Casio’s most famous products are its watches, but to understand the history of Casio, it’s important to know where the company stands in relation to the wider history of watches. Clocks have been around for centuries, with humans being able to tell time using the sun for millennia, but it wasn’t until the 17th century that the clock went portable.
In 1600s Europe, clockmakers began experimenting and producing smaller, more portable spring-driven clocks that evolved into watches. They could be carried easily, although of course, they were very expensive, so they weren’t exactly common.
Portable clocks in the form of wristwatches, but more commonly, pocket watches, became popular in the 19th century when they could finally be mass-produced and marketed. The practicality of the wristwatch became apparent, and by the 20th century, it was the most common watch on sale.
The next big leap was the invention of the Quartz watch, which is the design used today by Casio watches. This was first produced properly in the early 20th century, but wouldn’t be in mass production until the 1980s. Casio was, in fact, one of the first companies to begin successfully marketing the Quartz watch.
1970S – CASIO BECOMES A HOUSEHOLD NAME
The runaway success of the Casio calculators led the family business to focus on electrical products, and they soon turned their attention to the fledgeling computer market. They would become synonymous with electrical computers and calculators, and they even began formulating and producing wrist-calculators.
While these might not have caught on, other products certainly did. Casio began producing electronic instruments and by the 1970s, the company was a household name across the world.
It wasn’t until 1974 however, that Casio had refined its best product yet, the Casio watch.
1984 G-SHOCK RELEASED
With the success of their digital quartz watches, Casio took their technology even further than digital watches had ever been taken before. They began developing their famed G-Shock range, which became the precursors for the robust, digital watches that are still around today. No longer were watches delicate and fragile. The G-Shock introduced the world to a rugged, yet technologically refined watch that could survive almost anything. Casio did for the watch industry what GoPro would later do for the camera industry.
G-Shock watches were first released in 1984. They were water-resistant, shockproof, and of course, they told the time accurately.
THE 21ST CENTURY
While Casio watches were taking the world by storm, the reputation for their other products continued to gain ground too, and Casio continues to produce calculators and electronic instruments to this day. But what does the future hold for Casio? As with any innovative electronics company, they continue to innovate. Their watches are still being developed and fine-tuned, and they are releasing more advanced styles to compete with other competitors on the market.
Watches are becoming more than just a timepiece, and Casio will be at the forefront of those developments, as it has always been throughout the 20th century.