The Comprehensive History of Iconic Casio G-Shock Watches

History of Iconic Casio G-Shock Watches

Get ready: We're going on a cool trip back in time to chat about the history of G-Shock watches and then check out CasiOak watches, the ones that started our adventure at IFL Watches. So, make some popcorn, grab a cup of your favorite drink, and let's have some fun reading together. 🍿☕👓

History of Casio Watches

Let's begin by getting to know more about Casio, the company behind the introduction of G-Shock watches.

Casio Computer Co., Ltd., commonly known as Casio, was founded in April 1946 by Tadao Kashio in Tokyo, Japan. Initially, Casio's business focused on manufacturing and selling yubiwa pipe, a finger ring that held a cigarette, allowing the wearer to smoke the cigarette down to its nub while also freeing the wearer's hands. The profits from this invention provided the capital for Casio's transition into the electronic market.

In the 1950s, Casio entered the electronics industry, launching the world's first entirely electric compact calculator in 1957. This innovation marked Casio's commitment to the electronics business, leading to the development of a variety of calculators throughout the 1960s and 1970s, which were pivotal in establishing its reputation as a leader in electronic calculators.

In the 1970s, Casio expanded its product lineup to include watches. The Casio Casiotron, launched in 1974, was the company's first digital watch, which displayed the date and had an automatic calendar function, a novelty at the time.

The first Casio watch ever produced in 1974 - Casiotron
Casiotron, the first Casio watch. Source: The Casio Vintage Club (FB) 

History of G-Shock Watches

The journey to create the G-Shock brand began in 1981, led by Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe, who is hailed as the father of G-Shock. Driven by his vision to craft an unbreakable watch.

Embracing the "Triple 10" concept, the team aimed to develop a watch featuring shock resistance strong enough to handle a 10-meter drop, 10-bar (100-meter) water resistance, and a 10-year battery life. The breakthrough came when Ibe was inspired by the sight of a girl bouncing a ball in a park, leading him to devise the "floating module" concept. 

The father of G-Shock watches, Kikuo Ibe
The father of G-Shock watches, Kikuo Ibe. Source:

This ingenious approach involved suspending the watch's module within the case with minimal contact points, providing superior shock protection without relying on bulky shock-absorbing materials.

After creating and testing over 200 prototypes, the culmination of their efforts was the G-Shock DW-5000C, introduced in April 1983 in two versions: the black and red DW-5000C-1A and the black and gold DW-5000C-1B. This launch marked the beginning of G-Shock's legacy as a symbol of durability and technological innovation in watchmaking.

The first G-Shock watches: G-Shock DW-5000C. Source:
The first G-Shock watches: G-Shock DW-5000C. Source:

What Does the "G" in G-Shock Stand For?

The "G" in G-Shock stands for Gravity. This nomenclature underscores the brand's core philosophy of resisting the forces of impact from any direction. It symbolizes the gravity-defying resilience that Kikuo Ibe sought to imbue in every watch, ensuring that G-Shock watches could withstand the harshest conditions and the test of time.

The Very First G-Shock Commercial in 1983

In 1984, Casio launched the G-Shock DW-5200, which gained significant attention through a notable American advertisement where the watch was used as a hockey puck and struck with a hockey stick. This model achieved great success in the United States, particularly among athletes such as skateboarders and surfers, earning the nickname "Hero" model for its role in boosting the brand's popularity and contributing to its survival. The original DW-5000 model would later evolve into the DW-5600C in 1987, continuing its legacy through the various “square” 5000-5600 models that remain favorites to this day.

The Evolution of G-Shock

Since the launch of the 5000 line, G-Shock has continually evolved, integrating advanced technology and functionality without compromising its hallmark toughness.

In 1989, Casio came out with its first analog G-Shock, the AW-500. By 1992, they introduced the DW-6100, the first G-Shock with a built-in thermometer. The next year, 1993, brought the Frogman DW-6300 to the market, a big, uniquely shaped diver’s watch that was the first G-Shock certified for 200-meter dives. It quickly became a hit among collectors and one of G-Shock’s most famous models.

The 1990s were a golden era for G-Shock, as it became widely popular and known for being at the forefront of street fashion. The brand's collaborations with trendy streetwear and lifestyle brands turned out to be a big hit, starting a tradition of joint releases.

Kikuo Ibe and his team, aiming to mix durability with style, created the metal MR-G series in 1996, suitable for both everyday and formal wear. The following year, analog versions joined the MR-G lineup, setting the stage for today’s luxury G-Shock watches.

For women, Casio launched the Baby-G line in 1994 with the DW-520, offering a stylish, smaller watch that was just as tough as the G-Shock. The DW-6900, introduced in 1995, would become as iconic as the 5600 series. The first solar-powered G-Shock, the Raysman DW-9300, came out in 1998, introducing the now-famous Tough Solar feature. In 2000, Casio introduced watches that could sync time via radio with the GW-100, leading to the development of the Multi-Band 6 technology.

After a peak in the 1990s, G-Shock renewed its focus on analog models in the 2010s, gaining new popularity with the GA-100 and GA-110 series. The brand also kept improving digital watches, like the GW-9400 Rangeman with its Triple Sensor. In the late 2010s, Casio emphasized Bluetooth connectivity and expanded its classic lines like the Frogman and Rangeman. The 35th anniversary in 2018 saw a surge in popularity with the release of the full metal GMW-B5000.

With over 100 million units sold worldwide, G-Shock remains a leading watch brand thanks to innovative designs and Casio’s efforts in promotion, including collaborations with athletes, artists, musicians, and fashion designers. Through continuous technological advancements and a dedication to its founding mission, G-Shock stands as a globally recognized and beloved brand.

AI-Designed G-Shock Sold for $400,000 at an Auction, Sets Record

AI-Designed G-Shock Sold for $400,000 at an Auction, Sets Record
AI-Designed G-Shock Sold for $400,000 at an Auction, Sets Record. Source: Phillipswatches

On 10 December 2023, Casio reached a milestone by breaking a new world record with the auction sale of a G-Shock watch for an astonishing $400,000 at Phillips in New York. This extraordinary sale of the one-of-a-kind, AI-designed G-Shock represents a significant moment in the brand's history, making the G-D001 the priciest G-Shock to date!

The watch in question, an 18-karat yellow gold G-Shock, was produced as a celebration of the brand's 40th anniversary. Developed in collaboration with artificial intelligence, the  G-Shock ‘Dream Project #2’ G-D001 stands out with its solar-powered capabilities and radio-controlled timekeeping.

The Casioak Phenomenon: The Evolution of an Icon

In the vast universe of timepieces, the Casio G-Shock series holds a special place (especially on us at IFL Watches), known for its durability, innovation, and style. Among the myriad models that G-Shock has introduced, one particular series stands out for blending the brand's rugged functionality with a distinct aesthetic appeal—the Casioak

This comprehensive history dives into the origins, development, and cultural impact of the Casioak, a watch that has captured the imaginations of enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Origins of the Casioak

G-Shock GA-2100 “CasiOak” with octagonal bezel and thin case
G-Shock GA-2100 “CasiOak” with octagonal bezel and thin case. Source:

The Casioak nickname is attributed to the G-Shock GA-2100 series, launched in 2019. While not an official name used by Casio, "Casioak" quickly gained traction within the watch community, a clever portmanteau that combines "Casio" with "Oak," hinting at the aesthetic resemblance to the luxurious Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with its distinctive octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet design. However, the GA-2100 series, affectionately dubbed Casioak, offers its unique flair, making it a standout in the G-Shock family.

Design and Features

The GA-2100 series introduced a slim profile for a G-Shock, utilizing the brand's Carbon Core Guard structure for a lightweight yet robust build. This innovation allowed the Casioak to maintain G-Shock’s signature toughness while achieving a sleekness that appealed to a wider audience. The analog-digital display, another hallmark of the series, combined functionality with a modern look, further accentuated by the octagonal bezel and minimalist dial design.

One of the key appeals of the Casioak is its versatility. Available in various colorways and capable of swapping straps, it offers wearers the ability to personalize their timepieces, catering to a broad spectrum of tastes and preferences. Despite its more affordable price point compared to high-end luxury watches, the Casioak does not compromise on quality, boasting features such as 200-meter water resistance, world time, and a perpetual calendar.

The Casioak quickly rose in popularity, not just among G-Shock enthusiasts but also within broader circles that appreciated its unique blend of style, durability, and affordability. Its design, reminiscent of luxury sports watches, along with its practical features, made it a hit among a new generation of watch wearers who valued both form and function. The GA-2100's popularity has led to numerous special editions and collaborations, further cementing its status within the watch-collecting community.

The Introduction of the First Fully Steel Casioak Watches and the Mini Casioaks

Building on the success, Casio expanded the Casioak line by introducing the metal Casioak in 2020, offering fans a more luxurious option with the same beloved design. Following that, the Casioak Mini was launched in 2021, specifically designed with a smaller 40mm size to cater to women and those with slender wrists, broadening its appeal further. These additions have continued to enrich the Casioak's legacy, making it a versatile and inclusive collection within the G-Shock family.

G-Shock Metal CasiOak watches
G-Shock Casioak Mini watches

IFL Watches Customized G-Shock CasiOak Watches

Given the versatility and growing popularity of the Casioaks, we at IFL Watches began experimenting with custom Casioaks in 2019, bringing a unique twist to this beloved series. The watch community's enthusiastic response to our creations fueled our passion even further. Below, we've listed some of the Casioak watches (whether resin, metal, or mini) that we've released so far. We're eager to hear your thoughts and feedback on these innovations. Let us know what you think!


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