This story about a brand with a shock-resistant watch made millions of people’s lives easier, including those who regularly save lives. For more than 35 years, Casio’s Japanese design team has continued to revolutionize the world of cutting edge technology and innovation.
The Japanese corporation Casio has always been associated with the latest progressive developments among people. Its slogan – “creation and assistance” – became the essence of the company’s mission. Their main goal is to conveniently and quickly introduce the highest quality technologies and novelties into people’s daily lives. Original and modern ideas for work, everyday life, and leisure are the essence of the activity.
Casio calculators have almost become a household name, along with Xerox, and G-SHOCK is synonymous with shock-resistant watches. Any modern person, be it an office worker or a musician, is somehow familiar with Casio products. How did this happen?
After the war, Japan was in a deep crisis – even cigarettes were in short supply. Tadao Kashio, a Japanese turner who was always searching for knowledge and yearned to invent something, quickly found a solution: a ring with a Yubiva mouthpiece. It made it possible to use a cigarette right up to the bull, which meant that it would be noticeably economical, which many Japanese needed. For the production, the Kashio Seisakujo company was founded, which would later be renamed Casio.
But such success for Tadao Casio and his creative ambitions was not enough. After seeing an electric calculator at one of the exhibitions in 1949, he, together with his younger brothers, set a goal to create something better. This task stretched out for almost a dozen years – buyers rejected the first sample of 1954 because it could not calculate sequential multiplication, and only in 1957 the brothers finished the world’s first all-electric relay calculator – Casio 14-A. From that moment on, the course of the company was clearly defined.
Despite the problems associated with the transition of electronics to transistors, Casio managed to adapt and release new models, including the Casio Mini calculator, whose sales exceeded 10 million copies. 1974 saw the first Casio watch’s release – Casiotron, and 1980 – the first own synthesizer. However, this was not nearly as significant as the release of G-SHOCK in 1983.
The most important clock
The history of the creation of Casio G-SHOCK, in a sense, can be compared with their first calculator, since the goal was just as ambitious: to make a watch that can withstand a drop from 10 meters, a pressure of 10 bar, and 10 years of continuous operation on one battery. These requirements were named the “Three 10” concept, and a young engineer, Kikuo Ibe, was responsible for the development. By the way, he had his motivation – once, on his way to work, Kikuo dropped a valuable watch given to him by his father. The impact shattered them into dozens of fragments, and from that moment, Ibe was inspired to create a watch that could easily survive such an oversight.
It took more than 200 prototypes to get close to the implementation of the idea. Still, it was not possible to completely solve the problem of shock resistance – even a significant thickening of the materials did not protect against impacts as required. It was at this time, when the team ran out of all ideas; Ibe drew attention to a rubber ball bouncing around the playground. He immediately imagined how the properties of the ball could be applied to the construction of a clock.
The G-SHOCK case is hollow inside, and the watch module itself is in contact with the case only in a few places, treated with a soft shock-absorbing gel. Thus, all the shaking only affects the outside, while the insides remain intact. In addition, special points located on the case and made of urethane help protect the glass and buttons from impacts from either side – even the strap has been specially designed to provide additional cushioning in case of collision. All this saves the watch from falls, overloads, and vibrations. By the way, the very name “G-SHOCK” is derived from the unit G, which stands for the acceleration of gravity.
The first shock-resistant watch model, the G-SHOCK DW-5000C, initially only gained popularity in the United States – after all, the design was too new to be widespread. But within a few years, when trends began to change, G-SHOCK became a hit worldwide. Customers appreciated this approach to design and functionality, so sales went nowhere better, and new models appeared more and more often. The multitude of different collaborations and unique versions attracted not only ordinary consumers but also collectors, who, in part, helped to elevate the G-SHOCK to cult status. Kikuo Ibe still works as a chief engineer at Casio and is responsible for all the outgoing G-SHOCK models, which have sold 70 million units since 1983. Favorite watches of the military, police, athletes, travelers, and musicians have not decreased popularity for the fourth decade. The Casio Company itself maintains a leading position in many areas of electronics, including the calculators that started it all.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.