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Only 500 pieces worldwide, a very special finish and a price of 7,500.00 euros – The Gassan G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR 40th Anniversary is a watch of superlatives. The special model goes on sale on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of G-SHOCK. Has Casio finally arrived in the luxury segment?
The most expensive G-SHOCK!?
The 40-year G-SHOCK anniversary is experiencing its temporary climax – at least if you measure this by the price. A whopping 7,500 euros is the price of each of the only 500 watches that were produced. Within the popular MR-G series, the MRG-B2000GA-1ADR represents the top model. Visually, the watch definitely lives up to the hype. For the special occasion in the anniversary year, the G-SHOCK designers have come up with something very special. The watch is adorned with a finish that combines traditional Japanese swordsmithing with advanced technology.
For those interested, in designing the finish, they drew on the Gassan style famous in Japan and adapted it for the surface of the case. Sword masters from the ancient Gassan family dynasty have passed down traditional sword making techniques over the past 800 years. However, to make the fusion with the future perfect, high-tech materials and modern processes were used in the manufacturing process.
So new, yet so familiar. The base of the MRG-B2000GA-1ADR is the same as that used in the Casio G-SHOCK MRG-B2000B-1A4DR. I tested the sister model with red accents shortly after its release earlier this year. This watch is also inspired by the traditional military, more specifically the Samurai. Now, a good three quarters of a year later, it seems to be time for the next special model. However, there are differences not only in design. That’s right, the MRG-B2000GA-1ADR is a whopping 5000 Euros more expensive. How can Casio justify the hefty price increase of 200 percent? Only because of the limitation? What is the Gassan-style finish? This is what the watch review is supposed to clarify
(In theory) an unboxing
Since I received my test item before the November 2022 market launch, Casio has not yet been able to provide me with official packaging. However, it is already known what the box of the new Super MR-G will look like. Hidden in a black cardboard box is a box with a wooden look and MR-G badge, which makes a very high-quality impression, at least on the first pictures. This underlines the tradition consciousness that has obviously been put on display here. With the high four-digit sales price, fans can look forward to a box with collector value.
The Gassan G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR 40th Anniversary on the wrist
This is still a “real” wristwatch, you might think. Typical for the MR-G series, the B2000GA-1A comes without a display and with a completely analog dial. Casio fans don’t need to be told, but if you’re looking for classic, round metal cases, you should look for the MR-G series in the world of the Japanese watch giant, or alternatively for an MT-G. Nevertheless, the watch is not analog; we’ll get to the app and its functions later.
Visually, the Gassan G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR 40th Anniversary looks brute. This is mainly due to its dimensions. Between the lugs, the timepiece measures 54.7 millimeters, and 49.8 millimeters in width. Proud dimensions, for which one’s wrist should be made. Nevertheless, a G-SHOCK can be a bit chunkier and stand out due to its size. I am surprised by the weight. The case and the links of the bracelet look as if they were chiseled directly from a precious stone. In reality, however, the watch weighs only 150 grams including the bracelet. Considering the size, this value is remarkable.
I particularly like the color scheme with the different shades of gray, which emphasize the modularity of the case elements. In combination with the gold-colored accents of the dial, this looks fantastic. And while its sister models have playful signal colors, the Gassan G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR 40th Anniversary makes the most mature impression and looks grown up.
The case of the Gassan G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR 40th Anniversary
Reading through the specification list, one could think that Casio has done everything technically possible to present us this case. If you compare the MRG-B2000GA-1ADR with the B2000B-1A, you’ll notice that the level has been raised once again. Here a different coating, there a fine pattern or a special surface treatment. To guarantee the light weight, the high-tech material titanium is again used, which is extremely hard, flexible and even suitable for allergy sufferers.
At the forefront, the blue-gray bezel stands out, adorned by a so-called Ayasugi pattern, which is also said to be found on Gassan blades. The unique wavy lines are created by a recrystallization process and an arc ion coating. The latter is said to be even superior to conventional DLC coatings in terms of hardness and corrosion resistance. This was still used on the B2000B-1A. The bezel is basically made of both pure titanium and Ti64 titanium.
Compared to the bezel, the remaining components of the case do not drop in quality. They feature deep hardening and titanium carbide treatment. On the front, the dial is covered by scratch-resistant and high-quality sapphire crystal. The materials used and their finish feel fantastic. One can speak of luxury with a clear conscience.
How to recognize the anniversary watch
Like the other new watches in the MR-G series, the case of the new Gassan top model is anti-magnetic. This protects the watch from magnetic fields, which can have a negative effect on the precision of the movement in everyday use, for example.
Casio certifies the G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR a water resistance up to a pressure of 20 bar. Thus, the timepiece is suitable even as a reliable diver’s watch, even if simple mechanical functions like a rotating bezel are missing. That’s just not the main focus.
I do like the incorporated metal plate at 10 o’clock. “G-SHOCK 40TH” has been discreetly engraved here, highlighting the special occasion of the anniversary.
The most important functions at a glance
Casio’s Tough Solar System is established across collections and is of course used here as well. Under the dial are invisible solar cells, which supply the battery (type CTL1616 with energy. Even when stored in the drawer for 26(!) months, the watch with the environmentally friendly drive can maintain the most important functions in automatic energy-saving mode.
Speaking of functions, there are enough that can be helpful here and there in everyday life. Here’s just an overview of the most important functions: on board are, among others, a countdown timer in various versions, a calendar, an alarm function, a stopwatch and a second time in 27 possible time zones.
Because the Gassan G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR 40th Anniversary is a radio-controlled watch, you don’t have to set it as long as the watch receives the radio signal. Without signal reception, the movement has a rate accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month.
In my opinion, the most intuitive way to control the versatile functions is via app. To do so, you first have to download the CASIO WATCHES app onto your smartphone. The watch and cell phone are paired via Bluetooth. Of course, this is not a must.
The date, time, second time zone, day of the week and some more information can be read on the clearly arranged analog dial. Thanks to the Super Illuminator, the dial also illuminates in the dark. The diamond-shaped pattern surrounding the subdials is striking.
The bracelet is a special feature. Also made of titanium, it is said to be modeled after the hilt of a sword. On two links there are inscriptions, which are considered to be a symbol of devotion to swordsmithing on the part of Gassan. They stand for “Mindset” and “Physical and Mental Training”. The lightweight titanium bracelet wears comfortably, is pleasant on the skin and has a secure folding clasp.
My conclusion about the Gassan G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR 40th Anniversary
With a retail price of 7,500 euros, the G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR is currently the most expensive watch of the 40th Anniversary as well as the entire MR-G series. If Casio watches (like the Casio G-SHOCK MRG-B5000B-1DR) move in such spheres, then a closer look is worthwhile in any case. The MRG-B2000GA-1ADR impressively demonstrates the quality and technical finesse with which the Japanese manufacturer can build watches. Excellent materials and future-oriented ideas, combined with a sense of tradition and history characterize the model, which I consider to be the most successful of the entire MR-G series so far.
Despite many good and high-quality approaches in recent months, the name ‘G-SHOCK’ was rarely immediately on the radar when it came to high-priced luxury watches. With the MRG-B2000GA-1ADR, they are now venturing a serious push into the established luxury segment. Whether Casio will be able to compete there in the future remains to be seen. In any case, the limited special model has an unusual approach and stands out, which makes it a worthy member of the upper class.
And because that’s the way it should be for a luxury watch, copies of the G-SHOCK MRG-B2000GA-1ADR are hard to come by. With a limitation of 500 pieces worldwide, you should be quick to catch one of the watches. According to rumors, there are only 40 pieces available for Europe. Below you will find all the important links to the watch and the world of G-SHOCK.