Casio has released its most retro watch to date: a G-Shock that borrows design cues from the Rubik's Cube. The GAE-2100RC-1AER is an official collaboration with Rubik's, maker of the classic puzzle toy, and features an interchangeable bezel reminiscent of the cube's sides.
Casio's G-Shock range often takes inspiration from unusual places – from volcanic lightning to car components – and in recent months its designers have clearly had fun flicking through the history books for ideas. In November 2020, it released a trio of retro-futuristic watches decked out in black and neon, reminiscent of 1980s classics Tron and Blade Runner, and now it's skipped back to the 1970s.
The watch will go on sale on February 9 at Casio's store on Carnaby Street, London, and a selection of third-party retailers for £139 (about $190 / AU$260).
Keeping it simple
The new GAE-2100RC-1AER, however, is a classic digital watch that keeps things simple. It features an alarm, countdown timer, stopwatch, auto calendar, dual time and world time – and that's about it.
It's seriously tough, though. Despite its playful looks, it's a solidly built timepiece with Casio's Carbon Core Guard to protect its internal components from impacts and vibration, and is topped off with a mineral glass lens. It'll also keep running for up to three years before it needs a battery replacement.
Opinion: smarter isn't always better
Each year, the biggest smartwatch brands release new and updated versions of their biggest selling models, sometimes with only minimal changes. Even a mid-range timepiece can easily cost the same as a decent Chromebook, but will be outdated within a matter of months.
Thankfully most watchmakers support their devices for many years after launch and build quality is improving with each iteration, but if you're looking for something that will really last, a 'dumb' digital watch is still a tempting choice.
The Rubik's Cube-inspired G-Shock won't give you directions to the nearest grocery store, or allow you to make contactless purchases once you're there, but if you're carrying your phone regularly then those might be conveniences you can manage without.
A regular digital watch costs a fraction of most smartwatches, will never hold you up while it finishes a firmware update, can still time your planks and wall-sits at the gym, and will wake you in the morning with a gentle beep. You won't need to plug it in to charge every night either, or make sure it's synced with your phone. It even tells the time.
Perhaps something to consider if you've been considering springing for a new smartwatch to keep you on track in 2022.
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