Gerard’s Top-5 G-Shock Squares For Daily Wearing
Over the years, we’ve covered a fair few G-Shock models here on Fratello Magazine. And it’s no news that we love the Square models best. But which models would you choose to wear on a day-to-day basis? I have my preferences. So here’s a list of my preferred G-Shock Squares. They’re my go-to watches when nothing but the toughest will do.
There are reasons for all of my choices, so I’ll try to explain that a bit as well. Be aware, though, that my reasons are personal and are not necessarily empirically grounded. In the comments below, I’d love to hear your reasons for wearing a G-Shock — or why you wouldn’t wear one — and which models are your favorites.
My Top-5 G-Shock Squares
Let’s take one step back first. Why on earth would a serious watch aficionado choose to wear a Casio G-Shock? Most of us have access to some pretty high-end mechanical wristwatches from prestigious brands. And still, quite a lot of us watch collectors enjoy wearing a G-Shock from time to time.
Many of us collect them in their own right. I have a sizable collection (around 30 pieces), which gives me a lot to choose from for this list! Rob, our managing editor, has a special box dedicated to nothing but Casio (with approximately one-third of his Casio collection identifying as “square”). Bert, our photographer, loves the chunkier models and has a whole trunk especially for them. And while Casio may not be seen as a “prestige brand” in general, it holds a certain allure. These pieces speak to watch collectors for a simple reason: they are honest.
There is a strict design code that has its roots in a simple, hardy remit. And within that remit, creativity has exploded. The options available now are numerous. And all this from a watch that adorns the wrist of army personnel, police officers, astronauts, and road- and construction workers – G-Shock’s are highly appreciated.
The G-Shock slogan Absolute Toughness really stands for something. This driving principle upon which the G-Shock sub-brand was founded would go on to affect the rest of the industry. As such, Casio and G-Shock played an important role in watchmaking history. The technology seen in G-Shocks has been copied and those principles of rugged wearability absorbed by the luxury mainstream. I think that this is one of the key elements that make G-Shocks popular among watch aficionados. That plus their, mostly, affordable price level, makes a G-Shock interesting for a huge audience.
General G-Shock Square knowledge
If you — before judging my choices — would like to refresh your general knowledge of G-Shock Squares, I can recommend browsing at least the following articles before reading on. If you are a complete beginner, check out G-Shock Square For Starters. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, I’d recommend reading both G-Shock Square Flagship Module and G-Shock Square Premium Series to get a bit of background on some of the models featured in this article.
This might seem a bit of a lame choice, but I’m sticking by it. Yes, the most expensive G-Shock available ($1,550) is my favorite. But it deserves the top spot, and here’s why:
Several months ago, Casio sent me a GMW-B5000TB-1 demo watch to take pictures. Despite its (many) dings and scratches — I obviously wasn’t the first to receive it — I had a hard time taking the watch off. So I quickly found myself tracking one down to own. Only then it became clear to me that it had been a limited edition in 2019, and they sold out everywhere. But after asking around everywhere, I received a message that during a stock assessment Casio found a new-in-box one, and they were kind enough to sell it to me.
The GMW-B5000TB-1 is so much better IRL than in the Casio stock pictures. In those pictures, it looks like any resin G-Shock, but it really isn’t. There’s so much more detail in the finish of the titanium. Besides that, it feels a whole lot different in wearing. They’re not PVD but DLC-coated and have a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. It’s a high-end watch in every aspect, worth every penny, and it is the most comfortable of all my G-Shocks.
This one probably isn’t very appropriate here. In general, I’m not a fan of modded watches. My take is that if you have to modify a watch to like it, you’re better off choosing another one, to begin with. But if there is one thing I hate more than not following my own advice, it is negative displays.
Annoyingly, Casio currently doesn’t offer a resin Square with the new Bluetooth module on a rubber strap with a positive display. Consequently, I had to get a bit inventive. So here it is, my second-favorite G-Shock to wear is a “modded-to-positive” G-Shock GW-B5600-2. The retail of this piece is approximately $140. This is my go-to G-Shock if I don’t want to expose my titanium to overly harsh environments or activities.
This illustrious model has to be considered the current most historically significant regular G-Shock. A stainless steel inner casing with a resin outer case. Construction-wise, this is the most faithful to the original G-Shock DW-5000C of 1983. The GW-5000-1 has a more superior overall finish than a regular 5600 model and uses a softer and more comfortable urethane band. Its 3159 module isn’t as capable as the new Bluetooth connected ones, but arguably even more suitable for a regular — non-premium — G-Shock.
The downside? The GW-5000-1JF is exclusively made and sold in Japan. That’s why I specifically added 1JF to the model code above. This might add to its quality and finish, but it probably accounts for its relatively high price (around $300) as well. Only the most observant and knowledgeable G-Shock enthusiasts will recognize this watch. It won’t get you instant status with the general public. However, wearing a GW-5000-JF is one of the best ways to express your appreciation of G-Shock and its history.
While the GW-5000 might technically be the most faithful to the original DW-5000C, the GW-5610-1 is the closest aesthetic corollary. The little red line around the dial of the GW-M5610-1 is the most remarkable visual difference between these two watches. The 1983 G-Shock DW-5000C had that distinctive red line around its dial as well. So, if someone’s looking for something as optically similar to the first Square G-Shock as possible, the GW-M5610-1 is the one to choose.
5) GMW-B5000CS-1 aka Tron
How’s that possible? Number 5 on my list is a Square with a negative display, although — for practical reasons — I definitely don’t prefer G-Shocks with a negative display. But in some models, it just looks good — it suits them. And one of these models, for me, is the GMW-B5000CS-1, aka Tron. The Tron is, or was a 2020 limited edition and was, in most regions, sold out before I even realized that it existed. It has a matrix-like laser engraving in the black ion-plating of its case, case back, and bracelet. The intriguing part is that all the pattern lines seem to be running parallel, from any angle you look at the watch. That optical illusion is the reason that I like to wear the GMW-B5000CS-1 so much.
As a bonus, because it was too difficult for me to just chose five, I’ll list the GMW-B5000D-1. I consider it the mother of all current full metal G-Shock Squares and for $550 your entrance to the G-Shock Square Premium series.
So now it’s your turn. Please leave your reasons for wearing a G-Shock – or why you wouldn’t wear one — and which models your favorites are, in the comments below!
You’ll find more on the Casio G-Shock line-up through world.g-shock.com, and you’ll find me @gerardnijenbrinks