Much has been discussed on this forum about fake G Shocks, and I’ve often wondered out of curiosity what sort of quality separates the genuine article, with the cheap copy. Curiosity finally got the better of me, and I acquired a G7900 fake.
Firstly, I hope forum moderators will allow this post to stand – I in no way advocate the purchase of such items, or condone the industry that produces them, but wanted to do an honest review of why the genuine article so outshines a copy…
I’ll start with the module:
This is immediately obvious as not the real thing. It scrolls through 4 simple modes (instead of the genuine 7). Time, (one) alarm, (one) stopwatch, countdown timer. The digits are difficult to read having a relative low contrast, and the date is permanently obscured with 3 horizontal lines painted on the screen. The buttons are very soft to press, as they have no protection to the inner module, so resistance is futile (!)
The ‘glass’ isn’t, it’s a very cheap plastic with poor optical qualities. Under a simple 4 x loupe, you can see numerous imperfections, swirl marks, gouges etc. It’s hard to describes, but if you feel it with your fingernail, it feels like the plastic from an inexpensive condiment jar. It emulates the markings from the genuine G7900 module, but the functionality doesn’t match.
To operate the module takes a little of the intuition us seasoned Casio owners have for digital watches, as they don’t use any of the ‘proper’ buttons and the labels are for show. For example, the ‘adjust’ button doesn’t – you need to use various combinations to adjust the various limited modes.
The light is a crude side LED (to the left of the screen), lighting up the digits rather than the background, but, it does have a neat feature. You can scroll through various colours starting with blue, green, purple, yellow, toggling all 4 colours in very quick succession, then back to blue again. I wouldn’t object to that feature in the genuine article.
The bezel is exactly the same size (measured by my vernier callipers), and could be mistakenly taken from the genuine mould. However, the quality is poor as the plastic it’s made from is very soft, much more flexible than the genuine thing. Also, the writing around the bezel is surprisingly real, though the colour infill has been poorly applied giving an uneven look. The black decorative rivets are pushed in but have no slotted guide in the mounting pin, hence they look all over the place rather than the ordered 45 degrees of the genuine one.
The strap is the same dimensions as the genuine one, with all the same visual features, though the quality difference is very pronounced. It is much softer material, and the finish isn’t too great, there are bits of plastic ‘overspill’ that belie the mould it was taken out of. Details like the keeper, rectangle cut-out on one side, two holes on the other, remain. It also has the characteristic ‘wings’ though they too are made from a much softer material. The buckle cheekily has ‘Casio’ stamped on it.
The back has a polished finish rather than the satin matt of the original. It states it’s a DW7900 with module No. 1289. The screws used are smaller than the real things. The screws that hold the wings/bezel are also smaller than the genuine one and don’t seat home as firmly.
The fake is obviously made to a very low standard, as shown by the quality of materials that make up every part of the watch. Apart from the module differences, the ‘glass’ is something that most of us wouldn’t tolerate whatsoever. It comes pre-scratched, and the quality is rock bottom. Side by side, the difference between it and a genuine G Shock is instantly seen. Though, if you were a non Casio fan, a distant photo, and an upbeat description would soon have many parted with their money. I’m also fairly confident it wouldn’t survive in a bucket of water! I guess any premium product these days will attract a cheap imitation, but I can tell you now that my curiosity has been satisfied – I’ve no desire to seek out another…