Note: This review was first published on 29 Dec 2020.
The legendary reliability of G-Shock can be attributed to the magic of resin. The material can be manipulated into various shapes, colours, and it can be made extremely strong. But most of all, it absorbs shocks well, which makes it the ideal material to encase a quartz timekeeping module within. This is the principle on which all G-Shocks are made.
The MTG collection is Casio’s response to fans who wanted a G-Shock that they could wear to more formal occasions but would still retain the brand’s legendary reputation for durability and ruggedness. The result is a G-Shock with a mostly metal construction and high levels of finishing so that the watch would gleam like a luxury watch.
Yes, the idea of a luxury G-Shock seems conflicting but in a world where Rolls Royce makes a $1.3 million off-roader, surely the thought of a four-figure G-Shock isn’t all that outlandish. It’s a simple case of meeting market demand. So what do you really get when you pay over a grand’s worth for G-Shock? Let’s find out with the new MTG-B2000.
The G-Shock MTG-B2000 is the second watch in G-Shock Connected MTG series and the follow-up to the successful MTG-B1000. It doesn’t replace the latter – the MTG-B1000 continues to be part of the lineup – but it improves on it in a few areas.
On paper, the MTG-B2000’s dimensions of 55.1 x 51 x 15.9mm isn’t all that different from the MTG-B1000. However, the redesigned bracelet helps it sit closer and flatter on the wrist, which reduces the top-heavy feeling you get from large G-Shocks. Hollowed out parts in the metal bracelet using metal injection moulding help reduce overall weight by around 15%, further improving wearing comfort. Unfortunately, it does make the bracelet feel less substantial and less like a well-made quality item. You can’t have your cake and eat it.
Luckily, the case and dial redeem the watch. The MTG-B2000 has an all-new case design that has more geometry and tension. The mid-case is an octagon whereas the bezel is a dodecagon. The play of shapes creates visual interest and when coupled with a technique of polishing called sallaz polish, the MTG-B2000 looks and feels every bit as expensive as its price tag suggests. For watch enthusiasts, it’s easy to be reminded of a Royal Oak every time you look at it.
The case is built on G-Shock’s new Carbon Core Guard structure. The outer case and bezel are stainless steel and inside it sits a monocoque case made from carbon-fibre-reinforced resin. This monocoque case cocoons the timekeeping module and protects it from the elements. This watch was made to take a beating.
Now, the MTG-B2000 comes in three variants. There’s two models that come with stainless steel bracelets and a third that comes on a rubber strap. The model I’m testing is the MTG-B2000BD. It’s the priciest of the lot and it can be distinguished by its red ion-plated bezel, black ion-plated case, and bracelet. Second in line is the MTG-B2000D which has a black ion-plated bezel and stainless steel case and bracelet. The most affordable is the MTG-B2000B which comes with a blue ion-plated bezel and black rubber strap.
|MTG-B2000B||Blue||Rubber (soft urethane)||S$1,399|
The dial is protected by sapphire crystal and it is deeply dished, giving it a three-dimensional quality. This quality is further accentuated by the various textures on the dial and the finely finished hour and minute hands, and applied indexes. It’s unquestionably a step up from what you get on regular G-Shocks.
The hands and indices also feature Casio’s Neobrite luminescent material which is supposed to glow in the dark to help you read the time in the dark. To be honest, it doesn’t actually get very bright nor does it last for long. It’s much easier to press the Light pusher and activate the built-in LED light.
Quality dial components aside, the dial configuration has been revised so that it’s easier to read. At 3 o’clock, you have a large day and mode indicator. Below it sits the date. At 8 o’clock, you have a subdial that tells you time in a second timezone and also a corresponding day-night indicator. Finally, at 10 o’clock you have your 24-hour indicator.
These indicators are mostly similar to the MTG-B1000 but their new locations on the dial are more sensible. I like how the day indicator is just above the date. One thing that I miss is the power reserve indicator. With the MTG-B1000, it would show you the amount of charge left in the watch on the dial but with the MTG-B2000 you have to go into the G-Shock Connected app.
This brings me neatly to Bluetooth connectivity. Recognising that high-end G-Shocks can be difficult to use, Casio has since included Bluetooth connectivity on almost all of its high-end models so that users can more easily and conveniently manage and adjust the watch’s various settings and features using the G-Shock Connected app. This saves users the trouble of having to memorise complicated button pressing sequences to access the various features of the watch. Of course, you can go old school and just use the various pushers on the watch if you so desire.
Another benefit of Bluetooth connectivity is auto time syncing. At least once every day, the MTG-B2000 will sync with the app ensuring it never runs fast or slow. It can also account for timezone changes. So if you are travelling to another timezone, the watch will automatically adjust itself once you reach your destination.
The MTG-B2000 has a bucketload of other features. Apart from being able to show time in two timezones simultaneously, it has alarm, countdown timer, and chronograph functions. It also has Multi Band 6 technology, which means the watch can receive time calibration signals from any of six stations around the world – there’s two in Japan, one in China, one in Germany, one in the UK, and another in the USA. Sadly, Singapore is too far from the stations to work. It also has Tough Solar so it charges itself when you take it out into the sun, which is very handy in sunny Singapore.
Even though the MTG-B2000 looks more smart and formal than most other G-Shocks, it still isn’t something I would wear with a shirt and tie. But matters of style are subjective and perhaps that’s a look you can carry off.
What I will concede, however, is that the MTG-B2000 is very well made. The quality of the case, dial, and handset, easily matches or exceeds other watches at the same price point. As I said, it’s a step up from regular G-Shocks.
The group of people that will likely find the MTG-B2000 most useful are travellers. The ability to show time in two timezones simultaneously and the automatic time syncing function are features that are sure to find favour with the jet set. The fact that it is durable and rugged is the icing on the cake.
Having said that, these qualities are not exclusive to the MTG-B2000. Many more affordable G-Shocks have world-time functionality and are equally tough, which makes them just as suitable for travelling.
Ultimately, the MTG-B2000 is a G-Shock for aficionados of the brand and discerning consumers who recognise quality. Like any luxury watch, you buy one for what it is and not what it can do. And what the MTG-B2000 represents is the pinnacle of the brand. Build quality is very high and it happens to be one of the few G-Shocks that’s still made in Japan (most are now made in China and Thailand). These are attributes that some will find appealing, while others will scratch their heads. But it’s alright, because sometimes we just buy things we like, not things we need.