The G-Heritage Story — Evolution Of The Casio G-Shock Origin
It all started with the DW-5000C in 1983. This watch is “The Origin”. The equivalent of Genesis if you will, of the “Square”, Casio’s unbreakable, shockproof watch that grew out to become an icon of contemporary watchmaking. A watch that reached the mainstream and could be held responsible for creating watch collectors — the “Square” is still popular amongst high-end collectors because this watch takes them back to when the watch virus got a hold of them. Let’s take a walk through the recent evolution of the Casio G-Shock Origin by looking at a trio of very different, recent Origin models.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the Casio G-Shock DW-5000C. The development of this very first G-Shock watch began in 1981. The passion of engineer Kikuo Ibe led to a rugged watch that would not break even if dropped from the top of the Casio building he was working in.
He came up with something called the Triple-10 concept that meant the watch he had in mind had to be waterproof to 10 bar, drop-proof to 10 meters, and have a battery life of 10 years. It took a team two years and over 200 prototypes to get the first G-Shock, the DW-5000C, on the market.
Evolution of the Casio G-Shock Origin — Rise of the tough watch
The idea that watches were basically fragile and delicate creations was obliterated by the G-Shock. A new kind of watch was born, the “tough watch”. The G-Shock concept proved to be charismatic and pragmatic enough to stay relevant to the present day. Thanks to all kinds of shapes and sizes, upgrades, collaborations, and of course the affordability of the watches. But all things Frogman, Mudman, MTG, and MRG to name but a few, are excluded from the Origin story — you won’t find anything like the “Hana-Basara” or “Blue Phoenix” here, we’re keeping things OG.
Solar power shows its strength
Therefore, we start with the DW-5600C that came out in 1987. This second-generation “tough watch” didn’t have the screwed-in case back of the DW-5000C, but a metal case back held in place with four screws — easier to produce, lower in price, and therefore a bestseller.
The G-5600E from 2009 was the first solar-powered version …
The DW-5600E from 1996 did away with the solid metal inner casing. Casio changed the construction to an all-plastic casing with just a screwed metal case back. The G-5600E from 2009 was the first solar-powered version and a very practical evolution indeed.
The full-steel evolution
We arrive in present times with the launch of the very shiny, and first full steel Origin in 2018, the GMW-B5000D. I remember seeing it for the very first time during Baselworld and was blown away by it.
The limited-edition gold-colored version might have been more spectacular, but the strong steel look in all its luster seemed to celebrate the “tough watch” in a more natural way.
A full-metal version of the Origin is a logical step in the evolution of the watch. Sure, it also confronted the lifelong Square fan with a price of around €500, but the good thing was that the same fan had grown up by now and could afford the GMW-B5000D. And newcomers were simply blinded by its shiny appearance.
… it really touches the design idiom of the Santos de Cartier. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
And one more thought regarding the full-metal jacket that is the GMW-B5000D. Because of its shape, but mainly because of its steel attire, it really touches the design idiom of the Santos de Cartier. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
But what about the DW-5600BB and GA-2100? Well, the DW-5600BB is a €99.90 blacked-out “Square” that ticks all the fashion boxes. Am I right Mr. Jorg Weppelink dressed all in black? No Tough Solar nor Bluetooth and other high-tech stuff some higher-priced G-Shocks make such a practical joy to wear, but a badass, murdered-out look that shows.
The XL G-Shock Origin
Growing the G-Shock Origin And if you blow up a DW-5600 you get the GX-56BB (€149). The 55,5 × 53,6 × 17,5mm GX-56BB takes its design cues from the DW-5600 and magnifies them. But the GX-56 is more than an oversized DW-5600, the different GX-56 models were the first G-Shock models that used α-gel, a material that Japanese sports brand ASICS also uses in its GEL-Lyte running shoes.
The “X” in the name refers to the large size of the watch, but also to its extra resistance to shocks. It also brought this watch the nickname “The King”.
Other noteworthy G-Shock Origin variants in the present
There are 25 references in the current Origins collection ranging from the €299 GW-5000U-1ER and €129 GW-M5610U-1ER and GW-M5610U-1BER that are all equipped with the latest module, to the €549 full-metal, purple ion-plated GMW-B5000PB-6ER Twilight Tokyo. As you can see in the name, this colorful “Premium Square” doesn’t have the new U-module. The updated “U” version now has a LED light with an adjustable afterglow instead of the EL backlight. There are other improved functions too, of which the adjustable date display format is most handy — no more US date that drives Europeans mad! The quick return to the timekeeping mode by pressing the Mode button for one second is another practical function of the newest module.
But what about the future of the Origin?
In the future Smartphone Link, Multi-Band 6 automatic radio time adjustment, and Tough Solar — the most practical features if you ask me — might become standard. Batteries are a thing of the past anyway. The exclusive use of fully recycled plastics could be the future to create cases and bracelets. Maybe it’s soon time to introduce a 5000 series with a case and bracelet made in forged carbon. Or what about a full-sapphire glass version — fully transparent, but soft shimmering colors would also look cool if you ask me — that reveals the inner workings of the shockproof watch. The biggest problem is of course the brittle nature of sapphire glass. Maybe an external bumper could help resist a fall from a building. What do you think, Kikuo Ibe?
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