It cannot be denied that the origins of watchmaking are mechanical. But today, like it or not, the watchmaking sector is also quartz and electronic watches, of which the line is part. Casio Vintage. Since then Seiko Astron, the first quartz watch offered to the general public in 1969, a revolution began and mechanical watchmaking almost improved. Fortunately, the latter remained, even if the crisis that followed the launch of this Astron was the origin of the disappearance of a large majority of the watchmaking houses of the time. Very quickly after this first launch, new companies, with or without knowledge of electronics, embarked on the adventure of the quartz watch. One of the houses that has made noise in the sector is Casio, this Japanese company with origins dating back to the 1940s, which made the right decisions at the right time and became a giant in the sector. Some old Casio watches seem to be sought after by collectors, while others have been forgotten. The brand also offers a complete line called Casio Vintage that offers reissues of period models. Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon, discover the Vintage line highlighted by the brand and see what a vintage Casio is worth today.
Casio, the beginnings
The origins of Casio date back to 1946, when a Japanese engineering businessman named Tadao Kashio he decided to launch his business he called Kashio Seisakujo. At that time, Japan was struggling to recover from World War II, and the value of the smallest was taken seriously. This was the case, for example, with cigarettes, which had become a luxury. Seeing this, Tadao Kashio had the idea of developing a ring that allowed smoking cigarettes until the last puff without risking burning his fingers. He called his invention the ” yubiwa blowjob“(Below), which also released the hands of its users while enjoying their cigarettes. This ring was a real success, and the proceeds from sales allowed Kashio and his brothers to invest in the development of a calculator, a revolutionary device for the time they discovered in 1949 in a living room in Tokyo. The development will take several years, and in 1954 the company will present first prototype of compact electric calculator.
In 1957, Tadao, his 3 brothers and his father created Casio computerand focus on the development and production of increasingly advanced calculators. The business is working well, but it is experiencing some crises due to strong competition in the sector. in 1974, 5 years after the appearance of the first quartz watch, the Kashio family makes the decision that will make history forever: they use the skills developed during the development of pocket calculators to make profits for the creation of a Watch electronic. This first Casio watch will take the name of CASIOTRON, and therefore will mark the beginning of a great adventure.
1974: The Casiotron
The Casiotron offered a digital display on a liquid crystal display (LCD), while many companies producing watches with digital displays at that time used LED technology. So he had to press a button on the clock to show the time. With the LCD screen, the time is always displayed.
But the Casiotron did not stop there. It was the first clock in the world to offer an automatic calendar that shows the number of days in the current month, the date, the day of the week and an indication of whether the current year was a jump or not. .
The success of the first Casiotron was dazzling. So much so that the brand decided to develop dozens of variants of the models during the years after this first release. At the same time, Casio also launched electronic musical instruments and even pocket TVs in the early 80s.
The original Casiotron that came out in 1974 and during the following years are sought by collectors, and some models in good condition can be exchanged for several hundred euros. If you find one in a closet, this is a true story, and you can get a good amount if you decide to get rid of it.
1983: the arrival of the G-Shock
in 1983, Casio has grown a lot in the electronic world. And in April of this year, it will launch a product that will become cult: the first G-Shock, reference DW-5000C. He is one of Casio’s designers called Kikuo Ibe who is behind the G-Shock. The idea of this element-resistant watch came after the fall of his father’s pocket watch, which made it unusable. Terrified by this loss, he decided to work on an unbreakable watch project and invented the triple 10 rule.
- The watch must offer a water resistance of at least 10 ATM,
- have a battery for at least 10 years,
- withstand a fall from 10 meters high. Thus was born the G-Shock.
It was not an immediate success in Japan, but the clock made noise for export, especially in the United States. Seeing that the concept was consolidating, Casio repeated the logic of Casiotron by proposing multiple variants of the G-Shock.
The G-Shock produced in 1983 and during the following years is also highly sought after by collectors, and there are many. If you are a lover of G-Shock history, you should know that the models of the first DW-5000C do not really happen.
Casio was one of the first brands to use his electronic skills to create extraordinary watches. Casiotron and G-shock are good examples, but they are far from alone. Among the great watches offered by this Japanese giant, we find the reference VDB-1000 (above) launched in 1991. It is a clock with touch screen, with a directory, calendar and a function to take notes. Also in 1991, we also saw the arrival of the reference JC-11, which is considered the ancestor of the connected bracelet, since the latter recorded the steps and calories spent. Also in 1991, the BP-400 reference (below) even made it possible to control your heart rate and blood pressure. Casio was also behind the world’s first MP3 watch, as well as the first camera watch.
All these models represent real milestones in the evolution of technology and electronics, including real collectibles that many brand lovers and lovers of vintage technology generally look for.
The Casio Vintage line
Casio has always wanted to respect its origins, and has managed to convey its vision of the design of the 70s and 80s as a vintage look that is an integral part of international pop culture. Seeing the success that their old models are still enjoying, the Japanese brand launched a collection “Casio Vintage” with models that pay homage to the references of yesteryear. Loyal reissues often successful, based on several models that made noise mainly in the 70s and 80s.
The Casio Vintage family is divided into 4 collections offering quite varied models.
Casio Vintage ICONIC
The Casio Vintage ICONIC collection offers lightweight digital watches that brilliantly incorporate codes of form, screen and functionality of models dating from the Casiotron. We find here many models with a box with straight and square lines, in appearance of plastic resin steel, with color finishes or not, with modest dimensions and interesting features. Some special “Premium” models also offer more dressed and more exclusive steel boxes.
The glasses used are mineral glasses for some models and acrylic glasses for others. These watches are often offered with steel straps, the same color as the case, although there are some exceptions. These unisex watches share certain features and functionalities that made Casio watches so successful in the 1970s, such as an automatic calendar that shows the day, month and year taking into account leap years, as well as different stopwatch options, account back and alarm, sometimes with a flickering screen. Its batteries are expected to last several years, and all are more or less water resistant. Some can be used for diving, but most will simply resist conventional handwashing. Check what your manual says.
In terms of colors, we focus primarily on black, gold and steel primarily, with certain touches of rose gold here and there. As the name implies, the Casio Vintage ICONIC collection allows you to use an iconic design that has marked history, but with the benefits of current technology. These relaunches perfectly reflect the designs of yesteryear and, therefore, convey this same magic, but they remain very financially accessible and offer robustness to all tests.
Casio Vintage MINI
In this collection of Casio Vintage MINI digital watches, we find some aesthetic codes of the ICONIC collection, but with more lightness in the curves, with softer lines and reduced dimensions, we guess it. These watches are based more on the appearance of watch jewelry, and their dimensions resemble a line intended for women, but they can also be worn perfectly by men. Like many Casio Vintage watches, here we find accessible accessories and a master key. We keep the colors gold, silver and black, and add some touches of cake. Some references are offered on elegant leather bracelets. We keep a majority of plastic resin boxes, again with “Premium” exceptions, and find the classic characteristics of the old Casio, namely, calendar, alarm, chrono, etc.
Casio Vintage ROUND
We are changing our course a bit with the Casio Vintage ROUND collection, as we are switching to classic round boxes and dials, and to a screen that is no longer digital, but analog. The dials are minimalist, the boxes are once again made of plastic resin with a steel or stainless steel finish, and there are mainly mineral crystals. These are easy-to-use quartz watches, mounted on elegant steel bracelets, which include an option in Milanese mesh with the most beautiful effect.
Casio Vintage EDGY
This latest collection of the line, the Casio Vintage EDGY, focuses again on shapes with striking angles and straight cuts, while adding “little” more. This collection revives monuments such as the calculator clock or even the “World-Timer” models. Most references offer digital displays, but some offer a dual display, mixing the analog with the digital. We find here an inspiration closer to the famous models of the 90s and 2000s, always with a compatible vintage look, of course. The functions and forms are varied, but the spirit remains the same.