Few if any digital watches have achieved as much collector renown as the Full Metal collection by G-Shock. Since its launch in 2018, the model has garnered a substantial fan base and expanded to become a full-fledged design family, with many different color and material options, within the larger G-Shock portfolio. This year alone has seen the release of special purple- and multi-colored editions, on the heels of previous models like the crimson-colored “Red Ion,” which we went hands-on with this past summer (you can read a review of it here).
Now G-Shock returns to the Full Metal to offer up one of its most avant-garde iterations to date. The new GMW-B5000TVA-1, aka the “Titanium Virtual Armor,” is designed with science fiction and futuristic styles in in mind, drawing its foremost “inspiration from powered armor and virtual reality,” according to the brand. Primarily, the watch’s striking matte-black, red-accented aesthetic appears to be derived from robotic animé characters popular in G-Shock’s native Japan, a genre known as Mecha and best known, at least in the U.S., via the Gundam series.
At a first glance, the watch appears to be a fresh-faced titanium-cased take on the increasingly familiar Full Metal base design, itself inspired by the original DW5000C design from 1983, now famous as the first-ever G-Shock. As such, the watch is in many ways typically and traditionally G-Shock, with a high-tech digital display and an overall tough-looking and tough-wearing case, water resistant to 200 meters and sized at a substantial 49.3 mm by 43.2 mm in diameter and 13 mm thick.
At a second glance, the details that differentiate this watch from the rest of the Full Metal collection become apparent. Most significantly, its case and bracelet, made of lightweight (104 grams) titanium, opt for a matte finish that is more common in the brand’s resin-cased models than in its metal-cased ones. In this regard, the DLC-coated watch draws a bit more faithfully from the 1980’s source material that informs its design while at the same time announcing itself as fully contemporary and even somewhat experimental.
Also distinguishing this model are its Mecha inspirations and the various design choices that resulted. The case is slightly updated, with a close inspection revealing small changes to its shape, finishing, and an overall level of quality more on par with G-Shock’s higher-tier offerings than its standard Full Metal watches. Additionally, the watch uses laser-bored holes to reveal the red fine resin accents that add to its futuristic look, along with an almost industrial-looking array of descriptive text and numerals printed throughout its case and bracelet, evoking the look of a 3D schematic for a robot or a suit of high-tech armor.
As with all Full Metal G-Shocks, the “Titanium Virtual Armor” features a digital display face powered by a quartz movement that uses the brand’s signature “Tough Solar” technology. Notably, the digital face uses black text on a grey display rather than the inverse, which might have enhanced the model’s dark moodiness even further. The watch’s capabilities include multi-band 6 atomic timekeeping, smartphone compatibility via Bluetooth, multiple alarms, a countdown timer, a chronograph, and a second time zone, among other features.
The G-Shock Full Metal GMW-B5000TVA-1 is priced at $1,650 and is marked as a limited edition on the brand’s website, though no specific production quantities or limits have yet been announced. Pre-sales for the watch began last month, and it quickly sold out shortly afterward. Regular ordering begins on November 10, with the watch expected to become available for purchase both through G-Shock’s online store and via authorized boutiques.
To learn more, visit G-Shock, here.