To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the G-Shock collection, Casio has created a new and ultra-exclusive addition to its flagship MR-G lineup that is produced in collaboration with the famous Japanese swordsmith Sadanobu Gassan. Building upon the premium MRG-B2000 series, the new G-Shock MR-G Gassan MRGB2000GA-1A 40th Anniversary watch combines the brand’s highly durable, feature-packed sports model with unique materials and finishing techniques that are characteristic of traditional Japanese sword-making. Born in the Nara Prefecture in 1979, Sadatoshi Gassan represents the sixth generation of the famous Gassan family of swordsmiths, and he brings his knowledge of traditional craftsmanship techniques to the high-tech world of Casio to create a striking limited-edition model that represents the very finest that G-Shock has to offer.
Crafted entirely from titanium, the G-Shock MR-G Gassan MRGB2000GA-1A 40th Anniversary Edition measures 49.8mm wide by 54.7 lug-to-lug, with an overall thickness of 16.9mm. While these dimensions categorically make it a rather large watch, you can almost guarantee that just like most G-Shock models, the actual on-wrist experience will be far more manageable than the on-paper specs might initially make it appear. While the watch itself is made entirely from titanium, the MR-G Gassan MRGB2000GA-1A features multiple different types of titanium throughout its case and bracelet components. While the solid-link band is made from a fairly standard titanium alloy, the center links feature traditional Gassan “yasuri-me” rasp marks and characters individually applied by Sadanobu Gassan himself, which make each watch slightly unique and give them a distinct handcrafted quality. Meanwhile, the case of the watch is crafted from deep-layer hardened recrystallized titanium, and the bezel has been produced using a unique additive 3D modeling technique using laser-melted Ti64 titanium powder built into a wave-like shape and then fused with pure titanium to recreate the Gassan family’s signature rolling wave “ayasugi-hada” pattern that appears throughout the material of the bezel.
Both the bezel of the watch and its bracelet have been treated with a blue/gray AIP (arc ion plating) process that offers DLC levels of hardness and abrasion resistance, while the blue/gray hue of the finish itself is meant to evoke the blue-tinged ferrous coloration of finely crafted traditional swords. Three push buttons located on the side of the case and a gold IP screw-lock crown offer access to the internal module that powers the watch, while the bezel secures to the middle case with four visible screws on its top surface. As this is an MR-G model and one of the most premium G-Shock watches available, a sapphire crystal with a glare-resistant coating protects the dial side, while a solid screw-on titanium caseback helps provide the MR-G Gassan Edition with the G-Shock collection’s signature 200 meters of water resistance. Lastly, located on the side of the case right around the 10 o’clock position is a small metal plate with a small engraving celebrating the G-Shock’s 40th anniversary.
Despite offering advanced multifunction quartz watch features, the G-Shock MR-G Gassan MRGB2000GA-1A 40th Anniversary Edition features a completely analog display for a more refined and elevated aesthetic. While the case is the real star of the show on this model, the dial also offers plenty of visual intrigue and continues the same gray, blue, and gold color profile found throughout the case of the watch. A trio of centrally mounted hands displays the time in the standard default mode, while a date window sits at the 4:30 location, and the day of the week is displayed by the register at 3 o’clock. A 24-hour representation of the time appears at the 10 o’clock position, while a secondary time zone display with its own AM/PM indicator appears below it around the 7 and 8 o’clock locations. With that in mind, the G-Shock MR-G Gassan MRGB2000GA-1A offers a wealth of functionality, and some of the hands can perform additional tasks, simply depending on the mode of the watch. The dial largely features a dark gray color with a subtle pattern that mirrors the etching on the center links of the bracelet, while bright pops of gold and silver evoke the image of steel blades and brass guards, further playing into the watch’s sword-inspired overall aesthetic.
As part of G-Shock’s top-of-the-line range of models, the MR-G Gassan MRGB2000GA-1A is powered by one of the most advanced internal movements that the brand has to offer. Officially known as Module No. 5625, the solar-powered movement offers radio-controlled timekeeping, a dual time zone display with home city time-swapping and daylight savings settings, a stopwatch, countdown timer, multi-function alarm, LED backlight, automatic hand alignment correction, and a fully automatic calendar, plus Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone via the Casio G-Shock app. While it offers access to all of this functionality through an entirely analog display, the number of features that it offers rivals the specs of even some of the most advanced digital timepieces. Casio’s G-Shock watches are supposed to be inherently modern creations that are capable of doing things that are simply not possible with traditional mechanical movements, yet it’s still nice to see the brand offer certain premium models with entirely analog displays for those who what the G-Shock’s legendary functionality in a slightly more refined overall package.
You will see G-Shock watches on the wrists of people who have virtually no interest in timepieces, yet the brand is also a favorite among seasoned collectors who own multiple different watches that each cost thousands of dollars. Part of this is due to the fact that a highly-durable and feature-packed wristwatch is simply a very practical item to own and wear, yet an equally important part of the G-Shock widespread popularity is the incredibly diverse range of price points that are covered by the brand’s greater catalog. G-Shock’s most affordable models start out at under $100, yet on the opposite side of the spectrum, you have watches like this MR-G Gassan MRGB2000GA-1A 40th, which is accompanied by an official retail price of $8,000 USD with production limited to just 500 pieces worldwide. One way of looking at this incredibly wide range of prices is that the new MR-G Gassan costs about 100 times more than an entry-level G-Shock. However, the other way of looking at it is that you are getting the very best that Casio and G-Shock have to offer, along with unique high-tech materials and components that are hand-finished by one of the most famous swordsmiths in the world, all for roughly the same price as a standard stainless steel sports model produced by some of the big-name luxury brands within the Swiss luxury watch industry. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.