By now, we all know the famous G-Shock “CasiOak.” Pretty much straight after its introduction, the watch got its famous nickname and became an incredible hit for G-Shock. Along the way, we have seen the introduction of various versions using different materials and designs. The latest series of the G-Shock CasiOak is the new GM-2100C Metal-Covered Utility Series. The series introduces three new models that come with a familiar case design and execution but combine it with fabric straps, resulting in a new aesthetic that is both recognizable and refreshing.
When G-Shock introduced the original resin-cased GA2100 series in 2019, it took the world by storm. In the summer of 2021, G-Shock introduced the metal-covered version of the CasiOak in two different sizes. And late last year, Lex reviewed the full-metal CasiOaks that looked and felt awesome. But let’s take a step back to the metal-covered models. These watches introduced a new construction for the famous octagonal case. It consists of a resin inner case and a stainless steel outer case, hence the “metal-covered” terminology. Now we see the release of three new models with the same case construction, featuring unique designs paired with fabric straps.
So let’s take a look at the three new models. They all feature the familiar 44.4mm case that is 11.8mm thick and 49.3mm from lug to lug. The watches, at 72 grams, are very light on the wrist and are water resistant up to 200 meters. Regarding the three different models, the first is the stealthy G-Shock GM-2100CB-1AER. This watch has a black ion-plated (IP) stainless steel outer case, red details on the dial, and a black strap. The second model is the GM-2100CB-3AER. This watch comes with a dark gray ion-plated stainless steel outer case with bright green details livening up the dial and a military green strap. The last of the three is the GM-2100C-5AER, which features a regular stainless steel outer case. It features beige details on the dial and comes with a beige strap.
All three of the models have their own look and appeal. I love the aesthetic of the beige-accented model as it feels the most natural and “real,” for lack of a better word. I love that the outer case comes in regular stainless steel. Combined with the black dial and beige details, it looks like a proper military watch, and I really dig that.
All three models have a different look and feel. But all three bezels feature the same brushed circular finish, giving the watches extra details and texture. And it’s no surprise that the finish is most visible on the regular stainless steel model. The sides of the bezels feature a polished finish for some great contrast. Echoing the bezel, the case sides are brushed, and the pushers and screws serve as high-polished accents.
Overall, the finishing of the three watches is really well done. Besides adding detail to the overall look, it also gives the watches a more luxurious feel compared to their resin counterparts. The new twist to these models is the fabric straps they come on. The two-part straps feature a buckle and two keepers and are connected to the case through an end link that is placed at an angle. The construction feels very sturdy, and the angled end links also add character to the watch’s overall look. On top of that, they keep the visual balance that some bigger/bulky watches lose when you put a NATO or fabric strap on them.
When it comes to wearability, it will be no surprise that they are all very comfortable on the wrist. Of course, these 44mm watches are not exactly small, but in the G-Shock universe, these three models are almost modest compared to some of the others in the collection. The high-quality straps make these watches even more wearable than their counterparts already are, and I truly enjoyed spending time with all three of them.
On the wrist is also where the dial design with all its functions comes to life. Just like with the other models in the 2100 series, the watches feature an hour and minute hand and lack a seconds hand. This saves battery power, and you can read the seconds on the digital display. It makes reading the time super easy, especially in combination with the oversized hour markers. The hands are filled with lume for reading the time in the dark. The silver-colored markers are recessed in the dial and the rehaut that surrounds it, almost serving as the anchors that keep the dial and rehaut connected. Due to their silver color, they do not come with lume, despite shimmering in the daylight. A double-LED light, however, also helps with reading the time in the dark.
Looking at the dial, what stands out is the vast majority of analog elements. It gives the watches a predominantly mechanical feel. In addition to the hour and minute hands, you will see the day indicator at 9 o’clock. The two-line digital display displays a wide array of digital functions between 3 and 6 o’clock. Providing all these different functions is the 5611 module, which also powers all the other G-Shock 2100-series models. It guarantees an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month.
In terms of functions, you get the familiar set that we know from G-Shock. Besides the aforementioned LED light, the watches come with five alarms, a stopwatch, a 24-hour countdown timer, a full calendar, and a world-time function displaying 31 time zones, 48 cities, and UTC. As with any of the classic G-Shocks, you can flip through the different functions and activate them by using the four pushers on the sides of the case.
I have to say, I went into this review expecting to experience a variation of the G-Shock 2100 series that would not be markedly different from what we already know. I am happy to admit that was wrong. The new G-Shock GM-2100C Utility Series offers a new perspective on the CasiOak that I love. The combination of the octagonal cases executed in metal with the fabric straps and end links gives the watches a different, more utilitarian look. So the Utility Series name is definitely on point.
The straps are of great quality and easy to change thanks to the quick-change system “hidden” in the end link connected to the case. The one model that stood out the most for me was the stainless steel G-Shock GM-2100C-5AER with its beige strap and beige details on the dial. Its visual power meant it could almost pass for a modern analog watch while still feeling very much like a G-Shock.
Until now, my favorite of the CasiOaks models had been the standard blacked-out GA-2100-1A1ER and the full steel-colored GM-B2100D-1AER. But with this new GM-2100C Utility Series, G-Shock manages to mix things up in a way that feels fresh. I love the balance that G-Shock achieved with these pieces. That’s why I could easily see myself adding the stainless steel G-Shock GM-2100C-5AER with its beige strap to my modest G-Shock collection. Once again, I take my hat off to the brand for creating a series that feels familiar in its overall appeal but brings something truly different in all its details. It is great to see this new series added to the extensive G-Shock collection.