If you’re a watch fan of a certain age, chances are you’re going through something (or about to go through something) that will do nothing less than force you to face your own mortality. It’s been happening for years, in fact, and it has nothing (directly) to do with watches. As my fellow elder millennials know, all the stuff you liked in the 1990s is turning 30. Yes, the unavoidable march of time comes for everyone, but there’s something, I don’t know, kind of insane and troubling about the pieces of popular culture that helped shape your worldview and taste as an adolescent entering their fourth decade of existence. Sometimes, lucky for us, those anniversaries are marked with watches, and the folks at G-SHOCK are celebrating the 30th year of a truly important hip hop group with their latest release. That’s right, it’s a Wu-Tang Clan limited edition. Feeling old yet?
It’s hard to overstate the influence and importance of Wu-Tang, not just on hip-hop but on pop music in general. In addition to releasing albums as a collective that are considered by many to be among the best rap albums ever made, individual members have gone on to have solo successes of their own, discover and produce a new generation of talent, and cross over into other musical disciplines (RZA scored both Kill Bill films, for example). The larger musical sphere of Wu-Tang inspired and bred talent is so significant that artists falling into this category are known as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees.
That Killa Bees moniker is the inspiration for the new G-SHOCK seen here, which carries reference number GM6900WTC22-9. The watch has a bee inspired black and yellow color scheme that is iconic to Wu-Tang iconography, and of course you’ll find their extremely recognizable logo on both the dial and watch’s strap. When the watch’s backlight is activated, you’ll see a glowing “Wu-Tang” glowing on the dial, and the case is finished with a steel, black IP coated bezel. “Cash rules everything around me,” lyrics to Wu-Tang’s most well known track and a bit of philosophy that has come to define them, are printed in the yellow border of the dial’s LCD screen.
The watch is built on G-SHOCK’s 6900 series of watches, with a distinctive three register layout at the top of the dial. This is a fitting watch to receive the Wu-Tang treatment, as it’s often seen as the G-SHOCK with the closest ties to hip-hop culture and the world of streetwear. It was used for two recent Kith collaborations, for example, as well as an earlier Wu-Tang inspired edition ten years ago for the group’s 20th anniversary.
In terms of specs and features, the GM6900WTC22-9 has exactly what you’d expect from any G-SHOCK, which is to say plenty of shock protection, 200 meters of water resistance, and a full calendar, suite of alarms, countdown timer, stopwatch, and more.
A note regarding availability: G-SHOCK’s press materials indicate that the watch will be available in select retail locations, but it appears that in order to purchase online, you have to win the opportunity to do so, sneaker drop style. Prospective buyers can enter a drawing for the watch through February 26 at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be randomly selected and automatically charged for the purchase with their credit card on file. The retail price is $280. More information on the watch and the drawing is available via G-SHOCK here.