A Closer Look At The G-SHOCK Classy Off-Road Series
With their colorful vapor-deposited, ion-plated finishes, this trippy trio is meant to help one commune with nature.
Let’s be honest, G-SHOCK releases a lot of watches in a year. And I say this as an avowed G-SHOCK fan. Fun variations on classic themes trigger the dopamine release that collectors crave. And given its accessible price point, catching them all is a relatively harmless pursuit.
Sometimes the FOMO for these timepieces dies down, supplanted by the next cool thing. And sometimes the desire for a particular edition lingers and you can’t stop thinking about it even months after its release.
Such is the case with the G-SHOCK Classy Off-Road series, a collection of three classic G-SHOCK designs all tricked out with such special effects as metal bezels colored with ion-plated (IP) finishes, glass printing, metallic gradation vapor deposition and matte, semi-transparent bands.
While the idea was to evoke the sensation of racing through the wilderness by invoking the colors of ancient desert landscapes, the result is a trio of sporty timepieces that would also look at home in more formal spaces.
The first model in the G-SHOCK Classy Off-Road series is the GM110CL-6A. Based on the classic analog-digital GM110 Series the metal-clad 51.9mm × 48.8mm × 16.9mm case of this big boy has been forged, cut and polished to give it its distinctive design.
This GM110 also features a silver bezel for a muted metallic look while the vapor deposition on the dial has a depth that recalls the purple striations of an Arizona sunset. The translucent matte resin strap recalls the dusty desert.
If you do find yourself driving through the desert, the GM110CL-6A is packed with most of the gadgetry you need to navigate the unforgettable but unforgiving terrain. This includes shock and magnetic resistance, a worldtimer, five alarms, a countdown timer, a stopwatch and Casio’s Neobrite lume to help you read your watch in the dark.
While the Classy Off-Road collection launched in July, the palette of this power trio is autumnal. Case in point, the gorgeous gold, ion-plated stainless-steel bezel and green dial and resin bracelet of the GM5600CL-3.
Using the DW-5600C – the most minimalist model in the square G-SHOCK range –as its design signature, this edition stands out with a hypnotic, radiant glass-printed face.
We know G-SHOCKs are built to last. And we are aware that they are an amazing value proposition. But we’re here for the aesthetics and the combination of the gold IP case, radiant dial and glowing resin strap. This piece has invented its own watch genre. Sure you can wear this on a rally car race through the desert, but it would also suit a much more refined automotive event. Like the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
Watchmakers aren’t the only ones reproducing the palette of the desert. The big car companies – including Porsche, Jeep, Nissan and Hyundai – have been embracing earth tones as well as a more understated, non-light-reflecting paint.
The beloved CasiOak has taken a page from this automotive trend with the Sandy hues of the GM2100CL-5A. Here, the ion-plating effect gives the stainless-steel bezel a feeling of depth without resorting to the horological equivalent of metal flake.
At the same time, the resin case and strap have a mattified finish that stands apart from conventional G-SHOCKs. Part of the allure of exploring the desert is finding yourself. Might as well find yourself a timepiece that speaks to your style as well.