G-SHOCK is a watch brand that has truly stood the test of time – no pun intended! Launched under Casio in 1983, the shock resistant watches “shattered the notion that a watch is a fragile piece of jewelry that needs to be handled with care”, as stated on the company’s official website. Since then, G-SHOCK has become Casio’s flagship timepiece product. Beyond the technological benefits of rocking a G-SHOCK, the brand offers a fun take on telling time with its designs, and has maintained a strong “cool” factor among the urban market throughout the years.
Kiki got a chance to catch up with the Assistant General Manager of the brand, Tadashi Shibuya, who is pictured above with renowned tattoo artist Mister Cartoon. Tadashi filled us in on the key ingredients to G-SHOCK’s lasting success, news on upcoming goodies too look forward to and much more:
DrJays.com: How did you get your start in the business?
Tadashi: “I have been working for CASIO for over 15 years. This is my first and only career! I began at the Casio headquarters in Tokyo, within the timepiece division. I have been involved with international markets, marketing for Casio, and have been in the U.S. since 2006, working for Casio America (a subsidiary of Casio Tokyo). Since I re-located to the U.S., I have been working to build the G-SHOCK brand, a personal favorite of mine here in the US”.
DrJays.com: Describe a typical day in the life as the Assistant General Manager of G-SHOCK.
Tadashi: “I am the marketing guy. I am always thinking of new product designs and new marketing approaches, even while handling the hectic day to day tasks of emails, meetings, etc. Although every day is a busy day busy, I am constantly trying to meet many different people in the fashion and music industry”.
DrJays.com: What is the most exciting project you have worked on with G-SHOCK?
Tadashi: “All G-SHOCK models have unique technologies with a purpose and story behind each of them. Whether the concept comes from R&D or through our collaborations with artists, athletes, musicians, etc., the product life-cycle is always an exciting one. Especially if it’s one of personal endeavors, such as the collaboration with Mister Cartoon. “That has been one of my favorite projects thus far, as I had personally seen and marketed it through beginning stages to launch time. At a time when G-SHOCK was increasing in popularity, particularly in street fashion, I wanted to feature another face of G-SHOCK that was street culture, and Mister Cartoon was the epitome of that.
He has such a great personality and amazing design skills. When we had a launch party in LA, he drove me to a nice restaurant with his fine tune 1962 classic Impala SS!”.
DrJays.com: Can you fill us in on what to expect from your upcoming spring 2010 collection?
Tadashi: “We have a lot of great models coming up for spring 2010. Our “Go Green” collection has it’s roots in the whole eco-movement. The watches are all solar powered and utilize recycled packaging. Of course they come in cool colors, but they’re equipped with eco-friendly solar technology. We want our audience to convey this very important message.
“Another new collection is the DW6900CB Mirror Face. This series is based on the most popular G-Shock case in the US. We’ve updated the watch face with a mirror treatment and utilized reverse color LCDs to accent the gloss coloring of the case and band”.
DrJays.com: What keeps G-Shock in the “cream of the crop” when it comes to watches, with rapidly growing competition in the market?
Tadashi: “As with every new G-SHOCK release, there is always a re-evaluation of design, treatment and technology to keep the brand fresh. Sure, anyone can make a white, pink or orange watch, but G-SHOCK has stood the test of time and multitude of resistance tests. We’ve been around since 1983 and have been through the highs and lows of the watch market. We have a strong loyal customer base and are so appreciative of our loyalists”.
DrJay.com: What is you favorite G-Shock watch of all time?
Tadashi: “I like to change it up for weekdays and weekends. For work, I prefer to wear a more classic style G-SHOCK with matte color, like our MTG1500BC-1. It’s a classic analog/digital with Black IP, solar power and atomic timekeeping to keep precise time & date – even for the change of daylight savings time and leap years.
“On the weekends, my style is more relaxed. My favorite G-SHOCK is the white G-Lide GLX5600-7, designed for action sports. I surf a lot, so the watch’s tide graph gives me the accurate tide information I need”.
DrJays.com: Any exciting news/upcoming collaborations in the works?
Tadashi: “Everybody wants to know who G-Shock will be collaborating with next. We have an upcoming collaboration with Globe (action sports), T.I.’s brand AKOO and Play Cloths in April. These collaborations have been developed exclusively for those partner brands.
Only 1,000 pieces of the AKOO x G-SHOCK watch will be produced – available March 15
Separately, we have a lot of great models coming this year (sorry, but it’s confidential info). I believe that every collaboration has a unique identity and captures our audience, so Id expect to see even more growth for the G-SHOCK brand this year”. Shop the latest G-SHOCK watches on DrJays.com by clicking HERE.