July 24, 2019
Casio is a technology company, and digital watches are important. Can you tell us about the brand’s niche and how you have expanded it?
Yuichi Masuda: Casio began watchmaking with a digital watch, and even now, digital technology is still important. Smartwatches have brought many other manufacturers into the industry who had not previously produced watches. Among them, Casio prides itself on being a watchmaker. For example, Casio’s smartwatch addresses the issue of battery life: even if it is run down and the smart functions cannot be used, the timekeeping function is still operational. We regard the functionality of a watch as the most important aspect of the smartwatch. We have also clearly differentiated our product from other smartwatches on the market, based on customer needs. Casio’s smartwatch has specialised features for outdoor use and sporting activities. One feature that consumers wanted was maps, even when there was no cell signal, and to download the map for use offline with specialised apps for things like hiking, fishing or cycling. This sets us apart.
Can you tell us about what’s new this year for Casio?
The most remarkable product we introduced at Baselworld is a new G-SHOCK that uses carbon as its case material. Carbon is the third material after resin and metal that our company has employed in the G-SHOCK case. The new carbon core guard structure has greatly evolved the shock resistance, which has been G-SHOCK’s identity since its introduction.
What is the future of the watch market, particularly in your niche?
I believe the difference between smartwatches and so-called general watches will disappear in the future. Entry barriers for smartwatches are low right now, and many manufacturers will be releasing products. However, only a few brands can survive as demands rise and technologies advance. Casio’s products offer perfection, allowing consumers to maintain their individuality and emotional value as watches, this is what makes standard watches different from smartwatches. As emerging countries in Asia, South America and Africa develop, Casio watches are gaining in popularity and strengthening sales in these areas.