When the designers at Casio lose their muse, they modify an existing model line. I’m not sure how they say “fait accompli” in Japanese. Maybe they just shouted “Banzai!” when this project got the nod at corporate. But here it is: the G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A. The WM stands for “Wavy Marble,” a designation that sounds a bit like a nightclub singer from the 40’s . . .
Our review watch is part of G-SHOCK’s recently announced “Utility Wavy Marble” series (GA2000, DW5600, and GA700). I picked a G-SHOCK model I didn’t own: the GA2000WM-1A. Its large, legible, analog face got my attention.
Casio’s website grandiloquently details the inspiration for the trio that seems to have fallen out of the fugly tree and hit every branch on the way down:
“These timepieces combine the toughness that has been very much a part of the G-SHOCK since 1983 with designs and hues that bridge the gap between urban and outdoor, everyday and extraordinary, and a wide range of fashions. Mixed color resin molding technology is used to create designs that recall geological formations expressing the majesty of the planet Earth.”
I’m not a geologist, nor do I play one on the Internet. But I appreciate a good rock formation as much as the next guy. When RF sent me the link to the GA2000WM-1A and told me to press play, the internet PR photos left me thinking that even Arsonists Get All the Girls is a better rock formation.
Experience has taught me that some watches are like IDF women; they look even better in person. [Note to wife: RF put that in.] This watch isn’t one of them (either attractive watch or Israeli soldier).
“That looks like a high school art project gone wrong,” my better half pronounced after catching a glimpse of the G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A. While I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a high school art project gone right, in the main, I agree.
Marble may not be the exact opposite of plastic, but it’s damn close. Making an ani-digital watch look like it’s made of marble is like making a Greek statue look like plastic. Not making one out of plastic. Making one look like plastic.
The Wavy Marble G-SHOCK is the aesthetic definition of cognitive dissonance. The watch’s saving grace: its black bezel and “Carbon Core” case. The solution to pollution is dilution; the overbearing marble theme was begging for a two-tone distraction, and, mercifully, got one.
The G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A’s dial has more of an opalescent “mother of pearl” appearance than “marble.” It’s color-matched to the marble-themed strap, which is slightly less gag-worthy than the clear band that came with my “Skeleton Series” DW6900. The plastic buckle makes the strap feel even cheaper than it looks.
The G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A’s analog hands contrast nicely against the dial. Combined with the prominent 3D hour indices, reading the time at a glance is effortless. The bad news: even wearing my “cheaters,” the G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A’s tiny reverse LCD digital subdials are harder to read than Finnegans Wake. The same goes for the little spinny mode dial thingy at 9 o’clock.
In Timekeeping Mode, the 3 o’clock digital subdial can display your choice of date, day or digital time. You can also use the 3 o’clock subdial as a timer, stopwatch, alarm or World Time. The 6 o’clock digital subdial shows the current time’s seconds. Like many ana-digi G-SHOCKS, there is a hand-shift function to reveal the digital subdials if they’re being blocked from view.
On the wrist, the 51.2mm x 48.7mm x14.1mm G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A is G-SHOCK comfortable. Unlike James Joyce’s experimental novel, the 2.26 ounce plastic fantastic timepiece is no weighty matter.
Casio equipped the watch with LEDs to illuminate the dial and backlight the digital subdials. Lume is applied to the hour and minute hand, but not the indices.
Most G-SHOCKs have the same manual of arms; for those of us who’ve earned our digital stripes, setting the time and date on the GA2000 Wavy Marble is a simple matter. Although bereft of solar charging or atomic time sync, the timepiece includes the standard phalanx of G-SHOCK functions: stopwatch, countdown timer, five alarms (‘cuz ya can’t have too many of those), hourly signal / chime, etc.
Needless to say, the G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A provides the standard G-SHOCK-alicious indestructibility. It’s immune to the vicissitudes of an active lifestyle: drops, smacks, accidental beer immersion and other horo-horrors. But it’s not the belle of the G-SHOCK ball.
In my jaunt down the Casio G-SHOCK rabbit hole, I’ve made relatively few regrettable purchases. This is one of them. Faux marble has its place – in the kitchen or bathroom. Not wrapped around my wrist.
Model: Casio G-SHOCK GA2000WM-1A
Price paid: $130
Case / Bezel: Resin / “Carbon Core”
Crystal: Mineral Glass (flat).
Strap: “Marble” patterned resin strap with pin buckle.
Lume: Double LED – one for dial, one for digital subdials. Analog hands are lumed.
Dimensions: 51.2 x 48.7 x 14.1 mm / 64g.
Movement: Casio Quartz Module #5590.
Battery life: 3 years.
Water resistance: 200 meters.
Functions: Analog time (hour, minutes), Digital time (hour, minutes, seconds), Day, Date, Stopwatch, Countdown Timer, World Time, Alarm (5), Signal (hourly chime).
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Design * *
The faux marble motif looks cheap and silly.
Legibility * * * *
The large analog dial is time-at-a-glance. Unless you’re in bright light holding the watch at the perfect angle, the digital subdials are little more than black holes in the dial. Activating the backlight helps.
Comfort * * * *
Surprisingly comfortable on the wrist, but the strap looks cheap and feels stiff.
Overall * * *
Granite, the appeal of the “Utility Wavy Marble” theme is subjective. Add positive LCDs and a black strap, and we’d have a gem. I tried to rock this watch, but a stone-cold review was inevitable. “Utility Wavy Marble” was a bad idea from the git-go.
That spinny mode thing physically rotates, indexing at each mode selection?
The missing top corners on the upper mini-digi screen reveals that both probably share a single rectangular screen cocked at an angle underneath.
Call me a cynic, but I suspect they were wasting too much material when flushing the mold machines when switching to the white resin, and figured out a way to use the waste. That’s what Dum Dums lollipops Mystery Flavor is, the impure mix when changing between flavors. Parker never officially released them, but they similarly had swirled plastic pen barrels that occurred during changeovers, and some people realized the serendipity.
Yeah…. the mode indicator disk thingy spins to the little index / pointer at 9:00 to the spinny thing.
I also noticed the incongruous shape to the 3:00 subdial frame and the dark mask on top of the LCD. The upper left corner is cut off for some reason. I didn’t notice this until I processed my photos and saw it all enlarged on my computer screen.
Cool story about the Dum Dum lollipops! Had not heard that.
These are fantastic Dad watches, especially if the Dad in question has young kids and is on the wrong side of forty. As long as they get the color right. Black, tan…black…grey…black…black.
Don’t get me wrong. I can see my twenty year old self rocking this look while pushing a cart at the library, but back in the day, my twenty year old self didn’t have a whole lot of disposable income.
What is this “wrong side of forty” you speak of???? 😉
Closer to 50, not 40 😉
Hell… I’m on the “wrong side of” 50!
I also like calling it a “fantastic Dad watch”. I can imagine some young marketing intern at Casio tasked with reading and reporting on bloggers and influences seeing my comment and tearing his hair out in clumps.
Beyond The Dial’s tagline is “The Aesthetic Revolution Will Be Beautiful”. I think G-Shock’s recent releases have yet to receive this message.
Then again… if they DID receive the message, would we love them as much?
[…] comments when she catches her first glimpse of my latest G-SHOCK. She took one look at the GA2000WM-1A Wavy Marble and called it a “failed art project.” The first thing she said about the G-011D Cube: “It […]