Casio‘s year-long celebration of its iconic G-Shock watch’s 30th anniversary culminated in last week’s “Shock the World” VIP event in New York City. Among the highlights were a performance by rap star and G-Shock endorser Eminem and the U.S. launch of the MT-G, a collection of new metal/resin G-Shock watches starting at $900.
Held Wednesday, August 7th at Basketball City in downtown Manhattan, STW 2013 featured the introduction of an array of new Casio G-Shock timepieces, highlighted by a trio of brand-new models and several “collaboration” pieces, made in cooperation with athletes, entertainers, and lifestyle brands. The new G-Shocks included the Rangeman, the newest addition to “Master of G” collection, a military-inspired watch for first-response professionals; the GDX6900, a larger version of the existing 6900 model; and the MT-G, the G-Shock model that Casio says is meant to reposition the brand for the premium collector market. Most notable among the “collaboration” pieces was the G-Shock Eminem limited edition, made in cooperation with the hip-hop star.
As in past “Shock the World” events, numerous celebrity G-Shock fans and endorsers were in attendance, some even taking the stage at the pre-event press conference, including actor James Marsden, Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (who touted the new GDX6900), supermodel Jessica Stam (who endorsed the latest Baby-G ladies’ models), and snowboarder Louie Vito (who modeled his own new “Collaboration” G-Shock model). After the press conference, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served while DJ Mick Boogie warmed up the crowd for opening act Yelawolf and main event Eminem, who performed an hour-long set of some of his biggest hits.
Eminem wears a G-Shock for his performance at Casio’s 2013 “Shock the World” event
Along with the much-anticipated set by “Slim Shady,” the evening’s other most buzzed-about attraction was the G-Shock MT-G, which Casio announced will begin hitting U.S. retailers at the end of this year. The “MT” stands for “Metal Twisted” — the watch’s case is constructed of a stainless steel covering melded to the G-Shock brand’s advanced “Core Guard Structure” of stainless steel, resin and a substance called “Alpha Gel.” The movement, which features a chronograph function, is Casio’s LED-infused “Tough Movement” with a Multi-Band 6 atomic timekeeping feature that receives radio-controlled time and date updates from global transmitting stations. The watch, whose case and movement components are all made in-house at Casio’s advanced factory in Yamagata, Japan, also features a quick-lock “Smart Access” electronic crown, which allows the wearer to access all the functions by unlocking the crown and turning it in the desired direction. The MT-G’s composite bracelet has stainless steel links layered on the underside with soft-touch, low-thermal-conductivity resin panels for optimal comfort on the skin. The first wave of the MT-G collection will consist of three models: in polished stainless steel and resin (Ref. MTGS1000D-1A), for $900; in black-ion-plated steel and resin (MTGS1000BD-1A) for $1,000; and a limited-edition 30th anniversary model in black ion-plated steel with gold highlights and and a red-paneled bracelet (MTGS1030BD-1A), for $1,100.
The MTGS1000D-1A, at $900, ushers in the first “premium” G-Shock collection.
The MTGS1000BD-1A ($1,000) is finished in black ion plating.
The MTGS1030BD-1A is a limited edition commemorating G-Shock’s 30th anniversary
The engraved caseback is steel; the undersides of the steel bracelet links are made of heat-resistant resin.
The new addition to the “Master of G” collection — which includes the Frogman, Mudman and Riseman models — is the GW9400 Rangeman, a “tactical” timepiece designed with military uses in mind. Like other models in the collection, the Rangeman is built to be exceptionally shock-resistant and mud-resistant, employs the Tough Solar Power system to charge the watch and the Multi-Band 6 atomic timekeeping system to receive radio signals for the time and date, and is equipped with numerous functions, including a chronograph, 48-city world time indicator, and a digital compass. The Rangeman also includes sunrise/sunset data, a barometer to measure atmospheric pressure , a thermometer to measure temperature, and an altimeter to measure altitude to within one-meter increments at one-second intervals. All the functions are controlled by a one-touch sensor button with a textured surface. The watch has a 200-meter-water-resistant urethane case with a steel caseback. The newest Master of G watch, available in either black or military green, will retail for $300.
The Rangeman’s LCD dial has three modes, for barometer/thermometer (pictured), compass, and altimeter
Making its public debut on the massive wrist of Brook Lopez, the new new G-Shock GDX6900 has a case nearly 10 percent larger than its base model, the 6900. For Casio’s engineers, who pride themselves on the G-Shock’s legendary shock-resistance, accomplishing this was a challenge: increasing the size meant increasing the weight and along with that, the amount of shock it incurs when dropped. Their solution was to add “Alpha-Gel” to the case to absorb impacts and better protect the watch’s internal workings. The result was a bigger 6900 that passed a military-standard test for shock-resistance and also retained its water-resistance of 200 meters. The GDX6900 incorporates numerous functions, including a 48-city world timer, multi-home time for up to four cities, five alarms, chronograph, countdown timer, and 12/24-hour time configurations. The watch has a 10-year battery life and a “Super Illuminator” LED light. Four color versions will debut in October for $130, with another four to follow, at $120.
The evening’s featured performer was honored with a limited-edition G-Shock adorned with numerous personalized touches. The G-Shock Eminem edition (which is officially designated GDX6900MNM-1) is based on the new GDX6900, here with a matte black case and black-reverse LCD dial, and features an array of Eminem iconography. A stylized silhouette of the city of Detroit — where Marshall Mathers, the future Eminem, famously grew up — is printed in red on the upper side of the black strap. The reverse “E” from the Eminem logo appears on the dial and in the strap loop. The caseback and the lower part of the strap also feature an autograph of “Shady,” the singer’s alter ego. The limited edition G-Shock for Eminem will be available at retailers in December, with a price of $180.
The Eminem special edition depicts the skyline of Detroit on the black strap.
What are your thoughts on Casio’s G-Shock moving into the premium market? Or on the watches above? Feel free to leave comments.