I just received a GW-700BTJ that I had bought off the sales forum, and despite it looking like one of the most bad*ss G-shocks out there, you rarely see these being brought up. As such, I figured I'd share some impressions about this particular model.
The first time I saw this picture of the GW-700, I immediately fell in love with it. The all black look combined with the big and bold negatively displayed digits gives this watch a very imposing and menacing look. But then came the sticker shock; on average this G-shock runs for over $300 new, which is a large difference between other members of the Black Force collection that run for closer to $150 on average. In looking over the feature list, I really didn't understand the huge price difference until only very recently with some digging on Google. It turns out that the GW-700 makes heavy use of titanium in its construction, something that is strangely not mentioned at all in most of the feature lists I've read for this watch. When a used one finally showed up, I didn't hesitate at all in pulling the trigger on it.
Here's the box that the GW-700 arrived in. I was at once pleasantly surprised and also disappointed. Given that this G-shock costs quite a bit more than the average G-shock, I was hoping it would've came in a hard case of some sort. At the same time, I actually find the raw cardboard packaging very distinct and unique, certainly if you're used to the usual black cardboard boxes with red G-shock logo that most G-shocks come in. It actually hints that whatever's inside is not your usual G-shock, at least if you've been around a lot of G-shock packagings.
And here's the GW-700 itself. I was also at once surprised and disappointed with it. It is considerably more subdued in real life; somehow I had been hoping that most of the black IP finish would have a little more luster to it, but it is a very, very flat, matte black. The case itself a combination of titanium and hard plastic; at first glance I do not see a hint of resin anywhere on this watch. The buttons are hard plastic as well. It is of course very light, given the half titanium, half plastic construction.
The face is one part that disappoints me, specifically the solar panel; it is glaringly obvious and the purple tint of it, combined with its large surface area, stands out a lot. It really breaks up the black look of the watch. I do love the negative digits however, as expected, they are gray shaded. They can be hard to read at certain angles or in certain lighting, as with most negative displays. The EL lighting is nothing to write home about...it's the usual sickly shade of green. I'm very surprised Casio didn't go with a blue shaded EL instead, it would've matched the Black Force theme much better.
I'm not sure of the bezel is titanium or stainless steel; the look of it compared to the bracelet leads me to think that it's stainless steel, as it has a slightly shinier appearance whereas the bracelet has a duller appearance. A nice touch is the polished shiny black inner rim of the bezel, it gives the watch a bit more pop.
The bracelet itself is excellent; the links are all solid titanium, with a pin and sleeve system holding them together. There is no wiggle room or rattling. Even the entire clasp is titanium; looking underneath the clasp reveals a rainbow like finish like that of certain titanium nitride finishes. I believe this is accidental, it's in fact sloppy, but does highlight the fact that the clasp is titanium. The clasp itself has three fine adjustment holes.
I was rather surprised at how tall this watch was from lug to lug...the case's top and bottom sections extend out quite a bit more than most G-shocks, and the lugs themselves are quite huge. I have a 6" wrist and the lugs actually overshoot my wrists slightly; fortunately they're also highly curved so it follows my wrist naturally.
The IP plating of this watch feels different compared to that of the stainless steel Black Force watches. It has a much smoother, finer satin-like finish, whereas with the stainless steel Black Forces, the IP plating feels almost as if it's just been painted on. The IP plating also seems much tougher; in looking at the underside of the bracelet where the clasp touches the bracelet, it has so far seemed much less prone to just scraping off. In essence, it's almost feels as if the titanium had been born black instead of it having been IP plated; the IP plating is just very well integrated to the titanum.
Overall, I like the GW-700 very much, and I would happily pay full price for it if I were to buy it again. Apparently these are very difficult to find nowdays, so if you are considering one of these and ever have the chance to nab one, I'd highly recommend going for it.
And here's a group hug with two of my other favorite G-shocks.