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7 Tests to Identify an Authentic G-Shock Watch

Whether skydiving, mountain climbing, surfing, or skateboarding, there’s no better choice of watch than a G-Shock for extreme sports. Their hardiness is second to none, and their tough and powerful appearance is unmistakable.

Unless, of course, you’ve been duped into purchasing a fake G-Shock. Due to their reputation for hardiness, there are dozens of knockoffs out there, and many of them are so convincing that only an extremely close examination will reveal their counterfeit nature.

How do you tell if your G-Shock is the real deal? We’ve put together seven steps you can take to ensure the authenticity of your G-Shock.

Identify an Authentic G-Shock Watch

1. The Three-Button Test

One of the fastest ways to tell if your G-Shock is genuine is to try the three-button LCD test. With your watch in timekeeping mode, press the two buttons on the left side (buttons A and C) and the bottom button on the right (button D). Doing this will show every piece of information on your LCD.

If your G-Shock is real, the screen will show the Casio module number that is either an exact or very close match to the four-digit code on the back of your watch case. If yours is fake, your screen will likely do nothing or possibly show a code that doesn’t match the code on the back of your watch.

2. The Case Back Test

While you’re looking at the back of your watch case to see the four-digit code, take a look at the engraving. A true G-Shock’s engraving will be defined, but the texture will be smooth. Make sure there are no typos in the words, as that’s a dead giveaway for a fake.

You can also look up images of G-Shock engravings to compare the font size and style of your watch to others. If the engraving’s font looks different than what you see online, there’s a good chance your watch is a knockoff.

3. The Packaging Test

If you still have the packaging for your G-Shock, giving it a once-over will also tell you whether it is authentic. Your packaging should have two layers: an outer cardboard sleeve and an inner box made from cardboard or aluminum. Make sure to check the barcode—it should match the model number of your watch.

Some counterfeiters will package their fakes in real G-Shock packages, though, so this test isn’t foolproof. Another way to verify your watch is to look at the warranty card, which should have been included in the packaging. The card should say it’s an International Warranty Card issued by G-Shock International Warranty Network.

4. The Dial and Crystal Test

Because G-Shocks are manufactured by Casio, your watch’s dial should have “Casio” appear on the watch dial along with “G-Shock” somewhere on the dial or bezel. If your watch is missing either of these names, it’s probably fake.

You should also look at your watch’s crystal. A true G-Shock’s crystal will be very clear, while a counterfeit watch might show blurred or doubled numbers on the dial at certain angles.

5. The Weight Test

The robustness of G-Shocks requires tough, heavy materials. Fake G-Shocks often use cheap components made of plastic and other lighter materials in place of sturdier materials. Because of this, you can perform a weight test to see whether your G-Shock is genuine.

You’ll need a sensitive scale for this test. Weigh your watch, and if it weighs significantly less (in the neighborhood of 10–15 grams) than what’s listed on their site for your model, your watch is probably fake.

6. The Glow Test

G-Shocks’ hands, numbers, or other parts of the dial are treated with Neobrite, making them glow in the dark. This test is simple: after having your watch out in the light for a few minutes to charge the Neobrite, take it to a dark room and check if you can tell the time on your watch. If you can’t, you probably have a knockoff. (That, or you’re overdue for your G-Shock’s watch repair service involving a good cleaning to get that Neobrite shining through.)

7. The Timekeeping Test

Casio asserts that their G-Shocks will be accurate within 15–20 seconds at the end of each month. Therefore, if you have a real G-Shock, it should keep time extremely accurately.

If you find that your G-Shock is gaining or losing time, there could be two reasons why:

  1. Your watch is fake and lacks the timekeeping technology Casio incorporates into G-Shocks.
  2. You have an authentic model, but your G-Shock needs a battery replacement.

Let’s say you’ve applied the other tests, and it seems that your G-Shock is genuine, but it’s not keeping time accurately. In that case, you should take it to a qualified watch repair shop to replace the battery and see if anything else is causing the timekeeping function to break down.

Bonus: The Watchmaker Test

If all else fails and you can’t tell whether your G-Shock is authentic, your best bet is to bring it to a reputable watchmaker. They’ll be able to tell you definitively if you have a true G-Shock and determine whether any part of your watch needs to be repaired.

If all goes well, you’ll find that you have a genuine G-Shock that will last you through all your extreme sports for years to come.