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In 1983 Casio Computer Co., Ltd. launched its G-Shock series of durable, water-resistant watches. The genesis of G-Shock was the idea of designer Ibe Kikuo to create watches that would not break when dropped. Ibe formed Project Team Tough, an eight-member unit within Casio, with the aim of achieving a “triple 10” watch: one that could survive a 10-meter free fall, that was water resistant to 10 bars, and whose battery would last for 10 years.
The team did not have smooth sailing at first. Ibe’s testing procedures included him leaning out of a bathroom window on the third floor of an out-of-the-way Casio building, away from prying eyes, to drop prototypes onto the pavement below. Despite going through more than a hundred test models, he was no closer to a successful design.
It was the sight of a child playing with a rubber ball that gave him the breakthrough hint he needed. He saw the possibility of encasing the module—the internal case housing the functional parts of the watch—in a cushion like the rubber ball, allowing it to float in a substance that would absorb the impact of external blows. Until then he and his team had focused on protecting the module with rigid armor, but now he had a new solution: the module would be supported at a limited number of points, suspended in an empty space in the watch housing. This “float” construction would become the fundamental structure of G-Shock watches for decades to come.
In 1983 the debut G-Shock model, the DW-5000C-1A, hit store shelves for about $150. The watch featured shock resistance, meant to survive a fall from 10 metres, 200m water resistance, an alarm function, countdown timer, and stopwatch. It is now a big collector's item among G-Shock enthusiasts. In 2008, as part of the 25th anniversary, Casio re-issued the watch as a collector's edition, with model number DW-5025SP-1. In 2013 a limited release DW-5030C was issued in three versions (Rising Black in a copper vintage tone, a Silver replica of the original DW-5000C and Gold edition with carbon fiber band) were to mark the 30th Anniversary. All re-issued versions featured everything the original had, including a screw-back, a feature Casio dropped in 1994.
The Casio G-Shock DW-5000C featured the following:
- Module 240
- 24 hour Countdown timer
- 60 hour Stopwatch
- 12/24 hour timekeeping
- 200m water resistance
- Shock resistance, meant to survive a 10 metre fall
- An alarm function
- 10 year battery
- Micro light
An alternate version was released the same year as the original. The DW5000C-1B, which has the letters, and border yellow, instead of red.
- The DW-5000C-1A at Casio's official site.
- Chronology of Main Products at Casio's official site.
- The DW-5000C-1A at My G-Shock Wiki.
- Casio G-shock History 1982-1987. Includes photos of the DW-5000C-1A itself and original catalogs.
- DW-5000-1 at Watch Archive.
- DW-5025SP-1 at Watch Archive.