An impressive feat of engineering, the new MRG-BF1000R Frogman sports an unusual silhouette themed on robustness and functionality, and packs a myriad of futuristic functions dedicated to the avid diver.
ISO-certified to be water resistant to a depth of 200m, the Frogman has a head-turning case that comprises several components that were individually polished before assembly. The asymmetric silhouette of the Frogman has become the calling card of this dive watch collection. This unmistakable shape not only makes it stand out, but is also made to protect this watch while enabling the unrestricted movement of its wearer.
Don’t be afraid to dive and embark on other outdoor activities with your Frogman, because its shock-resistant structure has several layers of fluoro rubber buffers fitted in between the various parts of its case and bezel. The crown too has airtight screw-lock construction and fluro rubber components that absorb shock. Its corrosion-resistant and lightweight face-guarding components are made of titanium and treated with the same deep-layer hardening process that is applied to the 40th anniversary edition G-SHOCK models, then DLC coated afterwards to provide even greater strength and abrasion resistance.
Furthermore, the 70 plus exterior components that make up its complex structure include an O-ring waterproof sealing and a screw-lock construction press-fit sapphire crystal. A huge advantage of this press-fit design is it optimizes the built-in antenna’s radio wave reception sensitivity – this is essential to the G-SHOCK as radio waves help ensure time-telling accuracy. You can switch between current time and elapsed dive time displays easily thanks to three dual-coil motors, and even view your diving times and locations when you pair your Frogman with your Casio Watches smartphone app. The Frogman and Casio Watches app also enable you to view the tide graphs for approximately 3,300 spots around the world. Like other modern G-SHOCK models, the Frogman’s accuracy is ensured by Bluetooth® and radio signals.
A versatile and handsome accessory that is suitable for all occasions, the new MRG-BF1000R Frogman is secured to the wrist by a durable fluro rubber strap that is interchangeable and has a Ti64 titanium alloy buckle and band loop. When you screw-lock the crown, which is engraved with the MR-G logo, a special system ensures that this logo will perfectly align horizontally. Flip this watch over to enjoy a vibrant blue case back that has been colored via vapor deposition and engraved with the frog character from the first-generation of Casio G-SHOCK Frogman watches.
Revolution spoke with Shingo Ishizaka, the designer who is in charge of product planning for the MR-G series, to learn more about this high-tech utilitarian timepiece.
Revolution: Can you tell us please how the G-SHOCK Frogman collection first came about?
Shingo Ishizaka: The idea was conceived by our president Yuichi Masuda with the aim of capturing the diver’s watch market, a major watch category, to further expand sales. It would be meaningless to offer the same watch – a diver’s watch with a register ring – so we needed a new concept. After much research, we discovered that there is a type of diver’s watch called the “frogman,” which is used for difficult missions, and we decided that this concept was appropriate for G-SHOCK.
I was in charge of designing this model. I thought of a structure that would make operating the buttons easy when diving, and prevent the module from being damaged by direct contact with the buttons, so I came up with a case that is offset to the left. The case is offset to the left to make it easier to operate the buttons when diving, and to prevent the buttons from hitting the back of the hand when the wrist is bent, thus avoiding any obstructions. The distinctive offset design and the name “G-SHOCK Frogman” were well received. This success led to the creation of a series of iconic G-SHOCK models, which remain popular to this day. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the birth of the G-SHOCK Frogman. It is with deep emotion that we were able to debut the MR-G Frogman at this memorable time.
Could you share the reason for creating the titanium case of this watch in multiple parts? What are the benefits of moulding them separately before assembling them?
The reason for dividing the product into multiple parts is because this enhances shock resistance. The bezel is divided into multiple parts, and a shock absorber is placed between the parts to create a bumper-like shock absorbing effect. This shape is complicated and beautiful. If made in one piece, it is impossible to polish fine surfaces of complex uneven shapes. By dividing it into parts, it is possible to polish fine surfaces beautifully one by one. So, the advantage is we can achieve a beautiful finish. It is very labor intensive due to the increase in the number of parts. In addition to polishing, deep hardening treatment and DLC treatment are also performed one by one for each part, which requires a great deal of man-hours as compared to a normal stainless steel watch.
I understand that the screw-lock and press-fit case back greatly improves airtightness. Could you explain how this press-fit design boosts radio wave reception sensitivity?
The screw back is a very reliable construction in terms of airtightness. However, if the entire back cover were made of titanium, it would completely block radio waves, making time correction and smartphone links impossible. Therefore, by using sapphire crystal for a part of the case back, we were able to solve both the radio wave transmission and airtightness issues, since sapphire crystal allows radio waves to penetrate through. The sapphire crystal is also decorated with a frog, the symbol of Frogman, and by vapor deposition, which is also a prominent design feature.
This cool device can switch between display of current time and elapsed dive time, sync with the Casio smartphone app to record dive logs, and even provide tide graphs for approximately 3,300 spots around the world. How do you feel about engineering such an advanced piece of diving equipment?
G-SHOCK is not only a watch, but also a useful tool, and I think we were able to achieve practical functions and ease of use that are appropriate for this type of watch. The high visibility of the minutes displayed by the integrated hour and minute hands when measuring dive time, and the light function that clearly shows the display even in dark waters, are highly convenient features not found in ordinary diver’s watches.
What other features or technology of this watch would you like to highlight?
The case is made entirely of titanium, including buttons, screws and springs, to enhance rust resistance. The titanium parts of the case are also treated with deep-layer hardening treatment to enhance scratch resistance. The band is made of Durasoft (fluorine rubber), which is soft, comfortable to wear, and resistant to deterioration over long term use.
What kinds of watch collectors are usually attracted to the G-SHOCK Frogman series?
The Frogman series has been supported mainly by G-SHOCK fans, but we expect that the new MR-G with a metal case will attract new watch enthusiasts besides our current G-SHOCK fans.
In the near future, what does Casio hope to achieve with the distinctive G-SHOCK Frogman series?
We would like to make Frogman a series that will be positioned as a classic. We would like it to be widely recognized as an industry standard in the watch industry in the future, by evolving and continuing to develop it.
Movement: Quartz module; battery operating time: 5 months on rechargeable battery (operation period with normal use without exposure to light after charge), 29 months on rechargeable battery (operation period when stored in total darkness with the power save function on after full charge)
Functions: Smartphone Link, Tough Solar, Bluetooth®, dual time and world time including approximately 300 cities, home time swapping, auto summer time (DST) switching, phone finder, alarm, event reminder, countdown timer, 1/100-second stopwatch, diving log, tide graph setting for approximately 3,300 global points), hand shift feature (hands move out of the way to provide an unobstructed view of dial), dive time in 1 second increments, up to 1:59’59, surface time measurement up to 24 hours, log data up to 30 records
Case: Titanium and fluro rubber; 56 by 49.7 by 18.6 mm; water resistant to 200m
Bracelet: Fluro rubber
Total weight: 132g
Price: SGD 6,499
Availability: Selected G-SHOCK stores