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This $4,000 titanium beauty is the ultimate square G-Shock

Do you want the very best Casio offers in manufacturing, design, and technology from your new G-Shock, all wrapped up in that highly recognizable square case? In other words, the ultimate version of a truly classic G-Shock watch? If so, the new MRG-B5000B is exactly the model you will want, provided cost is no object. We’ve been wearing it.

What makes MR-G so special?

Although Casio is best known for tough watches that won’t break the bank, Casio also has decades of watchmaking experience, and it showcases its talents most effectively in its highly exclusive MR-G family of watches. These models, its most luxurious, are assembled by hand on Casio’s Premium Production Line located in the Yamagata factory in Japan, where only the company’s most experienced, specially certified technicians work on the top MT-G and MR-G models.

The G-Shock MRG-B5000B costs a pretty penny.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The square G-Shock is one of the most popular models, having been around since the G-Shock brand first started in the early 1980s, and bringing it to the luxury MR-G range is going to see a lot of people reaching for their wallets. What makes it so special? It’s the first time the classic, beloved square G-Shock has been given the MR-G treatment, with most other MR-G models over the past few years featuring an analog dial. There’s a huge section of an already large fan base waiting for this.

To appreciate the MR-G range, you do have to embrace what makes luxury watches so enticing in the first place: The wonderful attention to detail. It’s often hard to do, as much of the detail and craftsmanship is entirely hidden away, and that’s definitely the case here. From a distance, particularly to someone unfamiliar with G-Shock’s extensive model range, the MRG-B5000 does look like most other B5000 models with a Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating. This may appeal to some, and put others off, as this is a pricey watch.

The attention to detail is easily appreciated when you watch the MRG-B5000’s promotional video from G-Shock Japan, which shows how the construction goes way beyond standard models. The bezel and upper case are made from 25 different pieces, all individually polished and then hand-assembled, mounted to tiny springs and protective resin sections, securing them to the main module inside.

The case is made from specially polished Ti64 titanium and the band from DAT55G, a titanium that’s three times harder than pure titanium, while a DLC coating has been applied to the model in our photos giving it greater scratch resistance. A silver version is also being made, which has a titanium carbide finish. Ion plating protects the gold finish on the buttons, sapphire crystal covers the dial, and a material called Cobarion, which is four times harder than titanium, is used for the bezel. As you’d expect, it’s entirely shock-resistant and water-resistant to 200 meters. Go on, I dare you to try and break or overtly damage this watch.

The G-Shock MRG-B5000B's bezel and upper case are made from 25 different pieces.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

There’s a dedicated MR-G app to connect your watch to your phone using Bluetooth that operates in the same way as the standard G-Shock Connected app, but with a different design and a cool splash screen confirming your watch was built on the Yamagata premium production line. If you don’t want to set the time using the app, the watch has Casio’s atomic MultiBand 6 system to periodically set the correct time based on where you are in the world.

Technically, it’s no different to a standard B5000 square G-Shock, but the construction and materials used are a world apart.

Wearing the MRG-B5000

What’s it like in person? It genuinely is the ultimate square G-Shock. The titanium case makes it really light at 100 grams, a considerable reduction from the 167 grams of the stainless steel version, and it’s so much more comfortable to wear for a long time. The size of the MR-G is unchanged, it’s slim enough to fit under your sleeve, and I really like the lock on the clasp. This is an expensive watch, so you don’t want it to fall off should the clasp accidentally get unclipped.

The G-Shock MRG-B5000B features a lock on the clasp.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The gold G-Shock Resist logo on the dial really stands out, as does the MR-G logo below the dial, due to neither simply being stamped onto the dial. To the aficionado, the effect instantly separates the MR-G from other square models. I also love the red line running around the edge of the dial, which recalls the design of the early square G-Shock watches.

Titanium is an excellent choice for the case and band material, apart from one thing. It’s cool to the touch, warms up nicely on your wrist, and hasn’t painfully pulled any wrist hair. The polished finish is glorious and makes the watch look special, but it gets horribly smudgy very easily. I almost want to carry a small microfiber cloth around with me when I wear it, just to keep it looking its best.

I have been wearing the MRG-B5000B-1 ahead of release so haven’t been able to test the Bluetooth connection, as the watch is not available in the MR-G app yet. However, I expect it to be the same as most other connected G-Shock watches, with a way to set the world time, start a timer, and run tests on the watch to make sure it’s working correctly. I find the watch’s display to be highly legible, and the backlit, ice-blue LED illuminates the screen very effectively.. The watch uses Casio’s Tough Solar technology to charge the internal battery, so there’s no need to plug anything in.

I adjusted the bracelet myself using a basic watch toolkit, and it took about 15 minutes. This may sound like a small thing, but many expensive luxury watches have a bracelet that needs to be altered by a specialist, so it’s pleasing to do it yourself. There are markings on the back showing the direction the pins should be pushed out, but be aware a sleeve is used to keep them in place, which will fall out when you remove the pin and could get lost if you aren’t careful. These must be put back in the link, otherwise, the pin will just fall out, and the band will come apart.

Worth the premium price?

I’ve thought a lot about this since the MRG-B5000 has been on my wrist. The fact that it’s built on the premium production line at the Yamagata factory is a very big sell, as is knowing how the construction differs from a regular B5000. However, the MR-G models I’ve always lusted after are the limited editions, where an artist has been heavily involved, and unusual machining and polishing techniques are used to make each model unique.

The Casio G-Shock MRG-B5000B with the backlight active.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The MRG-B5000 doesn’t have this, and although I appreciate the materials used here, titanium B5000 models aren’t that rare. The GMW-B5000TVA, by far my favorite square G-Shock of recent times, is also made of titanium. No, it doesn’t have the same attention to detail in its build, but it’s half the price of the MR-G model.

Let’s talk about price, and yes, I have been avoiding it. I’ve been wearing the MRG-B5000B-1 with the DLC coating, and it costs $4,000, while the MRG-B5000D-1 with the titanium carbide finish is $3,500. This is at least twice that of the most expensive limited-edition titanium B5000 models, but half that of the limited-edition MR-G models.

The G-Shock MRG-B5000B isn't cheap at ,000.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Whether you decide to buy one will likely come down to how you view it, either as an expensive titanium B5000, or a cheaper entry point into the rarified world of MR-G watch ownership. Either way, for now, this is quite simply the ultimate version of the classic square G-Shock watch, and for that, I really do love it, despite the fact I’d probably put my own money down for a different version.

The MRG-B5000B watches will be available through G-Shock’s online store and its retail boutiques in March.

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