This year, Casio G-Shock is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its high-end MR-G collection with the release of a truly beautifully finished and refined limited-edition watch inspired by Hana-Basara Samurai armor. My understanding is that Hana-Basara is a celebration of those particularly bold Samurai who were, for lack of a better phrase, absolutely dripping with swag. Enter the new limited-edition G-Shock MRGB2000BS3A Hana-Basara, an $8,000 piece from the brand’s top-of-the-line collection that shows off an impressively high level of craftsmanship.
Hana represents “ostentatious or brilliant” armor, while Basara is both derived from the Sanskrit word for “diamond” and eludes to the Basara Busho, who were apparently warlords that enjoyed “armor with original and artistic designs, even in battle.” Not content to let the Hana-Basara rely merely on historical pieces for inspiration, G-Shock commissioned armor-maker Suzukine Yuzan to create an original piece of Samurai armor. Sadly I wasn’t able to get any photos of this armor, though you can catch glimpses of it in the video on the page for the watch here.
Getting the basics out of the way, the Hana-Basara is part of G-Shock’s MRGB2000 series that comes in DAT55G titanium case with brown AIP (Arc Ion Plating) measuring 49.8mm-wide, 16.9mm-thick, and with a lug-to-lug height of 47mm (54mm if you measure from the raised center link). It’s water-resistant to 200M and features Tough Solar power, radio-controlled time synchronization, dual time zone, 24-hour chronograph, 24-hour countdown timer, alarm, and an LED screen.
Looking at what makes the Hana-Basara so special, let’s start with the bezel. Back in 2017 G-Shock released a MR-G watch with a bezel made of Cobarion, a cobalt-chrome alloy that is four times as hard as titanium while boasting a vibrance that is almost glossy in appearance. While that previous piece had a classic flat bezel, the Hana-Basara has a beautiful facet-cut bezel done by craftsman Kazuhito Komatsu. The hardness of the Cobarion presents a challenge when creating such clean and sharp lines, with Komatsu employing techniques from his specialty of gemstone cutting in order to create this bezel.
Kazuhito Komatsu is also the man behind Hanashinju pearls, which are faceted pearls and unlike any I’ve seen before. I’ve never seen one of these in person before, but they seem remarkably intricate from photos. Actually, the Hana-Basara helmet’s maedate crest features one of Komatsu’s faceted pearls. This is a tribute to the most ostentatious Samurai, after all. (You can find a link to Hanashinju pearls here, if you’re curious).
The woven pattern of the chainmail-inspired (kusari katabira) dial comes together with red, green, gold, and black accents that are pretty judiciously used and well-executed. With mirror polishing and guilloche designed to evoke a traditional folding fan, there are lots of beautiful details to appreciate under the lens of a loupe. One small yet impressive detail that I initially missed is the curve on the indices, which is very subtle and designed to evoke a sword’s curve.
A quick look at the bracelet may leave you thinking it’s a simple black DLC, but it is in fact a very dark green. Specifically, this hue is kurogane-iro, which is simply the dark shade of green that is achieved when iron reaches very high temperatures. It’s a subtle touch but one that helps to cohesively tie the various elements of this watch together.
I’ve talked to a couple of people that have told me their allocations of these pieces are selling quickly and it’s out of stock on the G-Shock website, so the conversation about whether or not the watch is worth the price is basically moot. Personally, I think the price is pretty reasonable when you consider the quality and craftsmanship on display here. Obviously, the pool of buyers is pretty self-selective when you consider the Venn diagram of G-Shock enthusiasts and people with this kind of money to spend. A truly impressive display of craftsmanship and execution, the Casio G-Shock MRGB2000BS3A Hana-Basara is limited to 400 pieces with a price of $8,000. You can learn more at gshock.com.