Last year marked a memorable day in the record books when Casio introduced one of their most expensive timepieces to the US market, bringing the MT-G Metal Twisted G-Shock to this country. This year, a new technology was brought forth with their GPW1000 series, featuring not only radio control, but also GPS timing information to make for the ultimate in accuracy. Today, we introduce a merger of these two revolutionary pieces introduced in a variation of G-Shock typically only sold in Japan as their most premium G. The MRG-G1000, known as the MR-G GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor has officially been introduced to market, with an unbelievable metal construction, the durability G-Shock is renowned for, and the impressive technology of GPS and Multi Band 6, all powered by light.
Under model number MRGG1000B-1A, this new MR-G features a 49.8mm wide by 16.9mm thick titanium case, substantially smaller then the GPW models, and weighing only 153g. The case and bracelet for this model are not just your typical pure titanium. A special deep hardening treatment is done to the titanium in order to provide a hardness 4 to 5 times harder then that of pure titanium. On top of that, the coating giving it its dark finish is DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) and provides outstanding durability and scratch resistance. The case and bracelet end up in more of a gunmetal type color with a mostly satin hand finish. To compliment the satin finishing, there are sallaz mirror finished accents found throughout the case and bracelet, giving the piece incredible detail. This hand finishing technique, even with the DLC, gives it a chance to play with light and allows it to reflect and sparkle, adding to its quality appearance. Even the four hand turned screws on the bezel are finished in this manner.
The structure of the case and bracelet is blocky and faceted, giving a lot of sharp angles that make for a great design element. This structure is not just for looks, but also adds the shock resistance that is synonymous with G-Shock. This along with Alpha Gel, a Casio proprietary material for shock and vibration resistance, and special crown guard structure allow this MR-G to sustain abuse with no worries. Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating is also utilized on this watch, giving another element of scratch resistance to this piece, but also allows an impressively clear look at the dial. The indices are very 3 dimensional and sloped downwards to its deeply recessed dial. The finishing of the indices creates another shimmering effect, again adding to the distinct luxurious look of this G. All of these elements start adding up for the ultimate G-Shock.
The crown and pushers feature special structures adding to this timepieces shock resistance and durability, but a new crown structure was implemented for this MR-G in particular. The use of more Alpha Gel applies to the pieces screw down electronic Smart Access crown, also absorbing shock and vibration upon impact. The diamond shape tread on the crown allows for easy use, and the pushers are color coded, with rose gold for your LED light, and a blue ring for your GPS features. The pushers themselves are recessed into a protective titanium surrounding on the exterior, but there is even an internal protective metal cylinder to protect the pushers.
The bands structure fits comfortably on the wrist and is light weight, but still manages to feel substantial. The dual push button clasp is unique. Not only does the clasp lock when closed, but an additional locking mechanism is added for extra security while on the wrist. There is a small switch at the end of the clasp that says "lock". Once that switch is flipped, the clasp will not open by pushing the dual button system on the sides. This is something that has been seen on previous MR-G models sold in Japan, but is the first time seen in the US market.
While the quality build is a huge part of why this MR-G is so special, there is an even more interesting aspect that lies within. Module 5411 is the solar powered movement that drives the MRG-G1000, utilizing both radio controlled and GPS technologies, as well as several other functions. The Smart Access feature controls the setting of your central time and world time sub dial through the electronic crown. By pulling out the crown one click, you can adjust your world time sub dial near 8:00, and with two clicks out, controlling your central hands. Once the crown is pulled out to either position, the second hand will indicate the timezone that the corresponding hands are set for by pointing to the city code on the chapter ring. The hands adjust themselves as you turn the crown to point to different city codes, making for astonishingly easy manual timezone adjustments.
The GPS feature uses actual global positioning to determine location and adjust the hands to that timezone all at the push of a button. Pushing and holding the lower right hand button, highlighted with a blue ring around the pusher, for about 3-4 seconds will activate the GPS function. When the button is depressed, the second hand will first quickly fly to the YES/NO indicators near 11:00 (saying if last attempt was successful), then to the blue "TIME" indicator about 6:00 (which is for a quick connection to a single satellite to adjust the accuracy of the of the second/minute hand). If held down slightly longer after the second hand hits the "TIME" indicator, the hand will fly to blue "T+P" indicator, indicating the watch is ready to find time and position. The mode hand at the 3:00 sub dial will rotate around the dial back and forth and then point straight up to the "N " (North) indicator while connecting to multiple satellites. The GPS positioning will take anywhere from 30-40 seconds on average, but can take a maximum of 2 minutes. You generally need to be outside or near a window to get successful reception, but has worked occasionally indoors in our attempts. There is an airplane mode that turns off the GPS receiver that can be turned on or off by holding the lower left button for about 4 seconds, or until you hear a loud beep. The mode hand will then point to the small airplane symbol on the sub dial instead of the day of the week. If you take the watch out of airplane mode and expose the dial to sunlight for 1-2 minutes, the watch will automatically attempt to do a time and position "T+P" adjustment, which is a pretty cool and unique feature. The watch also has a daily adjustment for accuracy (just like the "TIME" receive), that will occur up to once per day when exposed to sunlight for 1-2 minutes. The GPS receiver used in this model as well as the other GPS Hybrid's was developed as a collaboration between Casio and Sony, and uses a 2.6 billion piece grid of the world to determine location. This is as accurate as you will find in most other GPS devices for your car or mobile phone.
The MRG-G1000 also has an automatic daylight saving recognition feature. This will automatically adjust for the "fall back" and "spring ahead" adjustments of daylight savings. This can also be manually turned on or off, but interestingly enough, when using the GPS time and position function, if you live in a state (or region) that does not adjust for daylight savings (like Arizona), the watch already knows to turn it off, so there's really no need to use the manual feature. On top of the 2 satellite options for receiving timing information, the MRG-G1000 also automatically uses Multi-Band 6 (radio control feature that can connect to all 6 of the worlds towers for atomic timekeeping if within range) as a default to correct accuracy if the watch does not receive satellite timing information. The piece will automatically attempt the radio control (RC) between 12-5 AM if it has not received satellite connection in the last day.
5 separate micro motors (of which are reduced in size by nearly 74% compared to the conventional motors) drive all the functionality in the MRGG1000B-1A. This allows the space needed to include the GPS and RC antenna (which do take up a good amount of space). Using the lower left hand button will adjust your modes. The sub dial at 3:00 will indicate all of your different modes, with the day of the week being displayed while in time keeping mode. This is the only mode that you can receive GPS information in, and your secondary timezone will only be displayed at the sub dial near 8:00 in this mode as it is used to display all the other modes info.
By pushing the lower left button once from time keeping mode, you go into stop watch mode. This is indicated when the sub dial at 3:00 points to "ST". The sub dial near 8:00 will indicate the seconds and minutes, while your center seconds measure 1/20th of a second. The chronograph will run for up to 24 minutes, and is engaged by pushing the upper right button to start/stop, and the lower right button to reset. By pushing the lower left button again, you will go into count down timer mode "TR". The timer can be set up to 24 hours, and is set by using the Smart Access crown pulled out to the first click. Once the timer goes off, there is a 4 beep pattern that goes off ten times to indicate. You start and stop the timer with the upper right hand button, and can reset by pushing the lower right button. When the lower left button is pushed a third time, you go into alarm mode "AL" and your hands at the 8:00 sub dial will display the time is set for. You turn the alarm on and off by pushing the lower right button, and set the time for the alarm by using the Smart Access crown out at the first click. Keep in mind the alarm is set in a 24 hour format, just as the sub dial displays. Once the alarm goes off, you will hear a double beep that alerts 10 times. If you hold down the lower left button in any mode for about 2-3 seconds, it will take you immediately back to home time. 4-5 seconds will be to put you in airplane mode as I mentioned earlier.
To power the MR-G GPS Hybrid, you strictly rely on light. Thanks new new advances in Casio's own solar charging system, the MRG-G1000 uses a light scattering solar cell that heightens the power generation efficiency. This allows for the watch to keep a higher power reserve in order to ensure that the piece has enough power to utilize the GPS functionality. As you can imagine, connecting to multiple satellites orbiting the Earth requires a lot of power, which doesn't even include the energy needed to run all the other functions. The power reserve is 7 months when running, or 18 months when in power saving mode, which it goes into automatically when in the dark for an extended amount of time. There are actually two levels of power saving. The first occurs when the watch is in the dark from 10pm-6am. The second level occurs after the watch has been in that condition for 6-7 days and the hands will stop moving, though the piece still keeps time. Once the watch is back in the light, or you push a button, it wakes back up and goes to the right time. You can also check the power level by pushing the lower left button. The center seconds will fly between 12:00 and 6:00. If the second hand lands at 12:00, that means full power. At 6:00, that means near empty.
The hands and indexes use Casio's Neobright for night time illumination on its own. However, there is alaso a super bright LED light that is activated by pushing the upper right hand button in timekeeping mode. The light fades in and fades out, and also provides a slight charge to the Neobright. It is very nicely done and incredibly legible in the dark.
The Casio G-Shock MR-G GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor also has a few other features I haven't mentioned yet including a 24 hour counter (that acts as an AM/PM indicator) at the sub dial near 10:00, a perpetual calendar so the date is always correct no matter the number of days in the month, and will indicate current latitude after receiving GPS signal on the mode sub dial at 3:00. All MR-G's are designed and made in-house at Casio's flag ship facility in Yamagata, Japan on their premium production line where only award winning craftsmen are part of the manufacturing and assembly of the MR-G. Ranks are held by craftsmen using a grading system of bronze, silver, gold and platinum (expressed on a badge they wear on their arm while in the facility), with only gold and platinum grades on the premium production line. These craftsmen use in-house designed and fabricated production equipment in order to achieve precision that cannot be achieved by the human eye alone. Needless to say, this is a whole lot of watch! MSRP on the MRGG1000B-1A is $3,000, making it the most expensive G-Shock ever sold officially in the United States. Add up the materials used, quality build and finishing, hand assembly process, and of course technology, we can honestly say it is worth every penny.
As always, if you have any questions regarding the extremely limited MRG-G1000, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com. Thanks for reading!
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Stay tuned for our review on our latest Casio arrival.... The Oceanus GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor OCW-G1000!