Sunday, April 3, 2011

Review of Casio G-Shock Giez GS-1100

Imagine the heft of the Seiko Monster matched with the shock protection design of G Shock with Casio’s whiz bang electronic gadgetry inside and that’s what the Giez is all about.

A friend had loaned me a trio of atomic analog G Shocks to review for Jikan, none of which I had any prior experience with. I have to say that of the three, the Giez is my favorite. Casio markets the Giez as the “sophisticated G Shock”. I don’t know if I would consider this a dressy style, but compared to the plethora of resin cased models, the Giez is clearly a step above the rest.

After picking up the Giez, the first thing you can’t help to notice is the weight. The case is solid stainless steel and when I compare it to the heft of the Monster, it is not too far off. Impressive considering it has a quartz engine inside.

The second thing you notice about the Giez is that instead of the traditional deep set G Shock bezel, the Giez has basically a traditional bezel. I have to say that I have never been a fan of the typical deep bezel on most G Shocks as I feel like I am looking through a periscope and they often make the dials seem disproportionally small to me. However, the deep bezel does offer superior protection of the crystal, so there certainly is a value. Although lacking the deep bezel, the Giez still has the traditional “G-Shock” and “Shock Resist” engraved into the bezel.

The crystal is not completely unprotected as there are two resin pieces attached to either side of the case with a total of four raised bezel points surrounding the crystal. Aside from providing some protection of the crystal, the bezel pieces integrate the design of the resin strap across the case nicely and also incorporates a traditional G-Shock moteif the case extensions at 3 and 9 oclock as seen on the 6900 case and many others.

The caseback is a six point screw back typically seen on diver watches and has a nice engraving of the Giez emblem.

The third thing you notice about the Giez is the strap. This is not the regular resin used on the typical G-Shock. Casio’s web page described the resin strap on the Giez to be urethane but it is very soft and flexible. Not as soft as silicone, but still much better than what is used on the typical G Shock. The strap has some texture on the underside which helps keep the watch secure to your skin. Casio did a real nice job with this strap because as heavy as the case is, the strap keeps it balanced and secure on your wrist. Very nice. The strap has a Giez branded buckle.

The dial is where I start to lose the love for the Giez. I freely admit that I am not a fan of subdials. Although they look cool from a distance, I don’t find them to be very functional and I would rather have a clean dial to look at. The Giez dial is on the small size and the presence of the subdials gives a cramped appearance to me. But I know there are plenty of people out there who like the look of the subdials and have no intention of ever using them functionally, which is fine.

This particular model of Giez has a blue field on the dial. The blue field is glossy with a star burst finish and actually looks nice. Even though I know there is a solar panel under there somewhere, I don’t see any evidence of one and it would be easy to forget this watch is even solar charged. The subdials are black with a gray edge and have a radial pattern and also look nice. Index markers are applied and have chrome trim, but look kinda flat. Lume is exceptionally disappointing. The hands are OK and have a sporty look to them. Casio advertises the hands to be made of lightweight aluminum and are retained with a brass ring for greater security.

The layout of the subdials consists of a 24 hour indicator at 9 oclock, time keeping seconds at 6 oclock and a multifunction subdial at 3 oclock to indicate day, mode, and also elapsed minutes for the chronograph. The center second hand functions at indicator hand for the world timer and sync indicator and also functions as the elapsed seconds during chronograph timing as does the 6 oclock subdial which captures 1/20th second timing.

I found the functions of the Giez to be hit or miss, but do keep in mind that the GS-1100 is a couple of years old with two successor models, so my comments on this model may not apply to the more recent ones. Atomic sync worked well with successful sync every night for the 2 weeks I checked. The chronograph function is well designed with a simple push of the upper right button and off it goes. The GS-1100 does not have a countdown timer, although more recent Giez models do. The GS-1100 does have a world timer and alarm but because of limitations of full analogue hands, the setting of these functions is horrendous and in my opinion makes these functions unusable. Successive models have improved this by the use of a two handed subdial like used on the Oceanus models.

In summary, I really like the build and looks of the Giez GS-1100 but the functions could use some work. In fact, I like the Giez so much, I’d be willing to accept a simple three handed analogue with no extra functions in this case or even a solid state digital display. The GS-1200 did come with a simpler dial but unfortunately this model was not released outside of Japan.

Nuts and Bolts

Module 4777
Crystal diamerer 28.5mm
Case diameter 47mm
Lug to Lug 49.5mm
Thickness 15mm at largest.
Buckle width 19mm


Anonymous said...

great review

Spin Doctor said...


jason_recliner said...

Great review, Spin! Thanks for taking the time - you helped me choose the right G.