Thor’s GADA Watch — The Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000RD-4
I’m lost trying to pick my GADA watch. It’s another incredibly difficult task from the editorial team in The Hague, probably conjured up to test us non-Dutch editors to see who cracks under pressure. And it worked by giving me a panic attack for about 30 seconds (that felt longer). Any story about one favorite watch of my choosing is near impossible, regardless of whether it’s the perfect “beater” (no, I don’t use that term either), a party piece, or a no-holds-barred dream watch.
“GADA” is a term I have never used in a story, to friends (well, mine are mostly virtual Instagram buddies), or on an IG post. Why? Because it is impossible to pick just one watch for everything. But when I have twenty-something watches, is The One already in my possession? Or do I write about the one I see as my ideal GADA watch, as Jorg did with the 16600 Sea-Dweller (an astute choice, J)?
The head-scratching begins
My theoretical starting point could be selling half of my collection for one great watch. I imagine buying a glorious tool watch for everything and getting it scratching up, even if it’s solid 18K gold. Perhaps something like a Rolex, a Vacheron Overseas, or a big Hublot nugget of Big Bang Integral in King Gold (a guilty pleasure). A scratched-up rose gold Nautilus with a chocolate dial would be tops. But I’m not a huge fan of coronet-bearing dials, and with any of the others, I’d faint if I got the tiniest hairline scratch. I’m one who enjoys stories of beat-up €100K grails while babying my Seiko Marinemaster. Beach sand scuffing up the Zaratsu would make me cry, so I’d rather wear my Casio F-91W, loss of street cred included. Then an epiphany hit me: what is the watch I’ve worn the most for the last two years? Surely, that’s it?
A colorful Casio that makes me feel younger
Then I realized that my GADA watch is already in my cabinet. In fact, I wore it today at the office — a purple G-Shock cheekily hiding under a suit jacket, for real. Ironically, at home with a well-worn tee, I changed to a glittery Grand Seiko for the evening (I do that often; am I sane?). But even with failed attempts at consolidating my collection, a GADA watch should be a monochrome neutral go-with-everything piece, right? Nope. This is indisputably ion-plated burgundy, even purple. It was advertised as red, but I strongly disagree. Nevertheless, the GMW-B5000RD-4 is gorgeous. And a mad pop of burgundy goes with most things if you’re a contrarian, even slightly eccentric. Mix color with a tough, ion-plated steel case and bracelet, add dependability, and for me, that spells GADA. In fact, it is the one watch I wear the most.
How can a big purple tool watch be versatile?
Let’s try to be analytical here. First of all, it’s in my nature to not give a toss about others’ opinions on my style. Whether it be my neighbor’s chuckle at my crisp almost-pink Nike AF1-07s when I’m way past 40 (10+ years) or a colleague asking me why the hell I don’t just buy a decent Rolex, I’m immune. I’ve tried resin square G-Shocks, but they fit jangly large or strangle-tight. I’ve had a few anyway, and I enjoy my Bamford DW-6900. But when I tried on the first metal square G back in 2020, I was blown away. It was the perfect blend and a fresh contrast to my 10–15 mechanical watches.
While being a cool G-Shock, it simultaneously felt like a quality watch, indicating how much metal and pure weight make a difference. The bracelet might be rattly, but it still feels G-solid, and the key is in the comparisons. Compared to a Seiko Prospex or a mid-priced Swiss piece, it’ll feel cheap. But compared to a resin 5000-series G, it feels like a million dollars. That, my friends, is the key to metal G-Shock success. It’s like a grown-up version of yourself as a kid, feeling indestructible and fun but more solidly built and with brains — a Multi-Band, Bluetooth-connected, upgraded brain even.
A versatile, accurate beast
For me, it reigniting my love for G-Shock and the square shape I couldn’t afford as a kid back in the ’80s (stop counting the years!). The title of a launch article back in January 2021 that caught my watch-writing eye was “Casio blasts us with a super-cool red metal G-Shock.” And I was hooked, even if I thought roughly €600 was steep for a G. The mid-case has a delicate blend of brushed sides with a polished top, including the lug-less end, while the bracelet is mostly brushed with some polished details. And just like a “proper” watch, the bezel is brushed with a polished edge. Sure, there’s no beveling here, and the details are semi-sharp at best, but it sure pops on the wrist.
A colorful wrist buddy
An Instagram story with this watch produced a comment from a non-G-familiar colleague. “Jesus Christ, this is state of the art!” she exclaimed. That might have been an overreaction, but she knows her watches and wears a Hublot Classic Fusion daily. Anyway, the premium technical features are all present, including Bluetooth connectivity and Multi-Band 6 atomic timekeeping for self-adjusting, razor-sharp accuracy anywhere on the globe. The STN-LCD black-reverse digital display makes the watch easy to read from any angle, and Tough Solar Tech helps it charge up even with low sun exposure. As with any G-Shock, I feel guilty for not exploiting its timing and countdown functionality, but that’s life.
Too big but still great
I love 37–39mm watches, though lately, I’m being tempted back into the solid embrace of 42mm+. The steel G-Shock “Squares” are not small at 43.2mm wide, 49.3mm long, and 13mm thick, but they are remarkably comfortable. The GMW-B5000RD-4 is quite weighty at 167 grams, but it still feels more comfortable than a resin Square because of the admittedly simple bracelet. Sure, you can get these for around €600 in steel or gold-tone, but this purply-red finish makes me smile. Add that to the tough-as-nails body with hardly a scratch on the ion plating and the 200m depth rating, and it’s a winner (for me as an OCD watch collector, that is, with a fear of hairlines).
Am I just an overly cautious coward?
My favorite watch should be my GADA, surely. It makes sense, yes, but only in an ideal world. In that world, I wouldn’t care about scratches and would just accept that lived-in look. My true favorite is my 37.3mm Grand Seiko SBGW283 “Kishun.” The dark navy crocodile strap is silky-soft sublime, and its size is almost too perfect. Even the dial alone makes this my perhaps absolute fave watch out there — I mean, look at it! The blue transcends definition, making it an ice-frosty lake at night and a glittering summer sky in the sun. I love it, but at the €5,000+ price, I don’t want to scratch up the Zaratsu. I might be a coward, but I love it too much. For now, the G-Shock and a few divers are great GADAs for me. Maybe I need a pre-scratched quartz Grand Seiko for the everyday chores? Chances are, though, that I’d have it refinished, baby it, and be back at square one — a supposedly red metal G-Shock Square. Unfortunately, the GMW-B5000RD-4 is discontinued, but there are a lot of tempting square metal Gs to choose from. Check out this trio from the 40th Anniversary Recystallized series.
Fratelli, what is your verdict? Am I a traitor for not naming a lovely mechanical wrist grail my GADA Watch, or am I just honest? Let me know in the comments below. I’m ready for it.