It started with a plastic watch thrown from a building in the 1980s. But no matter how impressive the capabilities of the original G-Shock are, a watch in a resin case is not a luxury product. Enter MR-G, a tough “gentleman” in sophisticated attire that stepped on the scene in 1996. The metal MR-G was indestructible, sleek, and could fit under the sleeve of a formal shirt. Let’s dive into the ever-evolving manifestations of the Casio G-Shock MR-G philosophy — ultimate watches with an indestructible beauty exquisitely crafted by artisans in Yamagata, Japan.

This year Casio celebrates 25 years of MR-G with the launch of a limited edition, the unique-looking “Hana-Basara”. And it’s plain to see that this watch is the culmination of a quest for the combination of ultimate toughness and beauty. An adventurous quest that started back in 1996 with the launch of the first MR-G models in steel and titanium.

The foundation of the G-Shock philosophy is the 10-bar water resistance, 10-year battery life, plus the capacity to withstand a 10-meter free-fall.

It all started with a watch with a steel case and bracelet plus a titanium counterpart. These watches had a screwed case back plus a resin bezel. Of course, these watches honored the “Triple 10” principle set forth by the inventor of the G-Shock, Kikuo Ibe. The cornerstone of the G-Shock philosophy is the 10-bar water resistance, 10-year battery life, plus the capacity to withstand a 10-meter free-fall. Over the years, MR-G evolved into a series of watches that combine the latest technology with traditional Japanese craftsmanship that results in a uniquely exuberant flagship collection.

The Casio G-Shock MR-G philosophy

The first generation of MR-G watches lasted until 2001. The line re-emerged in 2003 when the MRG-2000 with its amorphous carbon coating — second in hardness only to diamonds — took the world by surprise. After this model, other MR-G watches followed with a blisteringly brilliant finish achieved with radical polishing techniques. And four years later, Casio outfitted MR-G watches with rubber cushioning between components. And in 2015 the MRG-G1000 was introduced. With this model, the larger case and a soft silicone gel in the crown construction debuted.

Casio G-Shock MR-G Philosophy Of Ultimate Watches

Dissecting a MRG-G1000

Shiny, smooth, and strong

The black MRG-G1000 with its full titanium case and bezel with DLC finish, the Gun Metal Grey MRG-G1000B-1ADR, and silver-colored MRG-G1000D-1ADR, set the tone for what would come six years later in the spectacularly colorful “Hana Basara”. A watch that also explores the different traditional Japanese metal crafts. Something that started with the special MR-G “Hammer Tone” series, limited editions decorated by using traditional Japanese rough surface hammering technique. And the MRG-B2000BS-3A “Hana-Basara” limited-edition model that celebrates the 25th anniversary of Casio’s premium G-Shock collection is a shiny, smooth yet incredibly strong watch that perfectly displays how tradition and high-tech can come together seamlessly. The Hana-Basara is a radiant showstopper.

New alloys like COBARION and DAT55G Titanium

In my hands-on review of the MRG-B2000BS-3A “Hana-Basara” I explained the colors and the inspiration. Now it’s time to look at the hardware. But first, let me quickly tell you that inside the shockproof case. Casio’s trusted hybrid technology enables the watch to use radio waves and GPS signals to keep the watch on time no matter where you are in the world. Bluetooth and all the other features you know and value are also present.

It’s the combination of special alloys, colors, and finishing that create a unique aesthetic.

Nevertheless, the colorful armor of the Hana Basara is the undisputed star of the show. It’s the combination of special alloys, colors, and finishing that creates a unique aesthetic. And above all, this Japanese beauty is able to resist the test of time because of its hardness. And it’s the combination of ultra-hard COBARION together with the DAT55G titanium alloy developed in Japan, that makes the watch virtually indestructible.

Casio G-Shock MR-G Philosophy: the case and bezel

The large 54.7 × 49.8 × 16.9 mm case, as well as the bracelet of the Hana Basara, are made in a titanium alloy called DAT55G. DAT is a registered trademark of Daido Steel Co. from Japan and has a hardness about three times that of pure titanium. The bezel is made of COBARION, a cobalt-chrome alloy and registered trademark of the Iwate Industry Promotion Centre that is manufactured exclusively by the Eiwa Corporation. This alloy has a hardness about four times that of pure titanium and a gleam reminiscent of platinum. The most fascinating aspect of the bezel is the facet-cutting technique you also see in gemstones.

Casio G-Shock MR-G Philosophy Of Ultimate Watches

Hard work pays off

For the job, Casio hired Kazuhito Komatsu, a famed cutting and polishing artisan. Kazuhito Komatsu, famous for creating Hana Shinjyu (faceted pearls), accepted the challenge and went to work with the ultra-hard metal. Applying crisp polishes to the many facets of the bezel was no simple task. Because of the alloy’s hardness, the production is limited to just a few bezels per day — it will take more than a few days to create the 400 individual bezels of the limited edition MR-G’s that Casio promised to make. But hard work pays off. Kazuhito Komatsu’s skills result in a bezel with varying angles that achieve a brilliant, gleaming finish.

Casio G-Shock MR-G Philosophy Of Ultimate Watches

Casio G-Shock MR-G Philosophy: the shine

The “Hana Basara” is almost as hard as a diamond, but it also stands for something beyond its technical capability. The Japanese word “basara” stems from the Sanskrit word “vajra” meaning diamond. And the shiny alloy of the “Hana Basara” rivals a diamond’s shine. But it’s also a colorful watch creation. The moody dark green DLC surface reproduces a special Japanese hue called kurogane-iro (literally “iron color”). It’s a color that mimics the deep shade of green that appears on the surface of very hot iron in a furnace. And it’s also the color that evokes the shine of the iron-clad helmet and body armor samurai commanders wore.

… traditional influences that are recreated by using unconventional, traditional, and state-of-the-art methods …

Casio’s philosophy to merge the latest watch technology with traditional influences by using unconventional, traditional, and state-of-the-art methods, is the driving force behind the flagship MR-G collection. A collection made in the Yamagata prefecture in a factory that looks more like a laboratory than a factory.

Premium everything

The MR-G collection caters to the grown-up G-Shock fans from the eighties. Fans that are now in a position where they want and can afford a luxury watch. That said, the MR-G watches will also appeal to seasoned watch collectors. Headstrong individuals looking for uniqueness, technology, and exclusivity. The materials used in the MR-G models are premium, and so are the functionality and finishing.

This all results in a premium price, but it’s a price you can actually see reflected in the watch, its materials, and its features. Sure, some people will continue to think that a G-Shock is and will always be a disposable hundred-euro watch. In that case, you’re completely missing the point of what MR-G stands for. And in fact, this thinking might just leave you missing out altogether. However, for those bold enough to take the MR-G plunge, only satisfaction awaits!

Please visit the dedicated MR-G webpage to find out more.

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