Casio G-Shock watches come in seemingly a gazillion shapes, colors, configurations and variants. And yet, if you're a G-Shock fan, you might find that the exact combination of features you dream of is surprisingly hard to track down. Wouldn't it be cool if you could make your own G-Shock just the way you want it?
With more brands getting into the trend of online, made-to-order watch customizing, it seems like you should be able to do this — and no watchmaker is better suited to it than Casio.
The Japanese company surely has the technical ability and the enthusiastic fanbase to pull it off. The burgeoning cottage industry of G-Shock modders is proof that there's a market hungry for personalized G-Shocks, and Casio could learn from it. It makes a lot of sense for the company, yes — but also, I just really want to make my own, perfect G-Shocks. (Like, many of them.)
New releases from most watchmakers often merely change up a color or highlight on an existing model — as if a designer hit "color fill" on a design element or two and then sent it off to production. Many G-Shock releases are like this, too, but the brand's famous resin cases seem particularly versatile and suited to a quick tweak. Display options, technical features like Tough Solar and Multiband 6, highlights and straps — they all seem like fair game and not too difficult to swap. (Casio does offer custom orders to corporate clients ordering in bulk, but the process doesn't look nearly as fun as using an online tool where you can create a single unique item.)
Setting up such an online customization tool and the systems to produce and deliver the product might have its challenges — but it's been done in other industries for some time (sneakers come to mind), and even in watches. If prestigious brands like Porsche Design that are working with mechanical watches and materials like sapphire crystal and titanium can do it, why not Casio? G-Shock is a brand that should be leading the way in this field rather than falling behind the curve.
A G-Shock customizing tool would be awesome, but naturally limited. The brand could start with well-established lines like the 5600 and 6900 or newer popular ones like the GA2100 "Casioak," rather than the many constantly evolving G-Shocks which (laudably) include fresh case and display designs that go far beyond simple color changes on a regular basis.
Therein lies another reason that Casio wouldn't have to worry about undercutting their healthy collector and limited-edition markets: they'd still be able to have plenty of their own designs, as well. The more models, features and options in this hypothetical tool the better, but the brand would also be smart to curate them. For example, Casio could reserve graphic designs for their limited-edition collaborations with skaters, artists, etc. (It wouldn't be ideal from a branding perspective to let people just print any picture from their phone on the strap.)
Part of the challenge would be designing the online user interface, but if any brand can make it fun and expressive for its customers, it's G-Shock — one can envision announcements as frequent as those for novel watches that new options are now available for customization. Then, just think of the hype and social media sharing of people's own G-Shock "collab" watches.
That's what I want, but I'm just one person who would go nuts creating G-Shock watches of my own imagining — and I wouldn't be alone.