Casio G-Shock holds a special place in the hearts of all of us at Fratello. Almost all of the team members own one or more G-Shocks that get plenty of wrist time. I own five different models that I still wear regularly when going out to play tennis. G-Shocks look good, have a ton of functions, and can take a serious beating. What more could you want? With the 40th anniversary of the G-Shock brand approaching, we decided to create a list of our ten favorite G-Shock models. Hopefully, this Top 10 will shed a light on the incredible number of great models that the brand has released over the last four decades. Let’s find out more.

When we discussed a list of the ten best G-Shocks, the first question was how to approach it. With thousands of different references, it is impossible to objectively pinpoint the absolute best releases. As such, we decided to pick ten different models that serve as a reminder of the brand’s great legacy. While forty years of G-Shock is nowhere near as impressive a legacy as some of the Swiss brands that we all know and love, it is a long time. G-Shocks have been on the wrists of many of our readers as well, so it only made sense to compile a list of (what we consider) some of the best G-Shocks ever produced.

The incredible G-Shock story

Obviously, only ten G-Shock models are not nearly enough. On top of that, the list will be highly subjective. But see it as a little reminder of why G-Shock is such a great brand. For our series of Buying Guide articles that I wrote last year, I picked the best five G-Shock models from the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s. You will see many of those picks come back in this Top 10. But first, let’s remind ourselves how it all started.

It’s a well-known story that Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe designed the first prototype for the G-Shock after accidentally dropping and breaking a watch given to him by his father. He designed it according to the Triple-10 concept — waterproof to 10 bar, drop-proof to 10 meters, and with a battery life of 10 years. After conceptualizing the watch, three people were selected to form Team Tough in 1981 and assemble/test over 200 prototypes. It took two years to develop the G-Shock DW-5000C, also known as the first G-Shock ever released to the public.

When Casio introduced the first G-Shock DW-5000C in 1983, it was not an immediate success. In 1984, the brand made some waves with a now-legendary US TV commercial. In the ad, an ice hockey player took a slapshot with a G-Shock as the puck, which flies through the air and is caught by the goalie. As a result of the commercial, the G-Shocks became popular with police personnel, adventurers, and extreme sports athletes. By the late ’80s, the G-Shock collection featured 200 different models; the rest is history. So let’s jump into the list.

G-Shock DW-5000C Image source: Watchuseek

1. G-Shock DW-5000C

My first pick is the first G-Shock DW-5000C that was introduced in 1983. The watch displayed the results of what G-Shock mastermind Kikuo Ibe had in mind. The DW-5000C featured a solid metal inner casing. This was placed in a plastic outer case with ample space to dampen shocks. It also features a screw-in metal case back, a resin bezel, and a strap for comfort and impact protection. The original case design is legendary, and watches with this shape are known as “Squares”. The watch came equipped with a 240 module. This module had several functions that would become standard across the collection. It featured the time in both a 12-hour and 24-hour display, a daily alarm, a 60-minute stopwatch, a 12-hour countdown timer, an automatic calendar, and a backlight. Finding an original 1983 DW-5000C is possible. Expect to pay roughly between €750 and €2,000 depending on the condition.

G-Shock DW-5200C Image source: Watchuseek

2. G-Shock DW-5200C “The Hero”

The next pick is actually the model that saved the G-Shock brand altogether. The G-Shock DW-5200C was introduced in 1984 and was featured in the infamous US TV spot with the ice hockey player. The commercial well and truly made waves for the brand, as it led to claims that Casio was deceiving customers with false advertising. The claim was put to the test with a DW-5000C, and after finding out that the watch was easily able to pass the test, it made G-Shocks far more popular with a wider audience. Overall, the DW-5200C uses the same case and construction as the first G-Shock DW-5000C. The DW-5200C also used the 240 module, and therefore featured the same functions as the previously discussed models. The DW-5200C “Hero” is relatively easy to find for between €250 and €750 as it was the first G-Shock that was bought in large numbers.

G-Shock DW-5550C

3. G-Shock DW-5500C “Mudman”

The G-Shock DW-5500C was introduced in 1985 and was constructed with a dustproof and mudproof structure. This is why it is known among G-Shock enthusiasts as the original “Mudman.” You could also label this the first oversized G-Shock, and gracing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wrist in the film The Running Man certainly helped to make it look substantial. The DW-5500C was also equipped with a G-Shock module 240 Obviously, the watch was built to withstand all kinds of abuse and was water-resistant to 200 meters. The watch came with an accuracy of +/-15 seconds per month and a battery life of 7 years. This model is legendary amongst true G-Shock enthusiasts. The original DW5500C is extremely rare. Prices differ greatly depending on the condition but expect to pay between €500 and €1,000 easily.

4. G-Shock MRG-100-1

Ten years after introducing the first G-Shock, a group of eight Casio designers came up with the idea of a full-metal G-Shock. But to make it a real G-Shock, it needed to live up to the same standard as the original DW-5000C. The biggest challenge was keeping it equally resistant to impact, but the principles for developing the first metal G-Shocks were the same as with the plastic ones. After successful testing and prototyping, the MR-G series was introduced in November 1996 with the release of the MRG-100. The watch featured a full-steel bracelet and a 40mm stainless steel case that was 15mm thick. Inside the case, Casio used module 1569. It featured a stopwatch, timer, multiple alarms, a fully automatic calendar, a 12/24-hour time display, and an EL backlight with an afterglow function. You can find an MRG-100-1 for between €125 and €300 depending on the condition.

Image source: Boteyin

5. G-Shock DW-6300-1A “Frogman”

The G-Shock Frogman DW-6300-1A was introduced in 1993 and was the first ISO-certified 200m-rated G-Shock diving watch. The DW-6300-1A is also the first G-Shock Frogman and the first model with the official “-man” series name. The watch is characterized by its oversized 50mm asymmetric case, and as the case is made of stainless steel, it’s a fairly heavy watch. Inside the case, Casio used module 1084. It had a ton of the regular G-Shock functions like a stopwatch, a timer, multiple alarms, a fully automatic calendar, a 12/24 hour system display switching, and a backlight. The watch had additional diving functions as well, including dive time, surface interval, and recall log data functions. Prices for one of these start at roughly €250. The ones in good condition that come with the original box and papers can easily cost up to €800.

6. G-Shock DW-6900-1V

The biggest introduction of the 1990s was the iconic G-Shock 6900 series. The first five DW-6900 models were introduced in March of 1995 with a round case shape, a triple-graph layout, and a big button on the front. The G-Shock DW-6900-1V is generally considered the first “Third Eye” model. The case of the DW-6900 is substantially bigger at 53.2mm × 50mm × 16.3mm. But a weight of just 67 grams made the watch very easy to wear. Casio introduced the DW-6900 with the 1289 module, which was replaced in 2011 by the 3230 module with an updated calendar. The watch features the familiar list of functions that we know from other models. Finding an original G-Shock DW-6900-1V from 1995 is tough. Expect to pay between €200 and €500 for one. One in good condition might go for a lot more.

Image source: gshock highfashion (YouTube)

7. G-Shock × Parra DW-5600PR-4

The G-Shock × Parra DW-5600PR-4 is a special collaboration model that represents all the different brilliant collaborations G-Shock has done over the years. As the brand has become a cultural phenomenon, artists and companies love working together with G-Shock on limited editions. Piet Parra is a legendary Dutch artist in the world of hip-hop, sneakers, and street art. The watch uses different colors for the different parts of the watch that make it immediately recognizable as a Parra. The use of light blue, pink, and red is especially typical for most of his work. Parra also used the color combination for the iconic Nike Air Max 1 Amsterdam. I love the watch because the colors do all the talking. Above the display, you will find the Casio logo, and underneath, you will see the Parra logo. Prices for one are roughly between €175 and €250, which is a steal.

8. G-Shock DW-5000SP-1 20th Anniversary

This DW-5000SP-1 20th Anniversary model from 2003 represents all the different anniversary models that came out over the years. With the 40th anniversary of the brand coming up next year, I am sure we will see some great timepieces to celebrate it. The watch is a remake of the first G-Shock DW-5000C. However, is not an exact copy. The 20th-anniversary version has “Project Team Tough” mentioned underneath the display. Additionally, the watch has a special 20th-anniversary case back. Technically, the 20th-anniversary version also featured a different module. The original DW-5000C featured the 240 module while the DW-5000SP-1 featured the 1545 module. Casio produced a limited number of the DW-5000SP-1, although the exact quantity seems to be a mystery The 20th-anniversary model of the original DW-5000 does show up for sale occasionally, priced between €500 to roughly €800.

9. G-Shock GA2100-1A1 “CasiOak”

I vividly remember when the G-Shock GA2100-1A1 came out in 2019. G-Shock fans and enthusiasts of mechanical watches alike were impressed by this new release and dubbed it the “CasiOak”. It takes the familiar octagonal bezel shape of the Royal Oak and puts a perfect G-Shock spin on it. But it was never conceived to resemble the Royal Oak. The G-Shock designers wanted to create an evolved ana-digi version of the iconic DW5000. The CasiOak combines a 48.3mm × 11.5mm case with an analog time display, and the results are a perfect next step for G-Shock. The first three models were the stealthy black version you see pictured (GA-2100-1A1), a bright red one (GA-2100-4A), and a black version with white hands, indices, and text on the bezel (GA-2100-1A). After that, a string of great releases followed. But the first three started a new era for G-Shock, and at €99, they are incredibly affordable.

he Cartier Santos and the Casio G-Shock Square

10. G-Shock MRG-B5000D-1DR

Fratello’s resident G-Shock expert Gerard wrote a very nice article about the Premium G-Shock Square series. The premium titanium Square MRG-B5000B-1DR and MRG-B5000D-1DR perfectly show the power and relevance of the almost four-decade-old design. But they are so much more than a light titanium version of the iconic Square. The watches are made of TranTixxii titanium with bezels in a Cobarion metal alloy. They also feature a multi-piece bezel construction and come equipped with sapphire crystals. Additionally, the overall quality and finishing are magnificent. At €3,500 for the silver-colored MRG-B5000B-1DR and €4,000 for the black MRG-B5000D-1DR, they are expensive. But if you have a chance, try them on your wrist. These two watches are nothing short of impressive. It’s another next step for G-Shock that we here at Fratello just love.

CasiOak Watch

Final thoughts

As I said before, this list is by no means definitive or complete. There are simply too many great models to cover in ten articles, let alone one. Let this list, therefore, be a glimpse of the brilliance of the G-Shock brand. Over the course of almost four decades, G-Shock has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Additionally, its watches have graced the wrists of so many of us. It’s exactly why we are looking forward to the 40th anniversary year of the brand here at Fratello. In the meantime, I will pass the question to you…

What is your favorite G-Shock of all time? Let us know in the comments section.