Whether it is for apparel or watches, the military inspiration is one that is hard to resist. It looks rugged and dynamic and, for watches, the aesthetic seems to suggest a cool story lies behind that timepiece on your wrist. But let’s face facts: there is only so far that you can push the “robustness” of an automatic timepiece, as loads of tiny moving parts don’t exactly respond well to a sudden jolt. Back in the day, the army didn’t have many alternatives for timekeeping devices so mechanical watches were the de facto choice, but with time, that changed. Today, in terms of tough watches, we have options like Casio’s G-Shock, a collection that was purpose-built back in the ’80s specifically to withstand almost every condition imaginable.
Although the robust construction makes them the perfect watches for military personnel, the reality is most G-Shocks go on the wrists of everyday Joes, and so their latest collaboration with Maharishi makes perfect sense. This year, G-Shock worked with the UK-based fashion brand to give the Mudmaster (GWG-1000MH-1A) a makeover with the fashion label’s AW16 Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM): British Bonsai Forest.
The British Bonsai Forest pattern has long been a mainstay of Maharishi collections over the years. It reflects the label’s approach of detaching camouflage from its military associations and promoting its natural roots and artistic influences; hence, the use of bonsai trees. For their AW16 collection, Maharishi played with the camo print by elongating it, which incidentally works well on watches too.
Hardy Blechman, founder of Maharishi, picked G-Shock’s Mudmaster as the canvas for his latest iteration of the DPM due to the watch’s ability to withstand the harsh conditions found in the desert or the jungle. The Mudmaster gets its name from its mud-resistant structure that also protects the movement from shocks, water (up to 200m) and dust particles. With accuracy being one of the advantages of an electronic quartz movement, the Mudmaster extends this even further by offering automatic time calibration through six sources around the world. Best of all, the entire thing runs on solar power.
The bonsai pattern itself is printed onto the resin strap, but due to its reinterpreted aesthetic, isn’t obvious until you look closely. And it’s arguably this very subtlety that makes the watch so appealing.