G-Shock is a line of watches manufactured by Casio, designed to resist mechanical shock and vibration. Its full form is Gravitational Shock.They are designed primarily for sports, military and outdoors-oriented activities; nearly all G-shocks are digital or a combination of analog or digital and have a stopwatch feature, countdown timer, electroluminescent backlight and water resistance.
In 1983, Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe designed the first G-Shock: the DW-5000C. It had a 10-year battery life, water resistance to 10 bar and was able to survive a 10 meter fall onto a hard surface (he tested 200 prototypes by dropping them from rooftops or third story windows).
The shock resistant design has 10 layers protecting the quartz timekeeping module, including a urethane rubber bumper, the stainless steel case, the hardened mineral glass watch crystal, the stainless steel screwed down caseback, and the “floating module” where the quartz mechanism floats free in a urethane foam cradle, with the outer buttons and LCD module attached with flexible cables.
Casio released the G-Shock in April 1983, to fill the demand for durable watches. The popularity of G-Shocks increased throughout the 1990s. By 1998 Casio released over 200 G-Shock models. By then Casio had sold 19 million G-Shocks worldwide.
In 1991, Casio released the Baby-G series for women.
G-Shock Mini are 70% the size of a G-Shock, for people who have smaller wrists. They are available in Japan and can be shipped worldwide.
On September 1, 2017, Casio celebrated its 100 millionth shipment of G-Shocks worldwide.
The line of watches now includes atomic clock synchronization and solar battery. The Cockpit Series G-Shock is the official timekeeper of Nismo Racing. Many newer G-Shocks feature metal (steel or titanium) banding and analog timekeeping.
DW are standard G-Shocks while GW G-Shocks comes in either Tough Solar or Atomic or both.
Twice a year the basic models are updated. New limited models are introduced more frequently through the year. As with Swatch watches, G-Shocks have become collectors items.
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 watches are popular with mountaineers, firefighters, paramedics, people working in the offshore, 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-British SAS soldier Andy McNab mentions in several of his novels how his 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 3 & 4 October 1993. Since then, G-Shock watches have become very popular with Special Forces groups in both American and other NATO nation units, due to their being “battle tested”.
Models DW-5600C, DW-5600E, DW-5900, DW-6600, DW-6900 are flight-qualified for NASA space travel. Casio has updated the DW-5600E module, replacing the usual 1545 module with module number 3229 (in 2010).
In 2012, Casio released GB-6900, a Bluetooth-capable model of G-Shock. Casio claimed the battery life of 2 years on a single CR2032 battery.
Casio continues to add new features to G-Shock watches. Some include Tough Solar battery charging and Multiband 6 time synchronization through radio signals from six transmission stations worldwide. The GW-9400 Rangeman and GWN-1000 Gulfmaster models have a Triple Sensor with a digital compass, thermometer, and barometer/altimeter. The MTG-S1000, GW-A1000, and GPW-1000 feature Triple G Resist which includes resistance to shock, centrifugal gravity, and vibration. In 2014 Casio introduced the GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor feature in the GPW-1000 Gravitymaster that allows the watch to synchronize the time through GPS signals and also adjusts the time zone automatically. The MRG-G1000 is also equipped with this feature.
G-Shock watches with Multi-Band 6 can tune into an atomic clock for automatic time keeping.
There are currently six radio towers around the world:
Watches can tune in to two locations:
The 40 kHz signal from JJY at Mount Otakadoya, near Fukushima (Ohtakadoyayama).
The 60 kHz signal from the Haganeyama Transmitter at Mount Hagane (Haganeyama).
Watches tune to the 68 kHz signal from BPC at Shangqiu. This is the newest additional signal; older multi-band 5 watches will not be able to connect to this signal. You will need to upgrade to a newer multi-band 6 watch for it to work.
Watches tune to the 60 kHz signal from WWVB at Fort Collins.
Watches tune to the 60 kHz MSF at Anthorn.
Watches tune to the 77.5 kHz low frequency time signal radio station DCF77 at Mainflingen.
On December 12, 2017, G-Shock has earned the Guinness World Record for the heaviest vehicle to drive over a watch. Guinness World Record drove a 24.97 ton truck over the Casio G-Shock DW5600E-1. The G-Shock is the first watch by any company being able to withstand the challenge.
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