Interest | Fashion

What Went Down at G-SHOCK's 40th Anniversary, Shock the World in Bali

Senin, 04 Dec 2023 21:00 WIB
What Went Down at G-SHOCK's 40th Anniversary, Shock the World in Bali
Jakarta -

What's the first watch you ever wanted or thought was cool? For many, the answer would inevitably be G-SHOCK. Their rugged looks, array of colors, and effortless sense of cool has many drawn to them—across generations and around the globe.

Conceptualized in 1981 by Casio engineer Kikuo Ibe, what he set out to do was to create a tough and reliable watch after bumping into someone on the street and seeing their watch fell on the ground then shattered afterwards. With his small team, they developed nearly 200 failed prototypes, until they successfully created the G-SHOCK DW-5000C in 1983. Today, 40 years after its inception, G-SHOCK continues to innovate and blur the lines between functionality and eye-catching designs.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, G-SHOCK embarked on a world tour in a series of events titled "Shock the World". Its first ever event in Southeast Asia, "Shock the World in Bali", was held in collaboration with music company 88Rising at Desa Potato Head, Seminyak—with an assortment of interesting guests, including the "Father of G-SHOCK" himself, Kikuo Ibe.

The event exhibits G-SHOCK's products, including ones worn by 88Rising's artists in their campaign. The showcase also includes G-SHOCK's new products lineup, their past models, and also a very special piece; a model of G-SHOCK's dream project watch, a collaboration between young designers and seasoned veterans of the company. Made out of 18 karat gold, the model boasts an intricately refined design while not losing G-SHOCK's signature design language. The actual watch itself will be privately auctioned at Phillips New York.

The panel discussion is filled with special guests from G-SHOCK's team, their collaborators, and notable figures from the global creative industry. Within the private panel discussion, attendees were told the history of G-SHOCK, the brand's continuous innovation, and what's on the horizon for them—including exclusive collaborations, one of them being with Rich Brian.

Before his appearance, Kikuo Ibe was shown to be talking with his younger self in a lighthearted yet heartfelt video. In the video, the young Kikuo Ibe was shown to be dispirited after experiencing constant failure in developing G-SHOCK. His current self, however, looked at his previous failures as "exquisite". The two exchanged dialogues, with Ibe-San's older self emphasizing the importance of embracing your failures and keep moving forward. When his younger self asked whether he's still innovating, after 40 years of career, his current self disappeared. The question was then answered directly by the real Kikuo Ibe to the audience—yes, he certainly is still pushing the envelope.

Interestingly, G-SHOCK was not selling well at first in Japan, it was in the US where it first blew up. Its success in the US, however, started to open doors for other international markets as well. In turn, G-SHOCK's collaborations with brands, artists, and the like has opened doors for them in later years—marking a number of full circle moments for G-SHOCK. Shawn Dua Bui, founder of Malaysian streetwear label Against Lab, attested to this fact. Having collaborated with G-SHOCK recently, he stated, has increased the visibility of his own brand internationally. Being a longtime fan of the brand, the collaboration was an exciting milestone for Shawn and Against Lab, a sentiment that is shared by many of G-SHOCK's collaborators.

The event continued with a Balinese dance performance in Desa Potato Head's courtyard nearing dusk. The juxtaposition between Balinese dance and chants, Sundanese Gamelan, and the sun getting low amidst Desa Potato Head's textural brutalist architecture and Futura 2000's massive Pointman - River Warrior sculpture proved to be a unique experience. Moving a bit to the plaza within the bar area, attendees were then treated to special performances by 88Rising's artists. Warren Hue took the stage and mesmerized the audience with his fusion of hip-hop, R&B, and house music in his first ever performance in Bali, while Niki had everyone singing along to her anthems.

Amidst all the performances, G-SHOCK's 40th anniversary logo continued to glow from the stage's backdrop, underlying the massive achievement that inspired this event. Forty years of innovation is surely a monumental milestone, as can be witnessed by the celebrations happening throughout the day. However, I personally have a suspicion that for Ibe-San's mind already wandered on to the next project. Here's to never backing down in the face of hardships.