Casio Makes Watches, Too!
When one thinks of Japanese watches, Seiko and Citizen are usually the first names to come to mind. But Casio is one of the world’s largest makers of watches, and their G-Shock brand is one of the best-selling models of all.
The company got an odd start at the end of World War II, selling odd gadgets, including a ring to which you could attach a lit cigarette. The founder and his brothers, one of whom was proficient in electronics, decided to start making electrical and electronic calculators to replace the complex mechanical calculators that were in use in the early 1950s.
The company soon branched out into all kinds of electronics, and became one of the largest manufacturers of electronic consumer devices in the world. Casio became known for calculators, but they also made cash registers, musical instruments, electronic dictionaries, portable electronic games, clocks, portable televisions, and yes, watches.
As Casio entered the watch market relatively late, they have made electronic and quartz watches exclusively. This is not the company that you go to for an elaborate mechanical watch. They have, on the other hand, been quite innovative in terms of their electronic watches. They are not just content to have watches that tell the time; Casio has made many watches over the years that do other interesting things.
In the 1980s, they made watches with built-in video games to amuse the wearer. They also made a very popular series of watches that had built-in calculators. Calculators were still fairly expensive and large at the time and a portable calculator that was built into the watch made for a very handy tool.
One very unusual watch made by Casio was the TM-100, a watch that contained an FM radio transmitter. You could extend the antenna, press a button, talk into the watch, and have your voice heard on nearby FM radios.
Casio has made many watches during the past 40 years, and some of them have become rather collectible. Their best known, and best selling brand, however, is the G-Shock line of sports watches. These watches are intended to be worn under difficult conditions, as they are extraordinarily resistant to shocks. Most have water resistance to 10 bar, and they were designed to be able to withstand a fall from at least 10 meters.
These watches have other features built in that are useful to sportsmen, such as timers, stopwatches, and the ability to charge themselves by way of solar power. Some models have other special features, such as radio time synchronization, barometer, altimeter, thermometer and compass.
The Baby-G line of G-Shock watches includes models designed for women. The most amazing thing about Casio’s watches is that they are very affordable, and most are priced at levels that make them affordable for anyone.
The company continues to produce new models each year, but some of their models have remained in production for 20 years or longer, due to their reliability and popularity.
Casio may not primarily be a manufacturer of watches, but when it comes to Japanese watch brands, they are a force.