Straat Your Stuff: Joel Tan

Besides having a stash of sneakers, Joel Tan has amassed over a hundred Casio G-Shock watches over the past decade. We check out his collection, which includes rare and unreleased pieces.

By Daniel Loy
Photos by Andreas Krisanto

When did you start collecting G-Shock watches?
I started buying G-Shock watches in my youth, but only got into seriously collecting them from 2006.

How many G-Shock watches do you have right now?
I just did a count and the final tally is 137 pieces.

What is it about these watches that appeal to you?
In my opinion, G-Shock watches are the most “street worthy” of their kind due to the sheer number of collaborations the brand has with streetwear labels.

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Which model in particular is your favorite?
My favorite model has to be the iconic DW6900, especially those that are the result of collabs with streetwear brands. My most beloved piece is without a doubt the Fragment Design x G-Shock DW6900. I’m a huge fan of Hiroshi Fujiwara’s design and that watch is an instant winner with its simple and clean colorway. The Michael Lau x G-Shock DW6900 and the Stussy x BAPE x G-Shock Frogman are also worthy contenders.

We also spotted several unique pieces that are widely considered to be holy grails.
The 100-pieces Clot x G-Shock DW6900 in-store release which come in a beautiful transparent case, along with the 100-pieces Undefeated x G-Shock DW6900 with tri-color zulu band are hot items. Then there is the Clot x G-Shock G001 which is the holy grail of that model. Only 25 pieces were available for sale. I also have the unreleased Akoo x G-Shock DW6900. Akoo is a clothing brand founded by the rapper T.I. and the watch was cancelled at the last moment and never released for retail.

You even have watches that come as part of a sneaker collaboration pack.
I have this strange habit of matching my whole outfit for the day with the same brand so yes, I have watches that match both the colorway of my sneakers and the brands.

Tell us about an unforgettable experience you encountered while collecting watches.
I was fortunate enough to meet the creator of G-Shock, Mr. Kikuo Ibe, when he was here in Singapore for an event. I managed to get his autograph, which was a huge moment for me.

What’s a little known fact about G-Shock that others may not know about?
The most expensive G-Shock is the Murakami x G-Shock GWF1000. You’ll need to pay at least S$10,000 to get one.

On average, how many G-Shock watches do you purchase each month?
It used to be two or three pieces every month. Now, I consider myself lucky if my wife allows me to get one every three months!

What’s the dream collaboration in your opinion?
A collaboration with Supreme! I still can’t believe they haven’t crossed paths yet. I hope James Jebbia is reading this!

Which watches are you on the hunt for at the moment?
I’m looking for the Pool Aoyama x G-Shock G100 that was released in 2016. I have the 2015 edition, so I need the 2016 one to complete the set. I had the chance to get them before but resellers became a bit too greedy. No deal done so far, so the search continues.

How about the recently released Darker Than Wax x G-Shock GD100 “New Times”?
At S$249 with a custom box, USB mixtape and limited availability in Singapore and London, I think it’s a good buy.

Have watches been largely overlooked in street culture?
Yes, I feel that in terms of exposure, watches haven’t reached the same level of consciousness that sneakers have attained. It’s compounded by the fact that many limited edition watches are not released in Singapore, and the streetwear crowd don’t really care for general releases. People end up looking at your feet rather than your wrist.

Keep up with Joel Tan’s G-Shock collection by following him on InstagramThis interview has been edited and condensed. 

Read More: Straat Your Stuff with Jeremy Koh

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