Born out of a desire to create a watch that never breaks, the Casio G-Shock has since been hailed as the toughest watch on Earth. Its development began in 1981 when Kikuo Ibe, Casio’s head of watch design, put together a team to come up with a prototype of this invincible watch.
Calling themselves Team Tough, the design of the watch was based on three criteria: It had to be able to survive a 10m drop and 10 atm (or 100m) of water pressure as well as a battery life of 10 years. To test their resilience, Ibe famously dropped the prototypes from rooftops.
Two years and 200 prototypes later, the first G-Shock was launched.
The Perfect Storm
The BM-100WJ was the first G-Shock digital watch with weather-prediction function. An internal semiconductor barometer sensor measured the atmospheric air pressure – when air pressure increased, it signalled good weather, and vice versa. Measurements were taken every three hours, and the data is displayed on a bar graph. The huge success of the watch, which also indicated altitude and underwater depth, motivated Casio to develop a wider line of multi-functional sensor timepieces.
Master of G GW-100
Master of G “Antman” GW-100 was the most notable G-Shock release at the dawn of the new century. A bulky beast, it was the first G-Shock to be fitted with atomic signal receptors to receive radio waves for timekeeping purpose.
The first G-Shock, the watch met every criteria that Team Tough set for itself. The shock resistant design had 10 layers of protective shield around the quartz module including a urethane rubber bumper, a stainless steel case and a hardened mineral glass crystal. The quartz movement also floated in a urethane foam cradle for greater protection against knocks and bumps. Revolutionary in its time, the watch effectively shattered the notion that wristwatches were inherently fragile.
G-Shock presented a professional dive watch with an incredible water resistance of up to 200m in depth! It was also the first G-Shock to be ISO-certified. The bulky bezel has since become an iconic design, making the DW-6300 the most memorable Frogman to date.
G-Shock’s answer to the smartwatch, it came in the beloved four-button design but with Bluetooth 4.0 function that synced with the smartphone, allowing you to receive emails, text messages and voice calls on the watch itself. Even more remarkable was the fact that it was a smartwatch that actually looked like a typical G-Shock watch instead of a sleek instrument modified for the wrist.
DW-5600 (left) and DW-6900
The Nigo x K.Ibe G-Shock celebrates the model’s milestone with two limited editions – DW-5600 that recalls the design of the original G-Shock and the DW-6900, the popular template for many of G-Shock’s creative collaborations. Both models are limited to 35 pieces each.
The former is available in yellow while the latter comes in bright pink. The case and strap are made of fluorescent plastic coated with UV-resistant clear paint to prevent discolouration, the first time this technology is applied to a G-Shock. Inscribed on the caseback is a thank-you note from Nigo and Ibe.