Prior to 1983, Casio destroyed 200 handmade models in the quest to create a watch that would never break. Now, the brand is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the timepiece that finally proved indestructible — the G-Shock. Earlier this November, Elite Traveler joined members of the media, celebrities and collectors to commemorate the milestone year for G-Shock and witness the introduction of the latest innovation from the brand. G-Shock’s “founding father” Kikuo Ibe took the Theater at Madison Square Garden stage to unveil a prototype for the first-ever sapphire crystal G-Shock.
“Mr Ibe wanted to develop the sapphire crystal G-Shock because he is constantly challenging the limits of what is possible,” said David Johnson, vice president of Casio America, Inc’s Timepiece Division, in speaking to Elite Traveler. “No one has ever imagined producing a watch made out of sapphire crystal, much less one that has G-Shock’s core toughness. This is G-Shock’s position when considering new products, G-Shock is constantly evolving and our teams are considering what is next.”
The sapphire crystal G-Shock follows another concept watch dreamed up by Ibe — a timepiece made from solid 18K pure gold.
“When Mr Ibe imagined the gold G-Shock, he knew it was a difficult project,” added Johnson. “In fact, one year later our manufacturing teams are still considering the process involved to bring this to market. Once [Ibe] realized it is possible to produce a G-Shock out of the softest metal available, he then began considering developing a G-Shock out of the most fragile material available. This is how he envisioned his next dream. The next step became how to protect the module, just as he had to do 35 years ago with the original design. For the sapphire crystal G-Shock he had to develop an all-new construction, ‘all guard structure’ to protect the module, and then to protect the crystal from shocks he added carbon fiber at the bezel and the sides of the band to strengthen those points. This made his dream a reality, the most fragile material in the world fused into the toughest watch in the world.”
Though just a prototype at present, Johnson said that current production costs price the sapphire crystal G-Shock model at over $100,000. For more information, please visit gshock.com.
See the exceptional timepieces that made the Elite Traveler list of Top 50 Watches 2017 in the September/October issue.
Image Credit: Ryan Muir.