Meet Chief G-Shock Designer Ryusuke Moriai
Last week, XXL had the pleasure and opportunity to meet with Chief G-Shock Designer, Ryusuke Moriai during his stay in New York City.
With over 30 years of experience in the watch industry, Mr.Moriai joined the Casio brand as a timepiece designer in 1985. Ten years later, he became the expert of the G-Shock design, and is now in charge of the direction of the G-Shock and Pro Trek brands for Casio. With his innovative ways and creativity, Mr. Moriai has helped the G-Shock brand become a staple in the watch industry. He's also responsible for designing some of the most iconic timepieces to ever come out of the G-Shock brand such as the DW-6400, DW-9900, GA-100/110, DW-6000 and more. His impact and designs in the timepiece world have allowed for G-Shock to become a recognizable brand across the globe.
We caught up with the mastermind behind the G-Shock and his good friend and collaborate, Eric Haze to find out more about his design process, his start in the industry and the future plans of the brand.
How long have you been working with watches and with G-Shock?
I joined Casio in 1985. From there I dedicated my professional career in the design of watches. By 1995 I became the lead expert for the G-Shock design.
What's been your favorite memory during your time with G-Shock?
Creating the first model watch I ever did. Working on the watch from scratch to the final product is one of my favorite memories without a doubt. The watch was not sold anywhere and took me approximately six months to one year to create. The model we created at that time was the DW-6400.
When you started creating the watches, were you thinking about the style of the watch first or the technology of the watch?
I have to say I was thinking about both at the same time. In the case of ordinary watch makers they think about the inside first and the design afterwards, but in the case of the G-Shock design, tech and design are part of the first stages.
How do you feel about the G-Shock watch being looked as an item of everyday wear?
I am very happy that people look at the G-Shock watch as an item that they want to wear on a daily just like Levis jeans. I created the G-Shock watch with that purpose - for people to wear it, not to put in a case for display. The purpose of the G-Shock is to wear and tear, bump against the walls because it shows the value of it and the way I want people to view it.
How do you get inspired to create all the different watches you do?
I'm inspired by heavy machinery and more industrial items. Cars like the Hummer and chunky accessories is how I get inspired to create these watches. The reason for the chunky design on the G-Shock watch is because it protects the Shock from any damages and the function is very important to the design of the watch itself as well.
Out of the designs you've created, which has been your favorite?
I love the first watch I created with G-Shock. It's like my baby [Laughs]. But another one of my favorites is the first analog G-Shock made out of titanium. We made sure that it was comfortable to wear, plus lightweight. This was from 1998 and I still have the hand drawn sketches of the watch when we were developing it.
The world is very familiar with the identity of the G-Shock watch, do you think the design of the watch will ever change?
We are going to keep one direction because thats G-Shock's philosophy, but apply the latest fashion trends to certain areas of the watch. Also, we apply new CMF concepts to the original G-Shock, so that way we always make sure to develop new products. In the past, the G-Shock team was unsure of what direction to go in due to the fashion trends being so diverse and going in so many directions. We tried to follow the fashion trends, but what I found most important was sticking to the philosophy of G-Shock, which is its identity.
With many companies producing Smartwatches nowadays, should we expect a smartwatch from G-Shock in the future?
I believe that the smartwatch is not a watch. It's just a device. G-Shock is a watch.
Eric, how was it working on your last G-Shock collaboration?
You know we've been working together for over 15 years, so the last watch we really had the opportunity to work with finish and materials. The fact that the model reveals the technology and is transparent. If you know what template is some of these designs actually tart with a templates I have a sort of outline that breaks down every piece you can see and really what I was allowed to do this time was to play with some of the internal mechanisms in the past was just surface designs but the last motto we got to work on we to to work inside the design. the technology was more of the design.
How do you feel about G-Shock always staying try to its identity?
I also share the philosophy of too much change is not good. You have to find a way to tell the old story in a new way.