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- Price $155 on amazon.com
- Weight 51g
- Case Size 48.5 × 45.4 × 11.8 mm
- Water Resistance 200m
For some reason, I've gotten pretty interested in watches these days. However, I made a promise to myself this would be my last.
While those watches would probably outlast me, the watch I am reviewing today is probably the MacDaddy of durable watches. The G-Shock line from Casio held a special place in my heart and was a hot item among my peers in my elementary school days. Yet, I've never had the opportunity to own one… until now.
It was the G-Shock GA2100, or specifically, the GA2100-1A1JF, that brought up the nostalgia and reignited my interest in G-Shocks. It is sometimes referred to as CasiOak, deriving the nickname because of its resemblance to the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak's octagonal bezel.
The GA2100 comes in many color variations, such as the 1A, which has the logo and markers in white. True to my all-black style, I knew I had to get the 1A1 variation which has every part of the watch in a sleek black colorway. The JF refers to it being a Japanese domestic model.
I'm a simple man. I see black, I get.
I won't lie— it was the aesthetics of the all-black GA2100 that caught my attention. The entire watch is black, except for the metal buckles, pushers, hands, and digits on the digital display. Even with the few spots of non-black parts, the entire watch looks very stealthy as the colors and materials all go together. I especially like how the resin parts are a cool, matte black.
If you are not a fan of all-black watches, the GA2100 comes in whopping 21 different colors you can see here.
Of course, the black one looks the most minimalist and beautiful of the bunch. Pardon the bias.
Apart from the colorway, one of the biggest draws of the GA2100 is the slim profile. Those new to the G-Shock series of watches can be daunted by their signature bulky profile. The GA2100 is a great transition into G-Shock because of its (relatively) slimness. Yet, it does not lose the signature G-Shock look with the iconic octagonal shape that most would recognize from the original DW-5000C.
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I found the watch's style versatile for almost any situation. I put it on 99% of the times I head out. From going for my morning run to meeting friends for dinner to going for a swim. The only instance where I would consider other options is during formal events, such as a wedding or a business dinner.
That said, I would have no problems wearing it during those events. It's just that I have better, yet still affordable, options like the Seiko 5.
Another reason I picked the GA-2100 was the combination of digital and analog instead of a pure digital display that G-Shock is known for. It gives a bit of class that sets it apart from the otherwise rugged digital-only G-Shock collection.
The watch is classy and would make someone look twice to admire all the little details that make it a beautiful package. Yet, it looks understated and doesn't call for unneeded attention, just the way I like it.
The case and bezel are made of resin with a carbon core structure, complete with a resin band. If you have friends who rock G-Shocks, you'll know that they last forever. In the unlikely occasion that the parts wear out, the replacements are affordable, making this a low-maintenance watch.
The watch glass, while not sapphire, is plenty to withstand most day-to-day abuse. Mineral glass is strong, and I haven't seen a scratch on it yet.
The entire package is sturdy enough that Casio touts it as shock-resistant, which I find true. Add a 200m water resistance; you'll find no situation that is too tough for the GA-2100.
The interface of the GA-2100 is fairly straightforward. It uses a combination of analog and digital displays. The time and day of the week are analog, while the date and seconds are digital. It can take a little getting used to at first; my wife thought that the digital dates referred to the time.
I designed a thing.
I found a 100 year old company that would create these heirloom quality canisters for me. They are handmade and will keep your tea leaves, coffee beans or anything that you need dry for years to come.
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The day of the week has a hand that points to the current day. It looks sleek but requires additional processing time that it'll be hard to tell with a fleeting glance.
The minute hand can sometimes cover the day of week or the digital display, making it very difficult to read them.
By pressing the top right pusher, you can light up the dial momentarily for about two seconds. It won't stay on even if you keep holding the pusher. The light appears from the bottom right of the dial can would let you read the digital display and the time.
It is, however, hard to read the day of the week. You'll be able to make out the position of the hand but would not be able to read the corresponding markers.
The shock and water resistance of the piece that gives it its durability is undoubtedly the key selling point for me. I love how I can just slap it on and not worry about it for the rest of the day, no matter the activity I am doing. There is no situation where you would have to take it off like you would with a “nice” watch.
Finally, the time setting is impressive. You are able to choose from 31 time zones and the watch sets the time automatically. Pretty magical considering it's a non-smartwatch.
Sometimes I dream about, “if I could have just one of x item, it would be…”. For now, the Casio G-Shock GA-2100 has everything it takes to be the one watch that I would wear for the rest of my life.