In 1981, after breaking the mechanical watch his father had given him, Kikuo Ibe, then a young engineer at Casio, was resolute at creating an “indestructible” timepiece. Developed in secret because his ideas ran counter to the slim watches of the era, Ibe laboured in secret to birth the G-Shock, tossing at least 200 prototypes out a bathroom window to test shock resistance. Two years later, the indestructible G-Shock watch was born, shocking the world with its absolute toughness. That said, despite its near legendary qualities, it did not enjoy widespread consumer appeal, mostly adopted by military forces, police officers and construction workers – that is to say, jobs with harsh professional requirements. Then, the “hype” or skateboarding craze hit Japan, instantly turning the original G-Shock model, the DW-5000C, into a cult hit which matched the nascent streetwear craze.
In August 2017, Casio shipped their 100-Millionth G-Shock Watch worldwide, a testament to not only its now broad but enduring appeal 35 years on. Today, they make a new milestone – what was once the IT watch for boarders, has now become an IT watch for ballers. Ladies and gents, a S$100,000 18k solid gold G-shock watch.
Point of reference – there are many high end watches you can buy with $100,000. A Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712 with an original list price of S$52,500 but high demand low supply would command resale of that model in the 2nd hand market of S$ 95,611. You could buy five, top of the line, brand new, 2019 two-tone Rolex “Rootbeer” GMT Master-IIs, each retailing for S$18,920. BUT, spending all that money on a single 18-karat gold G-D5000-9, has to be the single, most conspicuous way to show off disposable income. Or is it?
Combining the absolute toughness of a G-Shock with the enduring qualities of gold seems to be an apt way to celebrate 36 years of heritage. Multi-Millionaires like Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and professional fighter Manny Pacquiao even count G-Shocks amidst their own collection of six figure watches. Would it be so odd to put S$100,000 down on a solid gold G-Shock?
One could argue, the G-Shock is a digital timepiece, prone to be outdated by the next thing in digital technology. That’s true, but one surmises that Casio incorporated the gallium arsenide solar power system with efficient satellite solar cell technology with an eye to long term longevity – after all, these high-efficiency solar cells are used in things like the Mars Rovers, objects meant to function as long as they can independently. Furthermore, the solid gold G-shock inherits the case from of the original DW-5000C model. This means that conceivably, the G-D5000-9 could simply be upgrade with future quartz movements designed for that iconic case.
The G-D5000-9 18K gold G-Shock watch is not made with the usual highly malleable precious metal either. It took five years for the “Dream Project” G-SHOCK to achieve an ideal impact-resistant structure for gold. It’s not a slouch in the looks department either, consider hypebeast culture, this new breed of hautebeast is right up there with $15,000 Kanye Yeezy sneakers. Hand polished to perfection by Japanese artisans, this solid gold G-Shock isn’t some factory stock standard. Despite its precious metal skin, a fine resin cushion ensures that the world’s most expensive G-Shock enjoys the outstanding shock resistance of its full resin cousins. It is also equipped with similar features as the full metal GMW-B5000D series, such as 200-metre water resistance, Tough Solar power, and Multi-Band 6 radio wave timekeeping, and the recognisable signature high-luminosity full auto LED backlight, a reverse LCD display and world time.
Now, here’s the S$100,000 question. Is this solid gold G-Shock worth $100,000? Just remember this key maxim – there’s a difference between value and price.
There are just 35 solid gold G-Shock watches worldwide, each will retail for S$100,000 and can be pre-ordered at either Cortina Watch, Mandarin Gallery or G-SHOCK Boutique, Marina Bay Sands.