G-Shock Goes Lightweight with the Carbon Edition

The classic design in full carbon.

G-Shock commemorates the 40th anniversary of its shock-resistant digital timepiece, two new models inspired by the original 1983 design penned by Kikuo Ibe, but in an all-new material for the brand. Made entirely from carbon composite – case and bracelet – the Carbon Edition is significantly lighter than its Full Metal counterparts. Available in shades of marbled purple or classic black, the Carbon Edition weighs just 65 g including the bracelet.

Initial thoughts

G-Shock successfully evolved its iconic digital timepiece into a fashion accessory with a prominent presence in popular culture. Collaborators that have designed their take on the G-Shock range from artist Takashi Murakami to streetwear label Supreme.

And in 2018, the brand introduced the G-Shock Full Metal, a modern take on original G-Shock DW-5000 of 1983 that added an integrated bracelet to the original design. Dozens of Full Metal variants have been introduced in a relatively short span – including an extraordinary all-18k gold version – diminishing the novelty and appeal the concept. 

The Carbon Edition is essentially a Full Metal but fortunately not metal, instead it is entirely in carbon composite. Though the use of a carbon composite is not revolutionary, this iteration sets itself apart, both in tactile feel and appearance. Both versions are lightweight, and the purple version is striking.

The material does bring with it questions of longevity as carbon composites are not as robust as metal alloys. G-Shock’s sterling reputation for robustness, however, means it will probably age well, maybe even better than the composites used for high-end Swiss watches.

The Carbon Edition are both priced at US$2,000 each. The price is more than double that of the standard steel Full Metal and more expensive than the titanium version. It is definitely not value for money, but it is certainly interesting. G-Shock enthusiast will find them very different from G-Shock models to date, while watch enthusiasts will appreciate the material, which is often associated with pricey mechanical watches.

The G-Shock Dream Project, entirely in 18k yellow gold and many multiples the weight of the Carbon Edition

Lightweight composites

The Carbon Edition is available in two variations: the all-black GCW-B5000UN-1 and the purple GCW-B5000UN-6. The purple composite stands out because of its marbled appearance with opal specks scattered throughout the material. Both are limited editions of sorts, with the production number undisclosed. 

The two variants are entirely in carbon composite, with the marbled appearance of the composite is meant to evoke the Big Bang and galaxies in outer space according to Casio.

The case and bracelet are made from composites of carbon fibre and resin, giving it the familiar mottled appearance of carbon composite. Consequently, the entire watch weighs a mere 65 g, reflecting a 61% reduction in weight compared to the standard Full Metal GMW-B5000 in steel.

According to G-Shock, the case, bezel, band, and clasp are each made from different composites in order to meet technical and physical requirements. The bezel and bracelet are forged carbon, while the blades of the clasp are made from multilayer carbon, which has strength and flexibility. The monocoque case and case back, on the other hand, are carbon fiber-reinforced resin.

The engraved case back features the 40th anniversary emblem of G-Shock that was designed by American graphic artist Eric Haze

Though the material is different, the Carbon Edition retains the styling and monocoque construction found in the Full Metal models. The case is defined by its oblong bezel and a brick-pattern dial. The case dimensions are 49.1 mm by 45 mm and 14.5 mm high. This results in the watch being marginally wider than the steel model by 0.3 mm and 1.8 mm respectively, while also being thicker by 1.5 mm.

The Carbon Edition has the same electronic module as the Full Metal models. That means an LED display and a solar-powered movement with multi functionality, including world time, a chronograph, countdown timer, calendar, four daily alarms, Bluetooth connectivity. The Tough Solar function relies on solar cells for a 22-month running time on a full charge.

Special presentation box for the Carbon Edition

Key facts and price

Casio G-Shock Carbon Edition “40th Anniversary”
Ref. GCW-B5000UN-1 (black)
Ref. GCW-B5000UN-6 (purple)

Diameter: 49.1 mm by 45 mm
Height: 14.5 mm
Material: Carbon composite
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 200 m

Movement: Model 3543
Functions: Digital, multifunction, Bluetooth connectivity
Winding: Solar
Frequency: Battery
Power reserve: 22 months with power-saving function

Strap: Matching bracelet 

Limited edition: In limited quantities
Availability: At G-Shock stores and G-Shock.com starting December 2023
Price: US$2,000, or 2,799 Singapore dollars

For more information, visit G-Shock.com.


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Audemars Piguet & Travis Scott Introduce the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “Cactus Jack”

The rapper's "chocolate AP" in brown ceramic.

Rumours of a brown ceramic Royal Oak began circulating several months ago, and the latest launch from Audemars Piguet (AP) has proven them true. However, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” 41 mm is more than a new colour, and instead it’s a 200-piece limited edition collaboration with American Rapper Travis Scott and his streetwear label Cactus Jack.

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “Cactus Jack” is interesting for being more than just a change of dial colour, which is usually the route taken for limited editions. While it is based on the standard model, the “Cactus Jack” gets a brown ceramic case as well as typography based on the musician’s handwriting on the dial, along with Cactus Jack’s smiley emblem for the moons.

Notably, the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar “Cactus Jack” is just one part of AP’s collaboration with Mr Scott. Their tie-up also includes a line of clothing, including hoodies, t-shirts, and caps, that will be available on Cactus Jack’s own retail site.

Initial thoughts

Although the “Cactus Jack” is fundamentally identical to the regular production skeleton perpetual in ceramic, it looks strikingly different because of the case.

Typically I am not a fan of brown ceramic, but here the material sets the watch apart instantly. This differentiation is a good thing since there are many, many version of the Royal Oak perpetual calendar – the non-skeleton ceramic model is already available in black, white, and blue.

One more version doesn’t really hurt, especially since it’s done well. The handwriting and smileys on the dial add a whimsical touch to an otherwise serious watch.

More broadly, the watch continues AP’s adoption of pop culture, which started over two decades ago with its first celebrity-themed limited edition (the Offshore End of Days in 1999). This seems to have accelerated recently as current chief executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias prepares to depart. Before “Cactus Jack”, the brand already released a line of Royal Oak Matthew Williams models and the Royal Oak Concept Spider-Man. Time will tell if this takes the brand to where it wants to go, but it is certainly changing the face of AP.

“The Chocolate AP”

An American rapper and producer who is also known for being the partner of socialite Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott has been pictured wearing various Royal Oaks over the years, making one of the (many) American celebrities who are AP fans. He’s one of the few, however, to get his own limited edition.

The Royal Oak “Cactus Jack” has the same dimensions as the standard model, but the case is in brown ceramic, a first for AP. The case is not matched with a ceramic bracelet, however, and instead is fitted to a textured leather strap.

The dial retains the standard perpetual calendar layout, but replaces the usual typography with a font derived from Mr Scott’s handwriting. This font is used for all of the calendar indications, while the seconds hand at nine o’clock has been replaced with the Cactus Jack emblem.

Equally whimsical is the moon phase display, which has its twin moons taking the form of the Cactus Jack smiley featuring the eyes and mouth sewn shut. All of the luminous markings on the dial glow green, except for the smileys that glow blue in the dark.

Inside is the cal. 5135, AP’s longstanding perpetual calendar movement. It’s an ultra-thin calibre with the cal. 2120/2121 as the base and a perpetual calendar module on top. This version of the movement has been skeletonised to reveal much of the mechanics, particularly on the front, where most of the calendar works are visible.

The movement is largely identical to the standard version, except for the 22k gold rotor that’s been open worked to form the Cactus Jack emblem.

The case back has been personalised by Mr Scott with “Utopia is a state of mind”, the name of his latest album

Key facts and price

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” 41 mm
Ref. 26585CM.OO.D301VE.01

Diameter: 41 mm
Height: 9.9 mm
Material: Brown ceramic
Crystal: Sapphire
Water-resistance: 20 m

Movement: Cal. 5135
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and perpetual calendar
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 19,800 beats per hour (2.75 Hz)
Power reserve: 40 hours

Strap: Textured calfskin with pink gold folding clasp

Limited edition: 200 pieces
 At boutiques and AP Houses
Price: CHF178,000 (price excludes taxes)

For more, visit audemarspiguet.com.


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