The History Of Casio
Discover the history of the iconic watch brand – Casio
Chances are you’ve seen a Casio watch at some point in your life. You may have even owned one as they are hugely popular for their durability, reliability, and affordability.
However, what you may not know is how the brand Casio came to be, and how this company started in mechanical parts, moved into electrical parts, calculators and finally watches.
Indeed, Casio’s journey into one of the world’s best-known watch-making brands, and their impact on the field of Horology as a whole are quite fascinating. The good news is you can read all about them in the detailed post below. Keep reading to discover Casio’s story, and learn about some of the most classic and sought-after watchers of the 20th century and beyond.
The History Of Casio (& Timepieces)
Watches and time telling before the 20th century
Casio’s watches do not exist in a vacuum. Instead, before we move on to some of the most important dates in the brand’s history, it is necessary to understand them in the context of watches and time-telling historically.
First of all, it’s crucial to note that having the ability to tell the time has always been important to the human race. Indeed, it is also important to remember that while we did not have digital watches before the 20th century, we could still tell the time. First by using the position of the sun, then developing sundials, and later on in the 17th century with the advent of mechanical clocks.
However, it was not until the 16th century that clocks became small enough to be portable. Although they remained a product made by skilled artisans with a cost consistent with this.
Industrialisation in the 19th century financially meant that clocks and their less popular cousin wristwatches could be mass-produced, making them more available to all. It’s during this time that we began to fall in love with the practicality of the wristwatch. A device that was, In particular pilots in the war, as they were designed with luminous dials, and stopwatch functions so they were able to calculate fuel consumption.
Up until this point in time, watches were, of course, analogues, but with the 20th-century discovery that quartz crystals could be used to regulate an electronic oscillator small enough to fit inside a watch, the digital watch was born. However, it took until the 1980s for market-leading companies including Casio to begin to manufacture digital watches for sale on the mass market.
Casio Historical Timeline
1946 – Casio Is Founded
After world war ll, Tadao Kashio founded Casio in Japan in 1946. Watches are not yet in his sights, as he begins by making mechanical parts, and then later when his brothers join the business, moves into electronics.
By 1950 the Kashio brothers were using their know-how in electronics to begin to break into the electric calculator market, creating a device that was small enough to sit on a tabletop and could be moved around according to need.
The 1970s – Casio’s Success Continues And They Build Their Brand
The 70s may have been a time of flower power and free love for those living in the West but Kashio used this decade to further expand their expertise on electrical products, moving into the brand new field of electric computers.
During this time their brand continues to grow, and become synonymous with good quality electrical products. They also developed and released a new product, the writs calculator, which as you will see below was combined into a calculator – a digital watch that continues to be manufactured and sold to this day.
1974 – Casio Releases Their First Watch The Casiotron
With such a futuristic name, you’d expect the Casiotron to boast the latest in technology and design, and this 1974 classic does not disappoint. The Casiotron was one of the very first digital watches that featured a quartz movement, and it included a small digital screen that allowed the wearer not only to tell the time but check the date as well.
1984 Casio Revolutionises the Horology Game By Releasing The G-SHOCK
10 years after the roaring success of the Casiotron, Casio shook up the Horology field once again with their 1984 offering the G-SHOCK. The G-SHOCK was revolutionary because instead of being a delicate item that needed constant protection, it was a watch designed for outdoor adventures.
Indeed, the G-SHOCK boasted all the features of other digital watches such as accurate time telling regulated by a quartz movement, but did so while also being shockproof and waterproof. This made it perfect for hikers, adventurers, sports people, and anyone else who needed a durable way to make sure they could always access the correct time.
1990s – Casio Releases The BABY SHOCK/ Baby G
Mindful of the importance of trends and fashion in watch design, Casio built on the success of the G-SHOCK, developing a smaller and more stylish timepiece that maintained the same robust durability. This watch is known as the iconic BABYSHOCK or Baby G and it came in some wild colour ways and often was produced with transparent elements and brightly coloured woven bands.
Casio Watches in The 21st Century
In this section we’ll be looking at some of the most popular watches Casio have made and released in the 21st century, We’ll also take a look at some of the vintage styles that continue to be manufactured and sold today and why they continue to be so beloved.
2011 – DURO DIVE WATCH – MDV-106
Designed for divers or those looking to capture their aesthetic, the 2011 DURO DIVE WATCH also known as the MDV-106 is a good example of Casios’ commitment to durability and affordability. Costing around £50, the MDV-106 is waterproof up to 200m and comes in either blue or gold, so even under the sea you can stay stylish.
2012 – The ROYALE
Just a year after the release of the DURO, Casio brought the ROYALE to market. A large watch at 45mm, the Royle is not only affordable but packed with tech including access to all global time zones, a backlight, timer functions, a stopwatch and 5 alarms to keep you on track during your day. Designed to evoke 007 styles, and modelled on the watch Moore wore in Octopussy, the ROYALE looks pretty good too.
2018 – EDIFICE EFV-100 SERIES
For around £60-£100 you can land yourself a beauty from the EDIFICE EFV-100 SERIES. This watch model is available in two colours, and three sizes, so no matter how large or small your writs you’ll find a 2018 – EDIFICE EFV-100 SERIES that works for you.
The 2018 – EDIFICE EFV-100 SERIES is an analogue watch, featuring 100m water resistance, and a mineral crystal for accurate timekeeping. Its design is classic and includes a steel bracelet making it appropriate for work, or a night out on the town, as well as leisure activities.
2020 saw the introduction of the EFR-S108, a stylish model brimming with polished surface and brushed steel. Based on the classic CasiOak’ Octagonal G-Shock, the EFR-S108 is ideal for the watch wearer with a thinner wrist, the EFR-S108 is rammed with functionality and features including water resistance to 100m, sapphire crystal and stylish stainless steel construction. All for under £200.
2022- LINEAGE – LCW-M100TSE
If the accuracy you are looking for then the 2022 LINEAGE or LCW-M100TSE as it is also known is a perfect choice. Featuring radio-controlled multiband technology, you can be sure the
LINEAGE will tell the correct time no matter what time zone you find yourself in.
The LINEAGE doesn’t look too shabby either and comes with a lightweight titanium bracelet. Although you can expect this to be reflected in the price which is a bit higher than many of the other watches we have covered in this section.
Classic Casios That Are Still Available Today
Due to Their high-quality manufacture, reliable quartz movements, and great affordability, there are plenty of classic styles from the 70s onward that are still manufactured by Casio, or sold as vintage pieces today. Read on to discover the most popular.
1974 – DAY-DATE – MTP-1370D
If you are looking for a watch with ultimate style, without an inaccessible price tag, then the MTP-1370D is a brilliant option. Design reminiscent of a high-end watch such as a Rolex, the MTP-1370D and its sister model the MTP-1302 continue to be popular to this day.
The 1980s – AQ-230
A big favourite with vintage and retro style lovers, the AQ-230 offers flashy style at an unbelievably good price. The AQ-230 also combines both digital and analogue technology with no one but two dials on its face. Each dial can be set to a different time zone as well, which makes it the ideal choice for those travelling for business often, those working with foreign markets and even those with long-distance relationships to maintain.
One of the biggest draws of the AQ-230 is that you can easily change the strap for another different design. This is because unlike many Casio watches the AQ-230 is built with drilled lugs which makes the switch fast and easy.
1983 – CALCULATOR WATCH / DATABANK
As promised, we’ll now take a look at the endless fun, and retro DATABANK CALUCULATOR watch that Casio introduced in 1983. Adored by hipsters and maths students alike, this watch not only tells the time but also allows you to do complex calculations on your wrist!
Choose the black plastic version for stealth, (perfect for impressing your friend, or maths teacher, or go full 80s bling with the gold-tone option.
1989 – F-91W
Recorded in the annuals as the most popular digital watch of all time, the 1989 – F-91W has earned its place on this list. Famed for being sported by just about everyone from your neighbour Dave, to your dad, and the President of the United States, the 1989 – F-91W is even known to be used by terrorists who dismantle it and use its innards in bomb-making.
The F-91W is loved because it’s cheap, robust, and small enough to fit on your wrist while not getting in the way of sports, work, and a myriad of other activities.
1995 – W-86
Essentially a redesign of the classic F-91W described above, the W-86 supersedes it in all ways, except popularity. The W-86 is comfortable, compact, and has better water resistance than the W-86. It even features an improved backlighting system, so cult status can only be so far away.
Final Thoughts On How Casio Have Impacted Horology
Casio has impacted the field of Horology in several crucial ways. The first is that they are known for creating a reliable product at a reasonable price, something that means they stand out from many of the higher-end watchmakers in the business.
Casio is also known for their early adoption of new technology as well as being innovators in the field of horology coming up with an original digital watch design in the 1970s, as well as other innovations such as The Smart Outdoor Watch that includes GPS to aid the wearer with navigation.
Additionally, Casio is known worldwide as one of the leading and most trusted brands when it comes to a wide range of digital products, not only watches. It is this reputation that dominates the more affordable end of the horology market.
Finally, Casio is looking to the future, by leveraging its reputation for durability into sustainability. After all, if as a consumer you buy a robust Casio watch that needs replacing less often you will be consuming fewer resources, and creating less waste.
In conclusion, the effect that Casio has had on the field of horology over the last 70 years includes setting the bar for affordable timepieces that look great and are durable and dependable. Casio also continues to innovate and create stylish and robust timepieces while addressing contemporary issues close to consumers’ hearts such as sustainability, meaning that their brand and their watches will continue to be a consistent feature in the field for years, if not decades to come.