Posted on 12 Sep By Visionarism
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the G-Shock MR-G, the creator of G-Shock Kikuo Ibe, came to London for a ribbon cutting at the G-Shock store in Covent Garden. The store has been entirely revamped to display a retrospective exhibition of the evolution of the iconic MR-G and 20 years of finely crafted materials, advancing leading-edge technologies and uncompromising design (open from September 7th-27th 2016).
Visionarism attended the Taiko drum opening at the London Casio flagship store in the heart of Covent Garden, and we had the opportunity to have a preview of the exhibition and of G-Shock’s most expensive MR-G. We then had the honour to have lunch with Mr. Ibe and managed to ask him a few question…
In case some of our readers don’t know you yet, can you tell us about yourself and your background?
My name is Kikuo Ibe, and I am from Tokyo. I am Chief Engineer at Casio and the founder of G-Shock. I joined Casio in 1976, and I started to develop low cost high quality watches for underdeveloped countries. Shortly after, I started developing G-Shock.
How would you describe G-Shock and the vision behind it?
When I initially started to design the G-Shock line, the vision behind my concept was all about toughness. The robustness is the key to the image of my watches. In the future, I would like G-Shock to be more culturally known and supported by people, to make it an even stronger brand.
Can you describe the journey that led you to creating G-Shock?
When I was in high school, my father bought me a watch. I loved it and took care of it through the years. Unfortunately, when I started working, I dropped it once and it was broken. This is how the idea of creating a tough watch came to me. I started the design phase in May 1981 and the first G-Shock came to life in 1983.
According to you, what does G-Shock have that other watch brands don’t?
The main things are the toughness and our technology. But we believe that what makes us really unique is the design of our watches that have no comparisons on the market.
What is the innovative and design process behind each product?
For some reason, ideas don’t come to me when I sat at my desk in the office, ideas pop in my mind when I walk or run. Due to my role and responsibilities, I am constantly travelling and I always need to clear my mind by getting out of the work environment. They are the moment when I get my best ideas for innovation and new design.
How do you see the brand evolving in the future?
The concept of toughness is something that we have at heart and that will stay with G-Shock. However, we are continuously working on new designs and new technologies. In terms of marketing strategy, we want to start working with individuals and influencers who are our main consumers. We want to understand their needs and deliver marketing and new products to match their demand.
Because of your role within Casio / G-Shock, you must have met many influential people across the globe. In your opinion, who are the best ambassadors to represent your brand?
I always thought that the best ambassadors of the brand are the consumers, the true lovers of the brand. Therefore all of you are important ambassadors of G-Shock.
Last question, G-Shock has done so many great collaborations with brands and artists from all around the world. What’s next and is there anything in the pipeline you can share with us?
When we decide to collaborate with people or brands, we want to make sure that what we are going to create will benefit both them and us. It has to go both ways. Therefore, I won’t say what our next collaboration will be but we are open to anyone who comes up with an interesting concept to work on.
All images by @Visionarism.