As featured on Revolution, October 21, 2019
by Sumit Nag
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Any watch nerd who has handled a fair number of watches will tell you that there is a sense of reassurance in the weight that you feel when handling a steel or precious metal timepiece. Titanium on the other hand, while it is today considered a premium metal, conveys a completely paradoxical sensation when you pick up watches cased in the material.
True to this regard, when you pick up the G-SHOCK Full Titanium GMW-B5000TB, the 57 grams of difference in weight that you are bound to feel, compared to the all-steel GMW-B5000 Full-Metal, will surely mess with your head at first.
You see, titanium has a high strength-to-weight ratio. Meaning to say, if we were to make a comparison, the same watch in titanium would feel vastly lighter compared to its stainless-steel sibling. And this, while providing superior strength at the same time.
For the G-SHOCK, as much as the material is not new to the family — the first titanium G-SHOCK was the 1996 MRG-100T and now the complete MR-G series is executed in titanium — the complexity of the DW-5000 case and the challenges of working with titanium has always been a hurdle. That is, until now.
Once the GMW-B5000 Full-Metal series was launched, a titanium execution of the DW-5000 was not far off. Sure enough, some weeks ago, the word was finally out when the G-SHOCK Full Titanium GMW-B5000TB was announced.
The 1996 all steel G-Shock MRG-100
The 1996 all titanium G-Shock MRG-100T
The IP coated gold G-Shock Full Metal 5000 (Image © Revolution)
For the first challenge in realising the GMW-B5000TB, Casio would’ve had to source for the right titanium alloy to work with that would survive the machining process necessary for the complex DW-5000 case and withstand the slew of torture tests that prototypes must survive in order to be called a G-SHOCK.
The exact alloy used in the end remains under wraps. There is, therefore, reason to believe that the alloy is probably a concoction of Casio’s own making, so as to best cater to the production and life expectation of a G-SHOCK. Despite this, what we know for sure is that the complexity of the DW-5000 case and the challenges of working with titanium led Casio to create a dedicated assembly facility for the titanium GMW-B5000TB.
Going back to the matter of the titanium alloy, there is speculation that the Ti-6Al-4V alloy — more commonly known as Grade 5 Titanium — was used. This particular variety of titanium is preferred in the watch industry as it can be polished to give its surface the lustre that is so desirable in watchmaking. And the GMW-B5000TB does have its share of polished surfaces, most prominent of which is the bezel.
Speculation aside, with all of the great qualities of hardness and scratch resistance boasted by Casio’s preceding titanium G-SHOCK creations, we can expect no less from the DLC-coated GMW-B5000TB.
As a result, for those who opt for the resin G-SHOCKs as their daily beaters, for their lightness and reliability, you will be pleasantly surprised by the weight of the GMW-B5000TB, compared to its steel counterparts. Particularly for the tropical weather in Singapore, the titanium bracelet is a welcome aspect when considering the uncomfortable cocktail of tropical midday heat, sweat and the resin strap.
Original article can be found here.Article content has been adapted and all image credits to Revolution ©