Most of the watches I wear and use are pretty big sports or outdoors wearables. Sometimes, though, something simpler is nice.
Just as I was starting to wear – and review – the Veilance Deploy LT jacket in its streetwear-ish off-white color with black contrasts, Casio Germany offered to loan me a watch of their new G-Shock variants in “Skeleton”.
The GA-2100, a.k.a. “CasiOak,” in the transparent white colorway fit the Deploy LT too well not to agree to the offer.
Watch Design Stories
This watch also tells its own story of interactions between luxury and streetwear, performance and its hiding away in simple clean designs.
In the line-up of G-Shock, the GA-2100 is an utter exception.
The story goes that it was a hard sell within the company; its design was just too toned-down compared to the usual bulky overbuild that characterizes G-Shock.
This Is a G-Shock?
In fact, it is easy to recognize this watch as a Casio. Its looks and functional combination of analog watchface and digital display are familiar from that brand.
The smaller and especially thinner case without any peculiar shock buffers or similar elements hides away the G-Shock character of this watch, though.
It is still very shockproof, but this is achieved through a carbon core guard inside the watch’s otherwise almost plain, and certainly thin, case.
That plainness of the case holds an interesting, if apparently unintended, link to the world of luxury watchmaking.
Luxury “Oak” Parallels
The octagonal bezel of the GA-2100 was only brought in as an allusion to G-Shock’s technical heritage.
Where it ended up, however, was with the allusion that gave it the name of “CasiOak,” as this Casio looks like a design relative of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak.
The story of that design is a curious one.
If it truly didn’t, perhaps subsconsciously, inspire Casio’s designers, it is still very similar. The design by renowned watch designer Gerald Genta was originally considered almost too much of a gamble in light of customer expectations for a luxury watch’s looks…
Just like with the luxury Audemars Piguet, so things seem to go with the “CasiOak”: They sell.
The Casio should have an even easier time selling; it is a looker without too much of the usual G-Shock character, and without a high price tag.
It also fits well into the streetwear trend towards black and white, at least in the versions that I have seen and noticed.
(There is also a red version which, of course, has a very different kind of appeal. One that is decidedly not ‘stealth.’)
Finally, the GA-2100 is also simply a good choice for people who don’t need all that many technical/performance features.
The digital display and its features are really more of an afterthought and Casio-typical touch than anything particularly useful.
It’s just a watch – but a G-Shock, and a nicely laid-back, stylish one.