This year, Casio’s G-SHOCK is celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of its most popular and iconic models, the 6900 — and there’s no question the timepieces have been instrumental in positioning the watch brand as a pop culture mainstay. First debuting in 1995, the G-SHOCK 6900 immediately became recognizable for its round shape, a departure from the classic square shape of the 5600, but one that would come to stand the test of time. This is, in part, due to the fact that the DW6900 has been the ideal canvas for reimagined colorways, collaborations and styles, allowing for a slew of takes on the timepiece from some of the most forward-thinking minds in fashion, art and music. It also became known for its “Three Eyes,” nodding to the three round digital indicators above the time display. Now, G-SHOCK is celebrating the pioneering watch with a number of limited-edition revamps that will drop throughout 2020. But first, HYPEBEAST takes a look back at its legacy.
The 1990s saw the intersection of hip-hop and fashion in the United States and in Japan like never before, and G-SHOCK imbedded itself into this cultural mashup. After the initial launch of the 6900 series, the brand expanded its presence through collaborations. Beginning in November of 1999, a creative partnership with artist Eric Haze ushered in a new era for the watchmaker, with the NYC graffiti legend adding a metallic silver finish to the timepiece, complete with a hand scrawled signature on the dial and the strap. This marked the beginning of a longstanding relationship with a total of seven collaborations, culminating in 2018 with a full circle moment in Eric Haze creating G-SHOCK’s 35th anniversary logo. Another collaboration for the brand was with the popular L.A. streetwear label LRG, which added multiple eye-popping colorways to the model. This catalyzed a series of partnerships, including with L.A. tattoo artist Mister Cartoon and Krink, the San Francisco pen and ink company founded by graffiti artist KR.
Following the successes of these collaborations, G-SHOCK leveled up even further in the 2000s, tapping the sneaker boutique UNDEFEATED. Founders James Bond and Eddie Cruz delivered a signature military green colorway with the classic UNDEFEATED Five-Strikes logo and a cloth strap. Then in 2011, Japan’s MEDICOM TOY gave the DW6900 model a complete makeover featuring a pop-art treatment along with a complementary BE@RBRICK. Edison Chen’s lifestyle venture CLOT also took the DW6900 design and elevated it, updating the case and strap with a semi-translucent resin in CLOT’s signature red.
With an undeniable foothold in streetwear, the series continues to heat up, most notably with the KITH drop. The first collaboration, using the new GM6900, which kicked off the 6900’s 25th anniversary. The GM6900 maintains key design factors, like the rounded shape, the “Three Eyes”, the front button, and adds a stainless steel metal bezel to the series for the first time ever. With a perfect circle, the glass fiber reinforced resin case and a fully forged metal bezel, this watch has an undeniable presence with new colors, materials and a finish unlike its predecessors. From 1995 to the present, G-SHOCK has integrated itself into cultures around the world with an affinity for tough style — and this watch is a testament to that. The inner case and metal bezel now fit together with minimal surface contact with G-SHOCK’s hollow case structure getting a metal exterior, resulting in a watch with an appearance that stands for individuality and timelessness.
Head to G-SHOCK’s website now to purchase the all-new GM6900 series watches, starting at $180 USD.