G‑Shock Cre­ator Kikuo Ibe told Bloomberg about the vision of the mar­ket. The engi­neer is sur­round­ed by dozens of watch­es, includ­ing a 1982 pro­to­type. “Ful­ly work­ing,” proud­ly pro­claims the 64-year-old Japan­ese man, who will give 50 on the strength, “Peo­ple appre­ci­ate dura­bil­i­ty, and G‑shocks are syn­ony­mous with it.”

G-Shock Celebration With Kikuo Ibe

The sto­ry began in 1981, when Ibe smashed a watch giv­en to him by his father. Dis­ap­point­ed is not the right word… As a Casio engi­neer, Ibe took on the task of design­ing a shock-resis­tant watch move­ment that could with­stand a fall on a hard sur­face while main­tain­ing func­tion­al­i­ty. This is how the first G‑Shocks appeared with a hol­low body filled with alpha gel, a sub­stance that damp­ens shock and vibra­tion impuls­es.

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35 years after Casio’s tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion, oth­er com­pa­nies are try­ing to betroth IT tech­nol­o­gy to watch­es, as sci­ence fic­tion writ­ers used to write about. Apple, Sam­sung, Sony are pour­ing bil­lions of dol­lars into the devel­op­ment of wear­able elec­tron­ics in the hope that smart­watch­es will open up new mar­kets and tie users to their own ecosys­tems.

And how will G‑Shock stay in the game?

Cer­tain­ly with­out the release of smart watch­es. “Smart­watch bat­tery is a headache. Plus a small screen. I’m not sure that this mar­ket will grow in the future,” says Ibe. Casio will not com­pete with Apple and Sam­sung. Instead, the com­pa­ny will focus on releas­ing mod­els with a blue­tooth mod­ule, with­out oper­at­ing sys­tem sup­port. The sim­pler, the more reli­able.

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Casio has built a cult of dura­bil­i­ty around itself. Fire­fight­ers, mil­i­tary, para­medics choose reli­able watch­es, not the smart stuff­ing of Android Wear rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Shock own­ers col­lect G‑shocks — and the busi­ness plan of the man­u­fac­tur­er is based on this. To main­tain inter­est in their prod­ucts, Casio releas­es new mod­els, exper­i­ments with col­ors. Apple, on the oth­er hand, is lim­it­ed only by the mate­r­i­al of the case and inter­change­able straps: it is too expen­sive to devel­op Watch in a dif­fer­ent form fac­tor, the user must be out of his mind in order to pur­chase a cou­ple of items in the “col­lec­tion”. And “shocks” are bought will­ing­ly.

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In Sep­tem­ber, the world will see the new AW, and Casio will show six new Golf­mas­ters — marine-themed G‑shocks with tide charts, moon phase indi­ca­tor, barom­e­ter and com­pass, altime­ter and ther­mome­ter. And this watch will be shock­proof and water­proof. Not like some…

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Celebri­ties are not shy about wear­ing G‑shocks. George Clooney, Rihan­na, Eminem and oth­ers reg­u­lar­ly get into the frame.

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Kikuo Ibe wants to cre­ate the per­fect durable watch that can with­stand any kind of stress. The hard­est thing to deal with is the high tem­per­a­ture at which the elec­tron­ics fail. At the end of the con­ver­sa­tion, the Japan­ese men­tions space tourism: “When a sim­ple per­son flies into Earth orbit, I want G‑Shocks on his hand. I have a dream to cre­ate a clock for space.“ [bloomberg]

On this top­ic:
– Casio has updat­ed the “smart” chrono­graph Edi­fice EQB-500
– I’m not ready to trade my Casio G‑Shock col­lec­tion for an Apple Watch
– Tanks are not afraid of dirt. Review Casio Mud­mas­ter GWG-1000
– Casio STB-1000 sports smart watch review