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Japan: A Visit to the Casio G-Shock Factory

Tadakazu Yuki (a manager in another section) and Masaki Nakano (a general staff member of that same department), led me around the area. “The assembly begins inside the G and follows shape of the letter,” Mr. Nakano said.

A group of 30 women, ranging in age from their 20s to 40s, were seen standing at the G-shaped dining table wearing protective suits. As I walked around the table, I saw them perform the various steps involved in assembling the MTG-3000 model. They included the module assembly (the seven screws used to attach the movement), solar panel and dial installations, adding the hands to it (there are eight on that model), hand positioning and adjustment, hand height adjustments, installation of hands, and fitting the case. “Assembling G-Shock is a combination of human skills and machines,” Mr. Nakano said, and the team’s production capacity is said to average about 8,000 watches a month.

Once assembled, a G-Shock still isn’t ready for sale, as it must be tested for things like water resistance, airtightness and durability, depending on the model. “If the watch fails a test, it will be repaired,” Mr. Nakano said. Each G-Shock watch with a high-end price tag is also inspected. Lower-grade watches are not.

After the strap has been attached, a staff member will check it and then the watch can be shipped.

The real treat was the 1983 G-Shock. There are only a few, but one was brought over to me for my visit. I wore it on my wrist and was surprised to see it didn’t look old or much different than current G-Shock models — the definition of timelessness.

In 2017, the company produced its 100,000,000th G-Shock. The empty sake barrel is still in the Yamagata Lobby. That number had risen up to 140 million by 2021.

“G-Shock is so popular, it’s often imitated,” said Mr. Shinichi, the president of Yamagata Casio, as we finished the tour. “But in the shape of G-Shock there is a beauty that cannot be imitated.”

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