G-SHOCK MAG. #03 The MRG-B2000BS

G-SHOCK MAG.
HODINKEE.com #03
The MRG-B2000BS

Traditionally used as a term of endearing respect for samurai commanders, Basara, describes one who broke with standard conceptions of what it meant to be a warrior in a way that combined unwavering strength with a more bold and lavish lifestyle. In this commanding spirit, G-SHOCK has designed the MRG-B2000BS-3A - the “Hana-Basara”.

The design influences of the new G-SHOCK MRG-B20000BS-3A timepiece read like a description of a piece of modern armor - a combination of ultimate strength with an steadfast commitment to bold artistry and hand craftsmanship. Produced as a limited edition to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the MR-G line, G-SHOCK desired to make a watch that married mirror polishing, jewel-like bezel cutting, and undeniable toughness. With impossible expectations, Casio turned to Mr. Kazuhito Komatsu, a polishing craftsman who created the "Hana-Bansara" by way of advanced pearl-cutting technology - allowing G-SHOCK to make a metal watch that shines like diamonds.

Modern design and materials provide visual balance for the MRG-B2000BS-3A. The bezel is composed of 24 facets and is wrought in a cobalt-chrome alloy called COBARION that packs four times the hardness of titanium while delivering a brilliant gleam reminiscent of platinum. The case and band are crafted from a titanium alloy, DAT55G. DAT55G is easier to form than ordinary 64 titanium alloys and becomes even harder with special treatment after forming. The use of DAT55G increases the metal’s hardness factor and provides a more easily workable surface for the exacting polishing and finishing techniques used on those components. In true G-SHOCK fashion, neither the COBARION nor the DAT55G can be scratched, even if worn for an extensive period of time, living proof of G-SHOCK’s commitment to toughness.

Rainbow IP was first adopted by G-SHOCK over ten years ago and after a decade of extensive testing and development, IP is an indispensable element of G-SHOCK’s approach to color, material, and finish (CMF). Rainbow IP is a highly difficult method to achieve and the unique finish involves a challenging process of depositing a color film on individual watch parts through the adhesion of metal particles via a complex gas reaction. The multi-hued IP tone has a deep blue base to its coloration, but the vapor deposition and coating methods used produce a unique, one-of-kind miasma of color for each watch, right from the get-go.

An exquisitely angular facet-cut bezel produces an eye-catching glossy luster, while the dominant grey-green metallic tone of the timepiece nods to a traditional kurogane-iro (literally “iron color”) and is vibrantly produced on the bezel and band with a new dark green DLC finishing technique and mirror-polishing. Throughout the production process of the MR-G line, G-SHOCK adopted Japanese traditions such as Tsuiki, or hand-hammered copperware and the use of koki-beni, or crimson, which is a traditional Japanese color. A mere handful of watches were produced each day, further elevating the high-art finishing of these cases. The bezels, which are the most distinctive feature, are inherently unique and owe their one-of-a-kind finish to the hand craftsmanship behind the Hana Basara.

The subtle cross-hatched dial design is inspired by the kusari katabira, traditional chainmail, with its mix of green, red, gold, and black echoing the traditional colors of a Basara commander’s armor. The overall color is subdued, but the bezel, index, second hand, and outer dial shine beautifully in the light, giving it a commanding presence. But while the overall effect is undeniably tough, it is also artful, avoiding overly-literal brutalist or cliched design cues that would define the MRG-B2000BS-3A as simply a military watch.

The material constraints resulted in a mere handful of watches produced each day, further elevating the finishing of these cases to an artform. The bezels, which are the most distinctive feature, are slightly different in shape and look handmade. Casio is confident in the degree of perfection that goes beyond looks. The only thing this modern “armor” protects you from is looking run-of-the-mill.

The Hana-Basara’s brother-in-arms is the MRG-B2000B-1A “Kachi-Iro” timepiece, which employs a similar modern warrior design language via a bold metallic navy blue color theme - again, closely associated with traditional armor, particularly samurai armor. G-SHOCK is confident in the degree of perfection that goes beyond looks. The only thing this modern “armor” protects you from is looking run-of-the-mill.