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G-Shock On Turning 40 And Navigating 2024 [Exclusive]

G-Shock On Turning 40 And Navigating 2024 [Exclusive]

Masakazu Sugawa, General Manager of Casio’s Singapore speaks with TRP on the company’s recent 40th anniversary celebration and plans for the year.

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Longevity is something that is not promised in the field of business. While one can strive for it, a lasting business brand is not always guaranteed. Hence, it speaks volumes of a company that is capable of staying in operation for years. 

G-Shock is one such brand. Ever since its inception in 1983, G-Shock has dedicated itself to creating modern yet comfortable watches that can last through time and matter, denying the conventional idea of watches as breakable items. 

Image: John Peter Tan/TRP

In doing so, it established the “tough watch” as a new wristwatch genre and has continued to evolve for over 40 years. In fact, G-Shock recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with its Shock The World celebration in Bali, Indonesia. 

Not only did TRP attend the event but we also spoke with Casio Singapore’s General Manager, Masakazu Sugawa about the anniversary celebration, G-Shock’s longevity, and future plans. 

Congratulations on G-Shock’s 40th anniversary! How does it feel for the brand to have come this far? 

Maintaining a brand for 40 years is not an easy feat in today’s world. The sustained support of many users over this period can be attributed to various factors, but I am convinced that the key factor is G-Shock’s consistent dedication to profound craftsmanship, based on the uncomplicated concept of “Absolute Toughness”. 

Masakazu Sugawa – Casio Singapore

Also, in addition to such tangible value, G-Shock has successfully built an emotional connection with consumers by conveying its challenging spirit and worldview through creative storytelling. I believe these factors are what contribute to the brand’s sustainability. 

What are some of G-Shock’s favourite highlights that the brand has achieved with the Southeast Asian market? 

We have undertaken various initiatives but undoubtedly G-Shock’s efforts in Southeast Asia for the 40th anniversary last year stand out as the most significant milestone in our history. 

Starting with the inaugural regional campaign based on the ‘That’s Tough’ concept, collaborating with 88rising for the ‘Rooted in Toughness’ POP-UP Tour campaign, and culminating in the successful Shock The World event in Bali – it was a year of unprecedented excitement. 

Speaking of which, what was the thought process behind the Shock The World event in Bali, Indonesia? 

The Shock The World event at the Potato Head Bali marks the first collaborative effort across Southeast Asian countries, representing our company’s largest scale in this region to date. 

Achieving this required our respective country leaders with diverse cultural backgrounds and business practices to come together as one team. Leaders from each country communicated frequently to foster mutual respect and understanding. 

What was particularly intriguing was that, despite experiencing diversity, everyone eventually realised a distinct consistency in why our fans, partners, and cultures from different countries support G-Shock. This consistency is crucial for the ongoing success of the brand. 

But were there any difficulties in connecting with the Southeast Asian community? 

Definitely! Southeast Asia, being a diverse collection of countries, led our company to implement individually optimised marketing mixes to align with each country’s operational preferences. 

As a result, the lack of consistency in brand identity became apparent. 

We addressed this by engaging with leaders from each country, rearticulating and visualising the brand’s personality, and building a process for localisation while adhering to it. Our culmination of this effort is evident in the Shock The World event at the Potato Head Bali. 


Do you think younger consumers specifically will continue to resonate with G-Shock’s message of toughness? 

G-Shock has consistently pursued toughness and I believe it continues to resonate with the challenges faced by today’s youth. This is because we translate that message into our brand. 

For instance, the term ‘toughness’ was used to evoke images of physical strength in the past, but now it also signifies mental strength and resilience such as accepting failure. 

As such, this approach allows G-Shock to connect with and gain empathy from the new generation of consumers. 

Is there something (strategy/design) in the past that Casio would emulate in future projects? 

G-Shock’s legacy is formidable and we continue to evolve while respecting it. For instance, the new iconic 2100 model was created based on the 5600 model known as the origin of G-Shock. 


This exemplifies G-Shock’s success in design evolution without altering the iconic octagonal face shape since its inception. 

Also, G-Shock has collaborated with various cultural communities in the past, unintentionally gaining acceptance, especially among youth in street culture due to the functionality and design of toughness. 

While we respect and collaborate with them, we are highly sensitive to maintaining authenticity for each party. It is crucial to engage in dialogue to find mutual relevance and missing parts when collaborating. 

In today’s industry landscape, many companies engage in collaborations to follow trends, but some may lack consistency with the essence of their brand. We strive to preserve the authentic connection with the culture we have helped create in the past. 

What does 2024 look like for G-Shock? 

After reaching the milestone of our 40th anniversary, we aim to continue evolving. Our focus includes strengthening smart features and expanding high-end models. 

Particularly in the G-Shock metal category, which we believe still has untapped potential, we plan to introduce a lineup that maintains toughness while offering higher quality. Additionally, as a new digital strategy, we will advance the ‘Virtual G-Shock’ project. 

The goal of the Virtual G-Shock project is to expand the existing G-Shock experience into the virtual world, enhancing the brand’s presence in the virtual and Web3 realms. 

To achieve this, we intend to cultivate virtual fans through co-creation projects and increase the number of collaborators who share the vision of the future that Virtual G-Shock aims to create. 

READ MORE: Here’s How G-Shock Celebrated Its 40th Anniversary Last Weekend! 

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