Thai G-Shock Collector タイGショックコレクター
Sees Personal Value in Watch Collection
I had the chance to interview Singha Beer CEO and fourth-generation heir Piti “Todd” Bhirombhakdi, an avid Thai G-Shock collector タイGショックコレクターor Thai G Shock lover タイGショックラバーwith nearly 450 G-Shock watches. Bhirombhakdi’s radiating enthusiasm for G-Shock watches has earned him his status as the pioneering (and leading) G-Shock collector in Thailand.
So many would be quick to assume that a Singha heir was likely raised being handed everything he asked for, but in reality, Bhirombhakdi’s family taught him to understand the value of money from an early age. He recounted his childhood days, when it was every kid’s dream to own a G-Shock watch, recalling that he was told he would have to earn reward money through academic or athletic achievements in order to get the things he wanted; the most his father would ever buy him and his brother was a soccer ball. He would therefore work hard to earn the money he needed to support his G-Shock watch purchases. I am truly amazed by Bhirombhakdi’s story and admire the values he’s developed.
Casio’s G-Shock watches have been on the market for around 30 years, but their designs have remained remarkably modern and unique, especially compared to other rubber-strap watches. Of greatest interest to collectors in Thailand is the G-Shock “Limited” collection—watches with limited release, typically based on popular anime shows such as Ultraman, Doraemon, Gundam, and Astro Boy (one of the most coveted and prized G-Shock watch is the Astro Boy Mighty Atom 60th Anniversary watch).
For most collectors, cost and potential profits are not contributing factors when adding a watch to their collection, although Bhirombhakdi admitted to having thought twice before buying when he sees the price tags of some watches! Regardless, his collection truly brings him joy, happily deciding each morning before work which watch to wear. He shared with me his favorite model, which displays a race car that lines up with the “12” on the watch face. He holds this model most dearly because it was designed specifically for CEOs interested in race cars (yes, the watch was made specifically for Bhirombhakdi alone). I couldn’t help but wonder if it would ever be possible for me to get a personalized G-Shock watch in my lifetime like Bhirombhakdi did!
Thailand has seen a recent resurgence in G-Shock watch collecting due to the bargain prices of many of these watches. Because of this, Casio is developing a special line of G-Shock Limited Edition Thailand watches, designed by none other than Bhirombhakdi himself. The collection will feature three models in the three colors of Thailand’s flag: one with a Thai kite on the strap (since kite flying is a traditional sport in Thailand, and since Bhirombhakdi’s great-grandfather was formerly the president of the Sports Association of Thailand), one with an illustration of Hanuman (a God in Thailand’s national epic Ramakien), and one with the Singha (a lion in Thai mythology and the logo for Singha Beer). The coming line is intended to give Thai G-Shock collectors タイGショックコレクターand Thai G Shock loverタイGショックラバーthe opportunity to own models exclusive and particularly meaningful to Thai people. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from this collection will go to charity!
I was excited for the Thai G Shock Collector タイGショックコレクターin Thailand after hearing this news, so much so that I wanted to reserve some of these watches for myself, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from interviewing the leading G-Shock collector in Thailand, it’s that collecting anything requires raw passion, where a greater value is placed on happiness derived from collecting over potential profits and cost. (Besides, constantly thinking about the cost would probably deter me from buying some watches!)
Today, I had the opportunity to photograph 50 of Bhirombhakdi’s limited edition watches—truly a sight to behold. Of the 50, my personal favorite had to have been the Doraemon model, which Bhirombhakdi mentioned has special meaning to him since he shares his birthday (September 3) with the anime robotic cat Doraemon. Isn’t that just precious?
After having the chance to speak with the top G-Shock collector or Thai G Shock lover タイGショックラバーin Thailand today, I found a greater interest in G-Shock watches. The circle of G-Shock watch collectors in Thailand is truly fortunate to have the opportunity to obtain a special, exclusive line of G-Shock watches designed specifically for Thai people.
Thank you so much translator by Nat Natawut Monaikul