The Original Game Changer
“I like jogging and growing organic vegetables.”
These are oddly mild words coming from an individual who is today known to have created one of the most rugged wristwatches the world has ever known. But this is how the man chose to describe himself when a curious enquirer asked about his interests outside of his profession during an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit back in July 2013.
The person in question is Kikuo Ibe, better known as the creator of G-Shock. The story goes that years ago, while on his way to work, the watch that Ibe-san had on his wrist dropped to the ground and was completely destroyed. What was heart wrenching for him was that same watch happened to have been a precious gift he had received from his father.
So right about now, you and I are both wondering… what watch was Ibe-san wearing?
That bit of information, though, might be pointless in helping us understand the sentimental worth the watch must’ve held for him. To this day, Ibe-san has kept mum on this matter, proving further that the worth of the watch was in his personal attachment to it, not its make.
The long and short of it is that Kikuo was so affected by the loss of this precious gift that he took it upon himself to create a watch that wouldn’t be so fragile when faced with the perils of daily life., in 1983 — and 200 prototypes later — Kikuo Ibe gave the world its first G-Shock: the Casio DW-5000C.
Recognizing Present Game Changers; Inspiring Future Game Changers
When you become familiar with the story that Ibe-san has to tell, it is obvious how much he gave off himself in order to realize a watch that would’ve been considered impossible before its time. Ibe-san challenged the norms around him to create the watch that the world ubiquitously agrees is the toughest watch there ever was.
36 years on, to celebrate the life of the G-Shock and the game changer that Ibe-san has been in the world of watchmaking, Casio Singapore has put together a campaign that recognizes this and the many strides that the G-Shock has made as a result of the path that Ibe-san paved.
Aptly named “Game Changer”, the campaign has also set itself out to recognize individuals from the island nation who have shunned the beaten track to pursue their personal passions.
The line-up of individuals include local beatbox champion Dharni Ng and accomplished contemporary artist Jahan Loh — just to name a few — who will all be present at the event on the 23rd of August alongside the original game changer, the creator of G-Shock, Kikuo Ibe.
Launch of the G-Shock GA-2100
At the same time Casio Singapore will showcase a facelifted G-Shock. Introducing the GA-2100, a resin type G-Shock with its bezel now in an octagonal shape. While the new watch takes all of its identity from its earliest ancestor, Kikuo Ibe’s 1983 DW-5000C, this iteration keeps the G-Shock’s footing firm in its present, and its future.
On first encounter we see that the dial of the watch mixes a central analog time display and an analog retrograde day display at 9 o’clock with a digital LCD display between 3 and 6 o’clock. The LCD display is further segmented into two portions that enable various functionalities that are incorporated into the time module No. 5611, which is used for the GA-2100. Some of these additional functions include a second time zone display, a 1/100 second stopwatch, a countdown timer, up to 5 alarm settings, 24-hour display and much more.
But the best bit about the GA-2100 is Casio’s newly formulated Carbon Core Guard, where the inner case of the watch is formed out of carbon fiber: a material of high strength-to-volume ratio that is incredibly light, offers high chemical and temperature tolerance, and has low thermal expansion. Carbon fiber allows for these G-Shock watches to be shaped into more compact sizes while at the same time being lighter and stronger than cases that are made of resin alone. As a result, the GA-2100 clocks in at a height of merely 11.8 mm, which then makes it the thinnest of G-Shock combination models to date. Not that anyone’s ever complained about how high any G-Shock sits on the wrist, but there you have it, a bragging right for Casio regardless.
The GA-2100 is being launched in three variations: a version in black with grey accents (ref. GA-2100- 1AJF), an all blacked out version (ref. GA-2100-1A1JF) and lastly, an all red piece (ref. GA-2100-4AJF). All three are fitted on resin bands — which incidentally brings us to our next point of interest: easy swap strap pins.
Turning the GA-2100 over, you’ll notice that the strap ends are fitted with easy release strap pins, which should make swapping out straps a breeze. While this looks like a direct response from the brand, in light of the G-Shock enthusiast community increasingly resorting to personalizing their watches with the variety of aftermarket straps, you have to wonder if Casio is going the path of possibly introducing its own line of personalization straps and accessories.