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G-Shock’s red-and-gold MR-G watch makes a strong statement

Luxury smartwatches aren’t especially common, but if you are a fan of a luxury connected watch, there are more options, especially if you consider Casio’s G-Shock range. The company has released two new entries in its MR-G lineup, the MRG-B5000B and the MRG-B2000B.

Unlike the all-digital B5000, the MRG-B2000B. is an analog watch, but it still has a Bluetooth connection to make setting up and using common features a little easier than just with the buttons. I’ve been wearing the watch with its hand-finished titanium case, and boy, does it make a statement.

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Luxury materials, tough features

The MRG-2000B is based on the MTG-B2000. The differences are in the materials used, the module inside the watch, and the way it’s built. G-Shock MR-G watches are built by hand at Casio’s factory in Yamagata, Japan, and assembled by the company’s most qualified engineers. The module used is functionally the same as the MT-G model’s, but it’s made with gold-plated retainer plates to reduce electrical resistance.

The G-Shock MRG-B2000B rest on a book.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Durability is obviously a massive benefit to owning and wearing a G-Shock watch. The MRG-B2000 uses Casio’s Carbon Core Guard structure to minimize weight and increase toughness, so it is shock- and vibration-resistant, plus water-resistant to 200 meters. The case and bracelet are made from titanium, with a Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating and sapphire crystal over the dial. Just like all G-Shock watches, you’ll have to make a serious effort to break it or find a situation where it won’t show you the accurate time.

The watch is powered by Casio’s Tough Solar feature, so you don’t need to plug it in to charge it up, even with the Bluetooth connection. Casio expects it to last at least five months on a full charge without seeing any light at all, so with regular use,you won’t need to worry about it running out of energy. In addition to the Bluetooth connection keeping accurate time, there’s also Casio’s Multiband 6 feature, where the watch periodically checks the time with one of six radio stations placed throughout the world.

Bluetooth connection

This isn’t a rival for the Apple Watch Series 7 or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 as it doesn’t show notifications or track workouts. Instead, the Bluetooth connection makes setting the time and world time, and activating the stopwatch and alarm easier than remembering the various button presses to do it on the watch. It’s the same system as on other G-Shock watches, and is carried out through a dedicated MR-G app available for iOS and Android.

The app separates itself from the normal G-Shock Connected app by registering your MR-G watch when you first link it and confirming it was assembled on the special production line at the Casio factory. It’s a little thing, but it really made the watch and app feel that little bit more special than a normal G-Shock. That matters when you’re buying a luxury model.

I used the iOS version and it has performed faultlessly. I especially like the easy alarm feature, which is often a pain to set quickly on the watch itself. In the app, it takes a few seconds and is easily switched on and off too. The app performs a test to ensure all the main functions of the watch, such as it showing the accurate time, are working correctly. The app and the overall connected experience are slick and reliable.

Even connecting it is simple. The watch will stay connected to the app if it’s running in the background, but can be disconnected if you prefer. Linking it with your phone requires you to hold down one button, which is clearly shown on the screen. If you do want to learn how to perform different functions on the watch, the app also contains the manual and a visual guide.

What’s it like to wear?

The MTG version of the watch is one of my favorite G-Shock watches. It makes a statement, yet is comfortable to wear and goes with most outfits. The MRG-B2000B makes an even greater statement, but at the expense of some comfort. Casio has adopted the akazonae theme, which refers to the red accent color, and it looks fantastic paired with the main gold color and the not-quite-black color of the case and bracelet. The red catches the light, particularly due to the red ring surrounding the dial, encouraging you to look down at the watch.

This is my favorite aspect of the watch. The red color around the dial is always just about visible and lifts the look of the MR-G version above that of the MT-G model. It’s subtle, yet impactful, and it complements the gently curved gold hour markers perfectly. The dial is always legible due to the bright markers and large hands, plus there’s a date window and a day-of-the-week complication, so it’s truly functional as a watch. While I love the polished finish on the MRG-B5000B, the B2000B’s more matte finish doesn’t collect smudges in the same way, so it usually looks neater.

The G-Shock MRG-B2000B on a man's wrist showing the dial.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It weighs 150 grams and the case represents the bulk of this. I shortened the band a little more than usual to keep it square on my wrist, otherwise it moves around more than I like. The bracelet on the MTG-B2000B is one of its best attributes due to the resin sections under the band links, which make it very comfortable to wear. Unfortunately, these are not part of the titanium bracelet on the MR-G model, but so far it hasn’t grabbed my hair or become unpleasantly sweaty. However, it’s not as comfortable for long periods.

I absolutely love the gold-and-red color accents here. It’s distinctly MR-G, as several previous limited editions have used similar tones, and steeped in Japanese history due to the combination being used on ancient samurai armor and uniforsm. It’s a large watch with its 55mm-wide, 16mm-thick case, and the big gold crown is an attention grabber. But it’s a luxury G-Shock, so I wouldn’t want it any other way. In addition to this model, the B2000B-1A4DR to give it its full name, you can buy a stealth black titanium model or a silver titanium one with a black bezel. I would choose the akazonae-themed version every day.

Price and availability

The MRG-B2000B-1A4DR will be available during March and cost $3,000, or 2,400 British pounds, through G-Shock’s online store or its boutique retail stores. Although this is a lot of money, it’s not outrageous for a luxury watch. It’s also listed as a limited edition on the preview page on G-Shock U.K.’s website, adding to its appeal. Most MR-G watches are eventually discontinued regardless of how many are produced, so keep an eye on it and don’t wait too long if you want one.

Worth buying?

Should you go out and try this watch on? Yes, absolutely, but first do remember that if you expect it to be a smartwatch, then it’s not going to do the job. This is a connected watch, so it uses an app to augment the watch’s functionality, making it easier to use. Combine this level of technology with its true luxury credentials, statement-making design, and the fact it’ll deal with the rigors of just about anything you throw at it and never need charging due to its solar power, and the considerable price is more easily justified. If you’re anything like me, a few glances down at that awesome red-and-gold color scheme will have you sold on it.

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