As featured on Harper's BAZAAR, September 4, 2019
by Navin Pillay
G-SHOCK celebrated their 35th anniversary this year with their “Game Changer” campaign in Singapore, featuring homegrown talents Dharni Ng (beatboxer), Jahan Loh (artist), Christopher James van Huizen (professional athlete) and Valerie Wang (fashion creative). One thing they all have in common—overcoming the odds and making a name for themselves.
The biggest game changer at the event, however, was Kikuo Ibe, the creator of G-SHOCK. At a press conference prior to the event, he shared how damaging a watch gifted to him by his father (as a result of dropping it) inspired him to create a durable and shock-resistant timepiece. Despite countless prototypes and design innovations, he was unable to figure out how the inner structures could be prevented from breaking…until an epiphany struck him whilst sitting in a park one day, where he saw a kid dribbling a ball. It gave him the idea of suspending the inner mechanisms to diffuse the shock and voila! The first G-SHOCK was born.
We caught up with Ibe at the event to find out what makes him tick, and more importantly, his secret to success. Read on to find out what he had to say.
What does the concept of time mean to you?
I believe that time is something that is given equally to everyone, and depending on how it is used, it can be used for good or bad. I often used it badly and regretted it afterwards.
In the face of today’s digital age, what do you think will make for a successful analog watch?
What I think an analog watch has that digital watches doesn’t, is the sense of physical space and luxury. If one can express these two special traits well, then he can make a successful analog watch.
What does G-SHOCK’s Underground Fight Club symbolise to you?
It symbolises how G-SHOCK is always pushing the envelope for its discerning youth consumers, to whom I am greatly thankful. I’ve also received a lot of power and inspiration from these youths.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming artists in pursuit of success?
There will always be difficulties ahead of them, but if they don’t give up, they will have a chance of success. My advice to them is to do their best and never give up.
Lastly, what do you think the future holds for watchmaking?
I think that there will be a polarisation between tradition and evolution, and between value-based pricing and premium pricing. We always strive to create something that is authentic.
Read more in the full article here
Article content has been adapted and all image credits to © Harper's BAZAAR Singapore