G-SHOCK MAG. #01 The GMW-B5000TR-9

G-SHOCK MAG.
HODINKEE.com #01
The GMW-B5000TR-9

You can draw a direct line from the original 1983 G-SHOCK DW-5000C to the new GMW-B5000TR-9. That line expertly transmits G-SHOCK’s consummate core values, but you can also think of it as a kind of “rainbow bridge.” The so-called “full metal” versions of G-SHOCK’s digital timepieces have consistently been among its most successful and compelling. But now that metal comes in a multitude of lightweight colors.

An artful blend of metallic gold, dark grey, and light grey hues joins vibrant blue and red metallic components to offer up an appealing chromatic tapestry, but with a degree of informed design restraint that never goes overboard. The 49.3 x 43.2 mm gold case – complemented with a reversed light-on-dark illuminated STN LCD dial – flows into the gradient grey tones of the bracelet with pops of red and blue links that bring some playfulness and individuality to the package.

What truly makes this watch special is the material – the all-metal aspect is now lighter and harder. Building upon the legacy of full-metal construction, Casio sought a new material that could combine the merits of stainless steel for durability and shine with the lightweight feeling of titanium. While pure titanium is light and has excellent corrosion resistance and biocompatibility, its workability, hardness, and mirror surface are inevitably inferior to stainless steel.

Crafted from TranTixxii, "Super-TIX20AFG" is a new titanium alloy developed over 6 years of collaboration between Casio and Nippon Steel Corporation. The GMW-B5000TR-9’s core construction packs titanium’s lightweight and anti-corrosive properties at twice the hardness. Throughout the development process, Casio urged for the new material to have a "mirror surface suitable for decoration." At the beginning of development, Casio polished a number of small plates prepared by Nippon Steel and visually evaluated the mirror surface one by one. Now in production, the new TranTixxi titanium offers up a smoother, flatter polishing surface for mirror-finishing, so titanium’s typical matte optics can now shine like stainless steel.

Because the Super-TIX20AFG has excellent workability, it is easy to polish even the fine, uneven form that is a feature of the B5000 case. The multi-colored design, which is also a feature of the GMW-B5000TR, was selected as a design that maximizes this mirror finish. Casio has selected five colors that give the best mirror finish, including the new dark blue IP, in order to make this new material a spectacular debut. The result is fresh, impactful, and unlike other color variations of the B5000 series.

The legacy design references to G-SHOCK’s early digital watches not only mean the brand’s resin shock-absorbing internal buffers are right where you need them in the GMW-B5000TR-9, but they also carry a strong retro-appeal. However, the new materials and colors create an alternative to mere heritage inspiration. While the GMW-B5000D attracts core fans, the GMW-B5000TR-9's uncompromising performance and reinvisioned looks will make this reference a classic.