisp metallic blue, while the tiny digital display remains fairly unreadable, but I don’t mind.

An everyday tool watch that’s discretely unique

The CasiOak Orca from IFL Watches is based on a good Casio G-Shock, the GM-2100WS-7AER with a three-year battery. As always, it’s a 200m-depth-rated, eminently shock-resistant tool watch on a comfortable resin strap. This is, of course, pure Arctic white, underlining the clean look of the blue and steel visage. Like any capable G, the watch is jam-packed with functionality, even if the timing and stopwatch functions aren’t its forté with the small screen bet ween 3 and 6 o’clock.

CasiOak Orca

But this is about something else entirely. It is a wrist-worn piece of art and, dare I say it, with more thought behind it than a Seiko Prospex with a few stingray shapes lurking in the shadows. The blue open water in the orca’s wake follows the arc of the hour markers, while the whale’s nose reaches just past 12. I might notice this being OCD about symmetry, but the motif balancing out the small LCD and the day indicator at 9 o’clock is sublime. I also care a lot about the state of our oceans and their inhabitants, so I find the work of IFLW’s artists striking and the CasiOak Orca a meaningful wristpiece. Though quite large at 45.4mm wide and 48.5mm long, with an 11.8mm thickness, it is slim for a G and surprisingly comfortable.

The G-Shock CasiOak Orca Limited Edition is available now from IFL Watches for €1,190.

What do you reckon, Fratelli? Is this a G-Shock twist you can get behind? Let me know how you feel in the comments.

Watch specifications

CasiOak Orca Limited Edition
Based on the Casio G-Shock GM-2100WS-7AER
Hand-painted ana-digi dial with LCD and analog day indicator
Case Material
Stainless steel outer case with Casio's patented Carbon Core Guard
Case Dimensions
45.4mm (diameter) × 48.5mm (length) × 11.8mm (thickness)
Case Back
Stainless steel, screw-in
Casio 5611
Water Resistance
20 ATM (200 meters)
White resin
Time (analog hours and minutes with running seconds on LCD), digital chronograph, alarm, world time, calendar, and countdown timer, lighting for the LCD