G-Shock X RedBar
There are those who might scoff at the notion of a group like ours throwing down with G-Shock, but they would be some rather short-sighted individuals. Never mind that G-Shock has sold almost 100 million watches in its 35 years of business, or that that it single-handedly created an entire market for ruggedized timepieces; rather, since its inception it has achieved something that most brands can only dream of – it has become an icon. I mean, let's face it, most of you own, or have owned a G-Shock. Hell, some of you may even be die-hard collectors of the brand, like me, but no matter what, you know exactly what a G-Shock is and what it does. All of this brings us to a couple of weeks ago, when we played host to G-Shock and helped them introduce the next generation of the highest flying member of their professional-grade Master of G collection, the Gravitymaster GPW-2000. But first, a little background...
(Sea, Air and Land...)
The Master of Gs collection was initially conceived as G-Shock's ultra-professional line, with three areas of focus – land, sea and air. In the case of the sea, the Gulfmaster and the venerable Frogman take care of business on the surface and beneath the waves, while the Mudmaster handles overland duties. These watches all come outfitted with sensors galore to help them achieve their respective missions (compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, depth gauge, tide graph...), and then add premium materials, such as sapphire glass and carbon fiber round out their abilities. Naturally, all of this is heaped on top of the usual G-Shock goodness, which includes the brand's legendary shock-resistance. It's a given, of course, that this level of capability doesn't come cheap, so don't expect to pick a Master of G up off of Amazon for $40. That said, given all the goodness that they contain within, the prices being asked aren't outlandish, in our opinion.
(Belle of the ball...)
So, what of the Gravitymaster? Like its predecessor, the GPW-1000, the GPW-2000 has a built-in GPS receiver that allows it to talk directly to satellites overhead to get the exact time. This being Casio, however, they also saw fit to equip it with their Multiband 6 technology, which pulls in radio signals from from one of 6 atomic clock stations broadcasting around the world. Casio calls this GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor, and the thought behind it is that if at first a radio signal can't be locked onto, then the watch will use the more power-intensive GPS receiver. For the GPW-2000, a third element has been added to the equation: your phone. That's right, now the watch can connect to the wearer's phone via Bluetooth to sync to online time servers. Very cool, but wait, there's more! In addition to time sync, the G-Shock Connected app also shows the current state of charge and allows you to set the world time, countdown timer, alarm and even turn the button press sounds on or off. And even this isn't the coolest part. (That's right, there's still more...) Now, by using the GPS in the watch and the phone, you can initiate a "point memory", which logs the time and your exact location. String these points together, and all of a sudden you have a 3D map of of your flight plan (or journey to the local coffee shop), which can used later as a record of your trip.
(Starbuck's mission accomplished!)
Another improvement over the previous generation is the addition of a dual-use subdial at 6 o'clock that alternately shows the day of the week and a latitude scale. Now, the wearer can pinpoint their location by looking at the watch alone (the pointer at 9 o'clock shows longitude). There's also a dedicated UTC button, which will instantly set the second timezone to Universal Coordinated Time, which is a must for pilots.
In addition to the aforementioned BT/GPS sorcery, the GPW-2000 also features traditional functionality, such as a stopwatch, countdown timer, dual time and alarm; and being fully analog, it uses Casio's Tough MVT, which sports their Triple Resist rating (vibration, centrifugal force and shock resistance). And, thanks to is "shadow-dispersing" solar panel under the dial, it's uncommonly efficient at gang-pressing photons into service for its power needs. So, yeah, at the end of the day it's still a G-Shock, albeit one on steroids.
(Sapphire glass, stainless steel and carbon fiber – oh, my!)
The G-Shock Connected App, close up and personal:
Naturally, during the course of the evening the usual RedBar tom foolery was at play, with members coming correct with their personal G-Shocks:
(Chris, aka "Farlius", won the night with his eclectic collection of Squares...)
As an added bonus, we had the pleasure of celebrating Casio Global Marketing Manager, Tadashi Shibuya's birthday with an entire bottle of Jameson. In case you don't know who he is, he's the man behind some of G-Shock's most successful and sought after LEs. (That he's also one of the nicest people that you could ever hope to meet is merely the icing on the cake.)
(A Yamazaki or Hibiki might've been more appropriate, but he was celebrating in OUR house...)
The above notwithstanding, we're ready for next year...
(Yes, we're planning ahead, Tadashi...)
The Gravitymaster GPW-2000 is on sale now for a MSRP of $800, or 1/10th the price of a Breitling Exospace B55 (the other connected pilot's watch).