CASIO G-Shock MRG-G2000HT-1A
Hands-on with the Holy Grail G-Shock
G-Shock is a line of watches manufactured by CASIO that has become quite iconic; it was designed by engineer Kikuo Ibe in 1983 with the aim of creating a watch capable of withstanding hard shocks, being water-resistant and having a long battery life. The G-Shock series still keeps all these basic features intact, in particular its mechanical shock resistance and its resistance to vibrations too. Over the years, this line has been able to carve out for itself a good slice of the watch-market; that niche devoted to those people, who are looking for a multi-functional watch adaptable to even the most extreme situations and equipped with great technological resources. A brand within the brand; but not only that! With its MR-G series, CASIO has reached those premium users, who love technology and who know how to appreciate and look for specific watch features. And at the same time, this new series is also a great challenge for CASIO as it aims at guaranteeing high resistance standards to shocks and vibrations, while using metal cases and bracelets.
At BaselWorld 2017, CASIO unveiled a new limited-edition of the MR-G series; a high-range version of the G-Shock series called the CASIO G-Shock MRGG2000HT-1A. It is a majestic and pricey watch that is the proud heir of the MRG-G1000HT released last year. The idea is to combine the Japanese brand’s advanced technological research efforts and traditional Japanese metal-working techniques into one single timepiece. The CASIO G-Shock MRGG2000HT-1A will be produced in 500 pieces only.
From an aesthetic point of view, with its 54.7mm by 49.8mm by 16.9mm size, this timepiece is simply impressive, to such an extent that it seems even excessive. In addition to that, the sharp edges of the case and bracelet do not really help make the overall architecture sweeter and more harmonious; yet, its perfect ergonomic design and its 153-gram-weight make it extremely wearable (the size is well-proportioned if compared to the watch’s weight that is kept light thanks to its titanium built). Needless to say that smaller wrists will find this timepiece kind of heavy to wear. Moving to the finishing side; it is quite evident that the brand put quite an effort in making sure that the CASIO G-Shock MRGG2000HT-1A was given an overall improvement if compared to its standard production; flat surfaces and edges are all well finished and the sapphire glass and buttons assembly is quite outstanding.
To better understand the real value of this timepiece, we should highlight the fact that it is manufactured in Japan in CASIO’s pilot-plant, where, in a high-technology environment comparable to the most-advanced labs of smartphones manufacturers, mechanisms are manufactured in dust-free rooms (the tolerance ratio is calculated in microns). The satin-finish process and the placement of the beautiful sapphire-glass are still carried out manually.
One of the most interesting characteristics, since it is entirely hand-made by the Japanese master Bihon Asano from Kyoto, is the special “metalworking process” that can be seen on the central part of the bracelet and the bezel (the latter has undergone a special DLC-treatment that gives it a unique blue-ish tone). This metalworking process is called Kasumi Tsuchime and takes inspiration from the Tsuiki metalworking technique (the artist uses a special little hammer to rhythmically hit the item and shape it) that is over 1,000 years old and that is still being used today to craft the finishing and some parts of Katana swords and thus make them aesthetically beautiful and extremely hard and resistant.
Among the purely technical features is the sophisticated Bluetooth system called “Self-Charging” (it allows the user to automatically charge the watch through the light emitted by any lightening source using a solar panel positioned below the sapphire glass) and the useful “Self-Updating” function that updates the date and the hours in real time via the combined use of the Internet (smartphone via Bluetooth), the GPS (integrated sensor) and a radio connection to the closest atomic clock (integrated sensor). To guarantee a more up-to-date and the most precise functioning of the time-zones system, this CASIO G-Shock MRGG2000HT-1A uses the “Self-Adjusting” function through the network connection. The use through the smartphone is managed via a dedicated app and is top-notch as it even allows you to check the life of the battery or even use the integrated GPS to monitor some activities or view the routing you have taken throughout your day. The functioning of the watch is constantly updated thanks to the perfect integration between radio signals, the GPS and the Internet radio (3-way Time Sync).
It comes to no surprise that this glorious CASIO G-Shock MRGG2000HT-1A also boasts the usual characteristics that all the previous editions featured too;
It is equipped with the latest Super and AfterGlow generation white-light-LEDs.
The advanced built of the movement thanks to the 5531 module and the Titanium Ti64 case (90% titanium, 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium, 7 times stronger than traditional titanium) allows this timepiece to fully surpass the Mil Spec requirements.
RESISTANCE TO MAGNETIC FIELDS
Extremely resistant to magnetic fields and electric shocks and awarded with the ISO 764 certification.
RESISTANCE TO VIBRATIONS
The 5531 module of the movement is surrounded by special buffers called “Alpha Cells” made of special silicon material that is both long-lasting and that also guarantees complete protection against vibrations.
The sophisticated solar cells hosted within a film positioned inside the dial guarantee that the timepiece is recharged through any light-emitting source. Besides, because of the solid conserving properties of the cells, both the performance and the duration of the charge are dramatically enhanced.
GPS EXACT TIME
Thanks to the GPS signal reception, the time-zone function is always reliable and updated in real time no matter what your location is. The GPS signal frequency is 1575.42 MHz.
RADIO-ATOMIC SIGNAL RECEPTION
Once you have set the local time in Europe, North America, Canada, Japan and ample areas of China and Central American through the radio reception function, the time will stay correct thanks to the connection to the signal emitted by any institutions with its own atomic clock. The Daylight Saving Time and the Standard Time are automatically updated. The signal is received up to 6 times a day, except in China, where it is received up to 5 times per day.
Radio frequency: 77,5 Khz (DCF77, Germany); 60Khz (MSF, Great Britain) 60 Khz (WWVB, USA) 40 Khz (JJY, Fukushima, Japan) 60Khz (JJY, Kyushu, Japan) 68,5 Khz (BPC, China).
The indices and the hours hands have been coated with a special fluorescent substance that guarantees their glowing in the dark for long hours.
This function shows all the existing time-zones (39 zones with automatic adjusting of the Standard Time /Dailight Saving Time -DST).
DATE AND WEEK DAY INDICATOR
The date and the day of the week are both indicated.
1/20 secs 24 mins CHRONO
Elapsed time, average time and final time are measured with a 1/20 second precision rate for the duration of 24 minutes.
1/1 TIMER for 24 hours
The count-down timer helps you remind of special events that repeat in time. A sound signal goes off at the time of the event, the time can be set in minutes and up to 24 hours in advance. It is quite a useful function for those, who need to take meds at specific times of the day.
DAILY ALARM CLOCK
The daily alarm clock reminders the user of his daily appointments through a sound signal.
AUTOMATIC ADJUSMENT OF THE HANDS
The automatic adjustment of the hands is automatically verified every hour and corrected if, for any reasons due to a shock or the influence of a magnetic field, this is deemed necessary.
Special external and internal protection against a wrong usage.
SMART ACCESS TECHNOLOGY
Thanks to the Smart Access signal, you can quickly and intuitively set your watch through an electric crown. By pressing and rotating the crown, you can easily control such functions as the count-down, the alarm clock, the chronometer or the time-zones.
AIRPLANE MODE (OFF-LINE)
By pressing a button, the watch can be set to off-line mode so that the radio signal and the GPS function are de-activated during your flight.
The correct date is adjusted automatically.
A sapphire glass that has undergone a special anti-glare treatment and hard enough to protect against scratches and shocks.
CASE AND BRACELETE MADE OF Ti64 TITANIUM
This special type of titanium (Ti64) is up to 7 times harder than standard titanium and it guarantees a superior protection against shocks and corrosion, it is also totally non-allergenic.
The strap is equipped with a safety clasp that prevents any accidental un-clasps.
Guaranteed waterproofness up to 20 bar (200 metres) in accordance with the ISO 22810 regulations.
To sum up, this powerful and sophisticated CASIO timepiece is the synthesis of years of technological innovation of the G-Shock series and of the best secular Japanese tradition. The retail price of 7,400USD is definitely high and more indicated for a flagship product, but if you take a quick look at which markets this watch has been designed for (mainly the American and Japanese markets as they are extremely receptive towards this type of technology), its limited production number (500 samples only) and the hand-made working techniques used to craft this timepiece, you will realize that the retail price is (somehow) justified. A special “thank you” to Claudio Amerio for the precious information, his support and the recommendations provided at the time of writing this article.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Andrea Frigerio @Horbitech