G-Shocks are back — again. Ready for Swiss timepiece showcase BaselWorld, Casio has announced two new analog concept watches with a little extra soupçon of tech crammed in. The designs still lean towards those looking for a classically-styled (at least, in G-Shock terms) analog watch. Both are expected to last plenty without any regular USB life-support, with the company’s latest solar cells there to keep the mechanism and electronics going. First up, the Edifice EQB-500 connects to smartphones using Bluetooth 4.0 Low Power (Casio’s first analog watch to do so). It’s a loose allegiance though, covering time information and alarm settings which can also be programmed through the phone — it’s still very much a watch, not a Pebble rival. Casio’s second model is the more technically accomplished one: the first watch to pair together both GPS and Radio Wave tech, all without any unwieldy lumps in the design.
The GPW-1000 houses a clock module that uses Sony’s GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver to figure out your locate. GPS satellites extrapolate where the watch is and ensure it’s calibrated to the right time. If you fly somewhere, the watch (just like most smartphones) will notice the location difference and adjust the time. The connection wait-time here drops to only six seconds as it needs just one satellite to work out where it is. (Casio says the wait-time here is typically closer to half a minute.) Combining the radio clock with GPS, it will also results in a substantial drop in power consumption compared to preceding (and rival) self-calibrating watches. Neither concepts have been priced or dated yet, but the bigger question now is where everyone’s personal tastes lie on the ole’ watch-smartwatch spectrum.