In this Casio review, I’ll look at what makes this brand so iconic and discuss some the best Casio watches (in my opinion).
There’s probably no other watch brand that is so well loved by watch enthusiasts, casual hobbyists, hipsters and functional wearers than Casio.
Casio is a rich storied brand with a large variety of offerings that span from simple and efficient to extravagant and luxurious. In fact, it’s the one watch brand that is well represented in nearly every watch collection.
Additionally, it’s normally the first watch that starts a much larger collection or serves a singular focus of the ever elusive one watch forever approach.
Today, we take a look at what makes Casio watches so well loved from their rich history, affordable price and attractive offerings. We also tell you what we think are the best Casio watches and what makes them so special.
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best Casio watches you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
A Brief History of Casio
The Japanese company Casio (as Kashio) started as a calculator company in 1946. In 1956, the company successfully launched the first compact all-electric calculator, which led to the Casio Computer Company. You could say that Casio made everyone worse in math as a result.
Following successes in the industry for nearly 30 years, Casio launched the Casiotron as the first electronic wristwatch in 1974. The watch was revolutionary on a lot of fronts, but most notably that it displayed the time and a calendar on an LCD screen, which was still new technology for its time.
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Casio refined the design of the Casiotron but then really took off as a watch brand with the launch of the G-SHOCK. In 1983, Kikuo Ibe set out to make an unbreakable watch after breaking a pocket watch given to him by his father.
So, like a montage of people working out in movies, Ibe sought to create a watch based on the triple 10 philosophy. He wanted a watch that could withstand 10bar or 100 meters, have a minimum 10-year battery life and survive a 10-meter drop. Ibe succeeded with the DW 5000C, and the brand has never looked back.
Since then, Casio has stayed true to its design elements and philosophy dating back to the Casiotron. It has released more complications and focused on staying aggressive in digital innovation.
For example, Casio introduced an early version of a wristwatch blood pressure monitor in 1992.
It has also maintained a commitment to delivering a high value product for its price, something the Modest Man fully supports.
But…are Casio watches good?
Before jumping into the five watches we think really showcase the brand, let’s talk about why Casio watches are so popular and whether we think they’re any good. Casio is probably one of the most worn watch brands and generally represents an extremely large swath of watch wearers.
Even with the influx of the Apple Watch and an increase in luxury watch prices, Casio has remained constant and relevant in everyday life. As a thought experiment, the next time you are out, try seeing how many Casio watches you see on people’s wrist. We’re willing to bet it’s a lot.
Much of this is due to value, availability and durability. Casio as a brand offers some of the best value for the money, something we definitely believe in at The Modest Man. Some may write these off as “cheap Casio watches”, but even watch snobs can appreciate the value.
Another large selling point to Casio watches is their durability. We all know about the apocalypse level of durability of the G-Shock line, but even Casio analog watches and more expensive Casio watches can be worn daily without worrying about bumping them into a door frame.
Another big selling point is the wearability. From Casio sport watches to simple divers to bright colored digital offerings, Casio offers something for everyone, something few brands can claim.
For those reasons along with a breadth of offerings, some of which we cover below, to our readers that wonder “Are Casio Watches Good,” we’d have to say yes, and here are five Casio watches we think you should take a look at.
5 of the Best Casio Watches
Let’s dive in…
1. Casio G-Shock DW-5600
Any list of the best Casio watches has to start with the DW5600 (Amazon affiliate link) or the square. In fact, some think this is probably the best Casio watch and quite frankly one of the best watches of all time. The DW5600 is slim, durable and comes in a wide range of colors for those looking for more fashion-forward offerings.
The DW5600 takes its design elements from the early G-Shock models that Ibe started in 1983. These watches offer a clearly legible screen, backlight for night, and of course, its historic durability.
We also love this model over other G-Shock models for the low profile. It sits close to the wrist and can easily fit under the cuff of a shirt. Plus, the square profile is extremely versatile and fit in nearly every setting. Plus, this watch is roughly $45 making it one of the most affordable and best values of any watch.
A quick note, some actually prefer the G-Shock GW-5610 instead of the DW-5600. The GW-5610 is basically the same watch on the outside, but with the additional functionality of solar-power and atomic timekeeping at around $90.
We don’t feel like the features warrant a near 100 percent price increase over the DW-5600. From personal experience, the atomic timekeeping feature is great, but rarely syncs, which is especially true in foreign countries.
Additionally, the G-Shock already has a tremendous battery life, so we’re not convinced that solar power is a truly desirable feature upgrade.
2. Casio G-Shock DW-6900
For those looking for a more pronounced and classic G-Shock, we couldn’t recommend a better watch than the G-Shock DW-6900. The DW-6900 is a classic Casio Sports Watch in the G-Shock package. It’s tough, durable and will probably outlast its wearer.
The DW-6900 is beefier and feels more tactical and rugged. We love it for all those reasons and really complements a sporty lifestyle. In addition to all the features of the DW-5600, it also features a center rubberized light button, stopwatch, alarm and hourly time signal.
True to Casio digital watches, it also offers a full auto-calendar as well. Most importantly, the DW-6900 comes in at roughly $54.
Same as the DW-5600, there’s also a GW-6900 model that offers the same solar capacity and atomic timekeeping. But we definitely recommend staying with the DW model as it offers all the great functionality without the unnecessary features and half the price.
3. Casio MDV106-1A Black Analog
The Casio MDV106-1A (Amazon affiliate link) is the first analog watch on our list and its one of the best Casio offerings from the brand.
The MDV106-1A is a quartz diver’s watch that offers 200m water resistance, unidirectional diver’s bezel all in a durable stainless-steel package. It also offers a date complication all under $100.
The MDV106-1A (Amazon affiliate link) is an extremely popular watch that takes design elements from popular diving models. It has a clean face with minimal branding and nice design. It is also extremely wearable sitting at roughly 44mm in diameter.
This watch offers nearly everything someone needs in a stylish diver’s watch and comes with an added benefit of being a favorite of Bill Gates.
4. Casio PAG240-1CR Men’s Pathfinder
Casio likes to make products for the end of the world in cool packages. While the G-Shock is the most famous, their other offerings display the brand’s ability to push the boundaries and design award-winning watches at affordable prices and represent the best of the brand.
The Pathfinder PAG240-1 is an altimeter watch with a number of impressive complications. It features a barometer, compass and solar power.
We typically don’t like overcomplicated watches, but the PAG240-1 is a tough rugged everyman watch that delivers on so many features. We also think the PAG240-1 is better looking than most “adventure” watches on the market and it all comes in at a super affordable price of around $150.
5. Casio MQ24-1E
While complications and features are great in watches, sometimes people just want a simple watch that will reliably tell the time, look good and be remarkably efficient. The Casio MQ24-1E is one of the best offerings from the brand that focuses on simplicity and versatile looks.
The MQ24-1E is a 35mm analog quartz watch that features water resistance and durability all in a lightweight package. We prefer the black and gold version for its versatility. The watch face features a clean simple design and doesn’t overcomplicate the view with unnecessary complications and text.
The watch is also incredibly comfortable and can be worn in a number of different environments. Most importantly, you can find this watch for $12.
Casio is a brand with a rich history of designing amazing watches at amazing value.
Whether you are an adventurer looking for a watch for the end of the world to a casual wearer looking for a good-looking, stylish watch without breaking the bank, we think that Casio should be one of the first brands you explore.
For the money, you will get a high quality, fashionable timepiece with an amazing history and durability.