The Frogman Leaps into Luxury
G-Shock’s iconic dive watch gets a titanium makeover.
In a lineup filled with icons, G-Shock’s Frogman stands out, not only for its iconic design and branding, but also for its status as G-Shock’s lone ISO-certified dive watch. Indeed, ever since its introduction in 1993 with the DW-6300, the Frogman has been the standard bearer for the Master of G line of specialized G-Shocks, with many of the brand’s most famous and desirable limited editions and collaborations using it as their foundation.
For the majority of its three decades in G-Shock’s collection, the Frogman has been an unapologetically digital affair, which flew in the face of more traditional dive watches. To the consternation of some purists, this changed with the introduction of the GWF-A1000, which, for the first time, eschewed an LCD for an analog handset. Even so, notable features like a tide indicator, dual time, and a dedicated dive mode remained intact, if reimagined. And while more traditional Frogmen remain in the catalog, it’s clear that analog represents the future of the Frogman.
And so it is for 2023, with the 30th anniversary of this vaunted nameplate, that G-Shock sees fit to give the Frogman a proper materials upgrade in the form of the MRG-BF1000.
Dive Right In: G-Shock MRG-BF1000 “Frogman”
If you noticed the “MR-G” featured prominently in the model name, full marks all around. The MR-G line, which rolls off Casio’s Premium Production Line at its Yamagata manufacture, has always stood at the absolute pinnacle of G-Shock’s collections, and for the MRG-BF1000 that means full titanium construction, sapphire crystals front and back, and a superlative level of finishing befitting an MR-G.
(It should be noted here that the MRG-BF1000 is not the first Frogman to wear the MR-G mantle. That distinction goes to the short-lived MRG-1100-2, which made its debut in 1999. Of course, as was the custom of the time, it was an all-digital affair, unlike the BF1000.)
Of course, simply crafting a titanium case does not a Frogman make, and so it is that over 70 parts are required to ensure that the MRG-BF1000 maintains its shock resistance and diving chops.
Beneath the hardened and DLC-coated titanium bezel is a special shock-absorbing fluoro-rubber compound that protects the screw-locked titanium inner case. The buttons and crown employ G-Shock’s Clad Guard Structure, which ensures absolute water resistance through the use of O-rings. (In a neat touch, G-Shock’s attention to detail is on display here in the form of a logo which is always horizontally aligned when the signed crown is screwed down.)
Around back, the screw-down caseback, also rendered in DLC-coated titanium, features a press-fit sapphire crystal which is engraved with a first-generation Frogman logo. The sapphire is rendered in a deep blue vapor deposition as a nod to the briny deep for which the watch is intended to explore.
And explore it does, with a bevy of diving-specific features that make the MRG-BF1000 an ideal backup to a modern diving computer. First and foremost, there is the dive mode, which upon activation, uses individual step motors to move the hour hand and minute hand to the 12 o’clock position, from which point they will move in lockstep to measure bottom time. Current time will then be displayed in the generously proportioned subdial at seven o’clock. Surface interval time can also be measured, and the entire dive can then be transferred to a divelog on the CASIO Watches app on the user’s phone via Bluetooth. A tide graph at three o’clock indicates local diving conditions, and can be programmed to show tides at a number of major diving sites around the world.
In another first for the Frogman, the MRG-BF1000 features a push-button quick release for the straps, which are executed in supple and highly resistant Dura Soft fluoro-rubber. This allows for easy break down and cleaning after dives.
Of course, this being a G-Shock, traditional functionality such as a stopwatch, countdown timer, dual time and alarm are also present and accounted for. G-Shock’s Multi-Band 6 can pull in time signals from six atomic timekeeping stations, and “Tough Solar” solar power makes sure that you’re never low on juice for a dive. For night dives, there’s an LED Super Illuminator, and the hands and indexes are generously coated with Neobrite lume.
Thanks to the aforementioned Bluetooth connectivity, all of the MRG-BF1000’s myriad features and functionality can be easily programmed through the user’s phone, along with automatic time-syncing. What’s more, the dive log can also store photos from the dive sites, alongside a timeline display of dive date, time and number of dives.
Naturally, all of this goodness doesn’t come cheap, but considering the high degree of functionality, along with the superior materials and craftsmanship that the MR-G name implies, the MRG-BF1000’s list price of approximately USD 5,000 doesn’t seem unwarranted. That said, it may give prospective owners pause when they’re donning their wetsuits for fear of banging it up on the dive boat, but this would be a shame, as the MRG-BF1000 was designed for just that sort of use and abuse.
Regardless of how people put it to use, one thing is abundantly clear: The MRG-BF1000 is a fantastic 30th birthday present to the line and more than earns its status as an MR-G.
Casio G-Shock MRG-BF1000 “Frogman”
Movement: Quartz module 5702; solar rechargeable battery
Functions: Tough Solar, Multi-Band 6, Bluetooth connectivity, tide indicator, dive time and surface interval measurement, dual time, stopwatch, countdown timer, daily alarm, and Super Illuminator
Case: 56.7mm × 51.7mm; titanium, sapphire crystal caseback with blue vapor deposition and engraved with “Frogman” diving frog character; ISO 200-meter water resistant
Dial: Black with analog time display; luminescent hour markers coated in Neobrite
Strap: Black Dura Soft fluoro-rubber; Ti64 titanium alloy loop and buckle
Price: USD 5,000
FEATURED FROM ARTICLE
|Movement||Self-winding caliber A-500; 60 hours power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date|
|Case||42.5mm; titanium; water resistant to 30m|
|Dial||Salmon (6N gold plated) with gené or frosted area; Super-LumiNova filled Arabic numerals|
|Strap||Ballistic gray rubber; titanium folding clasp|