Collector’s name: Raul Otero
Home town: Queens, New York
Instagram : @RFTW1One
Number of G-Shocks in collection: 121
Kudos to everyone who hollered at us when we put the call out for the true G-Shock collectors to show themselves. We had a stack of submissions, and we’re getting to them slowly – don’t worry if we haven’t replied yet, we will as soon as we can– and now we’re sharing the first of the fresh crop. What a way to start too, Raul Otero is a super collector! Hailing from Queens, Raul has been loving G-Shocks for around 17 years, and has a collection that most people would be stoked to have accrued over a full lifetime. He keeps his G-Shocks in mint condition, locked away in G-Shock and Baby-G branded glass cases, and also has an impressive array of memorabilia and even had his wrist tattooed with G-Shock Founder Kikuo Ibe’s signature! He’s holding down a fair bit of heat too, with rare colabs and short run general releases. He definitely knows his stuff, and it was great to get some time with him. Here, enjoy our interview with Raul Otero…
What made you first become interested in G-Shocks?
I became interested in G Shocks when I saw my friends first Frogman many years ago. I could never find another Frog quite like his but I was able to find my first Clubber, which till this day is my favourite G-Shock release.
When did that occur?
Around about 1997.
What is your favourite G-Shock release from your personal collection?
My favourite G-Shock release would have to be the Stussy Bar Frogman. I’ve always wanted either of the two designers as part of my collection but have never been able to find one where I could actually examine it to make sure it’s not a fake. like a few I’ve seen online. So one day on my way to Soho, a good friend pointed me in the right direction to where I could find my holy grail. Well, at least one of them.
Is there a G-Shock model from the past that you think should be re-issued?
The King G-Shock. With only four in my collection, Casio needs to consider re-releasing the true king of G-Shocks once again.
What are the greatest lengths you’ve gone to in tracking down a G-Shock you wanted?
I never really had to go to great lengths to track down a G-Shock I do not have, but the one thing I’ve always been on the hunt for is true G-Shock display cases – you just can’t find them. But luckily I struck it big when a vendor called me asking if I was interested in a case. Of course I said yes. To get my second case, I walked into a store, was asked if I was interested in seeing a watch, and I said, ‘No, but I sure am interested in this lovely case. Again I strike it big. Then a good friend calls me asking if I’m still collecting. I say yes and another case falls from the Casio heaven!
Do you have any good G-Shock stories?
Riding my bike many years ago, I did stupid things. Including riding over my handle bars and onto the concrete a few times. One time, as I flew over the handlebars, my first reaction was to cover my face from hitting the pavement. My wrists took the brunt of the fall, and my G-Shock took a beating, so my G-Shock probably saved my face and my wrist!
Do you love G-Shock for fashion or function?
I like it for both. If I know I’m going to be working hard, I’ll put on my trusty vintage G-Lide, and not worry about a thing. If I’m going to be hanging out with
friends having fun, hanging out, I can throw on one of my GA110s, with all those different colourways, you just can’t go wrong!
Has a G-Shock ever broken on you?
I’ve never in my life had a G-Shock break on me. They weren’t built to die on you.
Do you have a holy grail G-Shock that you want but don’t have?
The MANBOX!! I’ve had a few chances at purchasing one, but couldn’t find myself doing so, not because I couldn’t afford it, but because I was hoping that one day I
might just get lucky and find one at retail in a small little store but had no idea what it was. One day!
Anything else you want to say about your collection or G-Shock….
I love G-Shock. I love the name, the styles, the colors, functions, and availability. But the one thing that breaks my heart are the people that like to break other people’s
hearts by producing fake watches, and slapping the name G-Shock on it. So it’s up to us, the true collectors, to help educate others what to look for when it comes to spending their hard earned money!
And to the resellers out there, thank you! Thank you for making it that much more difficult to find what we love at retail because we’re stuck on the train trying to get to the mall in time to find out that there was a guy just there that bought all the Dee & Ricky’s. But you know what, I still found my Dee &Ricky at retail, and all because I never gave up, and never decided to pay more than retail! Thank you for putting the fun in the hunt!