Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Casio Visit Day 1 - Part 1

So here we go!

The first day of my visit to Casio started off with a visit to the company HQ.

And HQ is located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.  Shibuya is one of Tokyo's more well-known "cities within a city", and a short bus ride from our hotel in Shinjuku.  So we all hopped on the bus, and off we went.  

And within HQ there is a well laid out area that tells the story of Casio.  It bears mentioning that Casio is (believe it or not) more than just a company that makes watches.  

Casio started out quite differently.  In fact, the proper name for the company is Casio Computer Co., Ltd. and in its first incarnation it was known as Kashio Seisakujo in 1946.  But this was just a starting point, and (if Wikipedia is to be trusted) Casio Computer Co., Ltd. launched in 1957, the result of an idea to design and manufacture calculators.

The item shown above is a calculator.  Clearly, technology has advanced and sizes have shrunk significantly.  In addition, today's Casio also makes electronic keyboards, e-dictionaries, and is an industry leader in projectors.  And they also make a few watches ; )

Now just to be clear, Casio is not known, by and large, as a "classical" watch maker.  By that I mean mechanical movements.  And to be just as clear, it is evident that Casio has no desire to enter that area.  The Casiotron marked their entry into the watch business in the early 1970s.  

And from that moment, Casio indelibly marked the evolution of watches not just in Japan, but the world at large.  

Calculator watches are seemingly trivial items now, but back in the 1980s they were a cause for panic in high school math classes and it is rumored that during one SAT exam in 1986, a young aspirant was forced to hand over his watch to the proctor mid-test, or face having his scores voided.  
Editor's note - this is actually more than just a rumor, as I was in that exam session (Elyria, Ohio).

But Casio was constantly moving forward, with innovations in functionality and durability.

The shapes and styles evolving with the trends of the day.

While I personally am loathe to speak of company "DNA", it is safe to say that what runs constant through the story of Casio's development as a watch brand is constant evolution despite what some would deem radical, sudden, revolution.

The Casio of today embodies a group of brands, not the least of which well-known is G-Shock.  We will be going deep on G-Shock tomorrow as "supplemental reading".  But suffice it to say, today's G-Shock while a big step, was in many ways a logical next step in the constant evolution of Casio's watch product development.  

More to come later, but for now we will close this first portion.  


Stay tuned! 

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