A short history full of firsts. This is how time went with the Casio G-Shock watch
38 and more than 100,000,000. These two seemingly disparate numbers have a common denominator - the G-Shock watch. With the first number we wanted to point out the armoured collection 38th anniversary, that we'll commemorate this year, the second number expresses the number of "Gs" that the Japanese brand Casio sent to stores from 1983 to 2017. If we take a closer look, every day an average of 7,800 of the most durable watches in the world come off the production lines. This is a nice number, what do you say?
As the entire text you have just began to read revolves around interesting facts and firsts associated with the G-Shock models, we have to mention one behind-the-scenes and one statistical piece of information before we focus on a few important historical milestones. Behind the scenes, it says that the jubilee 100 million specimen produced at the Yamagata plant was a steel hero from the MG-G collection, specifically the MRG-G1000B-1A4 model.
The statistical note is all about an "incomparable" comparison of the number of watches produced. Did you know that while Casio floods the market with 2.85 million G-Shocks annually, the Swiss Patek Philippe manufactory masters approximately 72,000 premium gems in the same period? If Casio moved at the same pace, they wouldn't be able to sell more than a "meager" 2.5 million G-Shocks in 38 years.
Even if your wrists are adorned with one of the hundreds of millions of sold watches, it's quite likely that you have an overview of what it was like with them. If you haven't looked for their story of origin yet, or you haven't been interested in it before now, you may be surprised by some of the following chronologically arranged facts and maybe even "G-Shock". Enjoy reading 🙂
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CASIO G-SHOCK WATCHES
After two hundred prototypes, the first G-Shock shockproof watch - DW-5000C model – was exposed to the light of day.
The G-Shock DW-5500C watches manage strong shocks as well as being in dusty and polluted environments.
The DW-5600C model was the successor to the DW-5000 series, and became the best-selling G-Shock watch of its time.
The first analogue-digital G-Shock watch was marked AW-500.
The new DW-5900C/DW-6000 design is becoming an absolute hit in Japan.
DW-6100, the first G-Shocks with a thermometer function.
With the DW-6300, the diving Frogman series was born. It was waterproof to a 200M/20ATM level.
The mission of the edition called Dolphin & Whale Eco-Research Network was to engage in the environmental protection field.
The first watches with electroluminescent lighting also reached the customers that year.
A collection for lovers was presented. G-Shocks for him, Baby-G for her. The MR-G series was also created this year. Its first representative was the MRG-1 model. Soon after, the first all-metal G-Shocks MRG-100 were created.
Thanks to the DW-9300 Raysman, the Tough Solar solar power supply was used for the first time in the G-Shock collection.
GW-100, the first G-Shock watch with radio time control.
The G-Shock GW-300 watch was the first to offer a combination of radio time synchronisation with solar power.
The limitations of the previously used system for radio time synchronisation fell. The GW-9200 model made its debut with Multi-Band 6 technology, which allowed for receiving calibration signals from six long-wave transmitters located around the world.
With the GS-1200 model the Tough Movement machine has been added to G-Shock equipment. It combined an analogue dial with radio control and solar power.
The GW-3000 aviation watch acquired resistance to centrifugal gravitational force.
The first G-Shocks with combined Triple Resist. The Gravitymaster GW-4000 model withstood the shocks, centrifugal forces as well as vibrations without any damage.
G-Shocks learned to communicate wirelessly with a smartphone. The GB-6900 watch connected to the phone via Bluetooth.
This was a really fruitful year. The electronic Smart Access crown was also put into practice. It allowed smooth and easy control of many of the functions that the G-Shock models have.
With G-Shock, accurate time is even available where waves from atomic clock transmitters don't reach. The GPW-1000 watch was the first to receive signals from GPS satellites.
The first models with shock absorption using Alpha Gel silicone material were launched on the market.
Casio engineers carried out an unrivalled feat. They began selling the GPW-2000, the world's first model with three-way time synchronisation. It can establish a connection with an atomic clock, GPS satellites and, via Bluetooth technology and a connected smartphone, also with time servers on the Internet.
The innovated Triple G Resist technology was introduced, whereby the focus was to strengthen the strap connection.
The growing outrage of a large group of G-Shock fans, which caused a retreat from top positions - mainly due to the absence of the top smart model, extinguished the arrival of the world's first GPS watch with assisted solar power Rangeman GPR-B1000-1. Yes, under certain conditions, ordinary light was enough for the operation of energy-insatiable navigation.
Plastic and steel, and also carbon have penetrated the Mudmaster collection. And it wasn't just about cosmetic adjustments somewhere around the circle. The Carbon Core Guard, which Casio introduced less than a year earlier, appeared in the GG-B100 model's design.
Everyone knew that G-Shock could outperform the competition in outdoor and extremely durable watches. But in run? The training all-rounder GBD-H1000 took care of breaking down prejudices. The model with integrated GPS, a heart rate sensor, with the native G-Shock Connected application, created an extremely effective tandem, the qualities that many lovers of movement absolutely fell for.
What will Casio come up with in a year where covid is raging? We're sure that we'll have something to look forward to...
That's enough, isn't it? The primacy of G-Shock watches is not just an empty pursuit of records. In 37 years, G-Shocks have completely changed the way they look at watches, which before their era were mainly seen as prone and fragile fashion accessories. That era is long gone. Modern Casio G-Shock watches are not only designed by them, but mainly by their owners as the ultimate tools for sports, professional use and, also for outdoor use thanks to the successful functional penetration with the Pro Trek series.
It's the widely defined networks of features, various functions and also prices that are the main weapon that gains G-Shock loyal fans from all over the world. There is only a small chance that a person with an active lifestyle is unable to choose a piece tailored to their needs from dozens and hundreds of models. If you say that choosing the right one is more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack, the brief overview we have prepared for you should definitely help you.
A solid foundation is important
Do you want to try G-Shocks but don't want to invest more than necessary? In that case, examine the G-Shock Basic collection. Its evergreens include the iconic DW-5600 or DW-6900. A lower price isn't an obstacle for you to get the same resistance to shocks and water as much more expensive pieces have. Of course, compromises are needed in some respects. The backlight doesn't turn on when the wrist is tilted towards the face, many also lack world time or countdown, but these smaller watches benefit from their simplicity.
It even works without a battery
Another development stage that offers more than just a bare foundation is the G-Shock Tough Solar series. Models with practical solar power are concentrated in it. We probably don't have to debate their biggest advantage. After all, who wants to go to a watchmaker with a watch that has a battery that is taking its last breath. The traditional companion of the Tough Solar function is often an ingenious invention - the reception of calibration signals from atomic clock transmitters. Radio synchronisation, called Multi-Band 6 at Casio, guarantees accurate time per second (if you are within range of one of the long-wave transmitters) and, in combination with solar power, makes the G-Shock watch an almost maintenance-free companion.
Bigger is always better
In the G-Shock Big Case line, everything specifically revolves around the millimetres that endowed their cases. Analogue-digital models largely became a hit about ten years ago, and their fame's glow doesn't seem to have lost any of its intensity. Extremely popular GA-100, GA-110 or GD-X6900 are legends today with a number of colours and cleverly balanced functional equipment. We believe that there's no better choice for sportier street fashion. Perhaps, they can only be a sleeker and thinner GA-2100 with a carbon core Carbon Core Guard, where its octagonal case is based historically on the first G-Shock DW-5000C.
Steel lasts longer
We climb higher and higher up the production ladder - we're approximately in the middle of the journey. Since 2015, this place has been occupied by remarkable models with steel casing. The G-Shock G-Steel series is a typical middle-class representative with a focus on a more civilian exterior. Newer additions, such as the GST-B200 or GST-B300, are functionally superior. They get energy from light, have intelligent LED lighting and an auxiliary LCD display. And although they've lost the ability to radio control to integrate Bluetooth connectivity, no need to worry. This loss is fully compensated by the smart application skills, including time synchronisation with a mobile phone.
The best ever for athletes
It's inconceivable for G-Shock to lag behind in sports equipment development. Although it let the competition run away for a while, it corrected everything with the arrival of the G-Squad collection intended for runners, pedestrians, joggers - simply those who count every single step. The development of smart watches for running involves Japanese engineers on the more affordable GBA-800 and GBD-800 models. As soon as they found out what was important for users, they set out for heroic performance and introduced the top training tool GBD-H1000 and its lightweight cultivar GBD-100, to which the GPS chip and advanced sensor functions were removed from the equipment in order to lower the price.
Professionals for professionals
We are slowly approaching the top. An important position among the G-Shock watches belongs to the tactical model Master of G. The digital branch concentrates in such concepts as Mudman, Rangeman or diving Frogman. No matter what angle you look at this watch, you'll always see the most versatile devices suitable for demanding missions. Typical representatives are the Rangeman GW-9400, which was the first to miss the groundbreaking triple sensor, including a digital compass, altimeter and barometer, and the Frogman GWF-D1000, whose compass also works underwater.
The analogue hit within the Master of G collection doesn't lag behind its digital siblings in anything. On the contrary, the Gulfmaster, Mudmaster and Gravitymaster models dominate the quality and capabilities they are proud of. Each of them is built to withstand the pitfalls of specific environments. While the Gulfmaster watch excels in the water, the Mudmaster models feel best in the mud and the Gravitymaster at height.
Perhaps most of the construction details are hidden in the latter. The binding resistance scheme of the Triple 10 Concept, and the reason they have become G-Shocks icon, has been extended to include resistance to impurities in both solid and semi-liquid consistency. Like any G-Shock watch, the Mudmaster line impresses with its robustness and impact resistance. However, due to the possibility of professional use in demanding conditions, their traditional features have been supplemented by a protection system inside each button. By means of four seals (two on the stem, two on the circumference of the button), maximum dustproofness and resistance to blockage of the button by mud particles is achieved as well as vibrations and shocks transmitted from the buttons to the machine are also eliminated. It's protected against the devastating effects of strong impacts by mounting in Alpha GEL® cushioning material. The flexible silicone-like polymer is characterised by inertness to chemicals, relative stability over a wide temperature range, but above all it absorbs vibrations perfectly.
The great news is that Casio doesn't just think about physical conditions in this massively armoured watch, as was the case in 2015 with the launch of the heavy-duty GWG-1000. In the latest generation of Master of G models, namely the GG-B100 outdoor models, it has been given a proven Bluetooth space, which together with the G-Shock Connected application creates an effective superstructure for recording movement in the field.
A real durable luxury
Wondering what else can follow after Master of G? Nothing else but a real durable luxury. At Casio, this is the MT-G and MR-G series. The hand-assembled and tested watch is an art demonstration of the premium production line in Yamagata. Cheaper, but still attacking the € 1,000 border MT-G models are known for the Metal Twisted construction, where they combine polyurethane resin with metal, and the use of anti-reflective sapphire crystal and carbon parts is not a rarity. The result is a massive but relatively elegant watch. You can see what it looks like when looking at the older MTG-G1000 or current MTG-B1000 models.
The MR-G watch is clearly the absolute blooming flower in the G Shock family. Prices are in excess of € 5,000, ancient metalworking techniques, unusual alloys and distinguished design are just a brief introduction to what awaits you if you can afford them. Their only weakness is what makes them special. Due to small series production and the number of interested parties, they won’t hang around in sales for long.