This $550 G-Shock is 2022’s next great grail watch

Like the Rolex Submariner and Patek Phillipe’s Nautilus, G-Shock’s beloved CasiOak is one of those rare watches that has almost outgrown the brand that created it. Such is its phenomenal appeal, G-Shock has been busy churning out a remarkable number of variations on its robust octagonal theme since its introduction in 2019 – to the extent that there have been almost as many as new Manchester United managers in the same time frame. While we recently fell hard for the summer-ready pop of the G-Shock GA-B2100, its all-metal successor is the watch we’ll be wearing all year round.

Yes, you read that right. A watch that was already inspired by Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak – an icon loved by everyone from Drake to Chris Hemsworth – has stopped playing footsie with these comparisons and fully embraced the homage. The big difference? While a Royal Oak will set you back the better part of $20,000, the G-Shock GM-B2100 goes for a very tempting $550. That makes it one of the hottest deals in watches, as well as a striking watch in its own right.

Perhaps wisely, G-Shock hasn’t done much to deviate from a good thing with the GM-B2100. It’s still the same slab of rough and clear wrist wrap you’d expect, only now with a metal case available in black, silver and bronze color variants. That means you get Bluetooth connectivity with your smartphone, ToughSolar charging to extend battery life and an LED light to see when you stumble out of the pub at some god forsaken hour.

After trying the watch ourselves, we’re happy to report that it’s exactly what you’d expect from a full-metal CasioOak. It feels solid on the wrist without overwhelming your entire fit. Even better, it has a lot more versatility than its classic cousin, which leans so hard on the relaxed side of ‘smart-casual’ that it’s not really suitable for wearing in the company of your boss or mother-in-law.

For those who really live to flex, a two-tone black and gold variant of the watch on a resin strap is also available, but we reckon full metal is the more elegant way to go. That bronze model is calling to us right now and the cost of living crisis be damned, we’re not sure we’ll be able to resist.

The G-Shock GM-B2100 is available starting at $550. On casio.com

This story originally ran on British GQ with the title “This £499 G-Shock is 2022’s Next Great Grail Watch”

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