Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Casio Co-founder Kazuo Kashio dies at age 89

Kazuo Kashio had a reputation for being passionate but also tough. His favourite motto was the constant reinvention of a company to ensure survival.

Jun 20, 2018 | By Terence Poh

Kazuo Kashio, the third of four brothers who founded Casio Computer Co., has died at age 89 from pneumonia. Kashio was prominent in developing the famous G-shock wristwatches.

Casio Co-founder Kazuo Kashio dies age 89

Kashio had a reputation for being passionate but also tough, said company spokesman Kazuhiko Ichinose.

Alongside his brothers in 1957, Kashio founded the Japanese electronics-maker and commercialized the world’s first all-electric compact calculator. Through the Casio Mini, Kashio made compact calculators a ubiquitous product.

In 1988, Kashio succeeded his older brother Tadao Kashio as president and remained in post until 2015 when his eldest son, Kazuhiro Kashio, assumed the position. Kashio became CEO and chairman till his death.

“By breaking free from preconceptions and conventional notions, we have conceived products that are truly needed and used our digital technologies to make them a reality,” Kazuo Kashio said in one of his messages as chairman. “Products based on new ideas create new markets.”

 

Kashio lent a hand in popularising G-Shock, which has remained one of the world’s most recognised and recognisable brands since its advent in 1983. The company revolutionised the concept of watches, crushing the idea of watches being “fragile and valuable” items, in the end, their ubiquity and mass adoption by not just elite forces and even as streetstyle icons has perpetuated Kashio’s vision and foresight.

In the early years, G-Shock only saw narrow popularity in markets such as the United States. However, the shock-resistant rugged watches eventually became a global hit. Despite being pit against the stiff competition from smartphones and new wearable technology, worldwide shipment of the watches reportedly reached 100 million units in August 2017.

Kashio also partook in popularising the digital camera QV-10 in 1995. Then a novelty, the QV-10 boasted a digital screen for image preview – a standard feature in digital cameras today.

Kazuo Kashio is survived by his wife Soko, two daughters, and son, Casio President Kazuhiro Kashio.

 


 
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