The G-D5000, the 18k-gold G-SHOCK, presented its dazzling debut in 2018 with the Dream Project commemorating the 35th year since the G-SHOCK’s inception. With its development spearheaded by Kikuo Ibe, father of the G-SHOCK, this was the first model to achieve the square design of the first-generation G-SHOCK in a full-metal form. Eschewing extraneous design features, the G-D5000 demonstrated the beauty of this quintessential style.
Meanwhile, a young team of G-SHOCK developers was quietly moving forward with one other full-metal project inheriting those technological assets. This was the GMW-B5000. The watch featured the G-SHOCK’s square design, considered a point of pride for the degree of perfection it achieved since the time the watch came on the scene. This full-metal version of the watch was intended to be a model for mass production, not a limited edition release. This was the evolution fans around the world had eagerly awaited, and it presented a challenge beyond imaginable levels, as well.
Features like the watch’s hollow case structure and omnidirectional covering protect the module, or “heart” of a G-SHOCK. Achieving a full-metal version of that shock-resistant construction required a complete makeover of the external structure, including the case, band and buttons. Stainless steel was selected for the material in order to enhance the components’ strength, and a new internal structure employing fine-resin cushioning was developed to solve the issue of the increased drop impact caused by the increased weight of the watch.
Additionally, the connective part of the band that joins it with the case employed a three-pronged structure to strengthen the metal band’s connection. A screw-lock case back—the same as on the very first model—ensured 20-bar water resistance. For the engraving as well, an original “Shock Resistant” lettering design was featured, rather than the “Shock Resist” mark used for the 5600 series. Diamond-like carbon (DLC) and mirror finishing processes gave the watch a sense of refinement. Expressing the full-metal design through every minute detail, the watch achieved a level of toughness able to satisfy the unique criteria for G-SHOCK models.
All of these features were based on the innovative concept of “new shell construction” established by Kikuo Ibe with the G-D5000. Although that was a concept model, it is clear that the development work on it also achieved the goal of a level of quality suitable for release as a mass-produced product.
Particularity with regard to design didn’t stop with the external structure. The module governing the watch’s functions underwent new development, as well. The latest technologies were freely poured into its design. Since the beginning, the G-SHOCK has always taken on the challenge of achieving market-leading functional innovation, with features including lighting to improve readability, Tough Solar to ensure stability of watch functions, and signal reception to enhance timekeeping accuracy. The fruit of this embrace of challenge was the GMW-B5000. This was G-SHOCK’s response to the mission of delivering continual functional evolution.
Development was no straightforward affair. The process of trial and error stretched on and on. The defiant “never give up” spirit of G-SHOCK powered the perseverance. The circuit board design was enhanced to deliver more functions without increasing the size of the watch. An antenna mounted in the full-metal case ensured stable signal reception sensitivity. Ideas and technological forms came together to solve issues one by one, including the development of a new solar panel to offer both power generation efficiency and LCD visibility.
Smartphone link functions, which had not been included on the G-D5000, were also newly added. This raised the affinity between the G-SHOCK, born as a digital watch, and the increasingly digitally-oriented lifestyles of today.
Thirty five years after the first G-SHOCK appeared, the GMW-B5000 made its long-awaited debut. The 5000 in the model number holds special significance for the G-SHOCK. Among all the iterations of the G-SHOCK over the years, with models numbering in the thousands, this special designation is reserved only for models that most strongly invoke the DNA of the very first G-SHOCK, the DW-5000C.
The unchanging form of its square design could be considered the watch’s symbolic feature. Produced from the pursuit of shock-resistance alone, the minimal form eschews all hints of the extraneous to ensure a comfortable fit in any and all settings.
Creating a full-metal version of the G-SHOCK inevitably involved taking the first-generation DW-5000C model as the basis of the design. This original masterpiece of a design had lived on over the years up through today, so it was only fitting that it would keep creating new history as well. With pride in its unchanging form and a mission of continuous evolution, the G-SHOCK’s wholehearted embrace of challenge is not going to end anytime soon.