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The History Of The G-Shock Watch

    Kikuo Ibe

    Back in the early 1980’s, Japanese inventor, Kikuo Ibe, was beginning to put on the watch his parents gave him as a high school graduation present when it slipped out of his hand and fell onto the hard surfaced floor, where it promptly broke. This unfortunate accident is what inspired Ibe to create what would become the G-Shock watch. Ibe, being an engineer for Casio, began making prototypes for the worlds first “tough” watch in 1981.

    After several years and throwing more than 200 prototypes from rooftops and 3rd story windows Ibe and his team finally cracked the code to shock resistance. The secret to the design is how the module, or engine, of the watch sits within the watch case, well actually it doesn’t sit at all.  Instead of physically attaching itself to the inner case of the watch (which is basically touching the outside layers of the watch) Ibe designed what is now called a Urethane (rubber) cradle, which allows the module to float between the 10 specially designed shock absorbing layers to protect the module from even the hardest of impacts. In essence, making the watch shock proof.

    Casio DW-5000C

    In 1983, Casio launched the DW-5000C; It flaunted a 10-year battery, 10 BAR water resistance, and a huge 10 meter (32.8 feet) drop onto a solid surface. It wasn’t until 1984, when Casio launched a commercial depicting a hockey player substituting the puck for G-Shock, model DW-5200C, that G-shock started becoming popular. Check out the tubular commercial here https://youtu.be/TNV9LlpYOh4 – It’s wickedly retro! This commercial is widely credited for G-Shocks initial success with firefighters and police.

    With the success of the 5000-line Casio, motivated by the passion of their consumers, Casio pushed forward with new innovations to elevate their watch. Skater’s and surfers fell in love with Casio’s liquid crystal graphics on G-Shock DW-5900C in 1990. You couldn’t go into any junior high or high school without finding kids sporting G-Shocks!

    Without a moment’s hesitation, Casio took this opportunity to further grow the G-Shock brand to a wider demographic by focusing on the design and appearance. Within a short amount of time G-Shock took over not only youth fashion but could be seen in high fashion as well, becoming the first digital watch to do so!

    From 1990-1996 G-Shock flourished; Casio manufactured over 250 new models throughout those 6 years, including the launch of their deluxe G-Shock subline, the MR-G (Mister G). In 1997 alone they manufactured 135 new models, but despite the plethora of new watches to chose from, shipments began to decline, nonetheless Casio and Ibe himself weren’t ready to give up just yet-they went back to the drawing board and refocused themselves back to what got G-Shock its first success: the “tough” factor instead of the “fashion” factor. The youths that once loved the G-Shock had grown up into adults and needed a watch that reflected their growth.

    This is where the MR-G line rose to the occasion – with its steel or titanium case instead of the easy to use plastic, and upgraded sapphire glass and solar powered module (in later models) – sophistication and fashion all bundled into one amazing watch.

    Casio GPW-1000

    In 1998 Casio launched an amazing 221 new models with varying functions. It wasn’t until 2002 that Casio engineered G-Shock GW-300, their first radio controlled and solar powered model. They perfected this model in later years, which lead them to GW-4000 in 2012. They dubbed it the “Triple G-Resist.”The Triple G flaunted added technology for shock, centrifugal force and vibration resistance. They didn’t stop there though; in 2014 they released GPW-1000. Not only was it GPS capable, it also held 6 different radio transmitters to help it keep the most accurate time worldwide. This accuracy was ensured by an app on a Smartphone which would synchronize with the watch. That way as you travel through time zones the app would adjust hands on your watch to read the exact time your phone—which is directly tied to satellite time. Pretty impressive for a digital watch!

    If that doesn’t blow your mind, the next notch on G-Shocks list of accomplishments should because on December 12th of 2017 Casio claimed the Guinness Book of World Records title for their G-Shock DW5600E-1 being the first watch of any company to withstand the weight of the heaviest vehicle to drive over it and still function-an unbelievable 24.97 tons! Talk about tough!

    Redirecting their focus back to the integrity of toughness not only saved the brand from dying out with its short-lived success in youth and high fashion but also propelled it to the next level. Casio saw such success that they created an event that’s now held around the globe to give consumers an up-close look at this truly unbelievable watch, called ‘SHOCK THE WORLD’.

    For the 30TH anniversary, in 2013, Kesha performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City. What a totally rad party that must have been! There are now 6 G-Shock stores in Japan and 8 others worldwide including New York and London, with over 1,000 certified retailers (including us here at Times Ticking!).

    Casio MRG-G1000B-1A4

    With this unprecedented success, in September of 2017, Casio announced they would fulfill their one hundred millionth shipment of G-shock watches. Incredible! To celebrate this achievement 100,000,000 was engraved on the case back of MRG-G1000B-1A4 dubbed the “Akazonae.” This incredible watch is arguably the most deluxe watch in MR-G subline of G-Shock. It’s a G1000 series that sports a titanium case and super dark DLC-coating with gold and red accents which make this watch pop without being gaudy. It weighs an incredibly light 153 grams (0.34lbs), is 200 meters water-resistant, measures 54.7mm by 49.8 mm with a thickness of 16.9mm. Even better-the crystal is AR-coated sapphire glass and is solar powered, of course. This watch redefines deluxe when it comes to digital watches.

    Unfortunately, this limited edition most likely will never be put up for sale or auction. However, on the Casio website they have MRGG1000D-1A, which is essentially the same model except they’ve made three color variations that exclude the red and gold combo which the one hundred millionth model handsomely flaunts.

    Which G-Shock model is your favorite? Tag us in a picture of you wearing it on our Facebook or Instagram! Thanks for reading!

    Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.

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