Thursday, December 19, 2013

Story behind Casio G-Shock by Founder of G-Shock Kikuo Ibe during ‘SHOCK THE WORLD’ 2013 KL

I remembered I first got my own a Casio G-shock many many moons back when my parents bought for me after I scored well in my exam in my primary. And I always wonder by the name of the watch is G-shock, is it because it is because it is shock resistant or very "shock" after wearing them. Well I will soon find out why.

Touring major cities across the globe, the Casio G-SHOCK ‘SHOCK THE WORLD’ 2013 recently marked its final leg in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in celebration of the iconic timepiece’s 30th birthday. From New York, Berlin, Paris, to Tokyo and Dubai, the ‘SHOCK THE WORLD’ movement has brought together thousands of people since its inception in 2009 across continents and cultures to celebrate the brand and its legacy of trendsetting innovation in timepieces. These tough ‘indestructible’ watches, designed by Kikuo Ibe, Research and Development Chief Engineer of Casio Japan, have ultimately defined the brilliance of combining style and utility, along with superior craftsmanship.

G-shocks aims to achieve Triple 10’ development philosophy of engineering a timepiece capable of withstanding 10-meters of free-fall, 10-bar water resistance and 10-years worth of battery life.

I was glad to attend the launch because to me the highlight of the event was where the Founder of G-shock Kikuo Ibe shared his story on how he created G-shock. And that was really interesting because I always love brand with a story behind it. So I'm going to share the details as much as I remembered here.

Mr. Ibe is really humble and funny while doing his presentation... and when shown us his picture posing between Petronas Twin Towers, everyone just broke into laughter.

Back to his story, Mr. Ibe shared that 32 years ago he owed a precious watch that his dad given to him and one day he met with an accident and the watch smashed into pieces. He was very sad and thought why his watch so easily smashed into pieces and decided to create a watch which is tough and shock resistant.

Well I totally can relate to this because I have a few pieces of favourite watches which is was broken after I dropped in on the floor. Some could not be repaired because its limited editions. Well I still kept the broken watch as memory because it's a precious gift from someone. 

So Mr. Ibe took the watch he created to the side window of the building to make dropping test to see if the watch is durable. The higher floor he went, the result was not so impressive. 

While he was thinking on how to make the watch more durable, he came across a field of children playing football and saw the rubber ball was bouncing and he thought of an idea. 

So he decided that if the watch was wrapped with rubber then when it fall down it would bounce, although the watch was not damaged externally, the mechanism inside the watch was damaged. So the though of wrapping the watch is not realistic.

And he kept thinking, day and night... even during his sleep.

It was the sight of a child playing with a rubber ball that gave him the breakthrough hint he needed. He saw the possibility of encasing the module—the internal case housing the functional parts of the watch—in a cushion like the rubber ball, allowing it to float in a substance that would absorb the impact of external blows. 

Until then he and his team had focused on protecting the module with rigid armor, but now he had a new solution: the module would be supported at a limited number of points, suspended in an empty space in the watch housing. This “float” construction would become the fundamental structure of G-Shock watches for decades to come.

And in 1983, the first Casio G-shock was created! This watch is built under a unique concept of a watch that could be dropped from the top of a building and still not break. 

Mr. Ibe shared that their first TV commercial in US was a big controversary after G-Shock was hit by an ice hockey stick. Lucky me still can find the video in youtube to share it here.

Father of G-Shock Mr. Ibe said that they have to have re-enacted on the show with a hockey player slapping the watch across the ice to show that it was real that G-shock survived!

Besides that G-Shock was also blown up and dropped from a helicopter onto a concrete slab. Finally, it was rolled over by a garbage truck. Well it's G-shock proves that it is an ‘indestructible’ watch!

As I was looking for the video of the watch being ran over by the truck, I found this video! Well watch it and be amazed with how tough is G-shock is. Not only the watch did not break but it is still functioning... very very impressive! 

Mr Ibe then decided to demo it to the media, and of course the watch survived without a scratch. 

No wonder G-Shock was said to be the world's toughest watch. I got to agree after watching those videos, because seriously I do not think any other watch can survive after going through those tests.

Kikuo Ibe said that “When we first started G-SHOCK, we wanted to challenge conventional wisdom that a wrist watch always had to be handled with care. Each G-SHOCK watch is the perfect embodiment of the latest shock resistance technology with cutting-edge design” 

“As we now celebrate G-SHOCK’s successful 30 year history, it is about sharing our vision and journey as we remain committed to continually innovate and evolve our design to excite the world,” 

From BMX riders, surfers and snowboarders, G-SHOCK has indeed played a key role in shaping the world’s various sports, arts, fashion and street cultures, making the brand a vital part of youth culture.

With that in mind, G-shock revealed its exclusive collaboration between G-SHOCK and two of Malaysia’s renowned designers in their respective fields of fashion and graphics. 

Unveiling of their limited edition stylized G-SHOCK watches, one designed by Malaysian fashion designer Joe Chia, known for his avant-garde styles and representations and the other by The Off Day’s Irman Hilmi, famous for his multi talents including various unique graphic designs with several local and international brands.

From left - Designer Joe Chia, G-SHOCK Rep Yokoshima, Founder Kikuo Ibe, GM of Casio SG Hiroyuki Sezai, Deputy GM of Marco Corp Mr Lam Wai Khuen and Designer Irman Hilmi pose for the cameras at the GSHOCK 20th Anniversary Celebration

Below are some of the pictures from the launch

GB-5600AB /6900AB watches feature improved communication that uses Bluetooth® v4.0 with low energy wireless technology and is powered by a second-generation engine which enables two-way operability between a paired smartphone and the watch. 

Users can now control a smartphone music player from the watch, or adjust watch settings from a smartphone watches that can communicate with an iPhone models (4s, 5, 5s and 5c) and Samsung Galaxy S4   , to enable features such as an audible, vibration or display notification on the watch when there is an incoming call or email, and auto synchronization to time data received from a paired smartphone.  

What caught my attention is that it has Phone Finder function and I definitely need this! You can perform an operation on the watch that will cause the phone to emit sound to help you remember where you left it. The phone finder operation forces the phone to emit a tone, even if it is in the silent mode. Super awesome right? 

Casio G-SHOCK GA-110NE-9A

MTG-S1000 Series

Casio Baby-G BA110

Casio G-SHOCK GW-9400

Instead of poster, Mr. Ibe signed on G-shock watches under the request of some hardcore G-shock fans.

Finally it's my turn to take picture with Founder of G-shock Mr Kikuo Ibe. 

And  yes I do know why it is named G-shock because it shock the world by becoming the World Strongest Watch ever  :)

Do you have a G-shock and which is your favourite model ? 

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