December 18, 2023
Mountain Biking and Watch Photography in Santa Cruz with Luc Albert and G-SHOCK MOVE
in partnership with

We were thrilled to spend a day in Santa Cruz, California with mountain biker, photographer, and G-SHOCK collector Luc Albert. We first met Luc in 2022 at the Windup Watch Fair San Francisco, snapping wrist shots off with his Leica and talking shop with other enthusiasts. We were excited to learn that he was a walking encyclopedia when it comes to his favorite watch brand G-SHOCK. In addition to capturing him in his element, we had the chance to talk about riding, watch collecting, and photography. We also introduced him to the brand new G-SHOCK MOVE DWH5600MB-1, their new fitness-tracking watch that comes packed with functions for all kinds of workouts—from heart rate monitoring to step counting, from sleep tracking to measuring blood oxygen levels. Luc is an inspiring enthusiast and provides some invaluable advice to anyone who’s interested in watch collecting, taking better photos of watches, or dabbling in a new hobby.

Hey Luc, thanks so much for joining us! First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Sure! My names is Luc Albert. I grew up on the East Coast of Canada in a small fishing village in Northeast New Brunswick. So basically my backyard was the Atlantic Ocean, which was great in the summer but very cold in the winter. I moved to California in 1997 and I’ve been in Northern California ever since, currently living in Santa Cruz. I love it here because I like to do a lot of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, spending time on the beach. Growing up I played competitive hockey to a very high level, so when I moved here I needed to pick up something so I got into mountain biking both competitively and for fun.

What is it about Santa Cruz that you love most?

I’ve worked in the Bay Area for some time. I’ve lived in San Francisco. I’ve lived in San Jose. But I’ve always been coming to Santa Cruz from day one to ride my bike. Santa Cruz is unique, you’re a short walked from the ocean and a short walk from the Redwoods, were there’s an amazing network of trails. They’re some of the best trails in the world, even pro racers come here to train in the winter. Between the trails and ocean, it’s therapeutic just knowing they’re so close. Just being able to go with my wife, sit on the tailgate of the truck, share a burrito and watch the waves is pretty priceless.

How did you get interested in watches and specifically G-SHOCKs?

My parents always had a camera with us and my uncle was a professional photographer, so I’m lucky to have a lot of pictures of me growing up. You look through these old pictures and I’ve always had a watch on my wrist. It’s impossible to find a picture of me not wearing one. It was either a simple analog watch or a basic Casio. I’ve always liked watches, but at the time never had the funds to buy super nice ones. The focus while growing up was hockey—equipment, traveling to games and practices took up most of the extra funds. My parents sacrificed a lot for me just so I could play this game I loved. But one day, I was going through some old boxes that my mom had sent me, old stuff from back home. I found a few of my old watches, and then I found a G-SHOCK in there! I didn’t even remember having that G-SHOCK. It was a “Square,” an older model, a DW5600C. When I saw it, my love for G-SHOCK just clicked and now I’ve gone deep into that rabbit hole.

Is your love of watches similar to your interest in gear?

I’ve always been into gear as well. I always have a pocketknife on me. And a flashlight, I always have a flashlight. I have these pieces of EDC gear with me at all times. And watches, that’s how I see them. They just fit right in there for me. I see them as tools that I use every day.

So you now have an extensive G-SHOCK collection. What are some of your most favorite models within your collection?

If I have to be honest, my absolute favorite ones are my originals from 1983. If I had to get rid of my collection and just keep a few, it would be my vintage ones like my DW5000C, “WIDE TEMP” WW5100, “Hero” DW5200, and my original “Speed” DW5600Cs. The screwback DW5600 had nine different model versions between 1987 and 1992. I have all nine of them… all the colors. And those are my favorite. I really love resin as a bezel material and band because I bang them up a lot. I have metal G-SHOCKs and I wear them occasionally, but the resin ones are still my favorite by far.

Are there any models out there that you’ve been hunting for that have eluded you to date?

There are three G-SHOCKs I wish I had, but I’m okay not owing them. I currently own all the vintage ones I love, but there are these two Honda Formula 1 squares, which are extremely rare and I’ll probably never find—the DW5000C-Honda and the DW5200C-Honda. Oh, I also really like the 30th anniversary square that was all titanium but still had a resin bezel and band called the GWT5030C with a solar module and atomic time keeping. But I just buy what I really like and I wear what I buy. You’ve probably heard this before, but if you look at your watch, gaze at it for a while, look up but still don’t know what time is it… you’ve gotta good watch.

It seems that you have this very intentional approach to pairing different G-SHOCKs with different activities in a curated way. How does specifically choosing a watch enhance your outdoor and active lifestyle experiences?

I tend to switch watches throughout the day, sometimes three times a day. I have a few that are pretty much dedicated to riding in the morning. They’re all G-SHOCKs. The reason being, I’ll be honest, I crash… a lot. That’s part of riding. I’ve destroyed some mechanical watches by crashing and sliding in rocks. I mean, the only watches that I haven’t destroyed are G-SHOCKs. When it comes to other activities, it all depends. I open my box before I go on a hike or camping trip and I’ll decide right before which one I want to take. It could be my G-SHOCK Rangeman, which are pretty big. But I like it because it’s an ABC watch with an altimeter, barometer, and compass. And I have some Casio Protreks, which are great for it as well. But sometimes I just pick another G-SHOCK for a hike because the color that day speaks to me. It’s all pretty spur of the moment, but that choice definitely helps me enjoy that activity.

Anyone who’s seen your Instagram feed knows that photography, and specifically watch photography is a really big deal for you. Can you talk about how your got into shooting watches to begin with?

Many don’t know this, but I have had a professional career working in digital imaging. I was at Adobe for almost 25 years. I was part of the development teams for Photoshop and Lightroom. Ironically, I wasn’t deeply into photography back then, even though I worked on those programs. But then, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, I started taking more pictures. I always had my phone with me and would take shots, but I didn’t get a proper digital camera until last year. Shooting with a phone taught me a lot about the importance of using proper lighting. Now I mostly shoot with a Leica Q2 in aperture priority.  I also often times use Auto ISO and let the camera select shutter speeds. I use F4 most of the time—it gives me a good depth-of-field for wrist shots.

When you’re capturing a watch, you always seem to create a mood… can you give some advice to those who are getting into watch photography, especially shots of G-SHOCKs?

I always try to experiment. Just take a lot of shots and get obsessed. Always experiment and play with exposure, play with lighting. Whatever your new hobby is, challenge yourself. If you notice on my personal watch photography, I always match my minutes and my seconds. That’s just another challenge I set for myself.

For this piece we introduced you to the DWH5600MB-1, obviously it has that classic and original G-SHOCK 5600 form factor, but some new functionality as well. Can you talk about your experience with this particular G-SHOCK?

Do you know what’s funny? When I first saw it I wasn’t sure if it was for me. One of the reasons I love G-SHOCKs so much is for their simplicity. I do love Bluetooth, don’t get me wrong, it syncs with your phone, you can set the alarms and the world times. But I still love the good, old battery-powered G-SHOCK with time, stopwatch, timer, an alarm, and a light. So this DWH5600MB-1 has two ways of charging, solar or USB. It’s a little bit thicker, a little bit heavier, but this watch has surprised me a lot!

The high-definition MIP (Memory in Pixel) display is very easy to read, even in low-light conditions. It’s stylish, you can wear it with anything, dress it up, dress it down. And as part of G-SHOCKs MOVE line, it has a heart rate monitor, which is data that I haven’t been collecting since I raced cross-country and had a monitor strapped to my chest. But wearing this watch, I found that it was something fun and useful to know. Am I pushing myself? It also tracks the maximums and minimus you hit on a ride, which is cool data to see. And it’s great to have access to that data in a form factor that I’m already used to. I like the simplicity of just putting a G-SHOCK on and getting that data. You just have to make it tight enough to keep in contact with your wrist.

G-SHOCK MOVE DWH5600MB-1 + CASIO Watches App

You also photographed the DWH5600MB-1. What stood out to you as you were shooting this particular model?

It’s pretty easy to photography. It doesn’t need a whole lot of light in order for the display to come to life. So you don’t have to find the exact right angle in the light. Negative displays can be hard to photograph in low light conditions. But since this MIP technology came out, it’s changed everything. These displays are beautiful and they’re really easy to read.

You’re an enthusiast of many talents and interests. What’s your next hobby or skill that you might start to develop?

In addition to improving my photography, I want to do more camping and less extreme stuff. I’m getting older, so when I crash—it hurts a lot more. I have a truck I really love. Now, I’m not necessarily an overlander, but I plan on going to more remote places and experimenting with primitive camping. Well, primitive camping while still wearing a modern G-SHOCK.


  • Case size: 51.1 × 44.5 × 16.6mm (L× W× H)
  • Weight: 65g
  • Construction: Shock Resistant
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Case material: Bio-based Resin
  • Bezel material: Stainless steel
  • Band: Bio-based Resin
  • Display: MIP (Memory in Pixel) LCD
  • Power: Solar Powered or USB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® via CASIO Watches App
  • Sensors: Optical Heart Rate Sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetic Sensor, Pressure Sensor, Thermo Sensor + GPS
  • Features: World Time, Moon Phase, Stopwatch, Run Time, Timer, Airplane Mode, Vibration
  • Activity Modes: Running, Walking, Gym Workout, Interval Timer
  • Health & Wellness: Activity, Life Log, Blood Oxygen Measurement, Breathing Exercise
  • Training Analysis (Powered by Polar): Running Index, Cardio Load, Cardio Load Status, Energy Consumption, Nightly Recharge
  • Compatibility: Strava and Apple Health

Written by

Kyle Snarr

Photography by
Gavin Murray
Luc Albert

Produced by
Kat Shoulders

in partnership with
December 18, 2023