Produced in partnership with G-SHOCK.
For decades, G-SHOCK The watches have won praise for their exceptional durability, but G-SHOCK GGB100 Mudmaster Taking the strong brand legacy to a new level. From top to bottom, it’s designed for Absolute durability To endure hard work in the most extreme environments. And for Southern California Hotshot firefighter Brian Anderson, hard work and harsh environments are only part of the job. For most of the year, he and his crew head to the front lines to contain fires in wilderness areas across the country. It’s tough work – and that’s exactly what the GGB100 is designed for.
Of the prairie firefighters, Hotshots like Anderson are the best of the best – “marine seals of the prairie community,” as he put it – a reputation they gain by working in some of the most brutal conditions imaginable. Hotshots face intense heat, smoke, and steep terrain, all while carrying heavy equipment and clamor to contain one of nature’s most powerful and unpredictable forces: wildfires. Even with two decades of experience under his belt, the very real danger of these fires keeps Anderson vigil every time he and his crew answer a call.
“Nothing but an adrenaline rush,” he says. Men’s magazine, “Just really intense.”
We recently met Anderson when he and his crew started training for this year’s fire season. It was a perfect opportunity to learn more about the amazing work they do, and also a great way to test the GGB100.
Hotshot training begins in May and lasts several weeks. During that time, Anderson leads his crew of 20 through classes to hone firefighting skills and exercises to build their fitness and knowledge of equipment. A typical day might involve wearing full firefighting clothing and going for a long hike through the mountains, brushing the brush to create fire breaks, or simulating a response to a medical emergency.
“It’s kind of the equivalent of what footballers call Hell Week,” Anderson says. “The money order is very tiring.”
But it is a cakewalk compared to fighting a real wildfire. First, Hotshots have to traverse remote mountainous terrain while carrying everything they need in a 16-hour shift – protective gear, food, water, and tools – on their backs.
Once they reached the scene, they put themselves on the edge of the flames. Temperatures regularly reach three digits, and the thick smoke makes breathing nearly impossible, and they work to stop the fire by removing trees and trees with hand tools and saws. It is intense and painstaking work.
“You don’t absolutely have to be a bodybuilder, but you do have to have the same mindset, and it has to be paired with the endurance of a marathon runner,” Anderson explains. “It’s very demanding on the body in many ways.”
It also puts a heavy demand on Hotshots gear, including what is on their wrist. For Anderson, G-SHOCK is the only watch brand to do this. He bought his first G-SHOCK shortly after turning into a firefighter, and he was amazed at how well it performed in action.
“No matter how badly I beat him, he just didn’t stop,” he says. “Not even for a second.”
GGB100 is the latest development in G-SHOCK’s commitment to ultra-durable watches. Simply, Everything at this hour is difficult. The case is made of a high-strength carbon material that does not tarnish even when exposed to bumps and scratches, and thanks to innovations such as protective metal tubes around the buttons and an airtight inner seal, the watch can pass through dust, mud, and water without missing a beat.
In addition, the GGB100 It comes loaded with technology to help you maintain your trends in the wild. Its quadruple sensor allows for real-time display of compass headings, temperature, altitude, step count, and barometric pressure (especially useful for keeping up with sudden climate changes). The G-SHOCK Connected app opens up more functions. There, you can customize watch settings and use the Mission Log function to combine altimeter data with your phone’s GPS for a detailed look at your route.
For Anderson, all of these features combine to create an incredibly useful watch when fighting forest fires. The digital and analog faces make it easy to read, even in smog. He especially likes the altitude reading, is ideal for coordinating with helicopters and air carriers in hilly terrain, and having temperature data directly on his wrist helps him monitor weather conditions affecting fire behavior. After all, staying ahead of the fire is essential to completing the mission.
Of course, durability is key, too: even while drilling through the brush or setting hose lines, the GGB100 It can handle the heat, smoke, dirt and mud that comes with the job.
“Almost everything it offers, we can put it into practice, wherever we are,” says Anderson.
In order to do their job successfully, Hotshots like Anderson must have complete confidence in their equipment, in each other, and in themselves. If you’re not ready for it, says Anderson, fighting wildland fires can quickly overwhelm you.
“We swing tools all day in some of the harshest environments where the terrain is rugged, steep, feet are uneven, and fire behavior is extreme,” he says. “If you don’t mentally push yourself more than you think you can go, it won’t last.”
While Anderson receives many qualified applicants each year, not everyone makes the cut. Forest fires have a way to get rid of the least devoted to them.
“Some of them had to stand up and say, ‘I’m sorry but that’s not for me. I can’t do this.
By digging and hiking in remote areas and learning the ins and outs of effective firefighting, Anderson helps his crew build the physical and mental strength they need to face the full force of wildfires without crashing. In his view, there is no substitute for experiencing wildfires in the real world, but training has another important benefit: it helps the crew work better as a team. This is where their greatest strengths lie.
“Little by little we became one really effective and coherent unit,” he says.
It’s hard to imagine a better embodiment of sheer toughness than Anderson and his crew. Most people will not last five minutes in their shoes, but their courage and experience makes them a professional elite in one of the toughest jobs on Earth.
The GGB100 It was designed to similar high standards. Other watches may settle down well enough, but this one is built for people who put themselves and their equipment to the test — every day.
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