Introducing G-SHOCK GBX-100KI-1 Kanoa IgarashiBy Michael Weare
Casio G-SHOCK’s new GBX-100KI-1 is the second signature model endorsed by Japanese-American pro surfer Kanoa Igarashi. A special-edition piece, it is the latest addition to the G-LIDE line of extreme sports watches with a design and color theme created under Igarashi’s direction.
The 24-year-old Igarashi began learning to surf at just three years of age. His father Tsutomu was a surfer in Japan and an avid fan of the sport himself. It was he who encouraged Igarashi to be up by 5:45 a.m. to catch the surf before school began; a great way to shake off the cobwebs.
This new all-black G-LIDE model is packed with cool and crafty design details specified by Igarashi himself. It’s adorned with different textures and shades for each part including the bezel, band, and LCD.
The bezel and glass feature a stealth black motif with a speckled pattern on the stainless steel bezel. The “stealth” in this design comes from the fact the overall graphic gives the impression of randomly spread sand creating a camo appearance. Look more carefully and the pattern reveals a photo of Igarashi riding a massive wave.
The dial, caseback, and band tip feature Igarashi’s signature. The band’s lug side showcases the number 50, which is the surfer’s number on the WSL Championship Tour.
The limited edition GBX-100KI-1 is an advanced G-LIDE GBX-100 surfing model with high resolution, high contrast Memory In Pixels (MIP) LCD screen display, advanced tide functions with approximately 3,300 locations, moon data, sunrise/sunset time, step counter, vibration alerts, and Bluetooth smartphone link.
Huntington Beach-based Igarashi, who at 5’ 11 with blond hair, looks just what you would expect a bronzed California surfer hero to be, is also an Olympic medal winning athlete. At the delayed Olympic Games held in Japan in July this year, he competed at Tsurigasaki beach in Chiba prefecture. The beach had special significance to Igarashi as it was the same one where his father Tsutomu not only surfed but also discovered with his friends and called “the Dojo”. Igarashi went on to win the silver medal in the competition.
Water resistant to 200 meters, and with 2 years battery life, the watch comes on an integrated black resin strap and features a variety of functions that are useful in daily training including distance traveled, time and pace. The watch is presented in a smart metallic tin with Igarashi’s signature on the front.
Seen as a gimmicky watch when it was first launched in Japan in 1983, the G-SHOCK saw initial sluggish sales which led to concern that the model would be discontinued. The fact of G-Shock’s ongoing relevance and desirability among the younger generations is not merely down to the robustness of product or its eye catching designs.
G-SHOCK also picked the right personality to endorse its watches. A cool Japanese- American surfer hero with a silver Olympic medal ticks boxes on both sides of the Pacific. Making the watch a limited edition with significant input from the surfer himself merely heightens the glamor and appeal.
G-SHOCK has gained a reputation for being one of the world’s toughest and most fashionable watches. The brand continues to expertly surf the high seas of both store and internet sales worldwide.
G-SHOCK GBX-100KI-1 Kanoa Igarashi Limited Edition
Functions: includes Digital Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Time Zones, 24-Hour indicator, Moon phase, Day, Date, Month, Auto Calendar, Countdown Timer, Hourly Signal, High Tide for specific locations
Size: 51.1 x 46.1 x 14.7mm
Case: Black IP Plated Bezel, Resin
Dial: Mineral Crystal
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Integrated black resin
Price: USD 200
Availability: At select G-SHOCK retailers and the G-SHOCK Soho Store NYC from December 2021.