First launched in 1982, the Casio G-Shock is one of those watches you either love or hate — with most watch connoisseurs eschewing the Japanese-made, digital piece for the more high-level creations from Switzerland.

At the same time, that hasn’t stopped G-Shock from gaining in popularity, reaching an almost cult-like status amongst certain watch fans. A sturdy, chunky, digital piece, its lasting appeal lies in a very specific aesthetic, as well as its durability.

To celebrate 20 years of G-Shock, Casio has gone and created what is currently its most expensive and premium version of the watch, which was recently showcased at its anniversary celebrations right here in Singapore.

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A closer look at the finely finished bezel of the MR-G-G1000HT.

The new G-Shock MRG-G1000HT is limited to just 300 pieces worldwide and retails at a whopping S$8,888. What makes this piece worthy of such a price tag is the way it combines both Japanese technicality and artistry. While the watch may have started out as a practical piece capable of surviving the harshest conditions (it’s a favourite amongst policemen and army regulars), over its 20 year history it has also taken a greater interest in history and culture.

This is clearly embodied in the MRG-G1000HT which features the work of third-generation artisan Bihou Asano, who showcases the art of tsuiki on the watch. This artistic process involves hammering a sheet of metal into a thin, three-dimensional shape. Asano is a master in this art and has used a special Japanese oboro-gin (silver-grey colour) finish, traditionally used for sword accessories and ornaments, on the watch’s bezel and band.

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The artisanal process has now been applied to horology.

Also on display is akagane, a copper-coloured finish which is reminiscent of Japanese traditional armour and handicrafts. The subtle use of this brilliant colour on the watch elevates its appearance.

But the watch is not all looks, no substance. It has been fitted with an advanced timekeeping system that receives both GPS satellite signals and radio wave time-calibration signals. It also features Dual Dial World Time, so that you can look at the time in two cities simultaneously.

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A closer look at the hammered texture.

Like all G-Shocks before it, the watch has a strong, sturdy feel and is, as to be expected, shock-resistant. The watch comes in a case spanning 54.7mm, features a world time with 40 time zones, LED illumination as well as an alarm, stopwatch, timer, latitude indicator, airplane mode for the GPS receiver. If that’s not enough, a perpetual calendar will satisfy all you “real” watch fans.

While G-Shock might not be your go-to brand for a high-end timepiece, its elegant combination of old and new showcases just what the Japanese do best.

The G-Shock MRG-G1000HT is available exclusively in Singapore at Cortina Watches, Capitol Piazza, 15 Stamford Road #01-77/78/79/80, Singapore 178906, +65 6384 3250, www.cortinawatch.com