Every secret agent has a laboratory worth of research and development behind them. James Bond has Q. T’Challa has Shuri. G-SHOCK has Kikuo Ibe.
In 1981, Ibe, G-SHOCK’s legendary head of watch design, assembled a team of eight elite engineers that he called “Team Tough.” Their mission was to build an unbreakable watch.
Team Tough took their mission seriously, putting their prototypes through a battery of rigorous tests, including throwing them out of a 3rd floor men’s room window and running them over with a car. Years of work and tons of prototypes came and went, but the dream wasn’t realized until inspiration came from an unexpected place.
Passing by a playground, Kikuo Ibe became transfixed on a bouncing rubber ball. He thought to himself, “If you attached a watch to that ball, it could endure severe shocks.” Ibe came up with the “floating module.” The watch itself would be contained within a suspended module with only a few points of contact, providing the most effective possible shock protection with the most efficient use of material.