Japan Watch Report


Casio: “We must do better in the metal analogue watch”

JAPANESE BRANDS

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July 2019


Casio: “We must do better in the metal analogue watch”

The first generation of G-Shock used plastics, the second one incorporated metal, and the new one is made of carbon. Simultaneously, the brand intends to strengthen its sales of the Edifice and Sheen lines, particularly in Europe. An interview with Hiroshi Nakamura, Executive Vice President of Casio.

W

hat has been Casio’s most important product development of 2019?

At Baselworld we announced a new G-Shock with a case made from carbon. The introduction of this new material enabled us to implement a new construction and design for the watch. First we used plastics, then we incorporated metal, and now this third material that offers both lightness and toughness. It opens up a number of new possibilities for G-Shock. Adopting new materials is essential for the evolution of G-Shock: the foundation of our philosophy is the quest for toughness through innovation.

Hiroshi Nakamura, Executive Vice President of Casio.
Hiroshi Nakamura, Executive Vice President of Casio.

“The introduction of carbon enabled us to implement a new construction and design for the G-Shock. This new material that offers both lightness and toughness.”

Do you plan to connect all Casio timepieces with Smartphone Link technology?

Ever since Casio entered the timepiece business, we have had a vision of producing fully automatic timepieces that always keep accurate time without needing maintenance. At the present time, Smartphone Link is the closest thing we have to fulfilling to this vision. While price is still an issue, Casio will undoubtedly develop its business toward this vision.

The new Gravitymaster GWR-B1000X limited edition is equipped with a Carbon Core Guard structure.
The new Gravitymaster GWR-B1000X limited edition is equipped with a Carbon Core Guard structure.

Simultaneously, you have introduced craftsmanship into the MR-G series, at prices never seen before for Casio.

Over the last few years, the theme of the MR-G series has been to combine Japanese craftsmanship (such as the Gassan and Tsuiki techniques, see our article here) with cutting-edge technologies. These watches are equipped with innovative modules, while employing age-old traditional Japanese techniques for the exterior finishes.

“Over the last few years, the theme of the MR-G series has been to combine Japanese craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies.”

Last year marked the 35th anniversary of the G-Shock, which is the pillar of the brand. What conclusions can you draw from this celebration?

We released many commemorative models and collaboration models, which were positively received. One particular instance was the collaboration with the British band Gorillaz, which helped us reach new fans. We also held events in many different regions which, unlike before, allowed us to communicate directly with our end users. We used music, sports, and fashion to convey our vision. Evolution is part of the identity of G-Shock, so you can expect many changes to come yet.

The new Edifice EQB-1000D features a slim design inspired by high-tech sports.
The new Edifice EQB-1000D features a slim design inspired by high-tech sports.

What is your general assessment of Casio’s results for 2018?

We benefited from the positive effects of the anniversary year, with strong performances for the G-Shock and Baby-G brands. However, sales of the Edifice and Sheen lines, which compete with other brands in the metal analogue watch segment, lagged slightly. We need to strengthen this segment in 2019 and beyond.

“Sales of the Edifice and Sheen lines lagged slightly. We need to strengthen this segment in 2019 and beyond.”

Outside of Japan, which markets are growing for Casio?

Europe is an extremely important market for Casio, especially for Edifice and the metal and analogue watches that I just mentioned. It is crucial that we raise the level of recognition of these lines in the European market to increase sales. However, globally, the markets that are growing the fastest are in emerging economies. Asia has always been a strong region for G-Shock, and we expect further growth there.

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