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The Casio G-SHOCK CGW-B5000UN enters the stage with two new references. It is the preliminary highlight of the G-SHOCK 40th anniversary celebrations. This time it’s all about the material carbon, which makes the new addition to the 5000 series the lightest G-SHOCK ever! Is this the new top model?
The eternal competition with itself – G-SHOCK as a pioneer in the world of watches
1983 is now more than 40 years ago. 4 decades have passed since the first G-SHOCK was launched on the market. The parent company Casio has continued to develop the successful concept of robustness and shock resistance ever since. As you know, the manufacturer is celebrating its 40th anniversary in a big way this year. And by big, I mean really BIG. Casio has flooded the market with numerous watches from different product categories, series and price ranges and has given us a number of highlights.
Now we have arrived in November. The months have passed faster than ever and 2023 will be replaced by 2024 in just a few weeks. In a round history, the climax would now be heralded. “40 years of G-SHOCK” could be such a round story. Because what the Japanese have now presented is very much in the “superlative” category.
Light, lighter, G-SHOCK?
Specifically, we are talking about the 5000 series, which is supplemented at the top with these. The GCW-B5000UN is once again an attempt to outdo itself technically. Whereby the term ‘undercut’ is actually more appropriate here. As is so often the case, it is all about saving weight. This is also a tradition at G-SHOCK. Compared to their monstrous appearance, the models were already comparatively light in 1983 – yes, I speak from experience! G-SHOCKS are known for their synthetic resin, for example, which is used in millions of models worldwide. Even the heavyweights of the MT-G series use lightweight components despite the stainless steel.
However, the GCW-B5000UN takes the principle of lightweight construction to the extreme. The trend towards carbon, on the other hand, is not new. In recent years, more and more watch brands have discovered the material for themselves. Casio itself is increasingly interspersing its resin (synthetic resin) with carbon fibers, which benefits the stability, i.e. the shock resistance of the watch. But using carbon almost exclusively? Will that work well?
Casio reaches for the stars
There is now a wristwatch-turned-answer to this question – well, two answers to be precise. The two references GCW-B5000UN-1ER and GCW-B5000UN-6ER are as different in color as day and night. On the one hand, there is the technically cool 1ER, which Casio describes simply as “black”, and on the other, the 6ER, which exudes a cyberpunk feeling with its purple and blue speckled surfaces. According to Casio’s press release, both are inspired by “the infinite expanses of space”. A “galactic” design is definitely recognizable. As a visual realization of the theme of carbon, the design is, in my opinion, a successful change from the eternal theme of motorsport, where the material is otherwise often provocatively displayed.
Both models are ideal for combining with street style outfits. But will Casio also reach for the stars technically?
The Casio G-SHOCK GCW-B5000UN on the wrist
The silhouette of the GCW-B5000UN-1ER is clearly evolution rather than revolution. Casio has given the two references a case and bezel shape that is deliberately reminiscent of the very first G-SHOCK DW5000. Why invent a new design when the old one has proven itself and every child can recognize at first glance from which brand the watch with the distinctive octagonal bezel and digital display comes? The decision is understandable.
Despite their familiar appearance, the GCW-B5000UN-1ER and GCW-B5000UN-6ER triggered a wow effect in me when I wore the G-SHOCK novelties on my wrist for the first time. “The watch from the gumball machine” was my first thought. In fact, you can’t feel the latest edition of the 5000 series at all. It even goes so far as to make you think something is wrong! How can a high-quality watch with high-tech material at a price of – watch out – 2000.00 euros be so light? The feeling is confirmed on the scales. The GCW-B5000UN weighs just 65 grams. For comparison: its direct predecessor, the GMW-B5000D, weighed 167 grams. Of course, this is comparing apples with oranges, as this watch was a full-metal version. But perhaps it is precisely this comparison that impressively demonstrates how effective the use of carbon really is.
Details of the case
However, not all carbon is the same. There are numerous differences between the production processes of the individual components. What you will primarily see is forged carbon, which is used for the bezel and bracelet. Casio emphasizes that this form of carbon can be shaped with a particularly high degree of flexibility. In contrast, the folding clasp is expected to be just the opposite – highly resistant to bending. This is why multi-day carbon is used here. The monocoque case and the integrated case back are made of synthetic resin reinforced with carbon fibers. Speaking of the case back, it is adorned with a logo already familiar to fans. It was designed by graphic artist Eric Haze especially for the 40th anniversary.
All the important functions of the Casio G-SHOCK GCW-B5000UN
Casio and its many functions: that’s actually a topic in itself. That’s why I’ll only touch on it briefly here. In summary, the Casio G-SHOCK GCW-B5000UN has all the important gimmicks that we expect from a G-SHOCK in this price segment – no more and no less. Above all, there is the Bluetooth connection, which allows operation via app. As always, a smartphone is not a mandatory program, but merely a supplement. If you want, you can also control the countless functions at the touch of a button. I find the radio signal reception interesting. Stop functions, an automatic calendar and a world time function make the GCW-B5000UN a real all-rounder. A super illuminator makes the watch glow in the dark.
The watch draws its energy from a battery powered by solar cells. The so-called Tough Solar System is concealed under the dial. Excess energy is stored and can be called up when needed.
My conclusion on the Casio G-SHOCK GCW-B5000UN
The anniversary year 2023, G-SHOCK’s 40th birthday, has reached its (provisional) climax with the launch of the new carbon 5000 models – who knows what comes next? GCW-B5000UN-1ER and 6ER are both visual highlights that are iconic and yet somehow new. The purple reference in particular is a real statement that will find its fans. In my opinion, the two models are primarily made for loyal followers. In the mainstream, the term G-SHOCK is often still not associated with high-priced premium products, but rather with inexpensive resin models. However, the GCW-B5000UN proves that there is another way.
The carbon used makes a high-quality impression and feels well made. Despite its low weight (and thanks to the know-how gained), you really get the feeling of wearing a fine timepiece on your wrist. So 2,000.00 euros is definitely justified. Mission “highlight” accomplished.
All further information on the two references and G-SHOCK in general can be found under the following links!