2016 was certainly an impressive year for Casio. Not only did they have their same exciting booth on the third floor of the main hall (aka Hall 1.2), they also added a secondary booth labeled Casio “Made in Japan”. This was located on the second floor where you find other brands from Japan such as Seiko and Citizen and focuses on only the most elite from the Casio portfolio. What differentiates this booth from its counter part upstairs is that is a walk through of their newest novelties, which typically can only be seen inside the upstairs booth and only if you have an appointment. Most would consider this a big push for Casio to be seen prevalently in the premium market. You can check out both diplays (as well as some of the great new products) in the video below…
While the luxurious side of Casio is not new, it has not been available to most outside of Japan. This still holds true to many of products in their portfolio. One example of this is the brand Oceanus. This line has always been considered the elegant and premium flagship for Casio. Utilizing the fine materials such as titanium and mother of pearl, they also tend to have the latest and greatest technology from Casio.
The latest intro for Oceanus is the OCW-G1100C, which brings the latest GPS Solar Hybrid technology to a new design format. The dial design as well as features are different from the OCW-G1000, creating a new layout for the subdials, giving a cleaner more symmetrical presence. The dual time display is now inline of the center of the dial and housed in a Zaratsu finished, titanium carbide treated case and bracelet. The bezel designed for indicating timezones when setting now is featured in a two tone black-blue ceramic.
The design is very elegant and as with all Oceanus, emphasizes on the color blue. Sapphires are set in the crown, seconds hand axis and 12:00 index. The dial is a subtle gradient from a pale blue color to silvery white, something new for the brand. The OCW-G1100C, nicknamed the Blue “Stratosphere”, represnets the stratosphere spread between the Earth and the universe.
Next on the list is the new MT-G GPS Hybrid Solar MTG-G1000AR. This new model is design with “sunken treasure” motif, using a rose gold aged IP process similar to the Baselworld Special model of 2014. This aged IP process consists of using multiple layers of rose gold and black ion plating, then burnishing down to give an “aged” or distressed finish. The model, however, uses the newer GPS Hybrid module (as opposed to the radio controlled MB6 as found on the 2014 edition), making for accuracy, reliability, and durability anywhere in the world.
The GPS Hybrid caliber for the MT-G was only introduced at the end of 2015, utilizing GPS (multiple satellite connectivity), single satellite connectivity, and the radio controlled Multiband 6 technology to ensure perefect time no matter your location. The other acheivement in these new MTG-G1000 models is maintaining Triple G Resist (resistant to centrifrugal force, vibration, and shock), 200m water resistance, and including functions such as alarm, timer and a chronograph that will run up to 24 hours.
Now onto the pride of G-Shock. The combination of absolute toughness and elegance. The top of the G food chain. MR-G. MR-G has just made its first international stride as of last year, basically. It was launched with the MRG-G1000 (also a GPS Solar Hybrid), back in December of 2014. This all mighty G consisted of a full metal construction (all specially hardened titanium) and combinations of DLC coating or titanium carbide treatment for silver tone that was also finished by hand.
New for 2016 is the G-Shock MR-G “Akagane” MRG-G1000DC. This new special model symbolizes Japan traditional metal work with its copper colored accents. The copper tones can be found on the hands and indexes, as well as the crown and protective surrounding of the pushers. The pushers themselves are treated in DLC, while the bezel on this model adopts Ti64 for its hardness.
Finally… the big news. The reason why so many people are talking about the new Casio booth. The $6,200 G-Shock. The new MR-G 20th Anniversary “Hammer Tone” Limited Edition MRG-G1000HT. This very special model employs a new technique never before seen on a G-Shock, let alone any watch I can recall. The bezel as well as the center links of the bracelet use the theme of tsuiki, a traditional Japanese metalworking technique by which a sheet of metal is hammered out thinly into a three-dimensional shape. Traditionally used to make copperware and other metal containers, as well as armor and helmets, this new accent creates a unique watch for each of the 300 being made for this special anniversary.
The MRG-G1000HT is a collaboration with tsuiki master craftsman Bihou Asano. Asano, a third-generation master metalworker, has created works for the Kyoto State Guest House and participated in restoration work of items designated as Important Cultural Properties in Japan. He also repairs, restores, and creates at such a level it is considered a national treasure in Japan.
The band and bezel has a distinctive finish “Oboro-gin”a special Japanese silver-grey color traditionally used for sword accessories and ornaments. The pings of the hammer create the unique textures throughout, and creates an identity for each of the 300 being made.
The akagane copper tones are again adopted into the design, creating a beautiful (and popular) black and rose gold appearance. There is a metal plate at the 10 o’clock position engraved with “20th LIMITED” and a serial number engraved on the back case adding more to the individual identity of each timepiece.
The response to the (essentially) new identity to Casio has been very well received at Baselworld 2016. In discussions amongst watch collectors, sellers and manufacturers of many regions, the response has tremendously well received and high regard is held for the hand craftsmanship that is now being expanded on at Casio. Each year, products get more unique, higher in quality craftsmanship and price tags get higher, showing Casio pursuit and dedication to permanent residence in the luxury market.