Casio G-Shock's 30th anniversary is a great opportunity for the brand to celebrate and to create some international buzz while they are at it. They clearly want to make this interesting and memorable for as wide of an audience as possible and this new limited edition plays an important role in that. Announced just recently at G-Shock's 'Shock The World' event in New York, this new piece is dedicated to Eminem (who performed at the event) and is officially called the GDX6900MNM-1. It is now part of the 'newly-revamped' XL-6900 family - an almost 10% bigger, enhanced version of the very popular 6900 series.
This particular model will be available in matte black with a black dial and a black reverse LCD. Certainly a style matching the generally serious and dark mood of Eminem lyrics. But what is behind this co-operation? Well, first of all, 'Slim Shady' has been wearing G-Shocks for a long time as many enthusiasts of the brand - or fans of the artist - may remember. That is a powerful connection and the chairman and CEO of Casio America, Shigenori Itoh is well aware of that. As he puts it: "With Hip-Hop, it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for. Eminem has an immense and loyal fan base around the world, as does G-SHOCK, making this collaboration one that will connect closely with many thousands of collective fans."
I feel that there is a bold and yet thoroughly planned concept behind continuing this cooperation. First of all, Eminem with 13 Grammy awards, one Oscar and over 70 million sold records is among the most successful in his field. He also is one of those stars who have been in the 'industry' for quite some time now (about 15 years and counting), and while he spends less and less time in the spotlight, his fan base remains as widespread and strong as ever. G-Shock is surprisingly similar in a few interesting ways, notably how it not only skyrocketed to become globally popular, but also how it managed to stay at the top, even years - or decades - after its success story began.
Apart from these less obvious similarities, the connection between the rapper-producer-actor and the G-Shock brand actually has its roots set deep in other previous co-operations. In other words, as I pointed out earlier, the attentive fans do recognize the G-Shock on the wrist of their favorite star. He wore it in several music videos - such as Space Bound or I Need a Doctor in which he had an earlier iteration of the 6900 on - and also on special occasions like the 2010 Video Music Awards. The list could go on and on, but the point is that this is not an impromptu relation between brand and star.
As for the watch itself, it is a limited edition that will be released in December, 2013 - just in time for Christmas - and will be available through selected department stores and fashion boutiques, key jewelers and the G-Shock NYC Soho store. Casio will make sure that it is a unique-looking issue as well. On the upper strap, the Detroit skyline will be outlined in red, the watch face and 'band loop' will have the reverse “E” from his stylized moniker EMINƎM, while the watch case back and lower watch band will show the autograph of his alter ego - “Shady.” Water resistance to 200 meters, shock resistance, auto LED super illuminator, world time, alarm and multi-home settings adorn the list of functions and features.
Whether or not one will stand in the queue around the winter holidays for a piece of these is clearly subjective. Still, I feel that we must consider this a co-operation with a couple common points just strong enough to make this a powerful and globally popular limited edition. The watch will retail for $180 and will be available at the end of this year. gshock.com