The G-SHOCK Titanium GMW-B5000TR costs almost two grand. I’m not a G-SHOCK maven, but that’s a lot of money for a modified digital watch. Then again, people spend Porsche money modifying front-wheel-drive Japanese sub-compacts. Obviously, the new G’s feature set doesn’t justify the price. It’s the gold plating and titanium case and bracelet. It’s not just any titanium . . .
It’s called TranTixxii. I’m going to resist the urge to make a politically incorrect joke about the name. Suffice if to say you can wear the G-SHOCK Titanium GMW-B5000TR in any bathroom and “it” is the material’s preferred pronoun.
I’m also going forgo a dry-as-dust HoDinkee-style TranTixxi Titanium For Dummies explanation of how Nippon Steel developed the alloy and what separates it from your garden variety titanium.
All that needs saying: it’s colorful (multicolor ion plated), mirror-finished, twice as hard as pure titanium and Nippon Steel spent six years (not including Nyotaimori get-togethers) making the material commercially viable .
Is it commercially viable in this application? How many G-SHOCK fans are ready, willing and (let’s face it) able to shell out that much money for a shiny rainbow colored titanium G-SHOCK? I’m thinking lots. I’m also of the opinion that G-SHOCK knows it has to go upmarket to compete with the rise and rise of the smartwatch.
The G-SHOCK Titanium GMW-B5000TR isn’t Casio’s first titanium rodeo, nor its most expensive. The $3k cis titanium MRGB2000B-1A (above) plays in a not-so-heavy metal band to “adopt the very spirit of the samurai warrior.”
That’s less expensive that adopting an actual samurai warrior, but still begs the question: is there a Rolex-like pecking order amongst G-SHOCK owners that lures collectors into buying a 54.7mm Casio that costs as much as 15 translucent (there I go again) Casio DW5600SKE-7’s?
Damn straight there is. And there’s a real tangible benefit to Trixxi – sorry, TranTixxi.
The new G-SHOCK weighs six grams less than than previous titanium GMW models (104 vs. 110) and a full 63 grams lighter than stainless steel GMW-B5000 models. Otherwise, the G-SHOCK Titanium GMW-B5000TR has the same features: Tough Solar power, Multi-Band 6 automatic radio-sync time adjustment and Bluetooth smartphone link.
Whatever else you can say about the G-SHOCK Titanium GMW-B5000TR, it’s more than tough enough to fit the brand’s remit. I can fully appreciate the desire to own one. Whether the watch appreciates or depreciates in value remains to be seen. Other than flippers, I don’t think its target market gives a damn. Nor should they.
Casio is desperately trying to get into the smartwatch business. They know that if the dominant smartwatch ever achieves solar power and 200M water resistance it is going to be game over.
Some people will buy this (I wish they kept it naturally colored instead of going skittles, but I’m not the target market), but it is no more durable or functional that the Tough Solar/Bluetooth/Multiband GWB5600BL-1 that I bought my five year old for $150, so the market is going to be limited. Some people bought Vertu phones.
They could have at least had the decency to go with a positive display.
If I dare speak on behalf of Casio / G-Shock fans (based on what I’ve read on multiple groups and forums)… They’re simply not interested in a smart watch. Believe it or not, there are MANY of us (myself included) who have absolutely no interest in ANY smart watch, not to mention the Casio smart watch vaporware.
Game over? Hardly. Casio watches seem to be increasingly hot sellers.
If I had an interest in a smart watch, I don’t have to wait for Casio to make one. There are PLENTY of them available right now. I have literally no use for a so-called smart watch. But, I’ve got plenty of use for traditional dumb and clever watches.
As for the Skittle-tanium watch… I can guarantee you it will sell out. I won’t be buying one. But, yeah…. it will sell like hotcakes. I agree about the positive display. But, it will sell out.
Just picked up a smartwatch and have had it about 6 weeks, excellent for exercise, long walks and around the house, otherwise an analog watch is on the wrist. It has its purpose, but not for office wear.
Even on the very active Casio sub-forum on WUS, the vast majority know that if you want a smart watch that tracks exercise, THE brand to get is Garmin. There are several G-Shocks that “track” exercise, and they all suck at that task – even by the admission of hardcore G-Shock fans.
If Casio (corporate) is smart, they’ll stick to what they know and do best. Any “smart watch” from Casio is likely doomed to fail in the market place…. Kinda like Michael Jordan trying to play baseball.
I’d agree with this, leave the smartwatches to Apple/Samsung/Garmin
I have also resisted smart watches, sticking to mechanical watches for myself.
That said, I respect the idea of a cheap black plastic watch that is not going to track me or report my location. If a watch is going to be quartz it should have a digital readout, solar charging, and automatically sync the time. And Casio nails those reqs.
The problem (for Casio) is that a $150 square is going to last 20 years. Smart watches get people on the couple year cycle at a couple hundred higher price point.
Casio is currently mastering the idea of the expensive homage to the cheap square, but I’m not sure how long that model is viable.
I’m not sure how a square (or any other digital they make) lasting 20+ years is a problem. Help me out with that. And, you can get the GW-M5610 (solar + atomic) square for under $100 on a good day from Amazon.
Mastering the idea of an expensive homage? I must be slow today, but you’re going to have to spell that out for me, too. LOL! No idea what you’re referring to there.
It’s great for me as a consumer, but the lack of functional obsolescence is bad for Casio getting repeat business.
This titanium watch, along with the even more expensive solid gold version Casio made, is a homage to the to the idea of the basic square. It does not deliver more performance or functionality than the basic square, but people love the basic square so much that they want to celebrate it by getting a version in a fancy material. Casio has been doing a good job of making these homages and having them sell out, but I don’t know how viable that is going to be long term.
Ah.. OK. I see what you’re saying now. I don’t agree. But, I understand. From what I’m seeing… it’s been viable for decades. No reason to think that will change. They’ve made special editions, anniversary editions, and so on… for decades. And, the fans eat them all up. The repeat business comes from their fans who own more than one Casio watch.
I think your concept of “repeat business” is the smart watch model where you HAVE to buy it again, because the 2 – 3 year old model is no longer supported, gets buggy, ages out, etc. And you literally discard the “old” model.
Casio has always made durable watches that last decades. The repeat business is from happy customers who want to AUGMENT their Casio collection. Those customers KEEP the “old” models and continue to enjoy them while adding the new ones to the rotation. It’s been working for Casio quite well, I’d say.
They’re not competing with smart watches at all, when it comes to their core audience. We don’t WANT a smart watch, and if we do, it’s for other reasons such as to monitor exercise, not to replace our regular watches.
I applaud the use of color in bracelets, even if I’d be culling the magenta links were it mine. I guess it’s nice that titanium can be made to not be a lusterless scratch magnet,but this is one of those overly ambitious projects that answers a question that I sure wasn’t asking.
It’s like they took the old car joke (cheap, fast, good: pick two) and said shiny, light, scratch resistant and forget about cheap altogether.
I’ll admit that I think it looks kinda cool. And, I bet it looks even better in person. But, would I wear it? Prolly not. The Borneo Toad colorway of the Frogman has grown on me, as I’ve seen it show up in the forums more and more. But, would I wear it? Prolly not. Would I spend $2k on it? Prolly not.
But, there is a big enough market for these, that I have NO DOUBT, they will sell as many as they make. AND, when they become scarce, they’ll be selling for even bigger bucks on the secondary market.
Oh Casio knows how to do the fanservice to keep their brand faithful buying. Pre-internet I highly doubt that this diaspora could have been served. I’m at a total loss as to whether this sort of thing will be closer to Faberge egg or Beanie Babies values in 25 years or so.
Hard to say. But, I’ve recently paid 300 – 400% over original MSRP for a couple of “vintage” G-Shocks from the 2007 – 2009 era. One of them, I reviewed here. That said… the smart money would be on the same fate as the Beanie Babies. But, you never know! 🙂
There is a fairly established history of taking cheap consumer goods and making them in an expensive material for the irony/gimmick of it, without improving the functionality or performance.
It seems that these cheap consumer goods in a fancy material sometimes hold their value, but don’t appreciate. In the early ’90s Swatch made a platinum (~$20,000 per pound) watch that sold for $1,618. It’s available now for about $200 more on Chrono24. Some of that may just be the underlying material. Titanium is much less fancy at $30 per pound.
If the plastic G-Shock square manages to remain relevant these might hold their value, but these also might just be considered vastly inferior to the G-Shock squares on the market in the future.
An interesting note is that as much as Casio is making a point of the 104 gram weight of this titanium watch, my $150 plastic G-Shock with the same function Tough Solar/Bluetooth/Multiband module weighs 53 grams.
You’re ignoring the cult devotion these things have. I don’t get it either, but same for the sneakerheads. There are people treating these items exactly as others treat, say, a Rainbow Daytona. I guess collectability longevity hinges on the fanbase’s age distribution, which I really don’t know either.
This mystery metal process seems to be the main innovation, and I really don’t think it’s going to be huge. I’m lost as to how it is better than diamond-like coating or some similar treatment. The ability to swap in a commonplace old stock module if things fail during a long term storage is likely a plus.
I know, if you want light weight, skip the metal altogether. Lots of wanting to have two pieces of cake and eat two more, but such irrationality drives progress.
From what I can tell, the age distribution is fairly wide… as in all ages in the Casio / G-Shock forums.
I found this old poll on the WUS G-Shock forum. Sample size is small. But, for what it’s worth:
Found another poll… newer and bigger sample size:
There is a butt for every seat, and a watch for every wrist. But I’m having a hard time seeing who this is for. It’s impressively ugly. A rainbow of metal on the wrist presenting an led watch?
Say an unskilled, not particularly hard working or bright person managed to knock-up their high school sweetheart three times. They are getting $10,000 in gubment checks this year. On top of the checks last year. On top of the fully refundable child tax credit.
Everything is selling out this year, no matter how ugly it is.
Smart watches like the Garmin are great watches for parents until they aren’t. Depending on the activity I’m doing with the family, I’ll wear the Garmin. But if there is any activity involving water, or if I just want to mix things up and don’t want to wear a boring “Dad” watch, Casio is fantastic in terms of price, looks, and durability.
Never being opposed to politically incorrect ideas, I think the author may be alluding to the market for the rainbow time piece. Indeed the harder, trans (not cis-) platinum concept I’m thinking, drives the point straight home.
First of all, MSRP is 175,000 JPY with is $1,600.
Second of all, gonna have to buy one.
Right you are! Sorry about that chief. Text amended. When you do, review it for us please.
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H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Small Seconds $56,000. I’d totally get one if I could afford it. A hand wound Apple homage. I can afford and have ordered the Casio. It’s worth it even if I’m the only one who gets the joke.