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Casio G-Shock GST-B500 Review – When size matters

Tags: Review | Casio | Men's | Classic

17.6.2022 | 6 MIN

Elegant enough not to offend even at a company meeting, durable enough to survive even the most demanding adventures. That is exactly what the G-Steel collection and the durable Casio G-Shock watch are, where metal, as the name suggests, plays a major role. And what's new in the new G-Steel GST-B500 is what you will find out in today's review.

In addition to G-Shock's durability, I also like the diversity in their catalog – there you can find both cheap plastic digitals but also limited edition analog models with hand-forged bezels made of exclusive materials that are anything but cheap. There's something for everyone... G-Steels represent, let's say, the golden mean, which offers a balanced combination of functions and a fancy look, which you will probably appreciate the most in everyday life (unless you are a paratrooper, I guess). And the new GST-B500 continues this tradition.

Less is more sometimes

So what news does the G-Steel bring to the table? There is much more to them, but the main trump card is undoubtedly their weight and size. This is the thinnest and at the same time the lightest model of the G-Steel series equipped with a metal bracelet, and that means only one thing – it is great to wear.

In terms of numbers, the new "Five Hundreds" can brag about their dimensions of 46.4 x 48.9 x 12.8 millimeters and a weight of 143 grams, which is, compared to their predecessor GST-B400, less by a noticeable 17 grams, and your wrist will certainly appreciate it. Of course, we're talking about the weight of an unshortened bracelet, so if you have a wrist circumference of less than 20.5 centimeters, the resulting weight will be even smaller.

This watch owes its lower weight, above all, to the metal bracelet. The buckle is 5 millimeters narrower, and upon closer inspection, I discovered one more intriguing thing. Its pieces are not milled from a single piece of steel, as was the case with previous models, but this time the pieces are hollow, filled with a metal insert. Although this solution may seem a bit cheap to someone, I personally was not offended, mainly because it does not rattle and also gains flexibility in bending to the side, and thus comfort in wearing.

This is the thinnest and at the same time the lightest model of the G-Steel series equipped with a metal bracelet, and that means only one thing – it's just incredible to wear.

However, its attachment directly to the watch case with two screws feels a bit controversial. It makes it basically impossible to use rubber strap from other models. It's a pity... Speaking of the bracelet, I'll mention that the metal clasp that's attached to it has lost one hole in the regulation and thus has only three instead of the traditional four. On the other hand, what has remained unchanged compared to the previous model is the construction of the sandwich case of the watch, which uses steel and carbon-reinforced resin as well as a cover glass made of mineral glass.

The combination of the successful

If you are familiar with the current offer of these durable watches from the land of the rising sun, then you certainly did not miss the fact that Casio designers did not embark on any major changes this time and instead opted for the new GSTs according to the recipe "take the time-proven ingredients and mix it together". The dial of this model looks just like the highly successful GA-2100 aka "Casioaks" and the bezel, with its shape and the placement of two decorative screws, is reminiscent of the GST-B400.

G-Shock GA-2100 : Tribute to Mr. Ibe
G-Shock GA-2100 : Tribute to Mr. Ibe

Whether it's good or bad, I'll leave that decision up to you. I personally like it. Thanks to the layout of the dial, they are clearer compared to other G-Steels and you can read the time without any problems at first glance. It's just a bit worse this time in terms of readability of the beveled display. It is present with all three color variants – meaning green (GST-B500AD-3AER), black (GST-B500D-1A1ER) and black-silver (GST-B500D-1AER).

It looks good, but in combination with the tiny characters it is not very practical and it takes a bit of effort to read the data, even during the day. In low light, the display becomes pretty much unreadable. Fortunately, the display and the dial is very well lit with two diodes - the "Double Illuminator", which eliminates this shortcoming. I would like to add that this time Casio also equipped the hands of this model with Neobrite luminescence, but unfortunately it somehow forgot about the indexes, which is a bit of a shame.

Time-proven mix of functions

In terms of functional equipment, the developers did not go big this time around, and the equipment of the GST-B500 remained practically the same as its predecessor. However, I do not see this as a fault, because it is still more than rich and everything you might need from an "ordinary" quartz watches is there nonetheless. And not only that...

The watch is, of course, impact resistant and, as with all G-Shock models, there is also a water resistance of a full 200 meters. The module labeled 5684 is, therefore, all safe and sound.

From the traditional functions we have an automatic calendar with the possibility of displaying in European format – which was definitely not customary with G-Shocks in the past – stopwatch with a split time of 24 hours, 60 minute countdown, 5 simple alarms, time in the second time zone and useful for someone "Beeper" every hour. And there is also a function of "cleaning" the hands.

G-Shock fans, and not only them, will be pleased with the presence of the popular feature, and that is a solar-powered watch. There is no need for frequent and often annoying battery replacement, and the watch is virtually maintenance-free. However, what these G-Shocks lack is to set the exact time using a radio signal. But don't worry, you won't miss the automatic exact time anyway.

As the letter B in the name of the watch suggests, these "GETs" can also communicate with a smartphone via Bluetooth and an app. But beware! For some reason, Casio decided to replace the existing "G-Shock Connected" application with a new one called "Casio Watches". So what does this change bring?

New app

The first change in this app is the need to register and obtain a so-called Casio ID, i.e. a personal account. After registration and login, the application will prompt you to register the watch itself by entering the watch module number and subsequent pairing via Bluetooth. After this procedure, the time will be automatically synchronized from the mobile network and the owner of the watch then has access to other functions such as Reminder, i.e. the ability to set 5 simple reminders and Phone Finder, which, as the name suggests, will help you find your phone.

An interesting novelty is the possibility to use the app to correct the hands in case they deviate from the correct position due to a severe impact or magnetism. Of course, there is also the option of completely setting up the watch over the phone or choosing one of the three hundred places on the globe to display the second time zone, or entering your own. Handy...

In the app, you will also find a direct link to a complete electronic manual for a specific model of registered watches or, for example, an overview of news from the Casio G-Shock Instagram account.

However, what is still missing, and maybe it makes sense that it does, given that the watch is not connected to the phone non-stop, are the notifications. After all, it is still not a smart watch and is designed so that it does not depend on the phone in any way. So you don't have to pair your watch with your phone. The watch will work normally with the accuracy of classic G-Shocks, ie a maximum of + -15 seconds per month.

And lastly...

The Casio G-Shock GST-B500 is undoubtedly a welcome addition to the stylish G-Steel range. Although it offers no functional revolution, they certainly have something that will catch your eye. It will please especially the owners of slimmer wrists, but also everyone who likes a metallic look, but at the same time they are not fans of big and heavy watches. So if you forgive them for a hard-to-read display and also the absence of rubber straps, there is no point in discussion considering the price of under 400 euros.

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