Folio.YVR Issue #4: GShock Founder Kikuo Ibe Performs

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There was nothing flash about the speaker at the podium, save for a large red paper heart that was pinned to his polka-dot dress-shirt. Known internationally to timepiece aficionados, vintage collectors, and lovers of haute horlogerie, Kikuo Ibe is the creator of the G-SHOCK digital watch and an industry trailblazer.

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‘An Evening with G-SHOCK’ tour began the previous night in Toronto, with the 66-year old as the main draw for an evening that included a showcase of local DJ’s and Canadian musical talent.

Taking the stage in Vancouver, Ibe greeted a diverse crowd at The Venue on Granville Street, with a shy smile and a quirky 20-minute Powerpoint Presentation, which he narrated from a series of cue cards.

The appreciative audience laughed each time Ibe reinforced his story with his mantra “ never give up!” A 3-word phrase to which he says owes his success and happiness. Animated and entertaining, Ibe completed his presentation with a slight bow and a wave.

Ibe told of his life’s devotion to creating for Japanese brand Casio. In 1983, he and his team began to doggedly develop a prototype of a smash-proof digital watch. It was an unfortunate accident a year previous that served as the impetus for the project. Distracted, Ibe crashed into another pedestrian, which resulted in his watch, a gift from his father to fall and break on the pavement.

As a mid-level engineer, Ibe was obsessed with designing a watch that would survive a 10-metre fall onto a solid floor and would keep working underwater. The resulting prototype was named ‘G-SHOCK,’ an abbreviation of ‘gravitational shock.’

Marketed initially as a timepiece for those in physical labour jobs such as construction, manufacturing, policing, and emergency services, the G-SHOCK watch has survived for decades in hundreds of incarnations and is beloved by many. Ibe fondly says that his creation “is accepted by fashionable people, clubbers, and young people.”

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Ibe’s presentation was followed by a fan meet-and-greet, where he autographed a litany of items and posed for photographs in his signature crossed-arm stance showing off his white G-SHOCK watch.

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In line with his quirkiness, Kikuo Ibe owns only three of the watches-white, red, and black-all versions of the original designs. Each only worn in its assigned season: red in the winter, black in the spring and fall, and white in the summer.

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Helen Siwak Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Communications, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and multiple digital lifestyle blogs. She is a content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist in the luxury lifestyle niche. She is a regular content contributor to Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Boulevard English & Chinese editions, Indulge, and Montecristo Magazine. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she is honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. helen@ecoluxluv.com

Originally published at http://folioyvr.com on October 26, 2019.

Vancouver, BC. EcoLuxLuv Comms, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and multiple digital lifestyle blogs. See more at issuu.com/folio.yvr!

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