You're probably on the market for a rugged watch that can take a hit without bulging. You might need it for work, for a certain sport, or you may simply like the look of sturdy watches. There are several models that could grab your attention, including the Timex Expedition and the Casio G-Shock.
Both of these watch lines offer great products for a good price. It can be a bit confusing to sort through all the different variations of both models, so this article will present the two most resembling variations of each line.
The two models I chose to compare today are the Timex Expedition Base Shock and the Casio G-Shock GD100. Both of these timepieces are in the sub $100 range, and they offer a similar package. We will first look at the specs on each of these watches.
The G-Shock is the bulkiest of the two models, with its large 51mm x 55mm case. It does look quite big on your wrist, so I wouldn't recommend it for someone with 6.5 inch and smaller wrists. The Expedition is also large, but more reasonably so, at 45mm for the case diameter.
They are both very thick, being only separated by a 0.5mm difference in case thickness. The mineral glass on the G-shock will be more resistant to scratches than the acrylic crystal on the Expedition. On the other hand, the Expedition's crystal will be significantly more resistant to cracks and shatters.
Both models are very light for watches this size. The two are equipped with a resin band/case/bezel combination, which contributes to make them more lightweight. The quartz movement also helps keep the weight low. This type of movement is to be expected from timepieces in this price range.
The Casio GD100 offers a 200m water-resistance, while the Timex Base Shock is only good for 100m. This will be enough for casual swimming and snorkeling. The G-Shock can be used for amateur diving.
The CR2025 battery in the Casio is built to last for 7 years, which is very good for a watch this cheap. The Expedition uses a CR2016 battery that is rated for 5-10 years. They are in the same ballpark, with the CR2025 being more reliable.
Both the G-Shock and the Expedition have a pretty solid backlight. The G-Shock has a very bright adjustable led light, which lets you choose between 1 second or 3 seconds lighting. The Expedition uses Casio's Indiglo technology, which is also recognized for its brightness.
source: watchuseek user Capt Obvious / citywatches.ca
The two models use a very crisp LCD display. You will be able to see every bit of information on the dial at a quick glance. This information includes the date and the day, using a full auto calendar.
The G-Shock has two digital chronographs. The left one counts a minute, using 10 seconds chunks. The right one counts 10 seconds, displaying one second at the time. On the Expedition, you only have one chronograph, which uses the same pattern as the G-shock's right chronograph.
Some of the basic features on both models include the alarm clock, the different time zones settings and much more. The alarm feature on the G-Shock has 5 different independent alarms, that can each be set to daily or off. This feature on the Expedition is limited to three alarms. On the upside, you can set them to daily/weekday/weekend, and you can have a 5 minute snooze.
G-Shock's beautiful box
As for time zone settings, the Casio can save 5 different zones. The Expedition can only save two. The might be a make or break deal for people that travel a lot.
Of course, the two models are very shock-resistant. They are ISO tested to prove that they are as resistant as they claim. If you're still in doubt, you can read hundreds of stories on the internet about people who took both these models through years of hell, and they held up perfectly fine.
The case on the two models are very similar. They both have four big buttons in each ''corner''. The G-Shock has two additional buttons, on the left and right. They both display their brand proudly on top of the bezel. Casio uses the G-Shock logo, while the Expedition simply says ''Shock''.
The bezel ranges from light grey to dark grey on every variation (as we will see later). On the other end of the spectrum, G-Shock offers extravagant colors such as a gold bezel or a bright red G-Shock logo.
The dial is one of the most appealing visual features of the G-Shock GD100 series. The black model pictured above comes with an inverted display. This means that the background is black, and the numerals are white. This is contrary to the typical layout where the background is white, with black numerals. It is non-conventional but it comes out beautiful and crisp.
The Expedition sports a grey background black numeral combination on all versions. It doesn't stick out from the crowd, but it is good enough for visibility.
There are several variations of both models presented in this article. I will show the ones that are currently available on sale, either from the manufacturer's website or from big online retailers such as Amazon.
There are currently four different versions of the Timex Expedition offered in a monochrome layout. The t49977 is the most popular model, and is the one that was reviewed above.
The 7500 is the perfect model if you are a conventional watch collector that likes subtle colors. It is rare to see a sports watch in this kind of colour, and I really like the contrast between the rugged look of the watch with the elegant color scheme.
The 7600 is the opposite of the 7500. It has a very bright orange colour that screams ''look at me!''. This is not a watch for everyone, but you might really like it if you love loud colors that bring attention to your wrist.
The 7400 is a middle ground between the 7600 and the 7500. It has a nice color, without being as obnoxious as the orange one. It is more joyful than the brown 7500 and can still be worn in a semi-formal setting.
There are currently two camo models available for sale. The first one uses a classic camo decal, that might be useful if you plan on wearing the Expedition for hunting purposes. If not, you might simply like the camo pattern and that's ok too.
The second model also uses a camo decal, but this time it is a mix of white, grey and black. It is sometimes referred to as the arctic camo Expedition. In my opinion, this model is the most beautiful of the two.
G-Shock GD100 Variations
There are currently 4 different variations of the GD100 available for sale. Only one of them is available directly from Casio's website: the GD100-1B. It is the most low-key model of the bunch, with it's ''military black'' color. The design is gorgeous, and the almost grey color contrast very well with the dial's numeral and chronograph circles.
The three other models are only available from e-commerce sites such as Amazon or Ebay. The GD100-1BCR is the most popular on those websites because it is good-looking and kind of stealthy at the same time. It is not trying too hard to grab the attention.
The GD100-1ACR offers the same black resin band, but this time adds a few touches of extravagance with the red logo and bright dial. It's a great way to separate yourself from the base models, without adding to many extras.
The GD100-GB-1CR is perfect if you're seeking attention. It drapes most of the watch in a bright gold color; the logos, the bezel, some parts of the dial and even the numerals are tinted in gold. All gold everything!
Which one should you buy?
You should buy the Timex Expedition base shock if:
- You're on a tight budget
- You don't need as much functionalities
- You like colorful watches
- You have 6.5 inch or less wrist
You should buy the Casio G-Shock GD100 if:
- You love bulky watches
- You have medium to large wrists
- You need extra functions (ex: lots of timezones, lots of alarms)
- You care about brand recognition
My favorite model presented in this article is the Expedition TW4B00600, let me know in the comments which is your favorite model and why!