Loading...

History of MR-G

The ever-evolving MR-G line traces its beginnings to 1996.
So, how did this innovative flagship line of watches,
which revolutionized the conventional image of the G-SHOCK, come into being?
IBE Kikuo, the father of G-SHOCK, gives you the scoop on where it all began
and how MR-G timepieces kept evolving from there.

Combining state-of-the-art technologies with the outstanding craftsmanship of Yamagata Casio

The artisans who craft MR-G timepieces are passionately dedicated to refining their original techniques. As a result, they continue to break new ground in the realm of watchmaking. Among the many beloved G-SHOCK timepieces that have stood the test of time, MR-G watches are best known for their vivid integration of exceptional artisanal techniques, from traditional craftsmanship to state-of-the-art technologies.

The quest for ultimate toughness and beauty

Equipped with superior durability, each and every MR-G timepiece positively brims with the sophisticated techniques and expertise of the specialized watch technicians, designers, and engineers involved in its crafting.

IBE Kikuo, the father of G-SHOCK, tells the story:

How Did the MR-G Come into Being?

A rocky start

IBE Kikuo introduced the G-SHOCK to the world in 1983. The watch eventually drew attention in the United States before making a sensational splash in Japan, as well. By the early 1990s, it was such a hit that stock would sell out immediately upon arrival in the shops. Meanwhile, IBE had left G-SHOCK development to work on lower-priced timepieces. While these less expensive watches, which could be purchased for several thousand yen (about 20 or 30 US dollars), would go on to sell a lot of units, the work didn’t involve major promotional activities, nor did it evoke much of a social phenomenon. Concerned about declining motivation among staff, IBE made a proposal: “Let’s work together to make the watch we all truly want!”

Still, this was not an official project, which meant those who came onboard would have to put in their time strictly outside of regular work hours. In these less than favorable conditions, IBE put together a team of eight motivated engineers with the skills necessary to make the timepiece a reality, from planning and design to quality control.


The power of teamwork

So, what sort of timepiece did they all truly want? After more than three months of discussion with no clear answer, the project was headed for a standstill. They had vague inclinations of an “unbreakable metal watch,” but that was it. Casio was selling metal watches already as low-end models, so the idea was to aim for something tougher and with greater appeal. Would they actually be able to make something like that a reality? The G-SHOCK had an exterior protective case made of urethane to provide shock absorption, but how would it be possible to achieve the same effect with an unprotected metal case?

While IBE had faced his challenges all on his own when developing the original G-SHOCK, this time he had a team that would be able to solve problems together. Putting his trust in the team, he spoke with candor and enthusiasm, offering encouragement and inspiration, and little by little they nudged their way toward the unbreakable metal watch of their dreams.

Thinking outside the box

An idea inspired by the structure of automobile bumpers offered a hint for how the team might achieve a highly shock-resistant metal timepiece. They would pursue a design with a separate bezel, since it is the component most susceptible to impact, with shock-absorption inserted between it and the case. They also conceived of the idea to make the highly airtight glass packing L-shaped to provide cushioning between the bezel and glass.

However, the idea of applying this automobile bumper technology to a complex timepiece was unheard of and seemed preposterous to metal processing engineers, none of whom were willing to take on the challenge. The idea of dropping a single watch case from a certain height over 6,000 times to collect data must have seemed like sheer nonsense, as well.

Nonetheless, the team’s work was not about breaking timepieces, but rather breaking down the barriers of convention by taking on unprecedented challenges. Finally, the dedication of the team yielded concrete results in the form of a shock-resistant metal watch.


The birth of MR-G

The completed timepiece was launched as the MRG-100, a metal version of the G-SHOCK. The new timepiece presented a departure from the black-clad resin G-SHOCK, lacked the metal watch’s usual crown, and cost five times the price of an average model. This was a truly unprecedented offering that revolutionized the conventional image of the G-SHOCK. Contrary to expectations in some corners, however, the watch enjoyed quite favorable sales. If the initial aim had been to develop a metal G-SHOCK, a fixation on the past may have held the team back from achieving such success. Rather, just as in the days of the first G-SHOCK development, it was the simplicity of concept — in this case, to create an unbreakable metal timepiece — that led to their breakthrough. The first MR-G, the MRG-100, is a timepiece of purity borne of the powerful convictions of those who worked to create it, and their spirit is sure to live on in the future of the watch.

Combining state-of-the-art technologies with the outstanding craftsmanship of Yamagata Casio

COBARION®: A beautiful, white gleam comparable to that of platinum.
COBARION® is a super-hard alloy developed in Japan that offers both hardness exceeding that of the stainless steel typically used in high-end watches and a beautiful, white gleam comparable to that of platinum.

DAT55G

Titanium, a material used in a range of fields, from the aerospace and chemical industries to medicine, features outstanding lightness, strength, corrosion resistance, and non-magnetism. DAT55G is a high-performance titanium alloy developed in Japan that boasts a hardness about three times that of pure titanium, while featuring a comparably light weight.

Grade 5 titanium

The grade 5 titanium alloy is employed for MR-G components including the case, case back, and buttons.
It not only features light weight comparable to pure JIS Class 2 titanium, but also offers greater strength
and scratch-resistance than pure titanium. It features a stunningly beautiful look achieved
with Sallaz polishing applied by skilled artisans.

Leveraging sophisticated technologies to reproduce traditional Japanese hues and color variations with subtle precision

AIP, an advanced coating technology offering both meticulous reproduction of traditional hues and superior hardness

Enhancing both visual aspects and technical specs with black DLC

The exteriors of MR-G timepieces build on the enduring G-SHOCK commitment to toughness, not only to express uniquely Japanese traditional hues, but also to deliver functional beauty at all times.


Ao-zumi, Projecting Quiet Strength

Eschewing all extraneous elements in its quest to take the very essence of shock resistance to the extreme, one of the MR-G designs reprises the form of the first-ever G-SHOCK, projecting a quiet strength that shines through in its simplicity.


AKAZONAE, Exuding a Striking Strength

Kachi-iro, Expressing the Spirit of a Warrior


The Bold Beauty of Sallaz Polishing

Master craftsmanship delivers MR-G strength and functional beauty
We take MR-G timepieces to a whole other level of toughness and beauty by refusing to make even the slightest compromise in the finishing process. Our commitment to craftsmanship naturally calls for the intricacies of Sallaz polishing.

 

Sallaz polishing prepares surface for a beautifully smooth, distortion-free surface

Dense, uniform hairline pattern for a beautiful, smooth finish
The rasp marks that create the delicate hairline finish are created by pressing the case against a sheet of spinning sandpaper. As with Sallaz polishing, the craftsperson carefully applies precise and uniform rasp marks, relying on an eye and feel developed over years of experience.