The Casio G-Shock is now an integral part of Pop Culture, a statement of the Hip-Hop subculture, but its origins are humble and entirely fortuitous.
In 1981, Kikuo Ibe was the engineer at Casio Computer Co., a computer and electronic device company in Tokyo. One day, while he was in his office, his destiny changed: the old watch he had inherited from his father fell out of his pocket. Suddenly, both the object he was fond of and his heart fell to pieces. The first was unrecoverable, the second blow gave him the spark to create an ‘anti-shock’ watch, seeking a solution for fragile watches in order to avoid the disruption he had just experienced himself.
Promptly, Ibe formed ‘Team Tough’, the aim of which was to design watches with ‘Triple Ten’ resistance criteria, i.e., with a long battery life (10 years), resistance even to 10 Bar water pressure and, most importantly, with unbreakable glass and materials.
And the solution came to Ibe, as always by chance, one day while he was at the park after work: observing some children playing with a rubber ball, he noticed that the material ‘absorbed’ the blow, bouncing back: so he structured the watch with a ‘protection’ system, like a rubber bumper enclosed in a stainless steel case.
The first G-Shock was the DW-5000C model of 1983, but perhaps the public was not yet ready for such technology and design, accustomed as they were to ‘evening watches’, and its entry onto the market was almost a flop. It was only after a successful TV commercial aired by American broadcasters, showing a G-Shock being used as an hockey disk, that it aroused curiosity and gained immense popularity. Later, several new models and additional features were introduced, such as 6-atom multi-band timing, solar charging and tide charts.
Thanks to its unprecedented functionality, the G-SHOCK has become the must-have watch sported by everyone, without distinction: multi-billionaire musicians, actors, anime cartoon characters, mechanics, divers and astronauts.
Thanks again Ibe!