If you had the choice between regular cornflakes and frosted ones, which would you pick? Forget about the fact that the sugar-coated ones with the tiger on the box contain more calories than the plain cereal. Go on, treat yourself; have the Frosties (or Frosted Flakes if you’re in the US and Canada). Now, if you had the choice between a regular G-Shock “Square” and a frosted one, which one would you choose? After reading about the three G-Shock 40th Anniversary watches from the Recrystallized Series, you might be able to make a balanced decision.

It was in April 1983 that Casio quite literally shocked the watch world by dropping the very first G-Shock on the market. The indestructible watch took the world by storm, and now, four decades later, Casio celebrates the birth and the success of the G-Shock line/sub-brand by releasing a string of special-edition timepieces. Among them are these three G-Shock 40th Anniversary watches from the Recrystallized Series. There’s one that looks suspiciously like the first-ever G-Shock but features recrystallization and deep-layer hardening processes for the screw-lock case back, buckle, and band loop to set it apart. The two other full-metal G-Shock models are completely recrystallized, and that gives them that sweet, frosty look.

40th Anniversary G-Shock Recrystallized Series

Three toughened-up G-Shock 40th Anniversary watches from the Recrystallized Series

The three Recrystallized Series models that I got my hands on are all based on the very first G-Shock. The DW-5040PG-1, however, is reimagined with recrystallized steel details, while the GMW-B5000PS-1 and GMW-B5000PG-9 have a frosted-looking steel case and bracelet that also went through a deep-layer hardening process. This extra touch not only enhances the watches’ pre-existing toughness but also does a lot for the appearance. Of course, design is always a matter of personal taste, but you can’t deny that, in particular, the completely recrystallized models have a striking look.

40th Anniversary G-Shock Recrystallized Series

Light touches of frost on the G-Shock DW-5040PG-1

Let’s slowly get used to the “cold” by starting this hands-on with the mostly non-metallic celebratory watch, the €299 DW-5040PG-1. This limited model measures 42.8mm × 48.9mm × 13.8mm, weighs 78 grams, and has a case that’s partly made of bio-based resin to help reduce environmental impact as well as the aforementioned recrystallized steel. The strap is also made from bio-based resin and shows special metal keepers and a buckle. The metal parts of this watch get their color through gold ion plating. What you don’t get is Bluetooth, Multiband 6, and Tough Solar. Still, there’s plenty of electronic fun and functionality, including a backlight with afterglow in a blueish-green hue, a full auto-calendar that will be punctual to the year 2039, and an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month. You’ve just got to keep the battery with an approximate life of two years in check.

On the wrist, this celebratory “Square” wears like any other resin one. Only when you look at the inside of your wrist will you notice the gold-colored touches — and when you take it off, of course. You can read the (small) words “PROJECT TEAM ‘Tough’” on the gold-colored dial. Also, the screwed case back is engraved with the 40th-anniversary logo, and the band loop shows four stars, one for every decade of G-Shock. A fifth star is also engraved on the Mode button at 8 o’clock. This mostly black watch is way more of a party for one than the other two full-metal watches in the Recrystallized Series.

40th Anniversary G-Shock Recrystallized Series

GMW-B5000PS-1: the cold, cool look of hardened steel

This is a G-Shock that suffers from a severe case of frostbite — in a good way. The matte silvery shine of the €870 GMW-B5000PS-1 looks both organic and industrial. It’s probably because of this paradox that the watch just looks cool. The additional applications of ion plating (IP) and titanium carbide (TiC) result in a unique appearance because the process creates differences in crystalline grain. And this beauty will last thanks to the deep-layer hardening process of infusing carbon into the surface of the steel. This enhances the alloy’s strength by hardening it at its core and not just the outside of the metal.

40th Anniversary G-Shock Recrystallized Series

So many advantages

On the wrist, the cold, cool look of the hardened steel of the GMW-B5000PS-1 is different and striking, but it’s not too extravagant. It does look luxurious in a way. Maybe that’s because the watch made me think of the frosted gold Royal Oaks that Audemars Piguet makes. The Japanese GMW-B5000PS-1 has quite a few advantages over the Haute Horlogerie creations from Switzerland. There’s much better availability, for instance, but also a much lower price point and multiple contemporary functionalities too. The watch features Bluetooth, Multiband 6, Tough Solar, and a Super Illuminator (high-brightness full-auto LED backlight) to make sure the readability in the dark is on point.

Other features of this 167g watch — which wears like a slightly heavier, slightly more robust resin Square — are the screwed case back with a DLC coating and engraved 40th-anniversary logo. Again, there’s a star on the Mode button. And on the negative-display dial, you can read the words “SINCE 1983” to remind you that this is a special model, as if the stone-cold looks didn’t already say that enough.

40th Anniversary G-Shock Recrystallized Series

GMW-B5000PG-9: all that glitters is not gold; it’s recrystallization and ion plating

Seeing them side by side, my preference was for the GMW-B5000PS-1. But once on the wrist, the GMW-B5000PG-9 (€870) proved to be my favorite. The gold-colored IP just works on the wrist. Its shimmer is soft and quite subdued, and it blends in — well, with my skin tone, at least. And the use of a positive display looks just plain classy. It is a tad old school, and it just works.

All the details you find on the “silver” watch, you also get on the “gold” one, so let’s not get into that. Just stay on the rich looks of the GMW-B5000PG-9; it looks like a classy party befitting a 40-year-old. My kind of party. And although highly unlikely, I hope they serve Frosties at the party.

40th Anniversary G-Shock Recrystallized Series

For more information on the G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized Series, visit the brand’s official website.

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