When I received a media save-the-date for the Casio G-Shock 35th Anniversary Celebration, held earlier this month at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, I thought, "How did I get on this list?" This was quickly followed by, "I can't wait!" After all, not only do remember the first G-Shock ad (my senior year in high school) and my first Casio watch, but Eminem played the 30th Anniversary Party, and the likes of Kanye and Kesha have entertained at past brand events. I RSVPed.
Why G-Shock Watches Are Special
The G-Shock is a super-strong, virtually unbreakable watch. All of the watches are built to resist centrifugal forces, impact forces, water pressure, and vibration. They can withstand temperature extremes, and are used by much of the world's military, as well as pilots and athletes. In fact, we watched the Rangers' Mark Messier recreate that first G-Shock ad, shooting several watches into the goal net. All of them were still working!
New G-Shock Developments
At the Press Event, we were able to see examples of all of the G-Shock models for the past 35 years, plus displays of every new watch, including the women's sport S-series, the new Master of G series, and the designer collaborations with Pigalle and Eric Haze. There was an area where we could watch a live hammer test of the watch (which just kept working), and we saw the new prototype watch that is made from sapphire crystal.
We heard presentations from Casio CEO Kazuo Kashio, G-Shock inventor Kikuo Ibe (who was wearing the $100,000 crystal watch prototype), artist Eric Haze, snowboarder Louie Vito, Kith founder Ronnie Fieg, Pigalle designer Stephane Ashpool, and several other guests. Did you know that Casio has shipped over 100,000,000 G-Shocks? That is totally worth celebrating!
Following the press event, tables were set up with popcorn and beverages, and Off White designer and all around creative genius Virgil Abloh took his spot at the DJ booth. He managed to blend old school R & B with new hip hop in a way that was seamless and totally danceable. He spins only at private events, so if you have the opportunity to see him, do it! I hope to see him again.
And then the night's special entertainment - A$AP Ferg and the entire A$AP Mob, with The Cozy Boys! We could not have asked for a better show.
And yes, there was a gift bag! A nice tote featuring Eric Haze's 35th anniversary logo, a thumb drive shaped like a G-Shock, a patch, a coffee table book of G-Shock history, and a gorgeously painted Japanese hand towel, designed by Three Demons Design, featuring the Statue of Liberty wearing a G-Shock.
A Successful Event
This event was successful on so many levels. First, we learned a lot about the brand. We saw examples of every watch, received all of the technical specs, and were able to ask questions of all the Casio executives and engineers in attendance. Hubby actually wants to go to the store uptown and try some on, and G-Shock was not really in his radar before this event.
[An aside - I still know little to nothing about the Asics collaboration with Steve Aoki after the brand event last month. In fact, I have no idea what shoe I wore to jump on the trampoline. Just saying.]
Second, we heard a lot of personal stories about the brand from people who wear them in extreme conditions, which helped us see their place in the market. Third, it was an awesome and memorable party, with drinks, snacks, and truly A-list music. Plus the gift bag was thoughtful and special. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and super-knowledgeable, about G-Shock.
[Another aside - we left the Asics event with nothing tangible and no information. Nothing printed or on a thumb drive. Nothing was said at the event other than blanket statements that were already online. I am not sure that these brand "experiences" with no real direction or solid information are that effective, or whether they just add noise to a super- crowded marketplace.]
My G-Shock S-Series Wish List
The S-Series (see above) is a nice nod to the upscale women's fitness market, but it could do so much more! Currently the main additions are a pedometer (step counter) with a reminder when you are inactive too long, and a stopwatch. Now, pedometers are everywhere. Every Fitbit, iWatch, and smart phone has a pedometer, and stand alone versions often show up free in cereal boxes. And while a stopwatch is somewhat useful, an interval timer would be even better.
So, just in case Kikuo Ibe or some Casio G-Shock executive decides to look at this post, here is my relatively short S-Series wish list:
- Full fitness tracker capability, including heart rate.
- Impact resistance for kettlebells and such
- Interval/Tabata timer
- Ability to save data for tracking (wifi)
And thanks, Casio, for an awesome night and a great watch brand!