Big, bold and analog: this is the GW-3000, from the G-Shock Aviation line. Today we review the GW-3000B, the version with an orange dial and metal bracelet. Let’s get started with the basic features and measurements:
- Available in blue or orange with a PVD case, and orange/white with a unplated steel case.
- Tough solar power, 5 month power reserve
- 6-band atomic timekeeping, accurate to within 15 seconds per month if no signal.
- Tough movement (this means the hands check and realign themselves if knocked out of place)
- Rated for up to 12G of centrifugal force, in case you fly extreme acrobatics.
- 1/100th of second stopwatch, measures up to 24 minutes.
- 29-zone world time
- Daily alarm
- Second time display on 3 o’clock subdial
- PVD-coated case and bracelet
- Domed mineral crystal
- Water resistant to 200m (660ft)
- Superluminova on hands and indices
- 16.2mm thick by 49mm, 135g
- Bracelet is 4mm thick, springbar pins, PVD plated, tapering from 26mm to 16.5mm. Double pushbutton signed clasp.
I am a fan of both analog and analog-digital watches, and I’m always curious to see how to reconcile the functionality of a G-Shock with the constraints posed by hands. As always, Casio does not disappoint here. This closeup shows the hour/minute hands at 3 o’clock, the deeply set date window, the retrograde indicator at 9 and the 24-hour dial at six. Also note that the bezel has four levels going up from the dial, each with its own information and content. A lot of information is here, kept carefully separated and balanced between utility and visual clutter.
I think the orange/black color combination helps here as well. Black for background, greyish white for text, orange for markers and hands.
Now take a look at the left side of the dial, and notice how the retrograde subdial is inset a bit lower, with hundredths of a second (0-9) on the left side and mode on the right. It also indicates the day of the week while in normal time display mode. Of course, the second hand does many jobs as well, as can be guess by the layered bezel text. The GW-3000 is Casio’s 5121 module (PDF), yet another marvel of miniaturization.
The GW-3000 is one of the higher-end G-Shocks, which add solar power and radio reception as features. With a generous five month power reserve and automatic power saving, this is a watch you can grab and go. Available with plastic (resin) strap or the bracelet shown here, it offers large, high-contrast hands for excellent legibility at a glance.
In terms of features, there’s two not here you might miss from other G-Shocks: countdown and LED illumination. The lack of countdown makes sense; they had to work pretty hard already to cram the features into the interface, and one more would be difficult. The missing LED is debatable; the lume is pretty good. (Picture below) Certainly if you want full-feature operability in the dark, the digital models would be a better choice.
Also unusual for Casio is the use of a domed crystal. This one is mineral, and with a slight dome that’s not obvious at first. It improves visibility just a bit and looks nice on the large dial.
Prices on the GW-3000s start at $260 for the version with the resin strap to $360 for the bracelet version shown here. It’s hard to compare G-Shocks on value, though, since they really have little to no competition in their field: super tough, atomic/solar, high-G tolerant, 200m rating… For that, Casio rules.
On the wrist, this one is large-ish, medium weight and quite comfortable. Smaller than a Frogman or the new GX56 series, Casio calls this ‘the large case Aviation concept’ and just under 50mm wide it’s definitely bold. Design-wise, you’ll know right away if you like it; I do.
Our thanks to Casio PR for the loaner review watch.