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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is my take on the G-Shock full LCD line (or EPD, once the technology becomes more affordable to mass produce). Analog and mixed LCD/Analog is a bit more complicated to address, requiring a separate write-up.

BASIC G
  • World time, settable by city indicator or customized GMT offset, with DST option
  • Dot-matrix display (nearly seamless) showing time, date, with selectable font (G-shock 5600 style, plus 4 more)
  • Primary time shows in all modes
  • Date option to show MM/DD, DD/MM, Day, or Month (3 letter) via quick-press of Adjust button in main time display.
  • 2 Custom memo headers.
  • 5 alarms, 1 with snooze; set daily, weekday, weekend, one time; customized alarm hide, down to 1 minimum (for those who use less and want to reduce button presses).
  • (2) CDT from 99 hours, settable to seconds, 8 presets, 1 custom preset, auto repeat
    -- CDT option for down, up, and manual increment up/down.
  • (2) Stopwatch to 1/100th second, 100 day, split/lap function.
  • Hourly and half-hourly (short beep) chime set for weekday, weekend, daily; settable night quiet time.
  • Alarm pattern set: 2 beep/pause; 3 beep/pause; 5 rapid beep/pause; waver (alternates between all three)
  • Button press beep tone, settable to loud, soft and silent.
  • LED alert flash set to alarms and CDT.
  • EL backlight, negative style (number segments only), with auto-on tilt settable; 2-5 second settable; night mode, to activate with any button pushed.
  • 5 button case design -- 2 light-touch pushers each side, one medium-touch pusher on lower case front for illumination.
  • Standard strap lugs, so any 3rd party band can be used without adapters.
  • Superior quality resin, UV resistant, pliable yet scratch/tear resistant.
  • 5 year rated operation on CR-2025.
The "BASIC G" is offered with combinations of several options listed below.

Other options:
  • Solar (10+ month power reserve)
  • Solar + Atomic
  • Negative display
  • Vibration alarm
  • Screw down case back, selected models
  • "Bull bar" protection add-on, included; may be purchased separately -- this is a new design that is secured to the bezel with 4 screws (metal screw thread sockets)
  • Full face protect cover, shatterproof polybicarbonate translucent shell that latches over bezel to protect crystal in extreme conditions.
  • Four main standardized casing designs: square or round; low profile or thick protection
  • Variety of bezel/band/button-cover colors, interchangeable with available casing designs. Carbon fiber option too.
  • Sapphire crystal with bottom surface anti-reflection
The square casing would look very similar to the 5600 design with slight modernized touches. The round casing would look similar to the 6900 design, but would do away with the useless "port hole" segment displays in favor of a more dynamic display that can show graphs using the flexibility of a dot matrix LCD.

NOTE: Solar versions may require reduction of some features, such as 1 CDT and 1 stopwatch, EL backlight from 1.5-3 seconds.


Master of G series
All include "BASIC G" core module functions. All have titanium case, screw down case back and sapphire crystal, unless otherwise specified. Rugged yet comfortable straps.
  • Option for solar+atomic
  • Option for negative display
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"Frogman" for diving
- Depth indicator, mometary and logged
- Temperature indicator, mometary and logged
- Tide and Moon phase graphs
- Compass

"Protrek G" for land based activities
- Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Temperature; momentary and logged
- Tide, Moon phase graphs
- Sunrise, Sunset times
- Custom memo header
- Inner rotating bezel, operated by external crown

"Mudtrek", a "Protrek G" with anti-mud casing design
- External rotating bezel, for quick buttonless operation
- "Heavy" option, for all stainless steel case and back.

"Mudman" for mucky adventures
Essentially a "BASIC G" model, with thick anti-mud casing design
- "Heavy option", for all stainless steel case and back.

"Gulfman" for water adventures
Essentially a "BASIC G" model, with streamlined casing for swimming
- Tide and Moon phase
- Compass (for navigating waters)

"Sportman" for athletic activities
A combination of the "BASIC G" and other models that offer sports related functions.
- 5 countdown timers, each customized by counting up, down, or by manual increment.
- 5 stopwatches, full featured with multi-split/lap functions.
- Display indicators on primary screen showing icons for all CDT and stopwatch activity.
- Full featured pedometer for walking/running (SGW-200 functionality).
- Enhanced piezo speaker for increased decibels.
- Vibration alarm (because loud environments make audible alarm useless).

"Super-man" for the toughest conditions
("Superman" may be trademarked, so another name might be "Super-G" or "Gigaman").
- Extra rugged shock protection and casing, creating the largest G-Shock model. This would be a replacement to "The King", putting in a more competent module and more usable display.
- "Heavy option", for all stainless steel case and back, for those who want to "feel" the massiveness of the watch. Can also serve as a temporary small boat anchor.
- Vibration alarm (because loud environments make audible alarm useless).
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So, in this way, we get away from the myriad of "micro variations" that cloud and confuse the product line. Casio has come out with so many "slightly different" casings that incorporate seemingly random changes to previous modules, just to make a different model for the sake of sales. I think Casio would make plenty of sales with a standardized line that has more appeal. Plus, they could make a lot out of G-Shock customizations, because plenty of bezels/bands in different colors and styles are available for purchase. Of course, there would be special versions that come out for various marketing purposes, but in limited occurrence (e.g. movie commemoration). If they think that plenty of sales would still be made with "micro variations" of watches, do it in a line that is more about style. Call it "G-Style".
 

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Geekman

* Square shape, full metal case without any plastic bits.
* Standard g-shock functions.
* Current time visible in all modes.
* Solar.
* Waveceptor or gps instead of waveceptor for "premium" / "collectors" edition(s).
 

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Neat I! I only would add to your "Protrek G" a sunrise and sunset time
 

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I'll take one sportsman and one Superman please:) X-Shock mods|>
 

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Most people don't care.

They have a few decisions: square or round, size( small to very large), color, ana-digi or digital.

This is why they sell 3 million units per year. Their sales won't explode with any ther changes.
 

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Excellent article. I enjoyed it but apparently it grew to more than 4 models like you mentioned in another thread ;-)

I tend to agree with your assessment that the currently imaginative Super-G lineup (maybe an apt name would be "Gigaman"?) and the current King line essentially boil down to even more protection for a basic module with basic G-Shock functions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Excellent article. I enjoyed it but apparently it grew to more than 4 models like you mentioned in another thread ;-)

I tend to agree with your assessment that the currently imaginative Super-G lineup (maybe an apt name would be "Gigaman"?) and the current King line essentially boil down to even more protection for a basic module with basic G-Shock functions.
Thanks. :) In the other thread, I didn't clarify the 4 models, which I did state in the Basic G writeup (4 combinations from square, round and low profile, thick profile characteristics). The Master of G models are additional, because they're highly specialized for certain uses. Good name idea, "Gigaman" is probably better than the overused "Superman". |>
 

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I always think of Mudman as King of the LAND but what kinda of LAND King cannot calculate distance accurately? Accurately calculate and record distance from point A to point B with shock and sand resistance, no one will say Mudman is laking special feature from Master of G line.
 

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Thanks. :) In the other thread, I didn't clarify the 4 models, which I did state in the Basic G writeup (4 combinations from square, round and low profile, thick profile characteristics). The Master of G models are additional, because they're highly specialized for certain uses. Good name idea, "Gigaman" is probably better than the overused "Superman". |>
Hmm sorry I didn't notice that the first time around :)
If your ideas really came to fruition, I wonder how much will Casio charge for those (considering the prices they are already charging). And also maybe how much will it affect sales. We, who really appreciate our G-Shocks, will most probably be buying a lot of them though ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
^ The best way to conserve resources is to utilize the same part multiple times, rather than manufacturing multiple variations. I see so many different yet similar modules made by Casio simultaneously. I don't know why that is... it could be that there are several module teams, all working off of a kind of core or base platform, then add to it as they see fit for their respective model line. Personally, I think that's rather wasteful. Especially when there's nothing really innovative to be seen in the core functionality across lines and really over time (time, date, cdt, stopwatch, alarms, display controls, etc). One notable exception was the G-7800. It's not that far off from the ideal Basic G module I described. Casio should have 3 core modules for the basic line (LCD, LCD/analog, full analog), each repeated with a solar/atomic version, designed with all of the functionality I described. Then, if they need to make customizations, simply deactivate those parts of the module as necessary (e.g. no LED installed [EL only] so deactivate LED presence, so option to control it doesn't exist in the mode selector).

Casio's module design has long seemed a bit haphazard. Take the DW-5600E for instance with the 1545 module. It's a nicely designed module that has been around for well over a decade. Recent models have come out still using this module. Yet, we then have the GX-56 come out with a different module. And it has less functionality than the 1545!

For the casings, why do we need multiple variations? 4 main types would simplify the process significantly. The modules would be designed to fit all 4 casings. A special shock absorbing layer housing for the module would be used for the thicker casings, so that it fits snug.

There would be initial tooling costs, but then Casio would save lots of $$ with each subsequent model made. Also, with diverse bezel designs and dial face patterns, Casio can make variations that look quite different from other models, but still share the same internals.
 

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I think it is one of those "Japanese way of doing things".

If you are into games, you will understand what I mean if you look at the trend with Pro Evolution Soccer games over the last several years. They simply offer nothing new over the years (except maybe the 2011 edition). Seems like it is a character of the Japanese industry especially market leaders like Casio, once they get to the top, they start insisting to stick with the "tried and true" formula. But really, in the 21st century where every business has become so dynamic, such a corporate mindset IMO won't get you anywhere. You will still sell by the millions for a while but soon you will get stuck. For instance, when a Chinese company decides to take up arms in the digital watch business ;-)

There is a reason why Japan, once (and probably still) an Asian giant, faces constant challenges to economic growth for the last decade compared to other Asian rising nations -- as mirrored in the situation of their Stock Exchange. It is that "always stick with the tried and true" attitude, which means company successors practically have no idea where to go and what to do.This also applies to Casio I think...
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
^ Very interesting points, GTR83. We're now straying towards the universal stereotypes, which is a bit tricky to navigate without rubbing people the wrong way. A stereotype does have some truth to it, otherwise there would be no buy-in. Of course, distortions can be imposed collectively, negative or positive, that help create a deviation from the truth. But the fact of the matter with the Japanese is that they're best known for refining existing ideas and implementing top notch quality assurance. I've seen many large companies become set in their ways and despite signs of change on the horizon, they stick to the "tried and true" and end up losing position. American car manufacturers faced that in the mid 1970's, when the Japanese cut right to the chase with building reliable fuel efficient cars. Casio is one of the largest watch manufacturers around (definitely in the top 10). I'll venture to say they're the leader in LCD watch making, with Timex close behind. They've probably been in that position for a long time, which brings a certain degree of complacency. For a long while, there was little to be seen in innovations within the basic line (not counting "Master of G"). Then within the last 10 years, they stepped up the game with improved solar technology, followed by atomic radio signal synchronization.

Really, when you think about it... the pinnacle is pretty much staring them in the face. GPS synchronization is a bit overkill, IMHO. As I see it, the next innovation is to synchronize through a bluetooth connection to the Internet, or via some other computer related interface (like scanning a date-time barcode displayed on a screen). Miniaturization doesn't seem to be "in style" these days--watches are getting bigger and bigger. Maybe the next fashion trend will be very large but thin watches. Can you imagine an ABC watch with EPD touch screen, 5cm x 8cm x 5mm? Super thin. Seiko is doing some really fine work with EPD displays (e-Ink), incorporating solar and atomic sync. It's only a matter of time before they venture into Casio's territory of ABC's and rugged casings.
 

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^ Very interesting points, GTR83. We're now straying towards the universal stereotypes, which is a bit tricky to navigate without rubbing people the wrong way. A stereotype does have some truth to it, otherwise there would be no buy-in. Of course, distortions can be imposed collectively, negative or positive, that help create a deviation from the truth. But the fact of the matter with the Japanese is that they're best known for refining existing ideas and implementing top notch quality assurance. I've seen many large companies become set in their ways and despite signs of change on the horizon, they stick to the "tried and true" and end up losing position. American car manufacturers faced that in the mid 1970's, when the Japanese cut right to the chase with building reliable fuel efficient cars. Casio is one of the largest watch manufacturers around (definitely in the top 10). I'll venture to say they're the leader in LCD watch making, with Timex close behind. They've probably been in that position for a long time, which brings a certain degree of complacency. For a long while, there was little to be seen in innovations within the basic line (not counting "Master of G"). Then within the last 10 years, they stepped up the game with improved solar technology, followed by atomic radio signal synchronization.

Really, when you think about it... the pinnacle is pretty much staring them in the face. GPS synchronization is a bit overkill, IMHO. As I see it, the next innovation is to synchronize through a bluetooth connection to the Internet, or via some other computer related interface (like scanning a date-time barcode displayed on a screen). Miniaturization doesn't seem to be "in style" these days--watches are getting bigger and bigger. Maybe the next fashion trend will be very large but thin watches. Can you imagine an ABC watch with EPD touch screen, 5cm x 8cm x 5mm? Super thin. Seiko is doing some really fine work with EPD displays (e-Ink), incorporating solar and atomic sync. It's only a matter of time before they venture into Casio's territory of ABC's and rugged casings.
+1 on the Seiko EPD. Citizen has also started to eat some of the cake with their Eco-Drive watches (I'm not sure whether Citizen also has atomic sync). Usually these guys only make metal case watches, but if they start using rugged resin and the like, the situation would only be ideal for us customers ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
+1 on the Seiko EPD. Citizen has also started to eat some of the cake with their Eco-Drive watches (I'm not sure whether Citizen also has atomic sync). Usually these guys only make metal case watches, but if they start using rugged resin and the like, the situation would only be ideal for us customers ;-)
Yep, have you seen the SDGA001,003? Beautiful design. I'm really itching to get one, but the price is still a bit high for what I'm willing to spend.

Citizen has been making Eco-drive watches since 1995. And yes, they do indeed have atomic sync as of about 5+ years ago (its also more reliable than Casio). In days past, Citizen made some resin cased LCD watches, even a couple with the old style solar cells being the first to do so in 1976. Citizen is the largest watch manufacturer in the world, by sheer volume (last I heard, back in 2008). I'm surprised they haven't started edging into the G-Shock territory yet, making super rugged LCD modules or even ABC watches. About a year ago, I saw a prototype E-ink watch by Citizen that looked interesting. I'm just waiting for them to take a stab at something like Seiko's SDGA001.
 

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Before I joined WUS I was a lurker at SCWF and sure enough, there was quite a buzz over there about the SDGA models. It is still not that easy to mass-produce it seems, but if there is enough demand I'm sure Seiko would pursue the technology. Well regarding Citizen, their movements are used by so many brands in the Miyota guise. So there's no telling, it seems that Citizen is simply waiting for the right time for the "exploration" you mentioned. The ana-digi Citizen on your avatar (is it an Attesa or a Promaster?) curiously looks like a much more mature version of the GA-100 G-Shock. I'll bet the functions are similar but more refined. Now give that module a rugged case and we will have a real contender.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm not surprised that there's been a bit buzz about it. I hope it is sustained, as I'd really like to see Seiko do more with it, rather than making their few EPD models a kind of "test run".

Yep, that's an Attesa in my (current) avatar. It houses the U600 movement, which has been used in the more conventional Skyhawk model. Very nicely designed. My only gripe is the display LCD segments could be shored up a little with smaller gaps between the segments.
 

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I agree with one of the earlier posters about Japans work method. You can see the same thing happening in the motorbike industry where they lack innovation and European brands have overtaken them in terms of releasing modern, gizmo laden Superbikes. (For those in the know Im talking about the RSV-4 APRC and S1000 RR vs the Fireblade)
I would add that Casio probably has the global economic situ to consider same as others, stopping it going overboard when releasing new models.

I think a good move would be a customisation feature, where you can pick colours of module parts and bezel/straps. An online pick n mix feauture for this would be great.

Otherwise, I agree many useless new models are being released. Id rather see less models, but have those main ones with more features.
Its incredibly frustrating to see all these different models having their own specific new feature and not have one that does it all. I only hope Casio realise this and new models are on the way.

Certainly a Rismean with led backlight, integral compass, longer light and louder beeps has to be on the way.... Oh and for the love of God stop only releasing GW models in Japan only. You might aswell have 1 tower if youre going to do thato|
 
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