Casio G-Shock GA-2100 ‘CasiOak’ Review: Is it Still Worth Buying?

Raman Kalra is the founder of The Watch Muse blog and has kindly agreed to share some of his articles with us here on Quill & Pad.


Casio and G-Shock are household names, just as much as Rolex and Omega. Casio tends to take the crown along with Swatch for being some of the best entry-level watches. G-Shock is a sub-brand of Casio that is designed to withstand mechanical stress, vibrations, and shocks.

Casio G-Shock CasiOak

On top of that, they all have a particular set of features: a chronograph function, alarm and 200m water resistance, although several models have far more than this.

This all results in an extremely tough product making them exceptionally capable watches, but also tools. In 2019, Casio got the attention of watch enthusiasts by releasing the GA-2100 – an analog model – not because it had any new technology, but for its design. The analogue design was simplified, and the case thickness was slimmed down.

However, addressing the elephant in the room, it has a certain resemblance to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak thanks to its Octagonal bezel (hence the name ‘CasiOak’).

At launch, it was a similar situation to a lesser extent, to what was seen with the Omega x Swatch MoonSwatch in 2022. Unlike the MoonSwatch, it was available online, but purchasing one was a challenge as it became the affordable watch to have.

Casio G-Shock GA-B2100 CasiOak with Bluetook and Solar

Now, a few years later with far more color options, two varying sizes and widespread availability, is it still worth considering or was the watch just hype? Is this the best watch below £100/$100/€100?



The Basics

Before getting to any opinion of the watch, we need to understand what is on offer. Starting with the design. The design takes inspiration from the 1983 DW-5000C which used an octagonal case shape surrounding a digital watch.

Casio intelligently re-shaped the octagonal shape to make it resemble the Genta designs that have been extremely popular of late (Royal Oak and Nautilus) and instead of using a digital display, decided to use a relatively simple analog dial.

Casio G-Shock GA-2100 CasiOak

Within the analog form, the watch features a small digital display cutout that allows for the typical G-Shock complications and a day indicator on the left-hand side. On top of the redesigned bezel, G-Shock went with a more wearable case at 45.4mm diameter and a lug-to-lug of 48.5mm.

There is also a smaller model (GA-S2100) with dimensions of 42.9mm diameter and 46.2mm lug-to-lug. These may sound on the large side, but the lug-to-lug measurements make it feel more compact on the wrist and wear particularly well. 

That is not all. The case used is one of the thinnest G-Shock has ever produced coming at only 11.8mm thick or 11.2mm thick on the smaller model. The Rolex Datejust comes in at 11.7mm thick for reference. The case surrounds a carbon core that helps give the watch the G-Shock shock protection, but it also helps the ‘CasiOak’ to be one of the lightest models weighing only 51g. This is all impressive.

Casio G-Shock GA-B2100-1A Tough Solar Bluetooth


Finally, you can have the full G-Shock experience in a package that feels great on the wrist.

Moving from the dimensions to the complications, this is where things are more in-line with other G-Shocks. As a reminder for those who have not had experience with the brand before, the watch includes 200m water resistance, up to 5 daily alarms, an hourly time signal, an automatic calendar, a countdown function, a stopwatch, world time, and date/day display.

As I had no experience of owning a G-Shock before, the breadth of what the watch could do was eye-opening, but for those who have owned other G-Shocks, this won’t be a surprise. 



What Makes the G-Shock So Good?

Now that we have covered what the watch offers, what makes this watch so good? 

First and foremost, and you might have caught onto this when discussing the specifications of the watch, it is the size. I have not owned a G-Shock before and the primary reason for this has been the size.

I prefer my watches to be slightly more understated, fit under a cuff and be smaller as I find them easier to wear for long periods of time. I always associated G-Shocks as being oversized and looking overly complicated or being digital. The ‘CasiOak’ really does solve most of these areas for me. 

The size is great! You still have the rugged look of a G-Shock, but it is now in a package that is thinner than a lot of watches out there. It, therefore, fits under a cuff if I end up wearing it to the office, but looks completely at home on a beach or when you’re hiking for example.

I cannot stress enough how the size of this watch has made it not just an interesting proposition for G-Shock enthusiasts but also opened the door to a whole range of new customers. 

On top of the size, the relative simplicity of the watch drew me in. Analogue G-Shocks tend to have interesting designs, but in my eyes, are just too busy and complicated. This confines them to be worn only in specific settings. The ‘CasiOak’ addresses this. It might not be fully simplified as it still has the digital display and day indicator, but it does a great job at becoming more versatile and aesthetically pleasing. 

Despite the watch’s simplicity, it doesn’t mean the face is flat and dull. Obviously, you have the digital display and day indicators that help in providing some visual interest, but there are other factors as well such as the indices. They are applied and provide a good amount of depth.

The indices even have a small kink on them as they move upwards and follow the raised minute track. I own the GA-S2100 in black with rose gold indices, and they really pop. They catch the light well, giving the watch an attractive and more luxurious look. 

The hands are filled with lume, but it is not great. It is worth bearing in mind there is also a built-in light just near the 5 o’clock index that illuminates the digital display. The light is good enough to be able to tell the time, but like the lume, don’t expect too much here.

Casio G-Shock GM-B2100D-1A

Then there is the bezel. With a nickname like ‘CasiOak’, the bezel shape and design are clearly a defining factor of the watch. I must say it looks great and I love that the shape was previously used by G-Shock in the 1980s. The octagon shape is not too sharp and that helps separate it from the Royal Oak so it doesn’t just look like a homage. 

The wording on the bezel “G-Shock” at the top and “Protection” on the bottom has a slight curve and is sized in just a way to balance the watch but not detract from the face. There are also labels at each button position, but they are smaller and not in a contrasting color and this helps add to the overall balanced look. 

The integrated bracelet is the other defining aspect of the Royal Oak, and the ‘CasiOak’ also follows here. G-Shock has used an integrated design for the strap and this adds to its attractiveness. The strap has a few grooves as it moves away from the case and then transitions into a smooth strap around the wrist. It’s simple and comfortable.

Finally, the ‘CasiOak’ has clout with watch enthusiasts and whether this is important will depend on you. Given everything above and how that led to broad popularity, it is a respected piece. I have had conversations about watches as others have noticed the ‘CasiOak’ on my wrist. The best part of these conversations is not why it is so good, but actually, the fact that most people who notice tend to have their own ‘CasiOak’. 

From my experience of owning the watch, it feels like by having one you are in some sort of club. It’s not an exclusive club either, but easily accessible for $100 and is fueled by just a love of watches and good design. 



Areas for Improvement

No watch is 100% perfect, not in any price range and the same applies here with the ‘CasiOak’. My ownership experience has been very positive and I end up wearing the watch much more than I imagined, and I must admit considerably more than the Rolex Milgauss I also have in the collection. However, there are areas that frustrate me and can be improved.

Firstly, the complications on the watch. I am speaking about this from the view of having owned only the ‘CasiOak’ and no other G-Shock. It could be that this is a common theme across all models, but unfortunately, I have no experience there.

Casio G-Shock GA-B2100-1A

The complications included are great and it did positively surprise me at how capable this watch is, however, it is not easy to use. It is the first product in recent memory where I had to use the instruction manual included in the box. Even then, this was followed up by watching a “how to” Youtube video. 

Once you have set the watch, timer, or world time there was a small sigh of relief. However, I can’t say I have used the functions since purely because I just find it all too fiddly. This could be an issue just for me, but it is not very user-friendly. Luckily, I bought the watch mainly for the design and to tell the time, and it does especially well. 

Next is the strap. This is not to say it is uncomfortable because it is, but it is more to do with the three grooves that you find at the top of the strap where it meets the case. They look good and bring a sense of extra ruggedness to the end product. However, they are either slightly too wide or slightly too deep.

I can’t say for sure which one of those it is, but it ends up collecting a lot of dirt. Yes, you can clean it nonetheless it returns quickly and ends up just being a part of my watch now.

Does it affect how I feel about the watch? No. It is slightly annoying though. 

Finally, and this has to be taken with a pinch of salt, the finishing. How can we talk about finishing on a watch that cost me £72 (on sale)? I don’t know, and this might be me being too critical, but there is only one area where it stands out: the hands. The edges of the hands are rough and not uniform, and in bright light, it is noticeable. 

Likewise in pictures, this is visible and as I take photos of my watches, this can be slightly annoying. This is the only area though and it looks to be less of an issue on other color variations. I am not going to be critical for the sake of it – there are several areas that you can call out (the lume, button depth etc.), but there is no need to. 

This watch is affordable and does the job it sets out to do very well. Anyone that is overly critical needs to take a step back and reframe their view of what the ‘CasiOak’ is – a daily wearer that can withstand anything you throw at it while looking great for under $100. 



Model Comparison

There are now several different ‘CasiOak’ on offer – the standard GA-2100, slightly smaller GMA-S2100, solar GA-B2100 and full metal GM-B2100. The retail price for the standard model is $99 compared to the solar at $150 and steel from $550. The reality is, go for whatever model you like the look of.

Casio G-Shock Metal CasiOak

I know that a lot of people are a fan of the solar-powered aspect of G-Shocks and with that in mind, it is only marginally more expensive than the standard model. That extra £30 will get you the Tough Solar technology from G-Shock and Bluetooth connectivity, which means the time is kept up to date with your phone. Some nice additions for not much more.

Casio G-Shock Full Metal GM-B2100

Then we get to the full metal version which is a jump up in price by some margin. I get it. People wanted a metal ‘CasiOak’ so it resembled a Royal Oak as much as possible. There are many mod kits out there that were used as a quick fix to achieve this without Casio getting involved, but Casio listened to their consumers and produced a full metal version. The watch is ultimately the same as the solar models apart from the case and bracelet material.

If this is something that appeals to you, then great. However, for me, I don’t fully understand it. Considering the watch is the same as the solar version, you are paying a 3x premium for the metal finishing.

I don’t have the numbers, but I highly doubt that the metal case material used is worth that, even if there are some additional finishing touches. Furthermore, spending upwards on $500 on a watch suddenly becomes a more serious purchase when you compare it to $100. There is more consideration that needs to take place and within that consideration, the competition must be a part of that equation.

At $550, the competition is strong, to say the least, and I couldn’t see myself picking the metal ‘CasiOak’ over a Tissot PRX and the standard ‘CasiOak’ for example.

Again, this is my opinion, but what makes the resin watch so appealing is the affordable price point. It is fun and offers great value for money, especially when you consider the standard ‘CasiOak’ can be found from online retailers with regular discounts bringing the price down to around the £70 mark.


The question that needed answering was whether the ‘CasiOak’ is still worth buying today or is it just hype. Unquestionably, the answer is yes, it should be on your radar, and it is a very solid watch, especially at the price. The ‘CasiOak’ brings together the core of what defines a G-Shock but in a more manageable, modern and simple package.

In doing so, they have made a very capable watch that has an extra dose of versatility. It has shown that the hype was not for nothing. Is it the best watch under $100? I believe so. I have a few Swatches in my collection and the presence the ‘CasiOak’ has on the wrist far exceeds them.

Casio G-Shock CasiOak

There are of course other watches in this range from Citizen and Casio for example, but the ‘CasiOak’ has got the recipe for a great watch spot on. This makes it hard to compete against, and don’t forget the range has progressed and there is now a broad set of color options, sizes and even materials.

If you are looking for something affordable and fun, yet still capable, the ‘CasiOak’ should be on your list.

For more information, please visit 

Quick Facts Casio G-Shock GA-2100
Functions: World time: 31 time zones (48 cities + coordinated universal time), daylight saving on/off

Countdown timer Measuring unit: 1 second Countdown range: 24 hours Countdown start time setting range: 1 second to 24 hours (1-second increments, 1-minute increments and 1-hour increments)
1/100-second stopwatch Measuring capacity: 00’00”00~59’59”99 (for the first 60 minutes) 1:00’00~23:59’59 (after 60 minutes) Measuring unit: 1/100 second (for the first 60 minutes) 1 second (after 60 minutes) Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
5 daily alarms
Hourly time signal
Full auto-calendar (to year 2099)
12/24-hour format
Hand shift feature (Hands move out of the way to provide an unobstructed view of digital display contents.)
Regular timekeeping: Analog: 2 hands (hour, minute (hand moves every 20 seconds)), 1 dial (day) Digital: Hour, minute, second, pm, month, date
Case: carbon/resin
Dimensions: 48.5mm x 45.4mm x 11.8mm high
Movement: quartz, Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month
Weight: 51 grams
Power reserve/battery life: 3 years
Water resistance: 200 meters
Price: $99

You can read more articles by Raman Kalra at

You might also enjoy:

Recommendations for Building a Watch Collection for £5,000/$6,000 Featuring Tudor, Tissot, Oris, and a G-Shock

10 Affordable Alternatives to Iconic Watches like the Rolex Submariner and Omega Moonwatch: The Lightweight Heavyweights!

Own a Piece of Watch History for Under $200: The Swatch Sistem51

Sequent Elektron and SuperCharger: Relatively Affordable Smartwatches for Mechanical Watch Enthusiasts

5 More Affordable Tool Watches I’d Buy if I Didn’t Want to Spring for a Rolex Submariner

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Review: THE Near-Perfect Swiss Watch and it’s Relatively Affordable

5 replies
  1. GH
    GH says:

    I certainly wouldn’t call a G-Shock”entry-level”. Comparing it to a mechanical is like comparing a North Face parka to a nice leather jacket.

    • Raman
      Raman says:

      Completely get your point. Different watches have different purposes, like with everything else.

      “Entry-level” was used more in the context of price point compared to the wider watch market. Not as a direct comparison to anything mechanical.

      Saying that, the full metal CasiOak does come at a high price so comparing that to a Seiko Prospex is something you can start to do 🙂

  2. Cuentatiempos
    Cuentatiempos says:

    Su excelente artículo tiene mucho sentido si va dirigido a novatos y público en general sobre tema Casio. Personas que solo compran por como se ve el reloj y si encaja en las tendencias de moda. Admiro y celebro el magnífico misil marketing vestido octogonalmente. Me alegra que sus ventas contribuyan en salud para Casio. Pero los verdaderos conocedores de G-Shock (y de Casio en general), saben que en lo que destaca y es única la célebre casa japonesa, es en sus modelos full digital. Ahi Casio tiene modelos como los de la familia 5600 que se deslizan bien bajo el puño de la camisa y algunos de ellos se pueden adquirir por menos dinero que estos ana-digis. Los digitales de Casio son mejores relojes en cantidad de recursos utilitarios, más robustos, más duraderos, y mejores representantes del espíritu G-Shock.

    Translation: Your excellent article makes a lot of sense if it is aimed at newbies and the general public on Casio. People who only buy because of how the watch looks and if it fits in with fashion trends. I admire and celebrate the magnificent octagonally dressed marketing missile. I am glad that your sales contribute to the health of Casio. But true connoisseurs of G-Shock (and Casio in general) know that what the famous Japanese house stands out for and is unique in is its full digital models. There Casio has models like the 5600 family that slip well under the cuff of the shirt and some of them can be had for less money than these ana-digis. Casio’s digitals are better watches in terms of utility features, more robust, more durable, and better representatives of the G-Shock spirit.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *