GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.
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  1. #1
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    GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

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    I picked up the GA-2000 after being adequately suckered by G-Shock's promotional materials. I mean, this is the new generation of G-Shock materials right? Part of my fascination with this watch was its entry-level price ($130 retail, I got it $97 on sale at Macy's) pricing, its unique case material, and the fact that I can't seem to stop wanting G-Shocks.

    I've got a few G-Shocks that get the most rotation. The one that likely gets the most attention is the DW5600, which I consider to be a design that ought to never change. It's lightweight and durability is part of its appeal, but I sometimes find the strap uncomfortable as it digs into my inner wrist. The metal caseback also seems to get uncomfortable, whether its prolonged exposure to unbreathable metal or the rigid edges that seal the caseback to the watch. Yeah, I'm that nitpicky about my watch fit. I picked up a GSTS "mid sized" G-Steel because I loved the strap so much. The design extends from centered lugs, giving it that Hublot flavor. Best part though is the lack of ridges on the inner section of the strap, eliminating the dig I get from the 5600.

    But the G-Steel is heavy! And its caseback is also uncomfortable. Hence my appreciation for this new line of G-Shock Carbon Core watches that include what is referred to (in the marketing materials) as a "fine resin glass" caseback which extends into a newer lug system for a similarly styled rubber strap. The caseback here is shaped in a way so as to reduce ridges found on other G-Shocks. It hugs the wrist just right, sitting at an angle in such a way that a loose strap fit won't send the watch rotating over the far end of your wrist into "nurse style" should you choose to wear your watch with some room. The caseback has a definite plasticky feel to it, but I trust G-shock in their testing of a sturdy product and I'll buy into the idea that this caseback and integrated lug system is structurally as trustable as their 5600 line or any other G-Shock that endures Casio's factory cruelty of digital timepieces.

    A few other notable observations:
    -The negative LCD is always gonna be an inferior choice to a positive LCD.
    -The hands are skeletonized here, lending more potential visibility to the blocked negative LCD's should it ever be 3:15 or 6:30.
    -The pusher buttons rotate within their button guards and that felt cheap at first, but I kinda like it for some reason now? They're coated with a matte finish to give the impression of titanium, and I wonder if that's what they're made of? Also, they have good "action" or "play", with a certainty of having pressed the button that isn't met with physical resistance such that it's difficult to press.
    -The "menu wheel" at 9pm is actually really helpful. Never thought about this, but I constantly hit "mode" on other G-Shocks without knowing what screen will come up next. 6900 models differ from 5600 in their organization of menus, and the G-Steel line also has a different order for these functions. There really is no consistency across the board over at G-Shock UI design headquarters, it seems. The ability to anticipate what mode is next is great.
    -The keeper on the strap might be that carbon infused resin or it might just be cheap plastic. I'm inclined to believe its the latter. Upon strapping it on at first, this keeper has sharp plastic edges in its mold that provide just the slightest of scratchiness on the wrist. I took some sandpaper to it and filed it down just until it was smooth. I admit my wrists are tiny, and these issues might be specific to fit. Either way, I wish the keeper were smooth like the metal keeper on the G-Steel line, but I guess that would make the watch heavier.
    -The thing is LIGHT. I have a casio MQ24 that is probably 1/6th the weight of this 64 gram G-Shock, yet considering the size of this watch makes its weight surprising almost every time I think about it. Coupled with the fantastic caseback, this watch fits great. The lightweight also lends to the watch staying put on the wrist. Like I mentioned earlier, the watch finding its way around the wrist on a loose fit won't be much of an issue because of the fit but also because of its weight distribution on the wrist.
    -The bezel is made of a similar resin to other G-Shocks as opposed to what one would immediately assume to be the new "carbon core" stuff G-Shock is touting. Instead, that layer is reserved for the middle "core" that houses the movement. I'm uncertain if the caseback is of a similar calibre of strength as this middle core, but they do have distinctly different finishes. The carbon core is clearly carbon, whereas the caseback appears to be of a different finish.
    -The yellow is awesome.

    This watch hasn't left my wrist for a little over a week, and that's a long time for me. I've got a lot of watches I rotate through; automatics, hand winds, G-Shocks, smartwatches, all which I heavily critique its wrist comfort. Amongst dive watches on nato bands, dress watches on leather, sport watches on steel bracelets, and G-Shocks in various urethane braceletes, this one is the most comfortable watch I own. The Apple Watch with is fluoroelastomere band was one of my favorite fits for comfort, except for its lack of breathability making it feel sticky too frequently and a looser fit would render the heartrate sensor finicky. The GA-2000 has a comfortable caseback, a comfortable strap, and allows for that "loose" wrist fit to provide breathability all while keeping the watch centered on the wrist. Combine this level of comfort with the durability and the "fun" look that G-Shocks are known for and you have a watch utilizing carbon materials for under $200 USD. I was saving for a Gorilla watch, another aesthetically "fun" watch with carbon fiber materials but at an entry level of around $1k and arguably less of a reputation than G-Shock for consistency and durability made the GA-2000 an easy alternative choice for my carbon fiber cravings.

  2. #2
    Member kubr1ck's Avatar
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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    Nice write up. Thank you for sharing your detailed observations. Please do share more photos of your watch!
    "When the shadow of the sash appeared in the curtains it was between seven and eight o'clock and then I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather's and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire.... I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it."
    --William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)

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    Member memento_mori's Avatar
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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    A great review! Thank you for your thoughts!

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    Member sodamonkey's Avatar
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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    Excellent review, very helpful as I am considering whether to get one of these, thanks!
    A watch is for life, not just for the WRUW thread!

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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    I wanted to add a few more elements I wanted to discuss that I forgot to mention in this review.

    There is a culture within the greater G-Shock culture which appreciates a quality caseback. The original DW5000C had a "screw down" steel caseback, one that has a rounded shape that gives height to the watch as it sits on the wrist. This "screw down" mechanism is more similar to modern dive watches as opposed to the flat steel panel accompanied by miniaturized screws to secure the same compartment. On the GA-2000, the more common flat steel panel is present but the "fine glass resin" caseback, smooth to the skin, sits between the flat steel panel and the wrist. In my opinion, this is the most "premium" of all G-Shock casebacks out there in that the skin is barely exposed to metal (for those who get rashes from the nickle content, this caseback's metal exposure to skin is limited to four screws which might be easily coated with nail polish remover or whatever to alleviate allergic reactions). Anyway, for those who are fans of espousing rare and unique G-Shock casebacks, the GA-2000 brings a new caseback to that conversation.

    While I noted that I appreciated the menu wheel in the previous post, I do miss the capability to have the time, day, date, and seconds viewable all at once. The 5600 or 6900 squeeze all of this information into the main screen, but the GA-2000 uses the "Start" button to flip the 3pm LCD through day, date, or a redundant digital display of the hour/minute. This might be a significant drawback for some who wish to have more information readily available.

    Also, if you've been a collector of G-Shocks and are remotely interested in this yellow colorway, know that yellow colorways are generally less common than the many variations of gray, black, blue, or red that are out there. It isn't quite that bold Les Paul double-cutaway with P-90's television yellow akin to the Pikachu edition Gameboy ala the 90's. But it also isn't a pastel yellow, either. It's maybe a Pittsburg Steelers yellow, if that's your thing (gross). But yellow! It's a color I didn't have in my collection yet at all (across all watches, not just G's), and I like the expressive aesthetic for this new material Casio is exploring.

    Anyway, I said its "sub $200," but I really got it for sub $100. This made me throw out my criticisms of a lack of multiband 6 or solar charging. If your local Macy's is still offering this sale, jump on it or wait for Amazon to start offering this line at those reduced prices. Happy hunting!
    Ottovonn and memento_mori like this.

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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    I recommend it! If you have a Macy's nearby offering a similar deal to what I got, its a sub $100 carbon fiber watch.

  8. #7
    Member Sir-Guy's Avatar
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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    Great review, thanks for sharing your thoughts and the work you put into it. Happen to have any photos of the display or on your wrist? I’m intrigued.
    Slm643 likes this.

  9. #8
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    GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    Thanks for the write-up!! Really enjoyed that!

    I have this yellow variant and how it sat on the wrist was one of the first things that I thought of, too. To me, at least, it sits on the wrist in a very similar manner as does the GWR-B1000 Gravitymaster. Solidly on top with little side to side movement.
    Last edited by Worker; May 12th, 2019 at 03:12.

  10. #9
    Member sodamonkey's Avatar
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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    So - I've just gone ahead and ordered from Watchshop.com here in the UK, I couldn't resist the absolute bargain price!!

    The have a 20% Spring Sale right now, and they already have the watch on sale anyway!

    It's the model I've been considering, and I'm glad I waited a week or so because in their Bank Holiday sale they had it for something like £96 with discount. Today I've gone back on and the thing is down to a crazy £88.80 incl the Spring Sale code.

    Bought!! According to their shipping page, I should have it tomorrow.

    Model purchased?

    GA-2000E-4ER, the one in a nice presentation box and including 3 straps ,the original red, a black resin and a green cordura style.

    Photos to follow tomorrow.

    Cheers!

    Sent from my P027 using Tapatalk
    A watch is for life, not just for the WRUW thread!

  11. #10
    Member sodamonkey's Avatar
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    Re: GA-2000 Review: The caseback is key.

    So mini review time with quite a few photos as well below:

    Delivery was as promised, 24 hour tracked via good old Royal Mail, free shipping too BTW.

    As mentioned this is the GA-2000E-4ER. It comes in a kind of double box all made of reinforced card, the actual hinged watch box being around 3-4mm so very sturdy. As you can see it comes with handy spring bar "tool" and instructions on how to remove the straps, (I shall assume here that no F17'ers will need this!). I've never had this style spring bar but for my own personal taste they don't seem any easier to use to me than the standard ones. Having said that I've changed from the fitted straps to the green canvas ones and it was easy, so no complaints.

    The watch and straps are well packaged in the box, each with their own foam insert to keep them secure.

    The straps included with this package are:

    A: The one already fitted, that although looking very red in the stock photos, is actually a nice fairly bright orange with black edges and underside.

    B: An all black one, identical in design to the orange one. Both of these are a nice lightweight resin with a textured upper and smooth underside. I haven't tried these actually as I swapped straight to the canvas strap, but they seem that they would be comfy. Both, kind of surprisingly, have a plastic buckle. I knew this before I bought it, but I might have expected a steel one in black but then they seem pretty solid and I think Casio were trying to keep to the matte black of the bezel.

    C: The green canvas strap, with double,(faux leather?), strap keepers and matte silver steel buckle. As mentioned I now have this one on the watch as I quite liked the black and green combo and also all my other G's are on resin.

    So onto the main attraction!

    A stated by the OP, this thing is light! I definitely also concur with his thoughts on the caseback, it's very comfortable due to the slight shaping at the lugs and it sits just right on my wrist. Obviously I guess it might not fit every single person the same way but for me it's great! I think I prefer the material over a steel backed G as well, it seems like it won't feel like it's sticking to the skin, I'll see how it goes if I get warm with it on

    Although it looks fairly big, the watch is what I'd say is mid sized, it's the same sort of heft as my GA-700, maybe not quite as tall. The 4 side buttons do spin as mentioned by the OP, but they have a decent amount of resistance on the push and the turning doesn't bother me at all. The light button is about ¾ of a semi circle if that makes sense? All of the buttons are textured so no chance of a slip.

    In regards to the module here, there are no frills, just a bog standard set of features that appear on the majority of G's, so World Time, Stopwatch, Timer and Alarm. I know some people on here have bemoaned the fact that for the cost, and how Casio are marketing this range, it's lacking things like MB6 or solar, but for me it's all I need and for what I personally paid for this one, it doesn't matter. It has the feature of the hands moving out of the way when the Adjust button is pressed, and depending whether it's closer to 3 or 9, the hands go to either 2.10 or 9.50.

    It has a nice feature of a mode wheel on the face which turns with each mode button press, and two digital windows, one displaying the seconds, the other either Day, Date, or current Time. This could be a slight annoyance for those that like Day and Date displayed together, my GA-700 is the same and it's obviously easy enough for a press of a button if you want to change. All of the watches in this range are negative displays, which I admit are, as usual on most negs, hard to read. However for once on an affordable ana/digi G, it has a dual led light so the LCD's are illuminated as well as the hands. The LCD's light up blue with white digits so are easy to read in light or dark conditions and you can choose either 1 or 3 seconds duration. The light also has a cool fade out rather than flicking off, no use to anyone but a nice touch anyhow.

    The hands are white, with a very bright green lume. The hour markers are not lumed though but again, for me, it makes no difference as I rarely need to see it in the dark anyway.

    On these, the face has the same deep, almost 3D setup, as the GA-700/800 with big high hour batons and I think it helps to make the watch seem quite big without being so.

    Lastly the exterior - The bezel is a nice matte black with 4 matte silver studs. The buttons are not covered/protected by the bezel, but I like the way you can see the edges of them against the black. As you can hopefully see in the photos, there is a carbon layer under the bezel which follows the whole circumference and surrounds the buttons too.

    I'm not sure how it's designed, but the caseback and bezel almost seem to be one piece, obviously they're not for battery changing purposes but it's cleverly done and looks nice as one solid lump.

    So I really like this, even more so for the price I paid. I mean, I got it for less than any of the other models and this is the one with a nice box and 3 straps to boot!

    I'd have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. It's a comfortable, lightweight G and I think fairly premium looking for an affordable price!

    That's the end of my personal ramblings, now for the pics including unboxing as well.

    Cheers!








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    Last edited by sodamonkey; May 13th, 2019 at 17:19.
    GaryK30, Worker, Davidka and 5 others like this.
    A watch is for life, not just for the WRUW thread!

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