“Why Did It Take Casio So Long to Give Us the Uber-Cool G-Shock Full Metal 5000?”
As featured on Revolution, June 8, 2019
by Sumit Nag
You would have to have been living under some sort of horological rock to not be aware of how massively smitten the collective watch collecting community has become with Casio’s Full Metal 5000 series of G-Shock watches.
G-Shock models designed in the silhouette of the original square DW5000C have a global cult following that’s really in a league of its own. So, you’d think that to take this robust and rugged — and, not to mention, most successful — form of the G-Shock and give it an all-metal exoskeleton, would be a no brainer for the brand. It would, no doubt, be a really cool G-Shock and it would, no doubt, fly off the shelves. Then, why did it take Casio such a long time to give the world the G-Shock Full Metal 5000?
The answer lies in the three defining principles that Mr Ibe-San set forth when he invented the G-Shock, better known as the “Triple 10” development concept. Every G-Shock has to have 10-bar (100 meter) water resistance, 10-year battery life and be able to withstand a 10-meter free-fall. So, in the 36 years that Casio has produced G-Shocks, not a single model was brought to market that did not meet all three of these prerequisites.
Let’s also not forget that Casio no longer only requires that all new G-Shocks meet the “Triple 10” development concept. There is now a battery of some 183 tests that are performed on new concept watches at their R&D facilities in Hamura, Tokyo. These tests range from horrific drops performed by machines that emulate 10-meter falls with a sling-shot like mechanism, to water and mud resistance tests that are performed while mechanical fingers incessantly press on the watch’s buttons.
A G-Shock prototype enjoying a mud-bath at Casio's Hamura R&D facilities
Creating the Full Metal 5000 series of G-Shock watches, thus, meant not only formulating the right case architecture but also discovering the right alloy of steel that would survive the 183 torture tests, before the series could become a reality.
Mr Yuichi Masuda, Senior Executive Managing Officer and Manager of Timepiece Business Unit and the Business Strategy Headquarters
“Our engineers were always aware of the fact that the timepiece market is all about metal watches. When we came out with the G-Shock [in 1983], with the technology that was available to us, we were only able to use resin as a material to give the G-Shock all of the qualities we had wanted for it. But as we developed our own know-how, it has always been a passion of our engineers’ to be able to create G-Shock watches in ever more challenging materials.” - Mr Yuichi Masuda
Continue reading about G-SHOCK’s production line in the full article here
Article content has been adapted and all image credits to © Revolution