Be a diver’s watch. Being G-SHOCK. And be FROGMAN. While maximizing the perfection of products while satisfying different requirements. The competition between designers and engineers created a unique and unique toughness design. GWF-A1000 was born as FROGMAN’s first full analog model. The attention paid to the details is brought to bear from the idea of design and exterior design.
Hashimoto: The GWF-A1000 will be a new challenge for us as it is the first analog model in FROGMAN. However, we can’t just give it the name FROGMAN for something completely different.
For example, case design. Speaking of FROGMAN, it features an asymmetrical silhouette with the band and case offset when viewed from the front. The case itself is also designed to be asymmetrical, such as the arrangement of buttons and front screws. How can we keep these iconic elements and bring out new things that have never existed?
I imagined a completely airtight structure like a submarine. From that came the idea of incorporating motifs like hatches and portholes. The point is not to cover the metal bezel, but to show it. On top of that, guard with partial claw-shaped resin parts. The shape and size of the three claws, as well as the placement of the front screws, accentuate the asymmetry.
A large overhang or a crown is also a big design element. The presence of analog increases just by having this. Furthermore, by adopting different button shapes on the left and right, it is finished asymmetrically.
The work proceeds while grasping the image with a design sketch, creating a mockup with a 3D printer, and checking the volume feeling when worn on the arm. Rather than having a clear end goal, it’s more like searching for a landing point from various perspectives. There are also new discoveries. There were a lot of twists and turns before it was completed, but in each case, I worked with other departments and worked on each detail individually. The exterior design was the one we talked with most.
─ What kind of efforts did you have in the exterior design process?
Hirayama: While designers inflate the image of what they can see, from the standpoint of an engineer, the exterior design will be put into a feasible form from structure to parts.
In particular, the GWF-A1000 this time has many restrictions as a diver’s watch, and it was necessary to meet various standards. In addition to quality, we examined each issue to be solved, such as mass production and cost, and proceeded with development while sharing recognition with the designer.
The goals we should aim for are the same, but the approaches are different. It’s an image where you can come up with ideas at the last minute and find solutions.
For example, the design around the bezel that I talked about earlier is not simple from the perspective of exterior design. Just placing the resin parts on the metal bezel will cause it to turn over when force is applied to the border, so it is necessary to have a mechanism to let the resin parts sneak inside the metal parts. Moreover, changing the shape of the parts does not solve the problem, but it is necessary to verify whether it can actually be assembled. This area is the crying point of the exterior design and the showcase of the arm.
The band was originally designed to be directly connected to the case. However, this causes the base part to bend when worn on the arm, resulting in a loss of fit. Moreover, this time, a new material called fluoroelastomer is used, and the way it bends is different from previous materials. To eliminate these design concerns, we consulted with the designer about changing the shape of the connection between the case and the band. On top of that, we have devised a connection method such as connecting the case and band with pins. As a result, I think that the appearance is finished with a sense of unity with the case and less discomfort when flexed.
─Are there any newly adopted technologies in terms of materials and structure?
Hirayama: The structure and materials of the center case have been redesigned as a new method to achieve the strength and waterproofness required for diver’s watches. This is the first FROGMAN to use a monocoque case made of carbon reinforced resin.
Airtightness is secured by connecting a carbon case with a back cover and a metal ring enclosing the windshield with 6 screws. By arranging this airtight structure in the lower layer of the outer bezel, it is designed to prevent damage and deformation due to external impact and maintain high airtightness. This structure is not visible in the completed state, but the image of the submarine hatch may be closer here.
The carbon monocoque case is a material and structure that has been preceded by GRAVITYMASTER, but carbon reinforced resin that combines strength and lightness and has extremely low water absorption is the most suitable material for FROGMAN where high airtightness is required. I think it was a big breakthrough that we were able to realize a waterproof structure that was thought to be possible only with a metal case and screw back with resin material.
By the way, in normal G-SHOCK, there are 4 screws for airtightness, but in GWF-A1000, it is increased to 6. By arranging them evenly, it is possible to ensure airtightness even if two are damaged. Also, the gasket attached to each button has been changed from the conventional 2 stations to 3 stations. A fluorine rubber O-ring with excellent chemical resistance has been newly added to improve reliability. It’s not that it’s okay to save the diver’s life, but it’s absolutely okay.
Year of first release: 2020
Lineup: PROFESSIONAL (G-Shock Professional Line includes watches that can really help you survive under hard, tough conditions. They are well equipped and have the best tough specs.) All G-Shock Professional Watches →
Nominations: best design, best functions, best resistance
The most distinctive specs:
– ISO 200 meters Water Resistance (good for swimming and professional diving)
– Analog Watch Display (The over-sized dimensional index and hour and minute hands offer improved readability. Three dual-coil motors enable the hour, minute and world time hands to move rapidly so the wearer can switch modes with no delay)
– Carbon Monocoque Case (single carbon Monocoque unit that protects the module from external shock and makes it possible to eliminate carbon guard parts from the buttons on the sides of the case)
– Tough Solar (CASIO’s original solar-charging system converts not only sunlight but also light from fluorescent lamps and other sources into power)
– Radio-controlled Watch; Multi band 6 (additional way for time sync. This watch receives time calibration radio signals that keep the displayed time accurate)
– Fluoroelastomer Band (The fluoroelastomer material provides an excellent fit on the wrist with its soft feel, not to mention exceptional resistance to staining and hydrolysis)
– Diving Mode (The hour and minute hands can be brought together as one at the start of a dive to indicate the diving time)
– G-SHOCK Connected App (you may manage all watch settings through your phone)
– Mobile link (Wireless linking using Bluetooth(R)) (for time sync with your phone data)
– Tide graph (tide level for specific date and time)
– Tide point setting (Some of the world’s major dive spots come pre-set and can be selected from a map or list)
– Diving log (Timeline display of time, date and number of dives along with smartphone-logged dive location and smartphone-shot photos)
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Other colors and full specs: GWF-A1000 Wiki Page
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