Having recently become interested in the G-Shock watches and in particular because I live in Thailand ( A UK CITIZEN ) and they are cheap here, I being a Design Engineer have become intrigued with a few things and have decided to uncover the facts of a number of the G-SHOCK watches from a design perspective .. I point out this is based on my knowledge of design principles and my design experience.
First is it really engineered to be strong ?
Secondly is there a common thread of quality throughout the range ? If so what is the likely life of the product ?
The following is my personal comments on the findings/opinions of the Gulfman that I felt may be of interest to others.
The watch is sold a waterproof and rust proof G-Shock it claims that all parts exposed to air are made of titanium so as to avoid rust the case is made of Plastic ( call it what you like it is plastic ) and the glass in mineral it is made of four core parts the case the cover, the back and the module.
I took the whole watch to component parts just out of interest, what I found with the GULFMAN is why I have posted here .
The outer case in most G-Shocks that I have looked at to date are held on with small screws this is not the case with the Gulfman it is just "held" in place with the force of its own stiffness , my comments on this is that's fine as its new but in a few years you try and remove it and see how well it goes back to shape after it has been exposed to heat.cold,salt.water, and sweat to name just a few things that affect plastic. It seems to me that if the others needs a few small screws why does this one go without ?
In the other G-SHOCKS I have looked at the case back fits in a kind of groove with the rubber seal in another groove on the GULFMAN the seal is in a groove but the case back is just a flush fit against it ,with the 4 titanium screws holding it there , this is once again something that is not so good as just one of those screws becoming loose with result in the watch leaking if only by virtue of the ingress having a direct route in to the case as opposed to having to work around a preformed and recessed place that the back fit into . I would add this is just not required and in my opinion is sloppy engineering in particular as it is a molded case.
It is required to get the plastic module holder out of the case after the module is removed that the buttons be removed. This involves taking a cir-clip off the button shaft ( anyone that has done this lives in fear of the dreaded ping that results in total loss of a 1.5mm clip I am no exception ) after removing the cir-clip I took the first shaft out and there once again was a surprise it has 2 small rubber washers to seal out water but goes directly in to the plastic case in other words there is not a sleeve and no other method of construction , I , at this point thought that is asking for trouble with a water watch, in particular with salt in the frame. It will get salt in the grove of the shaft and it will get sand in it too and it will leak sooner than later, it is not how it should be designed, and is not how the other G-SHOCKS ( I have looked at ) are designed. It is literally a hole in the plastic case that has two rubber washers on a shaft ( that I cannot be sure is titanium as to me it looks like ss even if it was not ferrous ) the hole does not have a recess or a sleeve it is just a hole, the rubber rings are held on the shaft by a grove in the shaft .. One grain of sand and your watch is history when it gets wet again . Even with 2 rings on each shaft the sand will create a grove in the straight plastic hole
The buttons have stuck on the outside edge, a small piece of foam rubber used as a spring to get the button to return once it is pushed , if anyone has used foam rubber after it has got wet will know it degrades very very quickly .. WHAT A PEICE OF S**T DESIGN it will not work right after getting wet for the life of one battery of that I am sure ( when a say wet I mean salt water in particular ) it is stuck on with double sided tape !!! how they expect this to stay where its meant to stay is beyond me it will slide or move and that will lead to button issues at best .
The module uses standard SS spring steel clipped together at six points in three parts with the electronics and the LCD in a white plastic holder the quartz crystal has the same foam rubber holding it in place and that is the sum of G-SHOCK changes to the Module from any other cheap quartz watch the contacts that are used for all the button pushes are gold plated PCB, and the LCD has no protection whatsoever and the whole module fits in to a larger hard plastic holder, that fit directly into the case it has not better internal protection over any other brand of quartz watch I have seen .
The plastic module holder has no rubber in either the case or the sides to give it any better protection than any other watch you may wish to buy and the dual illumination is a EL that lights up the words around the face in addition to the LCD.
In fact with a hard enough shock it is my opinion that the weakest part would be module as it will take the entire impact and even if it has no weight to speak of it is NOT PROTECTED FROM SHOCK .
I am not impressed with this watch , it is not the same as the other models I have looked at it is not well designed. It is not going to last ( if used as it is sold to be used ) very long . It a a product of demand for the sake of commercial promotion , its saving grace is that it is only 100 USD and in that vein do we really care if its only last a few years . What has annoyed me is that it is not what Casio says it is . It is a collection of parts that make a watch it is nothing more . It is not the same as other G-SHOCKS I have, that have great design features and it will live in my drawer doing what it does best which is to tell the time .
I took some pictures and I may post them later but for now I am feeling hard done by and like most of us a little disillusioned with clear commercial BS that sold me this watch .