Casio G-Shock: Robust High-Tech Watches
The Casio G-Shock is by far this Japanese electronics conglomerate's greatest success. These watches stand out with their robust and sophisticated technology. Top models are made of titanium or gold and feature Bluetooth and GPS technology.
Watches for All of Life's Adventures
The term "G-Shock" is synonymous with durable and shock-resistant watches that offer high levels of functionality. When Casio introduced the first G-Shock – the DW-5000C – in 1983, there was no way this Japanese tech giant could have known just how big a success they had on their hands. As of 2020, the manufacturer has sold well over 100 million watches under this name. The G-Shock's story begins with Kikuo Ibe, a Casio engineer. The company tasked him with creating a watch that had a battery life of at least ten years, was water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), and could survive a drop from 10 meters (around 33 ft).
While each G-Shock fulfills these minimum specifications, many have gone above and beyond in the years and decades since the collection's debut. Top models boast several practical functions, all housed in a small case. Possible functions include Bluetooth technology, GPS, compasses, altimeters, barometers, thermometers, world time functions, and many more.
As a leading electronics conglomerate, Casio is able to develop and produce all of their watch components in house. They construct most of their cases out of synthetic resin, including several versions with carbon-fiber reinforcement. Select models are also available in stainless steel, titanium, or gold. Most watches come with an LCD display, though a few editions feature classic analog displays with hands and indices.
The G-Shock catalog is truly expansive and is broken down into seven separate collections. If that wasn't enough, there are also other watches that don't belong to any of the larger lines. Many of the most highly coveted models are found in the Master of G and Move collections. Series 5000 and 5600 watches have the same iconic square shape as the 1983 original and are extremely popular as well. Casio also crafts women's G-Shock watches, including the colorful Baby-G line.
Reasons to Buy a Casio G-Shock
- Robust and reliable everyday watches
- Sophisticated Japanese technology
- Numerous practical features
- Top models made of titanium or gold
- Affordable entry-level models available
Prices at a Glance: Casio G-Shock
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Feature(s)|
|GBD800-1||100 USD||Bluetooth, step tracker, world time function|
|GBX100-1||220 USD||Tide graph, training log|
|GSTB100D-1A||340 USD||Bluetooth, world time function, resin case|
|GGB100-1A3 Mudmaster||340 USD||Bluetooth, altimeter, carbon resin case|
|GMWB5000D-1||500 USD||Solar-powered, smartwatch, metal case and bracelet|
|GPW2000-1A2||670 USD||Bluetooth, GPS, sapphire crystal|
|GPRB1000-1 Rangeman||730 USD||Solar-powered, extremely durable, sapphire crystal|
|MTGB1000B-1A||1,000 USD||Solar-powered, Bluetooth, sapphire crystal|
|GMWB5000TB-1||1,600 USD||Solar-powered, Bluetooth, sapphire crystal, titanium case and bracelet|
|MTGG1000RB-1A||1,900 USD||Ion-plated stainless steel case and bracelet, multi-functional, 52 mm|
|GMWB5000KL Kolor||2,800 USD||Golden case, 35th anniversay edition, limited run of 700 pieces|
|MRGG2000GA-1A||7,500 USD||Hademade by Sadanobu Gassan, titanium case and bracelet, limited run of 300 pieces|
|GWF1000TM Frogman||22,500 USD||Designed by Takashi Murakami, limited run of 300 pieces|
|GD5000-9||110,000 USD||18-karat gold, limited run of 35 pieces|
About the Casio G-Shock
Prices for G-Shock watches are as varied as the collection itself. For example, you can purchase a simple model like the ref. G9000-1V for under 100 USD, while the limited-edition GD5000-9 in gold demands over 100,000 USD.
The $110,000 G-Shock
If you like gold and the idea of owning the most expensive G-Shock of all time, you should be on the lookout for the ref. GD5000-9. Casio introduced this extraordinary model in December 2018 and sold it for the jaw-dropping price of 70,000 USD. Only 35 copies exist of this exclusive G-Shock. Its square case, bracelet, and screws are all made of solid 18-karat gold. According to Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe, it took more than five years to develop a gold-processing method that makes the notoriously soft metal as resilient as stainless steel.
In terms of functionality, this solar-powered radio-controlled watch is identical to the standard editions. It has a digital time display, chronograph, calendar, world time function, and LED lighting. With a depth rating of 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft), this precious timepiece is also a fantastic diving companion. The case measures 50 x 43.2 mm, and the final watch weighs a staggering 297 grams (10.5 oz) – that's one-and-a-half times heavier than the same watch in stainless steel.
While the initial $70,000 price tag was astonishing, prices have since increased for this rare and coveted timepiece. You'll occasionally find listings for this model on Chrono24. If you're lucky enough to spot one, be prepared to pay well over 110,000 USD.
Features of the Gold G-Shock
- 18-karat gold case and bracelet
- Limited run of 35 pieces
- 1.5x heavier than steel models
- Water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)
- The most expensive G-Shock of all time
The G-Shock in Forged Titanium
One of the collection's aesthetic and technological highlights is the ref. MRGG2000HT-1A. This titanium G-Shock boasts a beautifully decorated case and all sorts of sophisticated technology. It has an analog time display and can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, enabling you to transfer data between the two instruments with the push of a button. All you need is an Android or iOS device and the G-Shock Connected app. Thanks to an integrated GPS receiver, the watch automatically adjusts the time based on your current location. These two impressive functions are just the tip of the iceberg. Other features include a world time function, alarm clock, and automatic hand correction.
Casio crafts the case and bracelet out of titanium. However, what makes this timepiece truly special are its bezel and the bracelet's middle links. Japanese master metalworker Bihou Asano processes each watch by hand using the stunning "tsuiki" hammer-tone technique. Simply put, "tsuiki" refers to the art of applying a pattern to metal using a hammer. The result is a truly unique watch you won't find anywhere else. Another beautiful detail is the indigo DLC coating used on the bezel and case back, which adds a wonderful sense of depth. The bracelet and pushers are also one of kind. They have an "oborogin" ("dusky silver") finish, an alloy often used in traditional Japanese swordsmithing.
This G-Shock MR-G is water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 565 ft) and measures about 50 mm in diameter. It had a limited production run of 500 pieces. Casio has set its list price at 7,400 USD. You can find the same watch in mint-condition for about 7,800 USD on Chrono24.
Features of the G-Shock "Bihou Asano"
- Titanum case and band
- Hammer-tone pattern by Bihou Asano
- Bluetooth and GPS funtions
- Limited run of 500 pieces
- Water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)
Mudmaster: Unfazed by Dirt and Sludge
Casio assigns the "Mudmaster" moniker to particularly dirt and mud-resistant G-Shock models. These battery-powered watches are available in all sorts of color combinations. One example is the solid black ref. GGB100-1B. This Mudmaster has a carbon-fiber-reinforced resin case that can withstand extreme temperatures and jolts. Furthermore, the case is completely sealed, keeping out all dirt and dust. An analog display with hands and Arabic numerals shows the current time. There's also a digital display for the day and date just above 6 o'clock.
Technologically speaking, the solid black Mudmaster nearly makes use of Casio's full repertoire. Some of its 21 features include Bluetooth technology, a compass, an altimeter with data logging, a step tracker, and an alarm clock. This model can also join you on dives thanks to its water-resistance of 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). A black resin strap with a pin buckle keeps the watch securely on the wrist. This particular Mudmaster can do it all under the most challenging conditions. Prices for this technological marvel sit around 340 USD in mint condition. Casio lists the same watch on their website for 380 USD.
Features of the G-Shock Mudmaster
- Resin case and strap
- Highly resistant to dirt and mud
- Can withstand extreme temperatures and jolts
- Over 21 functions, water-resistant to 200 m (29 bar, 656 ft)
Elegant G-Shock Models
The G-Shock collection also contains several elegant models, including the ref. GMWB5000D-1. Unlike most G-Shocks, this version has a stainless steel case and bracelet. Its shape and design, however, still follow the blueprint of the classic square models made of resin. That being said, the use of stainless steel gives this watch a decidedly more elegant and refined look. This solar-powered timepiece wouldn't be a G-Shock if it didn't boast some impressive features, such as Bluetooth technology, a radio receiver, a world time function, and five independent alarms. It also comes with a phone finder button for locating your misplaced smartphone.
The watch is water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). This model, also known as the "G-Shock Full Metal," changes hands for about 500 USD on Chrono24. The same watch has an official list price of 550 USD. Other stainless steel G-Shocks include the refs. GMWB500GD-9 (gold plated) and GMWB500GD-1 (with a black coating). These versions demand roughly 560 USD and have a list price of 600 USD.
Features of Stainless Steel G-Shocks
- Stainless steel case and bracelet
- Available with a black or gold coating
- Bluetooth technology
- Five independent alarms
G-Shock Rangeman and Gorillaz
In 2018, Casio launched a line of solar-powered G-Shocks under the name "Rangeman." These watches are exceptionally robust and come with a number of practical functions. One example is the ref. GPRB1000-1. This timepiece can withstand nearly any challenge, including water, sand, mud, and temperatures as low as -4°F (-20°C). Anyone who enjoys life in the great outdoors will get plenty of use out of its Bluetooth technology, GPS navigation, altimeter, tide graph, compass, and other functions. What's more, the case back is made of hypoallergenic ceramic, so this watch is a fantastic option for those with metal allergies or sensitive skin. Ceramic also allows the watch to charge more quickly atop its wireless charger.
Sapphire crystal protects the Rangeman's display. This model is water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) and is mounted on a black carbon-fiber-reinforced bracelet with a pin buckle. You can purchase a never-worn timepiece for about 730 USD.
Gorillaz X G-Shock
Casio has twice teamed up with the British band Gorillaz to create a line of limited-edition timepieces. Band members 2D, Murdoc Niccals, Russell Hobbs, and Noodle have helped craft two new versions of the G-Shock, a DW5600 and GA2000. Each watch has a unique color scheme and comes in packaging bearing the band's virtual likenesses. The first model, Now Now, debuted in 2018 and celebrates the band's album of the same name. It has the G-Shock's classic square resin case and features the same blue and pink swirls found on the album cover. The second edition, the Camo G-Shock, followed a year later. Its case, dial, and indices are all different shades of green based on the band's "Geep" camouflage pattern – a pattern that also appears on one of the two included straps. Both watches are water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) and have a world time function. Prices for these limited-edition collector's items vary greatly. For example, the Now Now ref. GWB5600GZ-1, has a list price of 180 USD but can sell for anywhere from 160 and 570 USD.
New in 2020: The G-Shock GBX-100
Casio released three new G-Shock models in 2020 under the reference numbers GBX100-1 (black), GBX100-2 (teal), and GBX100-7 (black and white). These watches are especially practical for surfers due to their tide graphs, which provide high and low-tide information for 3,000 locations around the globe. Other useful functions include Bluetooth technology, a sunrise/sunset indicator, and various fitness features. You can use the GBX100 to track and log distances, speeds, and other measurements. Casio outfits these watches with batteries that have a two-year battery life. The cases measure 50.9 x 46 mm and are water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). Each costs about 220 USD in mint condition.
Features of the GBX-100
- Introduced in 2020
- Tide graphs
- Sunrise/sunset times
- Available in three different colors
- Water-resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)
Baby-G & G-MS: G-Shocks for Women
The Baby-G series is home to a wide range of colorful women's watches. While most models are round, a handful have the G-Shock's classic square shape. A majority of Baby-Gs feature digital LCD displays, though a few editions combine digital and analog displays. If you'd prefer a more classic look, you should check out the G-MS series. These watches use traditional hands and indices to display the time and have smaller digital displays for the other functions.
The ref. BGD560-1 is about as classic and simple as a Baby-G gets. Its square case and bracelet are made of solid black resin. The case is 44.7 x 40 mm and has a depth rating of 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft). Like the larger models, this Baby-G comes with a wide variety of useful functions. In addition to the obligatory time and date displays, you'll find a world time function, five independent alarms, and a stopwatch function that's accurate to within one one-hundredth of a second. According to Casio, this Baby-G's battery lasts for three years.
You can purchase the black square Baby-G for about 70 USD on Chrono24 or 79 USD from Casio directly. If you'd prefer something more colorful, the ref. BGD560-4 is the same watch but with a pink case and bracelet. There's also a white version with the reference number BGD560-7. These brighter editions cost about the same as their black counterpart.