The G-Shock is a line of watches manufactured by the Japanese electronics company Casio, designed to resist mechanical stress, shock and vibration. G-Shock is an abbreviation for Gravitational Shock. The watches in the G-Shock line are designed primarily for sports, military and outdoors-oriented activities; nearly all G-Shocks are chronographs, with either a digital display or a combination of analogue and digital. Other features such as countdown timer, world clock, alarms, electroluminescent backlight and water resistance are included in most models. Newer high-end models in the line also feature GPS, compass or radio-controlled adjustment known as Multi-Band.
The G-Shock was conceptualised in 1981 by Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe when he accidentally dropped and broke a pocket watch given to him by his father. The G-Shock was conceived as a watch which would have "triple 10" resistance, meaning it would have a battery life of 10 years, have a water resistance of 10 bar and could survive a fall of 10 metres.
A team of three individuals was selected by Ibe which was known as "team tough". The team had assembled and tested nearly 200 prototypes but were still not able to achieve the conception criteria. During a visit to a playground, Ibe discovered that in a rubber ball, the centre of the ball doesn't suffer the effects of the shock during a bounce on a rough surface which gave him the idea to implement that concept into the watch. With that in mind, the team set out to develop a watch using such a concept and in 1983, the first G-Shock, the DW-5000C, was launched.
The shock-resistant design on the original G-Shock has 10 layers protecting the quartz timekeeping module, including a urethane rubber bumper, the stainless steel case, the hardened mineral glass watch crystal, the stainless steel screwed down caseback, and the "floating module" where the quartz mechanism floats free in a urethane foam cradle, with the outer buttons and LCD module attached with flexible cables. The strap of the watch is also designed to protect the module during a fall.
Casio released the G-Shock in April 1983, to fill the demand for durable watches. Sales were sluggish in Japan as people preferred dress watches. In order to promote the G-Shock worldwide, the American division of Casio released a commercial in which an ice hockey player used the DW-5000C as a hockey puck to demonstrate the toughness of the watch. The commercial gained negative publicity and Casio was accused of false advertising. A TV news channel then set out to conduct live tests on the DW-5000C to check whether it was as tough and durable as advertised. This involved repeating the action shown in the commercial. The DW-5000C survived the impact of the hockey stick, and the G-Shock gained popularity among the general public. The popularity of G-Shocks increased throughout the 1990s. By 1998, Casio had released more than 200 different G-Shock models, with worldwide sales at 19 million units.
In 1994, Casio introduced the Baby-G brand G-Shock watches designed for women.
G-Shock Mini are 30% smaller than a regular G-Shock and were originally marketed for women. However, they were later released in unisex variants intended for people who have smaller wrists.
In 2013 in order to celebrate 30 years of the G-Shock, Casio arranged a party in New York and showcased new models as well as various prototypes of upcoming models. The party included a performance from rapper Eminem.
On 1 September 2017, Casio celebrated its 100 millionth sale of G-Shocks worldwide.
The line of watches now includes atomic clock synchronisation and tough solar technology. Many newer models feature metal (steel or titanium) bands and a mix of analogue-digital timekeeping, analogue timekeeping or digital timekeeping.
The DW models are standard battery-powered G-Shocks while GW models of the G-Shock come with either Tough Solar or Multi-Band atomic timekeeping or both.
Twice a year, the basic models are updated. New limited models are introduced more frequently throughout the year. Special models are released upon the anniversary celebration of the G-Shock brand and are sold through selected retail channels.
Casio also produces collaboration models, often with popular fashion brands and artists, like A Bathing Ape (Bape), Stüssy, Xlarge, Eric Haze, KIKS TYO, Nano Universe, Levi's, Lifted Research Group, as well as Coca-Cola, Pulp68 Skateshop, Lucky Strike and Marlboro.
G-Shock watches are popular with mountaineers, firefighters, paramedics, people working in the offshore, police officers, astronauts, film directors (Tony Scott was often pictured wearing a GW-3000B, as is Ron Howard and Francis Ford Coppola) and soldiers. Ex-Special Forces-British SAS soldier Andy McNab mentions in several of his novels how his character Nick Stone relies on a G-Shock watch. According to Mark Bowden's book Blackhawk Down, the DELTA Operators wore G-Shock watches during the combat events of 3 and 4 October 1993. Since then, G-Shock watches have become very popular with Special Forces groups in both American and other NATO nation units, due to being "battle tested".
The DW-5600C, DW-5600E, DW-5900, DW-6600 and DW-6900 models are flight-qualified for NASA space travel. Casio has updated the DW-5600E module, replacing the usual 1545 module with module number 3229 (in 2010).
In 2012, Casio released the GB-6900, a Bluetooth-capable model of the G-Shock. Casio claimed the battery life of 2 years on a single CR2032 battery. Since then, the Bluetooth technology has been incorporated in many top-of-the-line models.
Casio continues to add new features to G-Shock watches. Some include Tough Solar battery charging and Multiband 6 time synchronisation through radio signals from six transmission stations worldwide. The GW-9400 Rangeman and GWN-1000 Gulfmaster models have a Triple Sensor with a digital compass, thermometer, and barometer/altimeter. The MTG-S1000, GW-A1000, and GPW-1000 feature Triple G Resist which includes resistance to shock, centrifugal gravity, and vibration. In 2014, Casio introduced the GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor feature in the GPW-1000 Gravitymaster that allows the watch to synchronize the time through GPS signals and also adjusts the time zone automatically. The MRG-G1000 is also equipped with this feature.
In late 2018, Casio introduced the newest addition to the G-Shock Rangeman series of models. The GPR-B1000 is a GPS centred model, which can use the GPS receiver to maintain the exact time, down to the second. This model also has triple sensors (altimeter, barometer and compass) as well as a backtracking function which allows the user to return to the same point from where he started the journey by the use of a map, a function which was previously exclusive for Casio's ProTrek line of watches. The watch also features Bluetooth connectivity which allows it to connect to a smartphone via an app and allows it to upload log data in the phone, download map information from the phone and also synchronise itself with the phone in order to keep perfect time. The watch comes without a replaceable battery. The battery is either charged by solar cells present on the face of the watch (called Tough Solar by Casio) or via a wireless charger supplied with the watch, a first for a Casio watch.
The Multi-Band 6 is a radio control technology first introduced on the GW9200 Riseman in 2008 and is a successor to the Multi-Band 5 (which supported synchronisation with 5 atomic time transmitters around the world) and Wave Ceptor (which supported synchronisation with atomic time transmitters present in the United States and Japan only) technologies. G-Shock watches with Multi-Band 6 technology can synchronise with one of the six atomic time transmitters in the world in order to keep accurate time. The following is a list of the six atomic time transmitters:
Watches can tune in to two locations:
The 60 kHz signal from the Haganeyama Transmitter at Mount Hagane (Haganeyama).
Watches tune to the 68.5 kHz signal from BPC at Shangqiu. This is the newest additional signal; older multi-band 5 watches will not be able to connect to this signal, and must be upgraded to a newer multi-band 6 watch in order to synchronise from there.
- United States
- United Kingdom
Guinness World Record title
On December 12, 2017, the G-Shock earned the Guinness World Record for the heaviest vehicle to drive over a watch. The officials from Guinness World Record drove a 24.97-tonne truck over the Casio G-Shock DW5600E-1. The G-Shock is the first watch by any company being able to withstand the challenge.
List of models
G-Lide Surfing editions
These models were released in 1996, designed and specifically made for the surfing market. These models were the very first G-Shock watches to have a countdown timer. The countdown timers on these models were designed to count down for surfing competitions, some of the later models have a yacht timer, moon and tide graphs so a surfer can keep track of the progress while competing on the water. Many of these models came equipped with a pair of strap adapters and a single one-piece resin or nylon band. These styles of band are also known as "crossband" in the Japanese domestic market. Resin bands for these models had open gaps or slits through the band. Casio refers to them as drainage slits; the idea is that water will drain out with no problems while in action when surfing. Most of these series models had a translucent band. These models were branded as X-Treme for the Japanese domestic market.
X-Treme Snow Board/Skateboard Editions
These models are identical to the surfing editions, and also released in 1996. They were designed for snowboarding and skateboarding competitors and competitions. The only difference is that these models came with nylon velcro bands.
Limited edition models
- Go Green Project: G5600GR-7, G6900GR-3, G2300GR-3
- GWR 30M
- DW-8400 (Mudman)
- MTG-1000 (2008)
- MTG-1500 (2009)
- MTG-1100 (2009)
- MTG-1200 (2011)
- MTG-M900 (2012)
- MTG-S1000 (2013)
- MTG-G1000 (2015)
- MTG-B1000 (2018)
- MTG-B2000 (2020)
Frequent updates have produced a proliferation of modules with slightly varying feature sets:
|Module||Solar||Stopwatch||Timer||Alarms||Alt. time display||Other features||Watches|
|3163||No||→2,400 hrs||→24 hrs||5||No other modes||World time, custom memo, selectable timer modes and Presets, etc.||G-7800, G-7800B, G-7800GL, G-7800L, G-7800P|
|3160||Yes||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||5||No other modes||World time||G-5600E|
|2597||Yes||→100 hrs||→100 hrs||5||Timer, alarm, world time||World time||G-5600-1JF/G-5600-9*|
|2924||Yes||→24 hrs||→60 min||5||No other modes||Atomic, world time, day or date view only||GW-5600|
|1545||No||→24hrs||→24hrs||1||Stopwatch, timer||Timer with auto repeat, flashing backlight (flash alert), screwdown caseback||DW5600E, DW5025D-8|
|3229||No||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||1||Stopwatch, timer||Updated calendar; years 2000 to 2099, timer with auto-repeat, flashing backlight (flash alert)||DW-5600E-1VQ|
|3063||Yes||→1,000 hrs||→60 min||5||Timer, alarm||Atomic, world time||GW-M5600|
|3159||Yes||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||5||No other modes||Atomic, world time, screw down caseback (GW-5000 only)||GWM5610B-1, GW-5000, GW-S5600, GW-5510|
|3151||No||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||3||No other modes||Tide graph, moon phase and age data, world time||GLX5600-1|
|3221||Yes||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||5||No other modes||World time||GX56-1A|
|3495||Yes||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||5||No other modes||Atomic, world time, screw down caseback (GW-5000U-1JF only), Full auto LED backlight (Adjustable 1.5 or 3 second afterglow for light), Current time display in stopwatch and countdown timer mode ||G-5600UE-1JF, GW-5000U-1JF, GW-M5610U-1JF, GW-M5610U-1BJF, GW-M5610UBC-1JF, GW-S5600U-1JF|
|Master of G|
|3050||Yes||→100 hrs||→60 min||5||Timer, alarm||Atomic, world time||GW9000A mudman|
|3089||Yes||→100 hrs||→60 min||5||Timer, alarm||Atomic, world time||GW9100 gulfman|
|2422||Yes||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||3||Alarm, site data, dive||Dive site, dive time||GW200 frogman|
|3184||Yes||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||5||Alarm, site data, dive time||Tide graph, moon phase and age data, world time||GWF-1000 frogman|
|4765||Yes||→60 min||→60 min||1||Alarm, world time||Atomic||AWG100-1A AWG101-1A AWG100BC-1AV|
|3147||Yes||→24 hrs||→24 hrs||5||Stopwatch, timer, alarm, world time||Atomic, height and pressure measurements, world time, temperature measurement||GW9200 riseman|
|3261||Yes||→1,000 hrs||→24 hrs||5||Stopwatch, timer, alarm||Compass, temperature measurement, moon phase and age data, world time||G-9300 Mudman|
|3410||Yes||→1,000 hrs||→24 hrs||5||Stopwatch, timer, alarm, world, alti, compass||Compass, temperature, pressure and height measurements, world time, sunset and sunrise data||G-9400 rangeman|
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