Inside its defiantly oversized body, the 2014 Casio G-Shock GravityMaster GPW 1000 delivers an extremely small GPS receiver, a state of the art solar-powered quartz movement, as well as their signature Multi-Band 6 technology that allows the device to automatically receive standard time-calibration signal from atomic clocks. What else would you probably ask from this little monster? Make your breakfast?
While most of us tend to associate the G-Shock with inexpensive, plastic-and-rubber timekeepers that are usually sold at $100-$150 apiece, there are a whole plethora of premium-priced “daily beaters” that retail at around $1000. Featuring finely finished metal bodies and an extensive list of features, they give their Swiss-made competitors a nice run for their money (consider, for example, this sporty G-Shock Metal-Twisted (reference no. MTG-S1000D-1AJF)).
This new Casio G-Shock GravityMaster GPW 1000 belongs to the same niche of “upscale” tool watches.
Retailing for $950, the gadget won’t stun anyone with elegant curves or flowing lines (on the contrary, the case is deliberately rugged looking like some military-grade piece of equipment designed to withstand a nuclear explosion to serve some yet unborn hero in a post-apocalyptic world in his or her quest for some Essential Artefact), but it is equipped with an advanced quartz mechanism with a nice set of features.
Its main point of attraction is, of course, the ultra-compact GPS LSI chip that the Japanese juggernaut Sony has revealed last year. Originally designed for smartphones, tablets and all kind of mobile computers, the device is smaller than a nail on your pinky, but is still relatively large, so an “adventure” watch with its deliberately oversized body that measures 66 by 56 millimeters long and wide, and is almost 19 millimeters thick (there are not so many automatic chronographs that can rival its dimensions) looked like an ideal candidate for the job.
Working in pair with Casio’s trademark Multi-Band 6 technology, the tiny unit greatly increases the timekeeper’s precision, especially if you happen to pay a visit to some obscure country in the middle of nowhere, which is too far away from radio towers in the United States, England, Germany, Japan and China that broadcast extremely precise time signal measured by atomic clocks.
Although the stations are powerful, there is always a good chance that your watch will not be sensitive enough to receive their signal somewhere in Russia or an African country. That’s where the GPS LSI chip comes to the rescue. Always knowing where it is, the timekeeper will be able to calculate local time even if the radio signal from the atomic clocks is not available. Must be quite convenient, that.
Trying to justify the gadget’s high price (I mean, there are lots of easier and cheaper ways to get the information about local time. We all have our smartphones after all), the Japanese watchmaker employed the best materials currently available for such a timekeeper. The GPW 1000 has its case protected with nice soft-to-touch resin, there are carbon fiber inserts here and there, and there is even a DLC-coated forged metal bezel that, too, looks nice in this device.
All in all, the GravityMaster makes a good impression. Despite its signature styling which is usually associated with entry-level models for kids, it doesn’t look cheap. Its dial, while busy, doesn’t look cluttered: you can easily read time (although, even on these promotional photos it is noticeable that the hour and minute hands are a bit too wide and can obstruct the view at the second time zone display, as well as at the alarm sub-dial) and date.
If money is money is not a problem and styling feels okay, you could probably be more than satisfied with this gadget.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Casio G-Shock GravityMaster GPW 1000 specification
Price: $950 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, “shadow dispersing” solar cell-powered
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, calendar, second time-zone, alarm
Case and Crown: Stainless steel with a fine resin frame
Bezel: Forged metal with DLC coating
Dimensions: 66.00 mm x 56.00 mm
Case height: 18.80 mm
Dial: Black carbon fiber
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Rubber band with carbon fiber inserts