Metal Technology Co. Ltd.




How the ultimate wristwatch came to be using a fusion of "traditional craftsmanship" and "cutting-edge technology”.


【Discussion member】
■Shotaro Morokoshi
Chief, Production Department, Technical Development Division
■Shingo Ishizaka (Left) CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.
Planning Department, Timepiece Planning and Development Unit, Engineering Headquarters ■Masao Amano (Right) CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.
Leader, Department-1, Mechanism Development Unit, Engineering Headquarters

Chairman Thank you for joining me here today. Today, we would like to commemorate the launch of "MR-G MRG-B2000GA GASSAN-GASSAN-", the G-SHOCK 40th anniversary limited edition model. This timepiece is a fusion of technologies brought forward by MTC, a leading company in manufacturing, metal processing, and additive manufacturing, and Casio Computer, which manufactures and sells various precision parts such as calculators and watches. A roundtable discussion will be held by representatives of the two companies. First, Mr. Ishizaka and Mr. Amano from Casio Computer will give us an overview of the product.

Ishizaka Thank you for the introduction. The MR-G is the top-of-the-line G-SHOCK model. The MR-G series is manufactured in Japan at Yamagata Casio's "PPL", a line dedicated to high-end products, where everything from movement manufacturing to product assembly is done. Where overseas production has become the mainstream, Casio would like to highlight the fact that the products are "made in Japan" and has created something unique to Japan. Our aim is to create a new sense of value by fusing Japan's proud "traditional craftsmanship" with "cutting-edge technology". The new "月山-GASSAN-" model is based on the theme of Japanese swords. The main features of the "月山-GASSAN-" model are the sanding and inscription cutting of the band piece, and the "綾杉肌-twilled cedar skin" on the bezel (ring on the outside of the dial), which is a wave-shaped pattern unique to "Gassan swords". This task was undertaken by the master craftsman Mr. Sadanobu Gassan, a master swordsmith. To express this twilled cedar skin, we employed MTC, which has highly skilled technicians.

Mr. Shingo Ishizaka

Amano MTC's Additive manufacturing and HIP (Hot Isostatic Pressing) technologies were selected to express the "twilled cedar skin" on this part. The pattern is created at the Additive manufacturing phase. However, when HIP processing is applied, the patterned is slightly changed. We received advice from MTC on how to correct the design, etc., to see where the pattern would shrink and how it would change. Through a difficult and repeated trial and error period, we were able to come up with the design we were aiming for.Mr. Masao Amano

Mr. Masao Amano

Chairman What were the reasons for choosing MTC for this product, born from both traditional and cutting-edge technologies?

Ishizaka We have been very interested in MTC's technology for a long time. We were planning to create a product with the cooperation of Mr. Sadanobu Gassan and decided that MTC's technologies, such as additive manufacturing and HIP processing, would be the best for creating the twilled cedar skin pattern on the bezel.

Chairman Unique know-how and technology. Our company's origins derive from heat treatment technology. If we talk about Additive manufacturing, it requires various technologies such as heat treatment, HIP treatment, and machining. In this project, we were able to meet Casio's requirements with multiple technologies, including powder sintering called "capsule HIP”.

We have helped our customers improve their parts metal properties for many years, but this was the first time we were asked to provide a pattern. We often work on industrial parts, but in this case, after receiving Casio's requirements, we held many discussions with our experienced engineering experts to find a unique solution for the project. We were able to create the parts by utilizing our unique know-how and knowledge in powder filling methods and other details, which cannot be achieved by simply owning a modeling machine. Our experience and technology gave us a unique advantage in bringing the parts to completion.

Mr. Shotaro Morokoshi
Metal Technology Co. Ltd.

Chairman You use titanium for your models.

Amano I mentioned earlier that MTC used additive manufacturing to create the twilled cedar skin of the bezel, but what makes the pattern shiny and easy to see is another process called "crystallization. Two different types of titanium materials with different crystallization conditions were joined using MTC's additive manufacturing and HIP process to create a bar shape, which was delivered to us. MTC supplied us with the quality we requested, and we were able to achieve the desired twilled cedar skin design.

Morokoshi The relatively lightweight material called Ti-6Al-4V was used to meet Casio's requirement for a titanium material. We have a long history of using Ti-6Al-4V as a material for additive manufacturing, and until now it had been used mainly in the manufacture of parts for the aerospace industry. Having this material capability and processing technology, allowed us to join this project, and being involved with G-SHOCK has had a huge impact on us. I was also very pleased when I heard that G-SHOCK had selected us for the project.

Amano Up until now, the MR-G series has been made primarily of titanium. Because of the large size of these products, stainless steel, the main material used in ordinary watches, would make the products too heavy. In the process of developing products made of titanium, we were able to find a technology that would allow us to successfully process the material.

G-SHOCK 40th Anniversary Limited Edition

Chairman Please let us know why you selected the swordsmith Mr. Gassan for this project.

Ishizaka G-SHOCK started with the challenge of developing a wristwatch that would not break even if dropped, and MR-G has inherited this spirit and taken on the challenge of developing a variety of new products. Mr. Sadanobu Gassan also has a history as a famous swordsmith in Japan that has continued for 800 years, and at the same time, he has an attitude of actively challenging new things. I offered him the opportunity because I thought that his attitude of taking on challenges while preserving tradition would match the spirit of G-SHOCK, and he readily accepted the offer.

Chairman In addition to the twilled cedar skin, this model also shows the characteristics of "Gassan".

Ishizaka Yes. The handle of the sword called a " Nakago," has file-like edges to prevent the blade from slipping out of the handle. The method of making this process differs depending on the sword school and the swordsmith, but the Gassan sword is characterized by the fact that these jagged notches are carved out one by one, like a saw. In this model, not only the twilled cedar skin of the sword blade but also the "nakago" is applied to the "Koma" that forms the band of the watch. We also had the swordsmith engrave the word "KOREN" into the band, which is his family motto. The rasp and the name engraving are all done by Mr. Gassan's hand and each piece is one of a kind. The twilled cedar skin on the bezel was designed to fit the watch with the twilled cedar skin pattern of Mr. Gassan's sword under his supervision.

Mr. Shingo Ishizaka

Chairman How did your two companies get connected?

Amano When additive manufacturing technology was gaining attention in aerospace, medical, molds, and other industrial applications, I was searching for and evaluating additive manufacturing companies, including MTC, to see if we could expand additive manufacturing technology to watch components. In addition to additive manufacturing, MTC can also handle HIP processing as a set for quality stability. This was a deciding factor in our decision to use MTC. We thought we could launch this project by utilizing MTC's technology.

Mr. Masao Amano

Ishizaka At the beginning of the project, we were trying to create a sword pattern using a different technology. However, it did not go well, and when the deadline for product planning was approaching, we realized, "We can do it using MTC's technology." We realized that we could do it with MTC's technology.

Morokoshi Since our company's business is mainly B to B, we do not have many opportunities to make products that are directly seen by the general public, so it was a very valuable experience for us to be able to work with G-SHOCK, a brand that is synonymous with watches.

Mr. Shotaro Morokoshi
Metal Technology Co. Ltd.

In the mass production of this product, not only our most experienced engineers but also our new employees worked together to bring this project forward. Our new employees also worked hard to coordinate a series of schedules, including the factories for capsule HIP. It was a good experience for our new employees as well, and I am happy that I was able to see the results of their work.

By showcasing this achievement as well as many others at the "TCT Japan" exhibition to be held in February 2023, we will appeal not only to individual elemental technologies such as additive manufacturing and HIP but also to our overall technological capabilities that can be combined to meet our customer’s needs. We also hope to make a significant contribution in terms of recruitment activities.

Chairman What is Casio's criteria for selecting cooperative partners?

Amano The basis is trust and quality. It is important whether the technology of the company matches our company and whether we can build trust. MTC was able to respond quickly from the basic development stage. Regarding the bezel, it didn't go well right away, but it was very helpful that they presented a countermeasure to the results a short time after the results were obtained, as there are few such manufacturers to choose from.

Morokoshi Our strengths are our technological capabilities that can convince our customers, even if we fail once or twice, that we have the ability to propose effective countermeasures.

Chairman Where will the knowledge gained from this project be used in the future?

Amano I can't give a definite answer yet, but we're already working on a new challenge, and I'm asking MTC to come up with some ideas.

Chairman While the top-end models are being released, the number of people who don't wear a wristwatch is also increasing. What do you think?

Ishizaka As is the case with home appliances these days, products that excel in a single art are selling well, rather than products that are primarily utilitarian and can do anything. In this age, if a product does not have one outstanding feature, people will not buy it. I think watches are no different. If we can provide watches with some outstanding individuality and deliver them to the hands of people who find them attractive, I think we can open up a new market.

Chairman Casio Computer, a leading company in Japan, and MTC, a driving force in Japanese industry, have combined their respective histories and technologies to create this product. I hope that both companies will learn from each other and continue to develop manufacturing and production that will enable Japan to compete with the rest of the world. Thank you very much for your time today.

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