Casio Takes Aim at the Luxury Watch Market
The name Casio has long been synonymous with sturdy, resilient sports watches that can take anything an owner may dish out. The brand’s G-Shock watches have been favorites with active customers since 1983 and now the creator of the model is eyeing the premium market.
Kikuo Ibe and his team of engineers have been working on a full-metal G-Shock watch that would be equally at home at formal or casual occasions. As Ibe said, “I thought that if users could change their G-Shock watches to suit their lifestyle or situation, I could make them lifelong G-Shock fans.”
Although Casio made its name with digital watches the brand has been gradually switching toward analog movements over the last decade while still putting the brand’s digital expertise to good use. The strategy has paid off with Casio’s total sales growing by 68 percent since 2009 and analog sales by 68 percent. Clearly the timing is right for a premium line.
That’s why Casio has launched a pair of new watches aimed at world travelers, the G-Shock MRG-G1000 and the Oceanus OCW-G100. Both feature solar-powered, radio-controlled and Global Positioning (GPS) abilities along with titanium cases and analog movements. Casio describes the new Oceanus as the world’s first hybrid watch in a full-metal case.
Casio senior general manager Yuichi Masuda had this to say about the brand’s new direction: “It is a new type of analogue watch driven by two main things – our digital engine and our original analogue movement with our electronics capability.”
The Casio G-Shock MRG-G1000 will be available on June 1 and will retail starting at $3,699. The Oceanus OCW-G1000 will sell for prices starting at $2,799.
Casio may have started out with inexpensive plastic digital watches but the company has certainly managed to adapt with the times.