Following the G-Shock 35th Anniversary and approaching a new decade, Casio has made it clear that there will be no anniversary hangover as G-Shock quickly heads in a bold new direction. G-Shock began its life with watches housed in resin. Over time, it added models with metal cases using materials like stainless steel and titanium. Now, the third wave of material is carbon and 2019 is the year of the Carbon G-Shock, with two new carbon series released in February and two more to follow in the coming months.
While there are previous models featuring carbon fiber reinforced inner cases (like the MTG-B1000) and carbon fiber bezels (like the GST-B100X), the Carbon G-Shock of 2019 refers to the new Carbon Core Guard, an innovative new case design reinforced by carbon fiber that protects the module and allows for a lighter weight, higher strength than resin alone, smaller diameters, and shock-resistant buttons without guards.
The new Carbon Core Guard G-shock watches and their key selling points:
GA-2000: Affordable, very lightweight and sleek, lay-flat bands, easily interchangeable bands
Gravitymaster GWR-B1000: Carbon Monocoque (one-piece) case, Tough Solar, Multi-Band 6, Bluetooth, carbon fiber bezel, carbon fiber insert band, Triple G Resist
G-STEEL GST-B200 (Coming May 2019): Tough Solar, Bluetooth, stainless steel bezel, resin or stainless steel band
Mudmaster GG-B100 (Coming July 2019): Quad Sensor (Triple Sensor with Step Counter), Bluetooth, carbon fiber bezel, adjustable function display
With its colorful debut models, the GA-2000 appears to be initially aimed at casual street fashion and a younger audience, though with its light weight, straightforward dial layout, and affordable price it could prove to be a popular watch for outdoor sports and work as well. New GA-2000 models with more conventional colors will also be released this year. The GA-2000 features “lay-flat” bands that are easily removable with a slide lever and G-Shock will be selling a variety of bands separately.
The Gravitymaster GWR-B1000 offers a premium G-Shock experience without the extra-large size that was previously mandatory for most premium G-Shocks. It is an aviation model designed for pilots with its Triple G Resist (for protection against shock, g-forces, and vibration). Its deluxe build and minimalist design may also appeal to people who aren’t normally into aviation watches.
Of the new carbon models, the G-STEEL GST-B200 would seem to have the most versatility. It looks tough without being overly rugged, appears more refined than previous G-STEEL watches, and is the type of watch you can wear anywhere.
While some may bemoan the lack of solar power in the Mudmaster GG-B100, an upside is that it shows that G-Shock is capable of using the Carbon Core Guard in a style that matches the signature rugged G-Shock look of previous Mudmaster designs. It also has a bunch of new features including altitude and location tracking, direction guidance with the compass to a user-designated spot, step counting, and the ability to customize the function menu.
Any new change of direction will have its detractors, but fans can rest assured that G-Shock will never compromise the toughness or functionality of its watches and will always continue to innovate. Casio is clearly trying to appeal to a broader audience as these carbon models tend to have a more mainstream look, but there’s no reason to think G-Shock will ever abandon its classic and best-selling models or its colorful resin releases. Last year was a wonderful time celebrating the past, now let’s look forward to the future.