Last month, Sony revamped its Smartwatch, which communicates with smartphones and lets users play games or check Facebook by tapping their wrists. And a flurry of start-ups, like Pebble, are coming out with timepieces that claim to redefine what goes on the wrist.
“Suddenly, everyone’s discovered the wrist,” Kazuo Kashio, Casio’s 84-year-old chief executive, said in an interview at the company’s Tokyo headquarters. “We’ve known for a long time it’s prime real estate. We’re prepared.”
In an interview, Yukio Kashio [another of the four brothers who started Casio] pointed out that the company has won intense product wars before. In the 1960s and 1970s, about 40 companies in Japan jostled for dominance of the hand-held calculator market, then the cutting edge of personal technology, in what is remembered here as the “calculator wars.” But Casio muscled all but archrival Sharp out of the market with nimble product development, the pinnacle of which was its SL-800 calculator, almost as thin as a credit card.
“Those were simpler times,” Mr. Kashio said. “Still, I don’t think anyone is as passionate about counting numbers, or time, as we are.”