The G-Shock line of watches was introduced by Casio back in the 1980s. Compared to a more regular wristwatch type, G-Shock watches are all about resiliency.
They are designed to be resistant against vibration and shock, which means that this type of watch is primarily used in the army, for sports, and various other outdoor activities.
Although they went through a fad period a decade-or-so back, G-Shock watches remain popular and are widely used to this very day.
Seeing as how we’re talking about a performance watch here, picking the one with all the features that you need is essential. Here’s a list to help you find the best G-Shock watch for your needs.
- Best G-Shock Watch Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
Best G-Shock Watch Reviews
This is a small, simple G-Shock watch mainly used for sport.
Size-wise, G-Shock watches aren’t exactly built to be small and compact. They’re made for functionality, not discreteness. However, models like the GWM5610-1 offer more compactness, which is ideal for sports activities.
This model doesn’t tend to feel bulky or heavy on the wrist. The case is square-shaped, and there’s a solar panel ring that surrounds the display. These do a brilliant job of charging the battery during sunny periods and overall light exposure.
Like the majority of Casio watches, this G-Shock model has a lot of small-print writing, indicating the variety of functions that the model boasts. This might not be to your preference, but you won’t really find a G-Shock without the small print.
The essential G-Shock functions are all here – the 29 time zones, timer, stopwatch, 4-alarm capacity, as well as both time formats (12- and 24-hour).
It also packs atomic multi-band sync, which is capable of connecting to various radio towers to sync with the atomic clock. This feature is never a must-have with watches.
Unless you need a watch for the purposes of exact world time, you could survive without the atomic sync feature. Still, it’s nice to have a watch that everyone else wants to tune to.
Naturally, like every other true G-Shock model, the GWM5610-1 is waterproof and capable of working to depths that exceed 200 meters.
This makes it ideal for diving, and we aren’t only talking about amateur diving here. Many professional divers wear and enjoy this watch.
Thanks to the EL feature, not only does this model come with the illuminator function, but it actually automatically lights up when you raise the watch toward your face.
But if the battery happens to be below medium, the illumination feature will turn itself off.
If you need a pragmatic G-Shock watch that has everything you’d want from a performance model, this one is a great idea to go with. It might not have all the features that larger G-Shock watches do, but for its size it packs more than a punch.
If you’re into sports and don’t want a model that feels bulky on your wrist and that will snag everywhere, you’ll be extremely lucky if you come across a model that’s better than the GWM5610-1.
The only thing that doesn’t feel right with this model is its looks. Thanks to the square-shaped and overall pragmatic design, it kind of feels like the initial G-Shock models.
Still, if you don’t care about what your watch really looks like (like the majority of the G-Shock target group), you’re going to love this model.
- Brilliant for sports performance
- Waterproof up to 200m
- Not bulky
- Auto EL feature
Not the best-looking G-Shock
Casio Rangerman GW-9400
An incredibly resilient G-Shock model; even in G-Shock terms.
If you’re into that G-Shock look (which you probably are), you’ll find the GW-9400 very hard to beat. But those sharp G-Shock looks aren’t the only thing that this Rangerman has to brag about. From functionality, as well as durability perspectives, it truly excels.
And it’s not a big investment, really. If you buy this model, you’ll be set for at least a few upcoming years, probably much more.
But this isn’t the Rangerman’s cornerstone feature. This model is the first one to use the ABC sensor technology. If you aren’t familiar with this, it’s an acronym for altimeter, barometer, and compass – yes, the model has all three functions.
Plus, you get the thermometer, which is rarely included in the ABC feature. This actually makes for quite a big deal. Being able to tell the temperature is a great option to have.
Naturally, you get all the typical G-Shock functions, such as stopwatch, timer, alarms, etc. Then, there’s also the function that allows you to get the necessary info regarding time zones.
The watch will tell you when the sunrise/sunset times are. But that’s not all you get. With a simple push of a button, you can go back and forth through time zones and see the info like sunset/sunrise times of future and past dates. This is information that you’d struggle to find on your smartphone.
The atomic sync function is also included, making this watch quite the all-rounder. It’s resistant to low temperatures, can go up to 200 meters under water, and measure up to 1,000 hours with its stopwatch.
Clearly, this model is one of the most popular Casio G-Shocks. Its sunset/sunrise feature is what makes it a true Rangerman. If you ever happen to need that particular information, it’s only a few button pushes away.
This is great for multi-day outdoor activities, such as camping and fire watch. The GW-9400 is a perfect outdoor companion, used by both pros and amateur G-Shock enthusiasts alike. Truly one of the best models on the market.
The only downside with the GW-9400 is that it’s not a top-end model. Well, not exactly. The real disappointment here is that it could have been a top-end model. But it isn’t.
Although, feature-wise, it’s fully capable of taking on the top-end G-Shock watches, it’s the materials and overall durability where the top-end models beat this one, hands down. Still, for the money, you won’t find too many G-Shocks as good as the GW-9400.
- Sunset/sunrise feature
- ABC feature
Could’ve been a top-end model
This is a black, discreet-looking G-Shock wristwatch that many call “the King of G-Shocks.” With that said, it won’t have you gasping at its features. It’s strictly a timekeeping device.
Yes, the GW-5000-1JF is quite the heavyweight. The first thing you’ll notice about it when you grab it is the weight. But this isn’t necessarily a downside. With G-Shock watches, weight often indicates durability and a solid build. And the weight doesn’t lie when it comes to the Casio GW-5000-1JF. The model is fantastically built and robust.
For a G-Shock watch, it looks quite discreet. But it’s usually the backside of a model that doesn’t really look great. And who cares about the backside, right? Well, you’d think that, until you get a model with a good-looking backside – like the GW-5000-1JF.
You get a mirror finish on the metal without an imprint. This makes it more comfortable to wear, which is where we delve into the world of performance, yet again.
There’s a tradeoff involved here, though. The beautiful metal backside is one of the things that make the GW-5000-1JF quite a hefty model.
However, it’s also somewhat bulkier than many other G-Shocks that you’ll come across. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as some people prefer their G-Shock this way.
The Casio GW-5000-1JF’s strap is particularly soft compared to other G-Shocks. Naturally, this makes it more comfortable to wear. This shouldn’t influence your purchase decision, as most G-Shocks will feel just as comfortable once you get used to them. Still, it’s a nice plus to have.
You’ll also note that most G-Shock watches feature a red ring around the edge, which is somewhat of a trademark with these types of Casio watches.
With the GW-50001JF, you don’t get the red circle, which is, in part, what makes it look so sleek.
Don’t expect a variety of impressive features, though. This watch is perhaps the most watch-true G-Shock around. It does come with an alarm and a few other cool features, but resilience is its selling point, not various extra features.
Related read: How to Set Up a Casio G Shock Digital Watch
The best part about this G-Shock is that it looks and feels like a G-Shock, and yet, somehow, it doesn’t. You don’t get as many small-print words, and you don’t get the various features.
You get a resilient watch that helps you tell time and a few extra features. This might not seem like a plus, but this model is for you if you’re looking for a G-Shock watch that won’t make your head spin.
Well, the main downside of this watch runs parallel with its benefits. You won’t get a lot of features here. If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure watch, you might not end up overly excited about this model.
It doesn’t have fancy features like the barometer, altimeter, compass, etc. Still, it excels in the time-telling, resilience, and durability departments.
- Great backside
- No red circle
Not too many features
Casio GA100 XL
Surprisingly affordable given its good looks and functionalities. Oh, and it’s analog.
You don’t see too many affordable combo G-Shock watches. What “combo” or “combi” means is that a G-Shock watch uses a combination of analog dials and LCD features to give you all the necessary info that you’re looking for.
The first awesome feature that the GA100 XL brings to the table is the stopwatch that can measure as precise as 1/1000 of a second. Yes, this is true precision and the data that you get is reliable.
You should keep in mind, though, that with fragments of seconds, the precision of your finger should be taken into account.
So, if you need to measure really tiny variations in time, this chronograph feature could be a selling point. Besides, it does look really impressive.
You also get a tachymeter. If you aren’t familiar with this term, a tachymeter basically measures your speed. As long as you measure a pre-defined distance, the GA100 XL will be able to tell you how fast you were going.
You don’t need to activate the feature, however. As long as you use the chronograph (stopwatch), you’ll be able to access this data once you’ve stopped it. There’s also a distance traveled feature. You can switch between metric and imperial measurements, according to your preference.
Time-wise, you can tell it from the analog handles, or using the LCD window, located in the lower-left corner of the display.
Of course, you also get a plethora of other functions, such as calendar, alarms, timer, world time, chiming, auto LED, and heaps of durability and resilience. There’s also the atomic clock feature that you can use to sync for absolutely accurate time-telling.
Overall, this is among the best G-Shock watches out there, considering the price point. The GA100 XL certainly looks and feels more expensive than it really is. You get every major G-Shock feature, plus an analog watch to boot. There are various color versions, although we prefer the completely black one – very sleek and stylish.
Unfortunately, this model is far from ideal for nighttime use. First of all, the handles don’t feature lume, although the hour indicators on the dial do. This certainly wasn’t the best decision, but it is what it is. There is a backlight, but it kind of washes the LCD screen out when turned on. So, not super-easy to read in dark conditions. For obvious reasons, some people may not find this ideal.
- Various color options
- Distance measuring
- Almost every important feature
Not the best illumination
Casio GG-B100 Mudmaster
This is a heftily priced G-Shock model that actually delivers.
First of all, congratulations are due to Casio regarding the LCD screen on this watch. They’ve truly outdone themselves with the negative-colored, large screen. It offers cutting-edge performance and impeccably clear pixels. The analog hands, although they do look neat, and are useful for telling time, have a more important job. They perform an ancillary function.
The beauty of the GG-B100 is that it somehow invites you to play with it. Many other G-Shock watches pack a ton of functions, but it’s a real rarity to hold a watch that will actually have you tweaking and adapting it for quite some time.
This is a real performance model – its pushers don’t look heavy-duty just for show – they’re actually built to repel dust, water, and mud.
Sure, the pushers feel great and are fun to play with. But there can’t be a watch pusher that makes the experience fluid and seamless. This is another great thing about the Mudmaster – it allows you to connect to a G-Shock app on your phone and adjust all the settings quickly and more efficiently.
This model also comes with a step-counter function, which isn’t a frequently seen thing on Casio G-Shocks. It boasts a thermometer, a compass, a barometer, and an altimeter, in addition to the pedometer function.
You also get sunrise and sunset times across various time zones, as well as a plethora of other typical G-Shock Functions.
Overall, this is an excellent G-Shock watch to have. It’s simply packed with a ton of useful functions, it’s very easy on the eye, and boasts perfect functionality at any time of the day. It even has a Bluetooth connectivity function that allows you to tweak this watch using a phone app. The future is truly now.
Without a doubt, the biggest downside here (and the reason for the relatively reasonable price range) is the lack of the solar charging function. Almost every G-Shock watch on the market comes with this function, so it’s truly a disappointment to hear that the GG-B100 doesn’t. There’s a good reason behind this, though. The Bluetooth connectivity drains a lot of power. This is why you’re going to need to recharge this watch every two years or so.
- Packed with awesome features
- Bluetooth connectivity
No solar charging
An affordable, workhorse G-Shock model that covers most needs.
This isn’t a new model. In fact, it’s been around since 2002 without going through any significant changes. This isn’t a bad thing in any way, shape or form. Due to the DW9052-1V’s overall success, the changes didn’t have to be made. In fact, Casio has chosen to include this one in their G-Shock Classics series.
At its bare core, this model is a practical, simple, waterproof, shockproof tool. Expose it to most conditions and it will prevail. It’s a G-Shock model, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. No analog dials, nothing fancy.
It isn’t feature-packed, either. You get a single daily alarm, a countdown, and a stopwatch. No barometers, pedometers, altimeters, compasses, etc. It shows you what time it is and adds a couple of time-related functions.
Now, when it comes to the display readability, don’t expect too much. It’s good, but not as fantastic as some of the pricier G-Shock models. You get a backlight to help you tell the time in the dark. It’s bright enough and easy to activate, nothing more, nothing less.
The buttons are very simple and rather intuitive. One is for switching between the three features (alarm, countdown, stopwatch). There’s one for time/date/alarm adjustment. You get one for starting/stopping the stopwatch or the countdown and one for a total reset. There’s also a button for activating the backlight in the front.
This is a simple, basic, cheap model, which brings all the functions that you probably need in a watch. It’s shockproof and waterproof, which is the essence behind the G-Shock brand. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, pragmatic G-Shock watch, you’ve found it.
If you need a function such as a thermometer or want to accurately sync time to the foremost precision, you should take a look at another G-Shock model. This one is a simple, resilient watch, and that’s about it.
Not too many functions
A top-end, large G-Shock watch for any adventure you may find yourself on.
If you think G-Shock watches are generally big, you should take a look at the GPR-B1000-1JR. This particular model is almost comically large. This is the first thing that you notice about it. The second thing is the whopping price tag. So, what justifies this price range? Is it even justifiable?
Indeed, it is … well, if you need it for its functionality.
First of all, resilience and durability go without saying. The topmost resilience that you can expect from G-Shock watches – it’s all there, the whole nine yards. Waterproof, shockproof, 200m of water resistance, anti-vibration, and so on.
The dial protector is made out of sapphire, and you also get a higher resolution screen for apparent readability.
The straps feature carbon tubes, which means that the watch won’t come off even if it’s pulled violently.
You actually get an operating system inside the watch and, of course, smartphone connectivity, which brings a plethora of functions to the table. For example, it has GPS functionality, along with Bluetooth. This is why this watch is perfect for the professional trekker. This doesn’t mean that you don’t get solar power capabilities, though. Using the photovoltaic cells, the watch charges itself automatically during the daylight and in light conditions.
Using the GPS and Bluetooth functionalities a lot will drain the battery quicker than the photovoltaic cell can charge it, but there’s a more traditional power-charging option included. In fact, you get a charging cradle, which can be quite the lifesaver.
This watch is an ultimate outdoor G-Shock model. It will set you back a lot, but it’s worth every penny if you really need it.
There isn’t a better watch on the market for outdoor activities. When it comes to trekking in the wilderness, this G-Shock is quickly going to become your best friend. The number of features and options included is mind-boggling.
If you need a watch for more regular, non-outdoor use, the Casio GPR-B1000-1JR quickly becomes fairly overwhelming. It’s bulky and not for everyday use. Still, you won’t get tricked into buying this one if you don’t need it, not at that price.
- Incredibly resilient
- Full of features
Very, very expensive
If you’re looking for a G-Shock watch, chances are that you don’t need it for time-telling purposes only. You’re either looking for resilience, functionalities, or both.
Here’s a guide that will help you determine which G-Shock watch you truly need.
Movement is an incredibly important aspect of analog watches. Although not all G-Shock watches are analog, most that are also have an LCD screen. You don’t get a lot of choice with G-Shock watches in terms of movement. The vast majority that you’ll run into are well-made and the movement perfectly suits the case.
So, basically, you can choose between combi (digital + analog) and digital G-Shock watches. It all boils down to your preference.
Most G-Shock watches feature photovoltaic cells that charge the tool automatically. Whether you’re in the sun, or in a well-lit room, the watch will charge itself.
If a G-Shock watch doesn’t have any fancy features like Bluetooth or GPS, a single full charge should last for years. In fact, some G-Shock watch batteries can last up to 10 years on a full charge.
With that said, you may be on the lookout for a watch that boasts Bluetooth connectivity and/or GPS functionality. In this case, you’ll likely have to charge your watch on a more frequent basis. Still, the battery life of a modern G-Shock watch is quite something.
Not only are most G-Shock watches water-resistant, but they’re usually waterproof. So, if you’re going for a swim, the only thing that you need to worry about with your G-Shock is the strap.
If it’s loose or it snaps, you may end up losing the watch itself. Or, if you’re looking for hydrodynamics while swimming, you may want to take it off. But water-resistance-wise; you’re all good. Most G-Shock watches are water-resistant up to as deep as 200 meters underwater.
Still, not all G-Shocks are waterproof. So, before making a purchase, ask around about the model’s water-repelling capabilities.
Style-wise there are two main divisions of G-Shock watches. The first would be between combi (digital and analog) and digital. The second refers to the shape of the tool. Some are round, and some are rectangular.
Style doesn’t really impact a G-Shock’s performance. Plus, G-Shocks tend to be pragmatic tools, rather than those used as stylish additions.
G-Shock watches go from $50 up to more than $800. The cheaper ones are basic and offer some simple features like a stopwatch, a timer, and an alarm function.
All G-Shock models offer these features. However, the higher you climb up the price range, the more features you get. The pricier models include Bluetooth for smartphone app connectivity, GPS tracking, accurate time measurements, and so on.
The more expensive models also tend to offer better display resolution.
Related read: Best Sports Watches Under $1000
Is a G-Shock Watch Worth Buying?
It depends on what you’re looking for in a watch. If you want functionality and durability, then yes. If you’re looking for stylishness to bring to dinner parties, then no.
G-Shock watches are intended for those who want convenient, resilient, all-purpose tools on their wrist at all times. Think of G-Shocks as the Swiss Army knives of watches.
How much should you spend on a G-Shock? Well, that’s a whole other thing. Consider the functionalities that you really need and don’t get carried away with all the fancy features that you’ll never use.
For example, if you don’t do trekking, getting a G-Shock watch with a GPS system isn’t a good investment. You can use any smartphone for these purposes.
What is the Specialty of a G-Shock Watch?
This depends on the actual G-Shock model that you’ve bought. The G-Shock category is actually incredibly vast and complex.
Some are ideal for underwater diving, some are built for trekking and outdoor activities, while others are made with multi-functionality in mind and combine the best of both worlds. Others, though, are just plainly resilient and help you tell time. Their specialty? Telling time and being resilient. Yep, as simple as that.
What is the Toughest G-Shock Watch?
This is a difficult question to answer. G-Shocks are made with “being tough” in mind. However, the toughest G-Shock award goes to the GW-9400 Rangerman. It’s not only shockproof and waterproof, but its structure is built to repel dust, sand, and mud.
The Rangerman definitely ascends the throne in the toughest G-Shock watches category, although its competition is, well, vast, to say the least.
Again, G-Shock watches are ridiculously tough and built to last.
The award for the top of the best G-Shock Watches list goes to the toughest G-Shock watch – the GW-9400 Rangerman. Not only do you get remarkable toughness, but you get a lot of features.
It packs an altimeter, a barometer, a compass, and a thermometer. This is pretty much every piece of equipment you’ll ever need while outdoors. You also get the sunset/sunrise feature for pretty much any day that you want to know about.
Although the 9400 is a great choice, it’s far from cheap. If you’re looking for a $50 watch that can tell the time and will last you quite a while, the Casio DW9052-1V might just be the ideal choice for your needs.
Still, the Casio 9400 Rangerman rules supreme in the G-Shock category.