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Whether they’re showcased on the wrists of rap stars like Lil’ Wayne or Eminem, used to make quick calculations by software engineers or tracking altitude or temperatures by marines or soldiers in the field, Casio watches are the industry staple when it comes to digital watches. To think that this brand was developed in the mid-1940s as the Japanese leader in calculators is interesting. But to learn that it was actually the invention of a finger pipe for smoking cigarettes that launched Casio is nothing short of astonishing.
Each Casio watch is durable, precise and fashionable for a variety of occasions like hiking, attending a concert or going out on the town.
Technology engineer Tadao Kashio founded the Casio company in 1946. He originally intended the brand to feature the best in scientific calculators, but watches were introduced in 1974.
Kashio can thank the Japanese cigarette shortage in the wake of World War II for the launch of his company. He invented a pipe that attached to the smoker’s finger allowing all of the tobacco to be smoked instead of wasting the rich flavor at the end of each cigarette. Money was at a premium for the barren country at the time, and this invention was prized by many Japanese people. But Kashio was not satisfied and had even bigger visions for the money he earned with the success of his pipe.
After taking note of the rudimentary style of the cutting-edge calculators of the time at the Ginza Business Show in Tokyo, Kashio used his extensive knowledge of electronics to develop a new style of this machine. Kashio’s calculator was powered by solenoid coils (not manual cranks) and featured the 10-key number pad and lone number display window that we are familiar with today. Eight years after his pipe was invented, Kashio released the first electro-mechanical calculator his country had ever seen.
Despite calculators giving Casio a foothold in global industry, today it is the hyper-durable wristwatches that keep the company relevant and in demand. Never one to rest on his laurels, Kashio’s vision continues with the everlasting mission of the Casio company moving forward. The watches produced by the company in this century not only tell time but also automatically re-calibrate to the atomic time using radio signals and satellites. Casio has even launched a Prayer Compass watch that assists Muslims in facing the correct direction when they pray, and notifying them at the proper time to do so via an alert in the watch.
In addition to the scientific industry, Casio watches—especially the G-Shock and Baby-G models—have also permeated hip-hop culture as well. It’s obviously not uncommon to see rappers like Wiz Khalifa or 50 Cent to be rocking a G-Shock, but musicians Kesha, Justin Bieber and Usher, as well as filmmaker Spike Lee count at least one Casio watch in each of their collections. Evidence like this is how Casio can market its products to just about anyone for just about any event.