Simple Ways to Decrypt G-Shock Serial Number

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Casio G-Shock watches are synonymous to tough watches. That is a fact. That is the tagline that has carried G-Shock to its current cult-like status since it was first introduced 30 years ago. If you are skeptical and think it is nothing more than a marketing gimmick, watch the video below to see the endurance tests that all Casio G-Shock watches have to go through before they can be labeled as G-Shock. I have not seen any other watch brands coming even close to what G-Shock promises to offer. Tough. 200m water resistance. These are two basic features that you can expect from any G-Shock watch that you purchase.

With three decades of history, we have seen lots and lots of G-Shock models released each year. If you are new to the world of G-Shock, chances are you might be puzzled with the many models available on the market. Even after hours of browsing, you would still not be able to remember which serial is for which model. The model number of G-Shock watches appear cryptic to most people, particularly newbies to this world of tough wristwatches. I’ve spent some time researching and tried to decrypt the G-Shock serial number. I managed to decrypt them but I have not been able to put meaning to some of the parts. Nonetheless, I have cracked the most important part that contains the most important information to help you remember the watch model easily.


Each G-Shock serial number consists of 5 parts. The format is XXX9999XXX-9XXX where ‘X’ refers to alphabet and ‘9’ refers to numeric. Every G-Shock serial number begins with alphabet, but it ranges from single to maximum of three alphabets. There are models with more than 3 alphabets but those are rarity. Based on the models available, I have tried to see if the alphabet prefixes can be associated with any meaning. It seems that it is used to indicate the watch features or capabilities. For example, it seems logical that ‘DW’ is used as abbreviation for ‘Digital Watch’. Then ‘GA’ is used as abbreviation for ‘G-Shock Atomic’ and ‘GLX’ is used for ‘G-Lide’. You can extrapolate from here, but I can’t pinpoint for sure what is each abbreviation for.

The second part of the watch is numeric. In most cases, it consists 3 or 4 digits. These digits are used to indicate the casing design that is used in the watch. You may be surprised but despite having released hundreds (or maybe thousands) of models in its 30 year history, the number of casing design is surprisingly low. Indeed, there are only few most popular casing models. The 6900 case model is the most widely used of all the models. Then there are the 100, 110, 5600, 8900 and 9000 models. At this point, having knowledge of the two parts of the information is good enough to help you remember easier. If you consider only these 2 parts of information, say DW6900XXX-9XXX compared to GW6900XXX-9XX, the base casing used in these two models is the same but they differ in terms of features and capabilities. Take another example is the GD110-1 versus GA110EH-8A. You now know that the two watches are using the base casing.

The third part of the watch is alphabet. This is the trickiest of all. This part is optional and not all models will come with this. Decrypting the meaning associated with this third part of the G-Shock serial number is also hard. Based on the analysis I carried on a number of the G-Shock watches, this third part of the G-Shock serial number seems to indicate the face design or face color of the watch. For example, ‘RG’ is used for rose gold face, ‘MF’ is used for metallic gloss and ‘GB’ is used for gold face.

The second last part of the G-Shock serial number is numeric. This is the most consistent of all. Only a single digit is used and my interpretation has been consistent with few models that I have analyzed. ‘1’ is for black. ‘2’ is for blue. ‘3’ is for green. ‘4’ is for red. ‘5’ is for brown. ‘6’ is for purple. ‘7’ is for white. ‘8’ is for grey. and ‘9’ is for gold. So, if you are in love with black and want nothing but black G-Shock watches, then you just need to remember that you are looking for G-Shock serial number that looks like ‘XXX9999XXX-1XXX’ and if you are looking for red G-Shock watches, then your G-Shock serial number looks like ‘XXX9999XXX-4XXX’.

The last part is alphabet and I can find little correlation between the watches with the same last part of their serial number. But there is one thing that you can be certain of. If it contains the letter ‘J’ or ‘JF’, then the model that you are looking for is certainly a Japan export set.

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