Exactly 40 years ago this April 2023, the very first Casio G-Shock made its inaugural appearance, and as part of the ongoing celebrations to commemorate this milestone year, Casio has launched a trio of new G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized watches. Based on the iconic “square” case design that defined the very first G-Shock from 1983 (the ref. DW5000C), the latest trio of 40th Anniversary models consists of two full-metal variations alongside a third model with a bio-based resin bezel and strap that closely adheres to the design of the inaugural G-Shock. Additionally, all three of the new watches feature components crafted from deep-layer hardened stainless steel that has undergone a recrystallization process to give it a unique and organic appearance.
So, what exactly is recrystallized stainless steel? After being machined into their respective components, the stainless steel case and bracelet parts undergo a recrystallization process (Casio does not elaborate on what this process actually entails), and this treatment gives the stainless steel a unique asymmetric textured appearance that slightly differs from one watch to the next. Additionally, the recrystallized stainless steel components also receive the brand’s deep-layer hardening treatment, which infuses carbon into the surface of the steel to create a hard outer layer. Rather than simply being a coating that sits on top of the surface of the metal, Casio’s deep-layer hardening technology actually hardens the stainless steel itself, meaning that the hardened layer cannot be scratched off or removed. The end result are components that are more scratch resistant than traditional stainless steel, and that have a densely-packed crystalline pattern throughout their surfaces.
The two full-metal G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized watches follow the same format as previous GMWB5000 models, and they feature stainless steel cases that measure 43.2mm in diameter by 13mm thick, with an overall lug-to-lug profile of 49.3mm. Available in either standard stainless steel (ref. GMWB5000PS-1) or with a yellow gold finish (ref. GMWB5000PG-9), the bezel and bracelet of the GMWB5000PS-1 are further treated with titanium carbide, which provides them with their flat light gray color, while the same components on the ref. GMWB5000PG-9 are gold ion plated to give the bezel and bracelet their warm metallic yellow hue.
Aside from the novel treatments to their components, the actual case structure of the new full-metal models follows an identical format to previous iterations, and in addition to having a stainless steel bezel and bracelet, the internal middle case on the new G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized models is also crafted from black IP-coated stainless steel and fitted with a solid screw-in style caseback, which is also made from recrystallized stainless steel and given a dark gray DLC finish.
Powered by Module No. 3539, the new duo of full-metal G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized watches offer the usual suite of digital functionality including a stopwatch, alarm, countdown timer, world time feature, and electronic LED backlight. However, since Module 3539 is one of the more premium Casio movements, it is also solar-powered and offers radio-controlled timekeeping (Multiband 6) and the ability to synchronize with your smartphone via Bluetooth. While the gold ref. GMWB5000PG-9 is fitted with a standard gray LCD screen, the stainless steel ref. GMWB5000PS-1 receives an inverted black LCD display to create greater contrast between the face of the watch and its external case. Regardless of the metal finish and LCD screen color, both of the full-metal models feature a bright white LED backlight, which illuminates the entire display when activated.
The third watch that makes up the new trio of G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized series is the ref. DW5040PG-1, which is nicknamed the PROJECT TEAM “Tough” model. Unlike the two full-metal watches, the ref. DW5040PG-1 features a black bio-based resin bezel and strap to emulate the appearance of the very first G-Shock watch from 1983. With that in mind, despite the fact that the ref. DW5040PG-1 features a resin bezel and strap like one of the brand’s standard models, this 40th Anniversary edition still features a stainless steel internal case with a threaded screw-in caseback.
The stainless steel center case has been given a gold IP finish, and it is fitted with the exact same recrystallized stainless steel caseback with a dark gray DLC finish that can be found on the full-metal models from the collection. As a final nod to the original G-Shock watch from 1983, the new ref. DW5040PG-1 features the words PROJECT TEAM “Tough” printed in aqua blue letters on the lower left corner of the dial, and this detail was originally only found on the eight watches that were given to the original team members who developed the first G-Shock watch.
Similarly, while the black bio-based resin strap fitted to the ref. DW5040PG-1 largely offers the same overall appearance as what can be found on the brand’s entry-level square G-Shock models, the strap fitted to the G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized ref. DW5040PG-1 features a buckle and strap keeper crafted from recrystallized stainless steel with a gold IP finish. Additionally, unlike the duo of full-metal Recrystallized models that are intended to be highly elevated versions of the original G-Shock watch, the PROJECT TEAM “Tough” ref. DW5040PG-1 offers a format that is much more true to that of the original, and it is powered by a less feature-rich internal movement (Module No. 3421) that lacks the solar-charging, radio-controlled timekeeping, and Bluetooth connectivity of its full-metal siblings. Furthermore, while the full-metal models receive a white LED backlight, the ref. DW5040PG-1 offers an electro-luminescent backlight that emits a green glow, just like the original G-Shock models.
On all three of the new G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized models, the caseabacks are adorned with the Eric Haze-designed 40th logo, while the lower left button is engraved with a star that echoes the five-pointed shape that is part of the 40th Anniversary emblem. Additionally, despite all being somewhat premium models compared to the brand’s entry-level offerings, all three of the new G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized watches are fitted with mineral glass crystals, rather than having sapphire crystals like the brand’s top-of-the-line models. Realistically speaking, the design of the bezel offers a significant amount of protection for the crystal and will prevent most things from coming into contact with it; however, it would have still been nice to see sapphire used here instead, especially considering the rather elevated package provided by the full-metal models.
While all three of the new G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized watches are more expensive than the brand’s entry-level models, there is a fairly significant price difference between the model with the resin strap and its two full-metal siblings. While the PROJECT TEAM “Tough” ref. DW5040PG-1 is accompanied by an official retail price of $300 USD, both the stainless steel ref. GMWB5000PS-1 and gold ref. GMWB5000PG-9 each cost $870 USD. Although this makes the full-metal models almost three times the price of their sibling with a resin bezel and strap, it’s important to remember that the full-metal G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized watches are also powered by more advanced internal modules, and they actually only represent a small price premium compared to the standard stainless steel versions of the brand’s full-metal GMWB5000 series. For more information on the Casio G-Shock 40th Anniversary Recrystallized watches, please visit the brand’s website.