G-Shock is a brand of watches manufactured by Casio, known for its resistance to shocks (e.g. hard knocks and strong vibrations). They are designed primarily for sports, military and outdoor adventure oriented activity; practically all G-Shocks have some kind of stopwatch feature, countdown timer, light and water resistance.
The first G-Shock was the Casio DW-5000C designed by an engineer working for Casio named Kikuo Ibe around the triple ten concept: the concept for a watch that has a 10 year battery life, is water resistant to 10 bar, and can survive a 10m fall onto a hard surface. 200 prototypes were tested by dropping them from rooftops, or third story windows.
Its shock resistant design has 10 layers protecting the quartz time mechanism, the major ones being the urethane rubber outer bumper protecting the steel watch case, the stainless steel case, the hardened mineral glass watch crystal, the stainless steel screwed down caseback, and the “floating module” concept where the quartz mechanism floated free in a urethane foam cradle, with things like the outer buttons, and LCD module attached with flexible cables, with the buttons mounted to the watchcase, rather than the quartz module. It was released in April 1983, seizing the unfilled recreational and sporting market for bulky, functional watches. For the next few years Casio released a handful of new models each year. The Baby-G models were released in 1991. The popularity of G-Shocks increased rapidly throughout the 1990s. By 1998, 19 million G-Shocks had been sold worldwide and there seemed to be a peak in demand as over 200 new models were released in that year alone.
This line of watches has expanded considerably since then and now includes atomic clock synchronization and Tough Solar functionality in the latest models. The Cockpit Series G-Shock is the official timekeeper of Nismo Racing. Many newer G-Shocks feature metal (steel or titanium) banding and ornate analogue timekeeping.
Twice a year (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collection) the basic models are updated. New limited models are introduced more frequently through the year. As with Swatchwatches, G-Shocks have become collectors items. Arguably, the most sought after line is the Frogman. Limited edition Frogmans such as the Brazilian, Men in Yellow, Black Helios and Black Spots are some of the most desirable Frogmans.
Casio also produces collaboration models, often with popular fashion brands, like A Bathing Ape (Bape), Stussy, Xlarge, KIKS TYO, Nano Universe, Levi’s, Lifted Research Group, as well as Coca Cola, Pulp68 Skateshop, Lucky Strike and Marlboro.
G-Shock is popular with mountaineers, firemen, paramedics, 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 soldier Andy McNab mentions in several of his novels how his fictional 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 3rd & 4th October 1993. Since then, G-Shocks watches have become very popular with Special Forces groups in both American and other NATO nation units, due to their being “battle tested”.
The Casio G-Shock DW-5600C is flight-qualified for NASA space travel.
In 2012, Casio released GB-6900, a Bluetooth-capable model of G-Shock. As of June 2012, it was only available in Japan. Casio claimed the battery life of 2 years on a single CR2032 battery.
MODELS AND SERIES