When talking of tough watches the G-Shock line from Casio will inevitably come to the mind of most people. Since their introduction in the mid-eighties they have developed an image and a reputation for toughness.
The first one, model DW-5000C (below) went on sale in 1983.
Since then the story of G Shock has gone on to become a worldwide sensation, famous for they’re toughness and an important part of urban culture and youth lifestyle.
The designer Kikuo Ibe’s motivation to develop an indestructible watch was driven by a traumatic episode during his childhood.
Project Team Tough
The event occurred when he dropped a precious watch given to him by his father and saw it smash to pieces on the floor. In hoping to save other people the mental anguish that he went through by creating a tough unbreakable watch he formed “Project Team Tough” in 1981.
Since it was an unofficial project Ibe couldn’t use Casio’s testing labs so he would drop the prototypes from his bathroom window to see how well they withstood the 10m impact which was part of the “Triple 10” requirements that the team came up with:
- Survive a 10 meter drop.
- Have a 10 Bar water resistance.
- A 10 year battery.
Having gone through over 200 prototypes, Ibe found the solution to the development of a special shock resistance system when he saw a girl playing with a rubber ball in his local park. This gave him the idea for what would become the Floating Module Configuration.
” The Floating Module Configuration is a hollow structure which absorbs the shock in different levels and this hollow structure makes it hard to pass through the shock to the main module components.” Ibe explains.
To this was added a Urethane case that enclosed the glass and buttons in order to protect those areas from impacts. The band also was specially designed to help cushion against impacts by limiting the range of movement to 150 Degrees. All this was incorporated into the design and creation of the first g shock watches.
You can read more about the G-shock development on the official site
Casio has released many special edition models to help draw attention to environmental groups and agencies here are some of these models.
The Masai Mara G Shock.
Released in 1997 this model came in three colours, blue, black and green and commerated the Masai Mara national reserve of Kenya which is part of the Serengeti National park in Tanzania. The reserve is named afted the Masai people and the Mara river. Part of the sales revenue was donated to the Masai Mara Wildlife Development Fund.
The A.D.M.A. model
Casio released five A.D.M.A models in January 1998, they were Codename G Shocks along with a collection of Baby G’s. A.D.M.A. stands for Alaskan Dog Musher’s’ Association. They feature white velcro straps with the A.D.M.A logo.
The I.C.E.R.C model
The International Cetacean Education and Research Centers (I.C.E.R.C.). do Dolphin and Whale research. These G shock models were released in time with the International Dolphin and Whale Eco-Research conference in November of 1994.
G shock watches became popular and Casio channelled some of the profits into their further development, further evolving their toughness as well as incorporating new functions. They started releasing special versions that were used to showcase new types of technology, these models became known as the “Masters of G” watch series.
Masters Of G
The “Masters of G” series of G-shock were easily identified by their use of the “man” suffix. For example the “Frogman” which was model DW-5500C and was the first of the “masters of g” watches to be released in 1993. The Frogman could well be the longest running of all G-shock watches, still being production today.
All Masters of G-watches are certified for 200 m water resistance and therefore legitimate “divers’ watches. Others such as the Raysman, Gaussman and Mudman feature cases that have been surrounded in rubber for mud-resistance and the Gausman has anti-magnetic iso certification.
G Shock Frogman
The very first G-Shock Frogman was model (DW-6300) and was launched in November, 1993. Although Casio began to utilize a more modern, four-screw back-plate for its watches about that time, the DW-6300 maintained the previous back plate structure. The next Frogman version was launched in June 1995, the DW-8200. Thereafter the Frogman gained a following within G-Shock enthusiasts and several special editions were introduced.
The G-shock Frogman was among the firstmodels of the “Masters of G” collection, and can be referred to as a high-end model of the Casio G-Shock watches. “Masters of G” watches are a type of G-Shock watches intended for specific purposes. The Frogman comes with an asymmetric design and is exclusively manufactured to be a dive watch for scuba divers.
The special edition MRG-1100-2A is a distinctive version within the G-shock Frogman collection . This particular model was part of the MR-G collection, a high-end metal G-Shock watch. Although all other types of G-Shock designs are made with resin bezels and wrist straps, the MRG-1100-2 is made entirely of titanium.
In April 1999 the DW-9900 model was first released and this Frogman was somewhat scaled-down watch compared to the DW-8200. For the following 2 yrs both DW-8200 and DW-9900 models were manufactured although the DW-9900 appears to be a not so well known model since and was quickly followed up by way of the solar-powered GW-200 versions in June 2001. Apart from the “Snake Killer”(GW-201-6JF) and also the “Carbon Fiber Frogman” (GW-201NT-1JF) , this particular Frogman comes with the Tough Solar 2422 module. The final GW-200 line Frogman is the GW-200Z-1JF “Final Frogman” which was introduced in November 2009. Generally, the “GW” name identifies G-Shocks that are able to obtain atomic signals, however no Frogman was built with this function before the launch of the GWF-1000.
launched on September 2009 in Japan the GWF-1000 is the newest improvement to the Frogman range and is the 5th series in the Frogman line . Able to receive atomic signals from 6 sites globally, the GWF-1000 has ISO 200m water resistance, the typical impact resistance, solar power as well as dive time measurement . Additionally , it includes a tide and moon graph readouts. The GWF-1000 utilizes a stainless steel structure along with incorporating diamond-like coating (DLC) to enhance corrosion prevention, similar to the first series of Frogman.