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Casio G-Shock GA2100SU-1A
The Casio G-Shock CasiOak. Almost every year Casio comes out with a model or two that set the G-Shock world on fire, and this year it is the watch dubbed the CasiOak. Now, I admittedly do not keep up with every watch coming from G-Shock and I am sure there are special editions and limited releases I miss, but 2 years ago the big mainstream G-Shock was the All Metal that I reviewed here, and last year Casio released updated and even more expensive versions of those, in all titanium, with a camouflage version being the runaway hit. As you can see, this CasiOak has camouflage as well (bezel only) but we are talking a much cheaper watch here, this one coming in at $110. The CasiOak lineup has a few different variations, a green one with a black bezel, an all-black one, and even an all-red model. I chose the camo version because I just love camo, so it seemed like this would be a model I needed to have, and with all the social media posts and it is sold out pretty much everywhere here, it seemed this watch was in demand and I needed to find one asap.
Casio G-Shock CasiOak Specifications:
Size of case : 48.5×45.4×11.8mm
Total weight : 51g
Case / bezel material: Carbon / Resin
200-meter water resistance
Now, let me be clear. I fell for the hype. The hype of social media posts, the hype of influencer Youtube channels, and the hype of the watch being sold out almost everywhere. Unlike the Casio All Metal, which in my opinion was definitely worth the hype, and I do know that watch and this CasiOak are two very different watches, at very different prices, I do not feel the Oak is worth all the hype. In fairness, I don’t believe I have ever owned an ani-digi piece from Gshock, maybe I did, but we are talking almost 30 years of buying watches here, so I can not remember.
But, what you have here is a pretty average G-Shock layout in a design reminiscent of the Audemars Piquet Royal Oak, and that may be one of the reasons for its immense popularity.
The CasiOak is pretty standard fare as far as function. You get your time, which you can set as 12 or 24 hours, date, world time, a stopwatch, and of course, you get the analog hands as well as a day wheel, which is an interesting add-on. Mineral glass, shock resistance, and 200 meters of water resistance are here as well, as with any G-Shock and the digital display is the negative display, one I am not a fan of, but I still decided to grab one of these anyways. One thing I want to correct, in the video I discuss that I do not find this watch easy to read in the dark (or in the day really, but more on that in a moment), and I did not realize that the watch does have a double LED, one for the digital and one for the analog dial, to go along with the lumed hour and minute hand. This is something I missed, and yes, I admit that I somehow overlooked that.
The design takes some cues from the Royal Oak, but in rudimentary shape only. I am not even sure if Casio intended to copy the APROO at all, or was just going for the hexagon case and bezel shape. It is not like it has any fake screws in the bezel, or that they tried to copy the dial or hands layout in anyways, and the side of the 11.8mm case is your average G-Shock style as well. The bezel of this version has the camo print, one that I am sure would start to wear off easily if you were to wear this watch often, otherwise, it is all black. At 51 Grams, this watch is the lightest G-Shock currently in production, and houses an inner core of carbon fiber, between the resin, along with a stainless steel case back.
The resin band is used on countless other models as well, and overall, it is your basic $100 G-Shock, but with maybe a little added flair because of the case shape.
You definitely notice how lightweight this watch is when you pull it out of the box- it is super lightweight and if you want a watch that you will not even feel on your wrist, this is defiantly it. Being very thin as well, the CasiOak is not going to get caught under and shirt or coat sleeves, or make it hard to wear gloves of any kind, so this is perfect for those that want to be active, be outdoors, use as a work watch or even on a motorcycle. On my 7.5 inch wrist, it fits pretty much like a Square G, and the only thing I do not care for is the simple unbranded U shaped buckle. I prefer the flat double-pronged buckles G-Shock uses on other models, but hey, a lot of this is subjective and we all like something different.
I think my biggest issue with the CasiOak is the display is hard to read. I cannot speak to the other versions of this watch but on this example, I find the dial not very clear and in regular lighting and day to day use, looking down to see the time, I have a hard time seeing it clearly. The dial feels muddy, and I am not sure if it is just the crystal or the dial itself. I already knew I would have a tough time with the negative digital display, but was counting on the analog portion for checking the time at a glance. Overall, I just find this watch hard to read in both day and night situations, and that is something I have not ever encountered with a G-Shock before.
As I sit and write this last paragraph of this review, I am reflecting on many of the write-ups I have done over the years, and I think it is safe to say, unlike many, I do not claim to be an expert or a know it all when it comes to watches. Yes, I have a good amount of knowledge when it comes to watches, and yes, I have reviewed a whole lot of watches. The bottom line though is that reviews, from any reviewer, are mostly opinion. I am not sure why I fell for the hype of this watch and it shows even I have to be careful when seeing the social media posts and other Youtube channels touting how great something is. Sometimes it is, and in this instance, for me, it was not. Maybe I was expecting too much, the CasiOak is, after all, a very inexpensive G-Shock, but with all the hype, I guess I was just expecting more. It did not land for me at all, but to all that own this piece or those that yearn for one, don’t let my review sway you. Give it a try, unlike me, you may love it.