As the full-metal G-Shock GMW-B5000D-1 and GMW-B5000TFG-9 are now available in North America, we counter the common arguments against buying one of these historic models. You likely don’t need any convincing to buy one, but in case you do…
Faulty reason #1: Too expensive
Yes, it is the most expensive square 5000-series G-Shock, but try to put it in perspective. The GW-5000-1JF is the closest model to the GMW-B5000 and also has a stainless steel inner-body and screw-back case (but with a resin bezel/band and no Bluetooth). It usually goes for around $300 USD online. While we don’t know the exact sales figures, it’s safe to say it’s a very popular model that people are willing to pay for. For just $200 more with the GMW-B5000D-1, you are getting a stainless steel bezel and band plus Bluetooth connectivity. The Bluetooth link adds a bunch of new features like automatic internet time adjustment, expanded world time with 300 cities (with 5 settable on the watch), a time and place log to track your whereabouts, five reminder alerts with text descriptions, phone finder, and easy access to the watch settings. Also, some European users can change the day of the week abbreviation to match their language and set the date to the DD/MM style. Now consider the gold GMW-B5000TFG-9 which has a gold ion-plated surface and is only $100 more than the standard silver model. It is a 35th Anniversary limited edition with a commemorative case back and is sure to sell out. It should also be noted that these models are made in Japan.
Faulty reason #2: Buy it later or wait for new model
This applies to the GMW-B5000D-1 as we’re certain the gold limited edition GMW-B5000TFG-9 will sell out at some point. It’s possible that the GMW-B5000D-1 will stay in production for a while but just because it’s a regular release does not guarantee that it will. The GMW-B5000D-1 may very well become a readily-available fixture like the GW-5000-1JF, but we don’t know if that will happen. Even if there is an abundant supply and it becomes available for a cheaper price from third-party sellers later on, it is recommended to pay the retail price from an authorized seller so that you will have the 1-year Casio warranty. It is also likely that we will see more new GMW-B5000 models added in the future and maybe one of those will strike your fancy more, but it’s hard to imagine a better-looking model than the GMW-B5000D-1. These will always be the first models and it’s more fun to be an early adopter.
Faulty reason #3: It will get scratched
Yes, they will most likely get scratched if you wear them unless you are extremely careful. That’s the nature of metal watches but it doesn’t stop people from buying other much more expensive stainless steel watches. This is a good reason to buy the GMW-B5000TFC-1 edition with DLC coating which will have better scratch resistance. That’s a 35th Anniversary Model (limited to 500 units) that will cost $1,200 USD if you can even get it for list price. Scratches will give the watch character but if you just can’t live with them then you can order a new bezel for the silver and gold models from authorized parts reseller PacParts, and they are not prohibitively expensive. PacParts can get parts for both the GMW-B5000D-1 and GMW-B5000TFG-9 (links to PacParts pages).
Faulty reason #4: It’s too heavy
Sure, compared to a resin DW-5600 it’s heavy at 167 grams versus 53 grams, but 53 grams is ridiculously light to begin with. YouTube reviewers as well as those on the forums don’t have a problem with the weight. It may be a little heavy for a metal watch, but it’s not overly so considering its ruggedness and water resistance. In comparison, a Seiko Prospex SBDC033 diving watch is 183 grams.
Faulty reason #5: It’s too hard to find for list price
This is a valid reason not to buy one as eBay sellers are taking advantage of the shortage and jacking prices up. It’s possible to find them online for list price in North America, but you need to be persistent in your effort. Zumiez went through several cycles of having them in and out of stock, so it can be worthwhile to keep checking a place even if it’s already sold out. You can also try lesser-known authorized Casio dealers or regional brick and mortar dealers. It is a good idea to build a relationship with the smaller dealers (or just call them on the phone and ask) if you’re interested in limited editions (especially with super-limited models like the GMW-B5000TFC-1). Some of them will offer reservations and pre-orders that may not be made public. It certainly helps to start early and be proactive with the limited edition watches if you are serious about buying one.
Update: It appears that there is no longer a severe shortage of the silver GMW-B5000D-1 (though you may still have to shop around to find it at list price) and newer models like the resin-banded GMW-B5000-1 as well as the black IP GMW-B5000GD-1 and gold IP GMW-B5000GD-9 are readily available from several authorized dealers.