Basic History on Classic “Casio Watches” – Since 1946

August 5, 2020 By Poonam Kushwaha

The company was founded in 1946 by Tadao Kashio, who studied at the University of Waseda, in Tokyo. Casio started undertaking several subcontracting jobs in the mechanical industry before it launched an electric calculator in 1957. From then on, it became an expert in this market and grew exponentially.

Tadao Kashio, founder of Casio

The company’s first breakthrough came in 1954, when it completed Japan’s first electric calculator. It took a few more years to refine it, but by 1957, it eventually introduced and successfully marketed the all-electric compact calculator, the Casio 14-A.  

Production lines – Casio Yamagata

This spirit of innovation was once again seen when the company, by then known as Casio Computer Co., Ltd., tapped into the growing digital watchmaking market with the launch of its first digital quartz watch, the Casiotron, in October 1974. For this, the brand capitalized on its technological expertise from developing electronic calculators to create a machine that, essentially, showed a running calculation of each second as it passed. Apart from telling time, the Casiotron was also the first watch that could automatically determine the number of days in a month, all of which were visible on its small computerized LCD screen.  

casio

In the 1970s and 80s, Casio was best known for its electronic (including scientific) calculators, electronic musical instruments and affordable digital watches incorporating innovative technology. Today, Casio is most commonly known for making durable and reliable electronic products.

Casio’s watch category experienced exponential growth in the 1980s; a chunk of this was due to the introduction of the world’s first shock-resistant watch, the G-Shock DW5000C, in 1983. It was unique for its time as thinner, lighter watches had been gaining popularity, yet here was a hefty, rugged timepiece that was built around the concept that it could be dropped from the top of a building and yet still survive the fall. By the time the Baby-G arrived in 1994, the brand had cemented its reputation as a producer of quality digital watches.   

casio
G-SHOCK DW-5000C-1A “THE PRECURSOR”

Japan

Casio’s premium range of GShock watches are designed and developed in Hamura, Japan, and then assembled at the company’s manufacture in Yamagata.

Casio
Baby G

1974

Casio’s first digital watch, the original Casiotron from 1974. Today, Casio is focused on more traditional watches like this titanium Oceanus model.

G-Shock

In 2019, they announced the G-D5000-9JR, an 18-karat gold G-Shock based on the classic square case design that will retail for ¥7,700,000 JPY (~$69,533.49 USD as of 2/25/19), making it the most expensive G-Shock of all time by an extremely wide margin. (Only 35 units will be available for sale.)

Wild wrist watch design

Although GShocks lag behind in the “smart” revolution, they are still the industry standard for extreme hard-use watches. GShocks will outlast far more expensive watches(smart or traditional.) Ultimately, the most compelling reason to buy a GShock is because you get “so much watch” for the price you pay.

Wild wrist watch design

Its still just a watch meant to tell time and is comparable in every way to other G Shocks, be the case gold or rubber. Casio can put prices on them just to make you THINK your getting something better. The Casio G-shock prices have increased in price are due to customer wanting increased fancy designs.

As early as 1994, Casio perhaps anticipated a time when everyone would have a phone permanently attached to their bodies by coming out with the VivCel VCL-100, a watch that detected a ringing phone via an antenna and alerted you by setting off a vibration on your wrist. By 1999, the brand launched a watch that came with GPS functionality, as well as one that used infrared to communicate and transfer data from your PC.  

VCL-100

From a watch that came with an MP3 player to one that had a digital camera & came out with it first—and, despite having the ability to practically predict the future, it has also managed to retain that veneer of retro ’80s cool, just enough to stoke the flames of nostalgia among watch nerds and newbies alike.  

Everyone from Prince Harry to Kanye West has been spotted wearing a G-Shock at one time or another on his wrist. And if you’re still wondering why these watches just make you look and feel cool, it’s probably about time you go and get one yourself .

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