What do rapper Eminem, snowboarder Louie Vito, basketball player Brook Lopez and actor James Marsden have in common? They make way more money than us. Oh, and they all were at G-Shock‘s 30th Anniversary bash in NYC recently. Yes, it was quite the shindig, held in Basketball City, a cavernous complex regaled in black cloth and filled with thumping, edgy hits and roving purple spotlights. The street pop wonderland wasn’t just put up for shock and awe purposes, either; the Casio subset had some new watches to show off.
G-Shock has been around for 30 years, a surprising lifespan for a brand that almost exclusively makes digital watches. As mechanical timepieces surge, it’s impressive to see Casio’s creations adorning the wrists of big-name celebrities and extreme sports athletes. What’s really paramount to any G-Shock is its toughness — extreme resiliency to water, dust, shock, and very often extreme temperatures, all of which are decidedly overkill for most human beings. This has been so undeniably proven that the watches are often found on the wrists of U.S. Military service members.
That says nothing of G-Shock’s wide range of looks, from militaristic matte black (cool) to shockingly bright, street-hip colorways (middle school on steroids). This, they’ll have you know, is by design (one of their lines is called the “Garish Collection”). What resulted at G-Shock’s Anniversary event was a strange tryst between the gaudy and the badass. Their exhibitions were filled with blocky, flamboyant watches having the hell beaten out of them through various means. The fact of the matter is that once you’re through with the first “Honey, you got real ugly” phase, it’s easy to be impressed, in a way, by these decidedly brave timepieces.
As for the unveiled watches? First up was the MT-G Metal Twisted G-Shock ($900+), a dressier, stainless steel chronograph that breaks from the “CBP” (Cheap Black Plastic) category G-Shock has owned while retaining the stubborn backbone of durability that Casio won’t let you forget. This is far and away the most expensive G-Shock ever sold (spelunking Wall Street CEOs, take note). Then came the others: collaborations with Louie Vito for the snowboard set, Brook Lopez for the big-boned gentlemen, gorgeous model Jessica Stam for the ladies, and Eminem for those poor folks who hail from Detroit; a 30th anniversary edition of their classic DW6900 series; and a slideshow of prototypes that can withstand lava (extreme heat) and Mount Everest (extreme cold). A performance by Eminem capped the whole night off. Who knows what 30 more years of G-Shock will bring — more ostentatious design, a new luxury arm, or a new range of extreme sports iterations, perhaps? They can stand any test of the environment, and we’re betting on them standing the test of time.