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'GW-5000-1JF' G-Shock

  • Object:

    Digital Watch

  • Place of origin:

    Japan

  • Date:

    2009 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Casio Computer Co. Ltd

  • Museum number:

    CD.79:1 to 3-2016

  • Gallery location:

    On display in Values of Design, Design Society, Shekou, China []

G-Shock is a line of highly durable watches first released by Casio in the 1980s. This is an example of the first G-Shock (DW-5000) which was designed in 1983 by Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe, who is now the company’s Chief Engineer for Research and Development.

The idea for this watch came to Kikuo Ibe when he accidentally dropped and broke his own watch while at work. The dropped watch had sentimental value as it was a gift from his father, so in reaction he endeavored to design a watch that could withstand such accidents. After more than 200 prototypes, the first G-Shock watch was released. It was designed to survive a ten-metre drop, be water resistant up to 100 metres and have a ten-year battery life.

G-Shock is short for Gravitational Shock, connoting its rugged durable design. The design achieves shock resistance due to a urethane foam cradle which protects its quartz mechanism, as well as nine other protective layers, including a stainless steel case, a urethane rubber bumper, and hardened mineral glass watch crystal. The outer buttons and LCD are attached with flexible cables and the wrist strap is also designed to absorb shocks as it is fixed in a curved shape that enables it to act as a shock absorber to guard the back of the case from direct shocks.

This watch is a re-issue of the DW-5000 with a few added features. It is equipped with ‘Tough Solar’, a type of solar-charging system, as well as a ‘Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping’ feature, which enables the watch to receive time calibration radio signals from six transmitters worldwide. This object represents part of a wider trend for high performance athletic wear, which began in the 1970s and continues today. This trend has prompted ever more sophisticated, durable, and lightweight devices to be designed and marketed to a consumer-base interested in apparel and equipment that can both perform well and connote a sporty outdoors lifestyle.

This watch was acquired as part of the Shekou Project, an international partnership between the V&A and China Merchant Shekou Holdings (CMSK) to open a new cultural platform called Design Society in Shekou. The watch was included in the inaugural exhibition, ‘Values of Design’, in the V&A Gallery at Design Society in a section exploring durable design.

Physical description

A wrist watch with black rubber curved wrist strap with ridges and metal buckle. The watch has a digital face with four buttons surrounding it. The words 'CASIO' and 'G-SHOCK' are inscribed around the digital face.

Place of Origin

Japan

Date

2009 (designed)

Artist/maker

Casio Computer Co. Ltd

Dimensions

Height: 24.7 cm, Width: 4.3 cm, Depth: 2 cm, Height: 8.3 cm, Width: 4.3 cm, Depth: 2 cm

Object history note

This watch was included in ‘Values of Design’ at the V&A Gallery, Design Society in Shenzhen, China in 2017.

Descriptive line

'GW-5000-1JF' G-Shock designed by Casio, 2009.

Labels and date

G-Shock Watch
Casio
Japan, 2009

G-Shock is a line of highly durable watches first released by Casio in the 1980s. The watch has a 10-year battery life, is water resistant to at least 100 metres, and can survive a 10-metre fall. Their ruggedness has made them popular with sports enthusiasts. []

Materials

Stainless steel; Urethane-resin; Glass; Rubber

Categories

Interiors; Household objects; Shekou; Values of Design; Design Society

Collection

Design, Architecture and Digital Department

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