The best G-Shock watches all started in the same place. The year was 1981, the place was Japan, and the designer was Kikuo Ibe, an engineer with a singular goal: to create the toughest watch the world had ever seen. It would have to withstand a 10-metre drop and 10-bar of underwater pressure and run for 10 years without needing a new battery. After two years of failed experiments, smashed prototypes, and many all-nighters, the G-Shock was born. With its Volvo-like boxy charm, affordable price, and legendarily tough design, it was unlike any other digital watch the world had seen.
Forty years after the release of the first G-Shock in 1983, it remains one of the most successful watch designs in history, with countless variations and special editions, and the kind of fanatical cult following usually reserved for beauty Youtubers and Toto bidets (also a Japanese invention, as it happens). While every G-Shock retains the durability of the original, the brand has doubled down on the technology inside, adding everything from satellite timekeeping and solar cells to barometric sensors and step-counters.
You can spend a long time nerding out over the 200-plus models in the current lineup, each of which comes with its own unique combination of features and styling, but all of the ones below are faithful successors to Ibe’s original design, and worthy of a place on your wrist. These are the most stylish, rugged, all-around best G-Shock watches on the market right now.
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