It’s hard to imagine that Kikuo Ibe could have foreseen what would become of his original DW-5000C back in the early 1980s. His first G-Shock watches were designed to be shot from cannons, run over by tanks or even handed to a toddler – all without ill effects. It’s a testament to Ibe-Sama and his team’s work that Gs today are still as robust. They’re just a little more colourful.
Over the preceding 40 years, G-Shocks have also moved from the wrists of military and service personnel to become fashion watches, all without losing their usefulness and practical indestructibility. Function so often dictates form and ends up as fashion.
There’s little doubt about the ancestry of these three new watches. The GM-5600SG-9 draws on the original 5000C’s rectangular case whereas the GM6900SG-9 is a gilt DW6900-style watch. The GM110SG-9A, on the other hand, is based on the earlier GA110. All this is simply proof not only of the G-Shock’s heritage but also that understanding Casio’s G-naming convention is as easy as setting one without the instructions.
Where the original G-Shocks had a certain stealthy understatement about them, Casio’s latest offerings have gone full-on bling. You can take your choice of ana-digi ($ 240), trad ($ 220), and four-dial ($ 230) in any colour you like as long as it’s gold. The bezel of each watch is gold ion plated stainless steel and they all have a clear resin strap secured with hex-head screws.
The 5600 has the usual range of functions that makes a G so useful in the traditional case shape. A full set of alarms, a stopwatch with 1/100ths, a timer, a calendar that’ll take you all the way to 2099 and a backlight. There’s also the obligatory on-the-hour beep that will have driven your teachers nuts at school. It’s also handy for reminding your more loquacious colleagues that time is passing on those eternal Zooms. Just remember to casually unmute first.
The quad-display 6900 does all that but adds an electro-luminescent backlight as well as a flash alert when the alarm sounds.
The 110 is the digi-analogue watch of the trio and has a specification sheet that Casio really should publish in paperback. It’ll tell you the time in 31 time zones and 48 separate cities as well as UTC. You can select daylight saving and flip between your home time and local time. You can choose whether you want your backlight on for one-and-a-half seconds or a full three. It will even make you a perfect flat white and remind you about your mother’s birthday.
There is an argument – and a powerful one at that – to say a G-Shock is all the watch you ever really need. With these three new gold ingot Gs, there’s now no reason for it to just be about function anymore. G-Shock.