G-SHOCK watches are simple, nearly indestructible watches, perfect for getting out there and enjoying life without the distractions of a smartwatch or worrying about scratching a precious traditional watch. Still, it can be confusing to figure out how to set the time on one at first.
I promise you it’s not as complicated as it seems. In this article, we’ll break down how to set the time on any G-SHOCK you might own.
First, we’ll take a look at the general G-SHOCK button layout, then get into how to set the time on most models, followed by some more specific models and G-SHOCK types.
Use the table of contents below to jump to the section with the type of G-SHOCK you have. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to drop us a comment below with your model, and we’ll gladly help you out.
Let’s get started!
G-SHOCK Button Layout
Let’s look at the typical G-SHOCK button layout, which will make setting the time more obvious.
There are four (sometimes 5) main buttons on a G-SHOCK watch.
The Adjust button on the upper left is used to enter configuration mode. The configuration mode allows you to set the time or adjust the settings in whatever other function you are currently viewing. Typically, when it is pressed, whatever setting is selected starts flashing on the screen, showing that it can now be adjusted.
Next is the Mode button, located on the bottom left. There are usually four major modes in a G-SHOCK Watch: alarm mode, time-keeping mode, timer, and global time mode. Repeatedly pressing the mode button allows the user to switch through modes until they find the desired mode they would like to use.
Next is the Forward button, located on the top right. The most obvious use for the forward button is to adjust any setting forward in configuration mode, such as the time.
Often, the forward button will have an alternative function when not adjusting settings. It can be used to turn on the watch’s light-up display or to start/stop the chronograph or alarm. The exact function varies from watch to watch and will very clearly be written on it.
Finally, the reverse is the opposite of the forward button. It moves any setting backward when in Adjust mode.
Like the Forward button, the Reverse button often has alternate usage when not in adjust mode. In some watches, it might light up the watch display or start the chronograph stopwatch.
How to Set the Time and Date on a Digital G-SHOCK
To give you the short and sweet answer that will work for most common digital G-SHOCKs, follow the instructions below.
For these instructions, I’m going to be using my G-SHOCK DW5600, but these should apply just as well to most G-SHOCKS, especially those with a digital display.
Ensure you are in the standard timekeeping mode (displaying the current time). If not, you can get into the timekeeping mode by pressing the “Mode” button on the bottom left until you are.
Once in timekeeping mode, press the ADJUST button, usually on the top left. The seconds should start blinking. You can reset the seconds to 0 by hitting the upper right button.
Press the MODE button on the bottom left, which should cause the hour to blink. Press the button on the upper right to move the hour forward until the current hour is set.
While in this mode, pressing the REVERSE button on the bottom right will switch the time between 12 and 24-hour (military time) timekeeping.
Press the MODE button again, which will cause the minutes to blink. Press the upper right button to move the minutes forward. Holding the button will cause the minutes to move forward rapidly until the current minute is set.
Press the MODE button to cause the year to blink. Press the upper right button to move the year forward and the bottom right to move it back until the current year is set.
Press the MODE button to cause the month to blink. Press the upper right button to move the year forward and the bottom right to move it back until the current year is set.
If you missed a step, you can press MODE again to cycle through the seconds/hours/minutes/year/month/day, and use the adjust button to adjust it to the correct time.
When finished, press the ADJUST button once again. This will return the watch to the normal timekeeping mode. You have now successfully set the time.
How to Set the Time On An Analog G-SHOCK
An analog G-SHOCK doesn’t just have a digital display but also hands like a traditional watch to tell time and other features.
For these instructions, we’re going to be using my G-SHOCK CasiOAK 2110 as an example.
Put the watch into “TIME” mode by pressing the mode button until it reaches “TIME” mode. A higher-pitched beep will let you know you’re now in TIME mode.
Press and hold the adjust button until you hear the watch beep.
Next, press the mode button to sort through the different settings available. With each press of the mode button, it will rotate between the hour, minute, and second hands, both on the digital, and analog displays. Once the correct option you wish to adjust, either analog or digital, is selected, you can move on to the next step.
Adjust the highlighted hour, minute, day, month, or year setting using the forward and reverse buttons. The forward button moves the hand forward, and the reverse button, you guessed it, moves the hand backward. Continue to do so until it is set to the current time and date.
When the hands, time, and date are in the correct positions, press the adjust button again to confirm these changes and finish setting the time.
How to Set the Time on Atomic G-SHOCKs
Atomic G-SHOCKs use calibration radio signals from nearby transmitters to correct the time. They do this automatically and periodically (every night, for instance) or manually, and they are compatible with six transmission stations worldwide.
There are two settings that will determine how you set the time on one of these bad boys: auto-receive or manually receive.
Auto receive is a setting that allows for the automatic setting of time and can be done up to 6 times a day. As long as one of the auto-receive operations in a day is successful, the watch will not perform the other auto-receive operations. An auto-receive operation may fail due to physical conditions or obstructions or if the watch is not in World Time or time-keeping mode.
The following steps outline how time is set when an atomic G-SHOCK is set to auto-receive.
At calibration time (when your watch is set to receive the signal to correct the time, usually at night), ensure that your watch is in time-keeping mode. If it is not, navigate to this mode by pressing the mode button until you reach time-keeping mode.
You should expect to find the watch’s antenna at the 12 o’clock position. Hold the watch with this position facing the window.
The watch will subsequently receive the signal and calibrate the time. This can take up to 16 minutes, but it usually takes between 3 and 8 minutes.
Ensure you are in time-keeping mode.
Hold down the bottom right button for at least two seconds or until “RC!” appears on the screen.
When the reception starts, a signal level indicator appears. Do not move the watch or perform any operation until the letters GET or ERR appear on the screen.
The time should now be synced.
How to Use Your Phone as a Transmitter for Your Atomic G-SHOCK Watch
Using your phone as a transmitter for your atomic G-Shock is only possible in Japan, North America, UK, Europe, and China.
You may sometimes find that you are not in range of any national time transmitters, or the signal is disturbed by geographic land features, weather, structures, radio interference, or any number of problems that can affect time calibration.
In this case, you can use your own transmitter, such as your phone, to trigger the watch’s time signal receiver. This can be done using an app, such as “Radio Wave Sync” used in the video below.
Download a transmitter app such as “radio wave sync” which calibrates radio-controlled watches.
Set the home city to a city covered by the radio stations such as Tokyo. To do this,
- Press the mode button until WT appears on the screen, signifying you are in world time.
- Use the forward button to cypher through the city codes until you find the city you want the watch to be set in.
- Press the adjust and reverse buttons at the same time to choose it. Your watch then adjusts its time.
Disable automatic time adjustment on your phone and change your phone time zone to the city you have chosen on your watch.
Open the “radio wave sync app” and tap Settings to choose the radio station.
Press the mode button on the G-SHOCK to enter receiving mode. The watch should display the date and time of the last time it synched with the radio station.
Start the manual receive by following the instructions in the previous section of this article, “Manual Receive.”
Hold the watch close to the speaker of your phone. Getting this right will take some practice.
Because you will use a phone instead of radio waves, the calibration is received using a soundwave. It will not have a lot of range, so you will have to place the watch very close to the phone and figure out which position allows the watch to receive the strongest signal. You will also need to stay silent throughout the operation.
Be patient. This will take some time (no pun intended)!
When the reception has ended (See Step 3 of the previous section), change your city back to your local city.
How to Set the Time on a Bluetooth G-SHOCK
Some G-SHOCKs have Bluetooth capability and can be linked to a mobile smartphone. While connected to a smartphone, the watch’s time is synchronized to the phone’s time and updated automatically.
Follow the following steps to link your smartphone with your G-SHOCK, which you can then use to set the time.
Enable the phone’s Bluetooth. Check your phone’s manual for more information on how to do this.
Pair the phone with the watch.
Ensure that the phone is within a meter of the watch.
Ensure that the relevant companion app to your watch is installed on your phone.
The watch will automatically sync the time with your phone.
How to Change Time Zones Automatically
Most G-SHOCKs can’t change time zones automatically, except in the case of Bluetooth-enabled watches. Once your G-SHOCK is linked to your phone via Bluetooth, follow these instructions to change the time zone:
Press the mode button until the letters TPE show on the face of your watch. This means your watch is in world-time mode.
Press the forward button until you locate the correct time zone.
Hold the adjust button for a few seconds to set your time zone.
How to Set the Time on the G-SHOCK Mud Master
Ensure you are in time-keeping mode and hold down the ADJUST button until the text “Adj” shows on the screen.
Release the button. The letters “SET” should be flashing on the screen.
Press the MODE button to cipher through the settings.
When you reach the setting you want to change, such as the hour, for instance, use the reverse and forward buttons to change the settings as desired.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 to change any other settings.
Press the adjust button once when you have finished setting the time.
For more information, watch this informative video about how to set the time on a G-SHOCK Mud master:
How to Set the Time on a Solar G-SHOCK
Many G-SHOCKs are also powered by solar energy. These watches are charged whenever their faces are exposed to sunlight. Setting the time on this variety is similar to the previous method depending on whether it is a digital G-SHOCK, analog, or Bluetooth. The solar watches are set the same way, the only difference is how they are charged and powered.
G-SHOCKs are fantastic no-nonsense watches that can stand up to just about anything you throw at them.
Setting the time on them can be confusing at first, with their many features, time zones, and settings to keep track of. But follow the instructions for your specific type of G-SHOCK in this article, or drop us a comment below, and we’ll be happy to help!