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INTRODUCING: Casio’s 40th Anniversary GCW-B5000UN Series in forged carbon

The Casio G-Shock GCW-B5000-UN-1 in black forged carbon with grey resin.

Casio introduces a monocoque case in its iconic G-Shock collection for the first time.

When Casio first released the Gravitational Shock or G-Shock watch in 1983, it likely had no idea that this would become a worldwide sensation in a short period, or that the G-Shock would continue to grow in popularity for decades to come. Mr Kikuo Ibe’s “triple 10 resistance” has gone beyond the brand to become an industry expectation and the G-Shock is really a standard when it comes to durability and ruggedness.

Kikuo Ibe, inventor of Casio's G-Shock.
Kikuo Ibe, inventor of Casio's G-Shock.

Around 10 years ago, Mr. Ibe began to experiment with new G-Shock models endowed with Bluetooth pairing to a smartphone with some metal and/or carbon fibre components on the case or strap. And in 2015, leading up to its 35th anniversary, Casio released its first-ever limited-edition G-Shock in full 18K gold, priced at a shocking USD70,000. The 35 pieces were sold in a very short time.

Casio Dream Project #1 G-D5000-9JR G-Shock in full gold case.
Casio Dream Project #1 G-D5000-9JR G-Shock in full gold case.

Since then, more Full Metal G-Shocks have emerged in the rectangular G-Shock case, based on the OG DW-5000 model. The full metal models first pushed the G-Shock into S$1,000 pricing with the GMW-B5000T series doubling that with its laser-etched titanium case and case bands. And last year, the brand really stepped into the realm of luxury watchmaking with the first rectangular case in its highest-tiered MR-G, the MRG-B5000B-1. This particular watch is housed in a Ti61 titanium alloy that’s twice as tough as conventional titanium, with a caseband made of a DAT55G proprietary titanium alloy that’s triple the hardness of Grade 2. It also has a bezel made from a cobalt-chrome alloy called Cobarion, that’s four times stronger than pure titanium. (The standards keep rising at Casio.)

The full carbon Casio G-Shock GCW-B5000-UN.
The full carbon Casio G-Shock GCW-B5000-UN.

A Full Carbon G-Shock

To celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, Casio has been dropping new releases non-stop, from its Clear Remix collection which has a see-through case in clear glass fibre diamide, as well as a range of new full metal models. The latest announcements are the GCW-B5000UN models, which feature a monocoque carbon-fibre-reinforced resin case for the first time. A monocoque or “single shell” case is simply one that has no internal frame for reinforcement. That means the case must bear all the weight and strain imposed on it. In the case of a G-Shock watch, that means withstanding a 10-metre drop without cracking.

The case of the Casio G-Shock GCW-B5000-UN has a forged carbon case, sapphire crystal layer, titanium ring and carbon fibre reinforced resin caseback.
The case of the Casio G-Shock GCW-B5000-UN has a forged carbon case, sapphire crystal layer, titanium ring and carbon fibre reinforced resin caseback.

The case front and back and precision moulded, and within the watch sits a titanium inner ring and sapphire crystal glass to protect the watch components. The buttons of the watch are in titanium as well. The bezel and caseback are made of forged carbon that’s produced by kneading carbon into resin and pressing it at high temperature and pressure to create carefully moulded shapes. The pressing creates an irregular pattern across the material.

A third type of carbon, multilayer carbon, is used to create the folding clasp. The material, which entails layer upon layer of carbon placed and pressed together, offers high longitudinal bending strength, which is a fancy way of saying it will maintain its slightly curved shape over time even when a lot of pressure is applied to it.

The Casio G-Shock GCW-B5000-UN-1 and GCW-B5000-UN-6 models.
The Casio G-Shock GCW-B5000-UN-1 and GCW-B5000-UN-6 models.

The two models are distinct based on appearance only. The GCW-B500UN-1 uses a white resin to create an austere yet sophisticated black and grey effect while the GCW-B5000UN-6 mixes black carbon fibre with blue and pink resin coupled with specks of opal to create an otherworldly, almost nebulous appearance. It’s what we imagine outer space on a watch would look like. Of course, with forged carbon and carbon fibre, the moulded material is never identical on each watch. That makes them even cooler.

The bezel and caseband of the watch in forged carbon.
The bezel and caseband of the watch in forged carbon.

The entire watch is just 65 grams in weight, which is over 100 grams lighter than its steel cousin. It’s still a little bulky from its design, however. The Electronic Module features Multiband 6 radio control, Tough Solar charging, a supercharged illuminated display for easy reading at night, world time function, and Bluetooth sync to its app for various operations. The battery should last 10 months running, and up to 22 months with power saving on.  
 
This is not your typical G-Shock. The GCW-B5000UN series costs S$2,799. However they do look stunning and take the G-Shock to new standards of durability through its case material. This is an anniversary watch that will last you for the next 40 years, if not more.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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