Best G-Shock Watches

Updated November 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best g-shock watches

You might need your smartwatch to send texts and thumb through your calendar, but for the die-hard adventurer (and those who just want to look like one), a G-Shock watch is the only timepiece that will do.

The G-Shock watch was created by engineer Kikuo Ibe, Casio’s lead watch designer in the early 1980s, who wanted to develop an indestructible watch. Since the first G-Shock watch was launched in 1983, over 70 million of the watches have been sold, and new models come on the market every year. That’s a lot of options if you’re thinking of buying one.

BestReviews can help. We’ve investigated these famous watches to make it easier for you decide what G-Shock model will best fit your lifestyle and budget. Our informative shopping guide can help you on your way to your next purchase.

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G-Shock creator Kikuo Ibe was also inspired by construction workers he saw around the office. He noticed they didn’t wear watches while using jackhammers because of the vibration.

What is a G-Shock watch?

Simply put, the G-Shock is the “toughest watch on the planet.” Or at least that’s the reputation the brand has garnered.

After dropping and breaking a watch passed down to him by his father, Casio designer Kikuo Ibe and his team set out to design a watch that could pull off the “triple ten” – a watch with a ten-year battery that could withstand ten atmospheres of water pressure and a ten-meter drop.

It took two years and over 200 prototypes, but eventually they nailed it with the DW-5000C. The way it works is the timekeeping module is cushioned by soft gel points within a hollow case. Ibe got the idea while watching children bounce balls at a playground. The strap also helps secure the watch to protect its inner working from impact, G-forces, and heavy vibration.

People love these watches for their quartz accuracy and rugged aesthetic. You’ve seen them on Navy SEALs, action movie stars, and everyday men and women. With so many dependable options to choose from, these watches are a great choice for people with active lives or people into the streetwear look.

G-Shock watch features to consider

With so many G-Shock models on the market, and more new ones introduced every year, there are a lot of features to consider when looking for the right watch for you.

Screen and display

Each G-Shock watch is digital and uses a twisted nematic liquid crystal display (LCD). The screen size and display depend on how many and which special features the watch possesses. Some watches have a purely digital display, while others are digital and analog. On the higher end of the market, G-Shock has introduced a few touchscreen options.

Battery

The battery should last a minimum of two years, unless you frequently use the Bluetooth feature or the radio setting. If you use the light or alarm sparingly, the battery can last over a decade. Some users report getting a whopping 15 to 17 years of use out of their battery.

A G-Shock solar battery can last up to seven months without a charge. However, all it needs is ambient light to juice itself back up, so anyone goes outside or uses electric lights should be good.

Size

Different models come in a wide range of sizes, so you can pick one that won’t overwhelm your wrist. There are smaller G-Shock watches that are 70% of the size of the average models. There are also midsize options that have a face that is 1.4 mm smaller and 0.8 thinner than standard models. And there are extra-large watches that measure 55 mm x 51.2 mm x 16.9 mm.

Band

Most G-Shock watches have a urethane band that resembles hard rubber, but some of the bracelet style watches have bands made of metal links. You also can swap in different bands made by retailers specifically for G-Shock watches, including a parachute cord (paracord) band.

Waterproofing

All G-Shock watches resist water to varying degrees. You can wear any G-Shock while jet skiing or swimming, but you’ll need a watch designated “Diver’s Watch 200m” for scuba diving. This includes watches from the Frogman series. G-Shock’s Mudmaster series is specially designed to handle water as well as muddy conditions without the sludge getting inside the watch.

Special features

It would take a few hours to go through all the various collections and series offered by G-Shock. For example, Gulfmasters are tailored for marine environments, including a depth sensor and barometer/altimeter. The Rangeman series focuses on aviation features like altitude, barometric pressure, temperature, and direction readings. G-Shock is even working on their own solar-paneled smartwatch options to combine the durable body and adventure features with high-tech possibilities.

G-Shock watch prices

Prices for G-Shock watches vary widely depending on the type of watch and the number of special features it has, the materials used to make the casing, and the rarity and collectibility of the model. You can expect to pay between $35 and $5,000 for a G-Shock watch.

Budget-friendly

A standard, non-specialty G-Shock watch usually costs between $35 and $60.

Mid-range

You can find watches with special features, such as solar batteries, different colorways, mud-resistant casings, or surfing accessories, for between $60 and $120.

Specialized

In the $120 to $350 range, you’ll find advanced special features and feature packages, such as the Sky Cockpit with a compass, thermometer, and the ability to measure and remember travel data. You can also find stainless-steel and titanium casings and bands in this range.

Expensive

Although a G-Shock isn’t as pricey as a Rolex, the higher-end models can set you back close to a grand. The price range depends on the speciality, materials, and rarity. Some of the aviation models sell for about $650, while Gulfmasters cost over $800. True collectors’ models will cut even more deeply into your wallet. For example, the going price for a Bluetooth GPS radio-controlled, solar-powered atomic option is currently $5,000.

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The “G” in G-Shock stands for “gravity.” The design team tested the watches by dropping them from third-floor windows. Today, engineers have automated tests that include everything from smashing the watches with hammers to shocking them with electricity.

FAQ

Q. Do G-Shock watches have a lifetime warranty?

A. Although these watches are built to last, they typically come with a two-year warranty. However, MT-G and MR-G models have a three-year warranty, which makes sense considering these are much pricier than other G-Shock options.

Q. Can you use a water-resistant G-Shock watch underwater?

A. Not technically. The watch will continue to tell time and any other measurements on its face, but you risk damaging it if you attempt to operate its button or crown while it’s wet or submerged. The exception here is the Diver’s Watch 200m. Its casing protects and allows for full underwater operation.

Q. What do all of the numbers and letters in the model name mean?

A. They’re all part of a not-so-secret code. The prefix code details features like digital or water resistance, and the following figures list everything from the model’s color to its origin.

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