Development StoryTechnology Compilation

Consulting professional divers asked us to make further advances in FROGMAN’s toughness.
The following tells the whole story of the dramatic evolution leading to the rebirth of the new 6th-generation FROGMAN.

A development project lasting about three years led to the GWF-D1000. Equipped with the first Triple Sensor capable of measuring water depths, this diver’s watch has accomplished astonishing evolution. Its performance provides wide-ranging support for pro divers who undertake arduous underwater missions. Its successful development reflects the developers’ unwavering commitment to the project.

Behind the rebirth of FROGMAN

G-SHOCK’s shock-resistant structure, its core technology, was leveraged to create the Master of G Series of watches, each with unique features that support use in specialized environments. FROGMAN, the series’ pioneer, was released in 1993. As a diver’s watch that conforms to the ISO 200 m diving water-resistance standard, it has a particularly high profile among G-SHOCK watches. Now FROGMAN has undergone the first full model change in seven years. So how did this new 6th-generation FROGMAN come to be?

History of FROGMAN

DW-6300 [1993]

DW-8200 [1995]

DW-9900 [1999]

GW-200 [2001]

GWF-1000 [2009]

The development team began by conducting thorough research among professional divers whose jobs require them to perform high-risk underwater activities day after day. It gathered feedback concerning their on-site experiences for use in the development through such means as interviews, specification investigations and actual equipment testing, including wearing, operation and information reading tests, painstakingly verifying each targeted performance capability. All the requisite specifications for functionality, operability, visibility and other capabilities were arrived at from multiple angles.

These efforts led to realization of FROGMAN’s dedicated Triple Sensor function. This technology conducts high-precision measurements of depths, directions and water temperatures, factors with critical implications for underwater activities. Additional diving functions were also newly developed to support divers under water. Professional engineering expertise and technologies were applied in response to professional diving needs. Thus, the developers’ dedication gave birth to a diver’s watch that provides genuine high performance.

High-precision depth meter
supporting underwater activities

From the divers’ perspective, the most crucial information while underwater concerns the depth and dive time. The development of FROGMAN’s first built-in depth meter was clearly a response to the professional diver’s perspective.

Air-sea rescue and other emergency operations require divers to reach the scene quickly and then to accomplish a great deal in a short span of time. To provide an accurate grasp of the current water depth under these conditions, a depth meter must judge the speed at which a diver is moving with considerable precision.

We consequently developed a new sensor device for the GWF-D1000 that senses water pressure. Adopting an energy-efficient LSI with higher-speed processing, moreover, enabled us to realize high-accuracy measurements with a measurement unit of 10 cm and a measurement interval of 1 second. The depth meter’s measurement range of 80 meters and continuous measurement time of 6 hours are also more than adequate specifications to cover professional divers’ customary working depth of 40~60 meters and underwater activity time of up to 2-3 hours.

Pressure sensor

The pressure sensor senses water pressure and measures the current water depth. A temperature sensor positioned inside the pressure sensor’s package incorporates an algorithm, moreover, that enhances the depth meter’s measurement accuracy by correcting the influence of temperature on water depth measurements.

In addition, although measurement values for water depth are displayed in 0.1 m units, changes in water depth are captured internally once a second in 10 cm units, and a surfacing speed alert function sounds an alarm if the speed exceeds 10 meters/minute, contributing significantly to the diver’s ability to make judgments with respect to speed adjustments.

Compass for underwater use
with horizontal correction function

It is not always possible for divers to determine their current location and target direction based on the surrounding terrain or other indicators during a dive. This can be especially difficult after sundown or in muddy waters near the seabed. In such cases, visibility may be limited to just a few meters. Installing a compass makes underwater activity possible when there are no visible landmarks.

Since a diver’s posture is constantly changing when navigating under water, moreover, underwater compasses must be able to take measurements when the body cannot be held in a steady horizontal position. A compass with an automatic horizontal correction function was therefore developed for FROGMAN to meet this need.

A capability of detecting and compensating for inclinations of the watch enables this newly developed compass to take measurements when the wrist is tilted as much as 80 degrees. Measurement values can be displayed for the bearings most frequently used in underwater activities (0 to 359 degrees). This advance has made navigation with a compass much smoother.

Magnetic sensor

The magnetic sensor senses geomagnetism and measures directions. A built-in acceleration sensor is employed to detect inclinations of the watch and adjust the angle up to a maximum of 80 degrees when taking measurements. This enables the compass to meassure directions when the watch cannot be maintained in a horizontal position. Measurement reference points can also be easily corrected by waving the watch in a figure 8 motion while wearing it normally on the wrist.

Multi-measurement display
for multiple diving functions

Pro divers who engage in air-sea rescue and other emergency operations require both the judgment to ascertain situational changes instantaneously and highly developed skills that prepare them to respond appropriately. The GWF-D1000 is equipped with a multi-measurement display that shows data on such factors as water depths, dive times, directions and water temperatures to support divers’ ability to make complex judgments concerning a variety of information.

Switching to the Dive Mode with just a single action fully activates the sensors and initiates automatic measurement of various data. Vital water depth, dive time and current time information is presented continously in real time on the multi-measurement display, which can be switched by button control as necessary to display water temperatures and directions. Divers are freed to concentrate on their underwater assignments, while accessing more information with fewer operations when they need it.

Other functions include an auto log memory and time stamp. Besides automatically recording data such as diving dates and times, maximum depths and coldest water temperatures, the log book enables users to record such potentially useful optional information as search times and record water depths.

Professional divers, for whom rigorous missions are a normal part of the job, now have a wearable survival tool to rely on. Its development reflects equal enthusiasm among the developers and target users. The New FROGMAN GWF-D1000 is a diver’s watch for experts. The development team responded to these divers’ professional needs by devoting their own expertise to realizing a product with genuine utility.