If you like your watches big, bold, and durable, then the new GA100 line of G-Shocks will make your day. Available in white, yellow, and black, you get the “basic” G-Shock feature set in a new, larger case for a list price of only $99:

•Water resistant to 200m (660ft).
•Resin case, mineral crystal.
•Anti-magnetic case structure.
•Servo controlled hour and minute hands with 4-LCD digital displays.
•1/1000th of a second stopwatch with unique “Speed” dial (tachometer).
•48 city world time, stopwatch, countdown timer, five alarms.
•Casio module 5081 (PDF) with a 2 year battery life.
•LED dial illumination, automatic or manual with adjustable time duration.
•51mm across by 17mm thick, 65g, 22mm strap. (A bit larger than most G-Shocks, but quite light in weight.)
Please read on for the rest of the review and pictures.

Casio has been introducing bolder colors of late, and the X-Large series (as the GA100s are known) continues the trend. Look at the closeup here and notice that the hands and markers are actually purple! It’s not something that jumps out on the wrist, but you can see it up close. The white of the case and dial is bright and polished, yielding stormtrooper jokes from my friends. This is not a watch that goes unnoticed! The white does, however, look great on a tanned arm and is a very inexpensive way to make a statement.

At $99, the GA-100 line is less expensive than many G-Shocks, and I’d be hard pressed to find any others for that price that included the more complex analog-digital functionality. Obviously missing are solar power and atomic timekeeping (radio setting), though for the price, I’m still impressed.

Case construction is that of most G-Shocks: resin case, screwed stainless steel caseback, inset crosshatched buttons, integral raised bezel. The strap is an integrated, dual-tang thorn buckle, and is quite comfortable.

One new feature on the GA-100s is the “speed” dial at 12 o’clock. You set a distance, then use the stopwatch to measure times. Once you’ve done so, the dial indicates speed. Basically a tachometer, though digital and on a subdial instead of the bezel as normally seen. Might be useful for racing fans, coaches and the like.

Also of note is the fact that the stopwatch is unusual, measuring the ludicrously precise 1/1000th of a second up to 100 hours. Given human reflexes, I’m dubious as to how much of that precision is useful, but it’s certainly quite cool and not commonly seen.

On the wrist, the GA-100 is very comfortable. The light weight is spread across a larger area, reducing the already-light weight. The hands are easy to read at a glance, though the LCD panels are a bit more reflective than I’d like and take a bit more effort to read.

Two overall comments: First, it’s a G-Shock, meaning that functionally, it’s impeccable. Bulletproof, inexpensive, functional, and reliable. Secondly, the size and bold colors will either appeal to your, or they won’t, so make your decision based on whether you like it or not. At $99, it’s an easy watch to recommend.

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