SINGAPORE (July 16): Created in 1983 by famed engineer Kikuo Ibe, Casio’s first G-Shock watch is still an admired invention that prioritises toughness and shock resistance. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the G-Shock series has evolved to include sophisticated technological advancements and striking aesthetic additions.

“Casio has started focusing on smartphone link watches. We want people to carry their smartphone and wear their wristwatch at the same time. By combining them, their lives will be more convenient and even more enriched,” Ibe tells Options.

He explains how beneficial a watch still is, especially for certain sports such as swimming where your smartphone is not as helpful. “You could measure the time of your laps and in the locker room, send the data from your smartwatch to your smartphone, so you will have updated information.”

Fond of his original design, Ibe admits that he wears the DW5600 model for all occasions and still keeps the first G-Shock in his drawer at home. “From the new collection, I think the highlight is the full metal G-Shock,” he says

The GMW-B5000 is the first model in the series to have a full metal construction. Keeping the iconic square shape of the original G-Shock, it is constructed entirely of stainless steel, further reinforced by the addition of a highly durable fine resin insert between the case and the bezel that acts like a cushion to absorb shocks.

Equipped with the Connected Engine module, the watch is linked to a time server via a paired smartphone and receives radio wave time-calibration signals to keep accurate time anywhere in the world. With the G-Shock Connected, smartphone users can easily change their settings and daylight savings time is automatically updated.

There are numerous customisable functions, including the ability to change the display of the day of the week to any of the six available languages. You can also choose the date format, pick the world time from about 300 cities and add additional cities and time zones. The watch can be programmed to set up to five reminders and with the press of a button, records the current date, time and longitude/latitude coordinates to be viewed later on a map in the G-Shock app.

The G-Shock app

In conjunction with the series’ 35th anniversary, a special edition GMW-B5000, with gold ion plating treatment and an anniversary logo inscribed on the caseback, is available in a commemorative package.

Meanwhile, the G-Shock MRG-G2000HA is inspired by traditional Japanese swords, specifically an essential part of the weapon called the tsuba, which protects the user’s hand from the sharp edges of the sword (“tsuba” is Japanese for sword guard). The timepiece’s bezel and the centre row of the watch band have been treated to achieve a texture similar to that of the tsuba, which is known for having a bold look, characterised by the indentations made by hammering the iron into shape. This unique look for the watch was developed in cooperation with traditional Kyoto-style hammering master Bihou Asano.

The MRG-G2000HA’s colours are reminiscent of those used in traditional Japanese craft, namely murasaki-gane or deep violet titanium and suaka copper. The deep and regal colours on the case and band are achieved using the Arc Ion Plating process, with a hardened coating for high abrasion resistance.

A seamless combination of traditional methods and modern technology, the timepiece has a 54.7mm by 49.8mm case and is limited to 350 pieces worldwide. Each has the words “2018 Limited” engraved on a metal plate and a unique serial number stamped on the caseback. Water resistant up to 200m, the watch also has smartphone link functions, which automatically changes the time and has the world time of over 300 cities. The settings can be easily adjusted using the G-Shock app on your smartphone. After a full charge via the Touch Solar power system, its battery can last about 23 months with the power-saving function on.

Streamlined for enhanced wearability, the G-Shock MTG-B1000 (left) features a new shock-resistant construction which, like all the MTG series timepieces, leverages the properties of both metal and resin. The latest piece has an upgraded Core Guard structure, which employs a metal frame that is formed by joining the back cover and the bezel with metal parts to house the module and provide shock resistance

The watch’s tough structure can withstand three types of gravitational acceleration, namely external shocks, centrifugal gravity and vibrations. With a rearranged layout of parts, the construction of the watch allows for a slightly smaller case size — 55.4mm by 51.92mm, but still a whopper by our standards.

The MTG-B1000 comes with either a soft red or black urethane band, with the option of ion plating surface treatment for the metal. Casio also uses a Sallaz polishing technology to produce a smooth mirror finish for the case. The watch keeps accurate time anywhere in the world thanks to the Connected Engine module.

With the G-Shock app, users can easily set the alarm and world time, and change settings with just the swipe of a finger. Additional features include water resistance up to 200m, the world time of 27 cities with coordinated universal time, dual dial world time and a Tough Solar power system, which gives about 18 months of charge with the power-saving function on.

Lakshmi Sekhar is a writer for Options at The Edge Malaysia