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New NASA-tribute Casio G-Shock watch has space history of its own

April 27, 2020

— A new, limited edition wristwatch not only pays tribute to NASA's past, but also its own spaceflight history.

Casio's G-Shock DW5600NASA20 offers a retro, NASA-inspired-take on the same digital model that astronauts wore on board the space shuttle.

"All systems go, as Casio G-Shock pays homage to NASA, with a custom DW5600 timepiece, honoring decades of space exploration and groundbreaking discoveries," the company wrote on its G-Shock website.

Released for sale on Friday (April 24), the NASA-themed G-Shock features an all-white color scheme with the space agency's early shuttle-era logotype (the "worm") emblazoned in red across the top of the watch face. The strap is inscribed in black "National Aeronautics and Space Administration" and the keeper (or band loop) is printed with the American flag, evoking the iconic livery of the orbiters.

The watch's metal caseback and its illuminated face both reveal a depiction of the moon.

The $130 timepiece comes packaged in a tin styled after an Apollo Saturn rocket and a box with an astronaut's view of the Earth from space.

The distinctive square-face Casio G-Shock DW5600 (in both "C" and "E" variants) were among the models and brands of wristwatches that NASA approved for its astronauts to use on the space shuttle and aboard the International Space Station. Crew members could wear any personal timepiece they desired, but for official uses, were limited to a choice between the G-Shock, Timex Ironman and Omega Speedmaster, among a few other watches.

"Time in space is precious, and several time-keeping devices help the astronauts stay on their schedule of tasks. One of the most popular timepieces in the space shuttle era was the durable Casio G-Shock (gravitational shock) wristwatch with stopwatch feature and countdown timer," the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum explains on its website, describing a NASA-used G-Shock on display in its "Moving Beyond Earth" gallery. "Often worn by athletes and military personnel, it holds up to rugged wear and tear."

The flown-in-space G-Shock watches were typically black and gray in color, but shared the same general form factor and modes as the new DW5600NASA20.

The Casio G-Shock was not used on the Apollo moon missions (if for no other reason that it was not introduced until the early 1980s), but there still might be an opportunity on future Artemis lunar flights. If so, the use of the "worm" (as on the face of the new limited edition) might also fit in, given NASA's move to reintroduce the flight use of the retired logotype on SpaceX's upcoming first rocket to launch astronauts to the space station.


The new Casio G-Shock DW5600NASA20 pays homage to NASA and the iconic watch's own use by the space agency. (Casio)

Astronauts aboard the space shuttle (pictured, STS-61C payload specialist Bill Nelson, at left, and STS-36 commander John Creighton) had the option of wearing the Casio G-Shock DW5600 as one of several NASA-approved wristwatches for spaceflight. (NASA)

NASA sent this Casio G-Shock DW5600 watch to the National Air and Space Museum after it was no longer needed for astronaut use. (Smithsonian)

The new, limited edition Casio G-Shock DW5600NASA20 features the NASA "worm" logotype and a moon graphic on the watch's caseback. (Casio)

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