5 years after the first quartz model was released Casio launched their first watch model Casiotron (1974). This was during the quartz crisis when mechanical watches lost a lot of sales and the more versatile, robust and cheaper quartz watches got popular.
Casiotron was the worlds first digital Quartz watch featuring a calendar which corrected for short months (perpetual calendar). Casio took advantage of the brands technological advantages in making pocket calculators which made the transition to developing digital watches natural.
Casio released their flagship line G-Shock 1983, a line of watches developed to be the worlds toughest. The watches were developed from the concept "Triple 10" meaning they should be able to withstand a free fall from 10 meters, have a battery life of at least 10 years and have at least 10Bar WR.
The G-Shocks models quickly became popular and I always say that you can't be a WIS without owning at least one G-Shock. During my teens I had a Casio Forrester which I frequently threw at the wall to show my buddies at school how tough it was. I have also owned several G-Shock models with fun functions as for example vibration alarm. This for me is what G-Shock stands for, toughness and innovative features. Some of the latest models feature GPS+Bluetooth synchronized timekeeping and music control.
G-SHOCK - Watches - Premium
G-Shocks have long been considered cheap bulk collectors items, and by that I mean the collectors tend to collect them like Pokémons with a "Gotta catch em all" type mentality, trying to buy the limited edition models, but this, I believe is about to change.
Since 1998 Casio has released a few steel models. The model above is the culmination of the G-Shock line. They feature AR-coated sapphire crystals, steel/titanium cases and they now incorporate Sallaz polishing (also called Zaratsu polish or Blade polish) a polishing technique previously used only on premium dress watch models. The prices vary from approx $800 and up depending on model and they use GPS+radio synchronization for timekeeping.
The new G-Steel models position themselves as a cheaper alternative to the MT-G/MR-G models. The sapphire crystal is replaced by a mineral crystal, GPS+radio synchronization is replaced by radio synchronization and the models feature conventional polishing. There are also some models without radio synchronization.
List price: Approx $350-$400 depending on model
Release date: Aug/Sept 2015
- Full-Auto-LED light - Just twist your wrist
- Shock/Vibration resistance
- Solar powered
- Radio synchronization (EU, USA, Japan, China)
- Luminous paint on the hands
- World time
- Chronograph - 1/100 sec. Max 1 hour (also split time)
- Timer - 1/1 sec. Max 100 min.
- 5 daily alarms
- Hourly alarm
- Automatic hands clear function -The hands move to enable easier reading of the digital displays.
- Perpetual calendar
- Mineral glass
- End of life battery indication
- WR 20BAR (ISO 22810)
The glass ring is vertically brushed on top and bead blasted on the sides. The screws that keep the glass ring in place are nicely chamfered which match the glass ring nicely.
Under the glass ring is a shock absorbing gasket and the next layer is metal. The middle case material is urethane (a sort of plastic material). All the buttons are protected by the middle case and Casio calls the system "layered guard structure".
All the edges are distinct but not sharp and there is nothing to complain about when it comes to the fitting.
The bracelet is fitted by hex screws which seem like the natural choice. Perhaps Casio should have used hex screws for all the case screws for a more coherent look, but it works as is. This is where the design language/features change. Instead of distinct edges and a brushed finish as with the case, the bracelet links are curved and have partly high gloss finish.
When I first held the watch is was sure that the bracelet had solid links, the weight is good and it feels sturdy. Upon closer inspection it turns out that the bracelet links have folded parts inside the links. it doesn't bother me, but it would be interesting to know why the links are constructed this way. Is it a cost compromise or is it to make the bracelet better in some way?
A funny thing is that the bracelet links are held together by "regular" spring bars. The system enables very easy size adjustment.
There isn't much to say about the clasp. It is a regular snap lock type made by stamped metal.
I would of course had preferred the MR-G/MT-G clasp which I've read good things about but I guess some shortcuts are necessary to keep the price down.
Sunburst finish with the specifications engraved. You'll never have to worry about the screws on the back since the watch is solar powered.
All functions work well as usual with G-Shocks, the menus are familiar and the only thing to note is that the chronograph buttons (as usual) are inverted compared to on a mechanical chronograph.
The LED-light, button or "twist of the wrist" activated, works great and the lume on the hands is surprisingly good. Radio synchronization works relatively fast and as expected.
A closer look
The mineral glass offer few reflections which is nice. The hands don't reach all the way to the edge of the dial but the long indexes meet the hands so it still looks good. The hands have black painted sections which look a little odd on photos but don't look strange on the wrist. I would have loved if the hands would have had a brushed steel finish as the glass ring and the case but they still look nice.
The depth of the dial is great partly thanks to the shape of the indexes. The dial offers both vertical brushed finish and circular finish.
On the wrist
If the watch would have been 42mm x 12mm, then I could have worn it for 99% of the time but on paper the watch is 52mm x 16mm which sounds insane. Don't forget though that the middle case is "plastic" which is a great advantage when it comes to wearability. It still weighs approximately 200g, but it feels well balanced on the wrist.
The outer part of the diameter is also plastic and the glass ring is 43,5mm across so it wears smaller than it's specifications imply. Don't get me wrong, it's a big watch, a very big watch, but it's definitely wearable.
Casio claims the watch is near indestructible and I believe them. After 18 hrs in the freezer, it still keeps perfect time.
Still to come since I've had a few technical issues with my testing equipment. ;)
According to Casio, the G-Steel models are indestructible and I don't doubt it providing you have it on the wrist. They are built like tanks and the bracelet is even put together with regular spring bars, it doesn't get more tool than this.
So, is this the perfect beater? Perhaps, it's cheap enough that you wont have to worry too much about scratching it and it offers something special when it comes to design. A tank of a watch with a great bang for buck ratio.
Radio synchronization and solar powered battery makes for a care free relationship and I can't wait to put some scratches on mine. I won't be wearing it all the time, but for active sports, building on my house or wrestling it will surely be on my wrist.
Klockor för män sedan 1983 | CASIO G-SHOCK-klockor