9 things you never knew about G-Shocks.
The G-Shock watches have been around for over 30 years. They’ve made a lot of models, with no sign of slowing down. Collectors know a lot about Casio watches, but even I was surprised to discover some of the things on this list!
1) Fox Fire VS Illuminator.
See, the Illuminator/backlight has been around pretty much as long as Casio, but in Japan for some reason it’s called the “Fox Fire”. Apparently though, that’s only because Foxfire is the term given to a glow, which is found on a fungus. Interestingly enough, said fungus was used in submarines as far back as 1775, thanks to a suggestion by Benjamin Franklin. Everywhere else in the world, the backlight is called the Illuminator, so PETA (or other animal lovers), there’s nothing to worry about – no foxes were harmed in the making of Casio Watches :)
2) They’re the go-to watch for the Navy Seals.
In the US, the Navy seals used to get Rolexes, but obviously it cost way too much to repair. So back in the 1980s, they switched to analogue G-Shocks. These days you wouldn’t be surprised to see them wearing a Frogman or a Gulfmaster.
3) They’re worn by celebrities in movies. That one is Casey Affleck in “Triple 9” wearing a DW-6900MS-1. Everybody from Clint Eastwood, to Arnie can be found wearing G-Shocks in both movies and TV shows.
4) It’s all about the Screen Size.
If you’ve ever looked at digital watches, you’ll note that a majority have the time set to 10:58. There’s a perfectly valid reason for that. You see, those numbers take up the most space, so by photographing the watches reading 10:58, you’ll see the whole screen being used up, and it really emphasises the LCD display.
5) Only three original prototypes exist.
In 1983, the very first G-Shock was called the DW-5000. Five of those prototypes were built, but as of 2017 only 3 remain. Those three were gifted to members of the original design team. Another interesting tidbit – the follow-up to this model, the DW-5500C was nicknamed the Mudman, due to its high resistance to mud. That name stuck around until the G-9000 and G-9300 series came out and took over the nickname.
6. What do the codes mean?
A bit complicated I know, but this picture above shows exactly what the letters and numbers mean. For more information on this point, have a look at our previous article here
7) For years, the Frogman was the undisputed king of Casio’s Diving Watches… Until late last year when the GWN-Q1000 series came along.
The newest edition to the Gulfmasters included a depth sensor, along with improving the compass, barometer and other sensors to make them accurate even when the watch isn’t on a flat surface. To find out more about the Gulfmasters click here.
8) The G-Shock was inspired by a rubber ball. That’s right, something so simple inspired a watch that’s been around for almost 35 years! And it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for an accident. You see, the creator of the G-Shock, Kikuo Ibe, was just an engineer working for Casio, when he dropped and broke a watch. Not just any watch though, this was a watch passed down from his father. Of course, a loss like that would be devastating to some, but for Ibe, this was motivation to build a stronger watch, so that what happened to him, wouldn’t happen to anybody else. He put together a team called “Team Tough” and his idea was for a “Triple Ten” watch. That’s a watch with 10-year battery, 10m shock resistance and 10 bar (which is 100m) water resistance.
As we know by now, he managed to exceed the 10m shock resistance since every watch made by Casio has a guaranteed 100m shock resistance! But back to the topic, Kikuo and his team used to throw prototypes out of a bathroom window for the 10m tests. As you can imagine, that resulted in a lot of broken watches. What changed? One time, Kikuo was looking out the window and saw a rubber ball being bounced at the park. That got him thinking, since the outer layer was absorbing all of the impact, the inside of the ball was protected. That became his inspiration, and it’s where the G in G-Shock came from (it stands for Gravity).
9) The creator of the G-Shocks only has two of them (and he can only wear one of them!). According to Kikuo Ibe, his favourite is the prototype that he received (the DW-5000). But since that’s up at the museum, he uses the DW-5600. That’s not just dedication, it’s proof that a good watch can last a lifetime!
I guess it’s true, you do learn something new every day!
Until Next Time