Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wristwatch Review: Casio MRW200H Neo-Display Dive Watch

Reviewing an Inexpensive Classic from Casio

 [I originally published this review on Yahoo Contributors Network on March 22, 2014.  However, as Yahoo is shuttering their site on July 31st, the article is being republished here.]

If you plan to take a wristwatch in harm's way, there are two approaches you can take. You can buy a expensive armored watch or you can buy a super cheap watch that you don't mind getting damaged. One such disposable watch is the rugged Casio MRW200H Neo-Display Dive Watch. It's a very inexpensive watch, but it mimics much of the style and some of the functions of far more expensive timepieces. I was thrilled to pick up a diver-style watch for less than $20.

Watch Style. This Casio looks like an expensive dive watch. It has a black case, black dial, and a black resin strap. I got model MRW200H-4BV on which the watch hands are luminous and numbers are in contrasting orange. (This watch is also available in different variants with white, blue or green numbers or with luminous bubbles instead of numbers on the dial). This Casio has a rotating diver-style bezel with an inverted triangle marking 12 o'clock and the first 15 minutes marked at minute intervals and every five minutes with contrasting numbers. The dial has large numbers for 12 hour time and an inboard set of smaller numbers to provide 24-hour time. A day and date window take the 3 o'clock position. Multi-national forces may appreciate that the day is provided in Spanish, French, and English.

 Watch Functionality. My Casio MRW200H-4BV keeps time well and more than meets my expectations for a watch at this price point. For most daydreamers, this watch works quite well. However, if you have more demanding needs from a watch, you'll want to be aware of potential drawbacks with the MRW200H. First, the bezel is not uni-directional and it doesn't click with each turn. Scuba divers use rotating bezels to keep track of how much time they can spend under water. A uni-directional bezel can't be bumped to show that divers have more time available. It helps keep them from running out of air. Second, the watch is a little finicky to set. Finally, the crystal is definitely scratchable.

Watch Size. The Casio MRW200H-4BV is a nicely-sized watch with a 43 mm case diameter and 11 m case thickness. The strap appears to be robustly sized 22 millimeters near the watch, but tapers down to a far more modest width at the buckle. While the band is a bit flimsy, it is long with adjustments for any sized wrist. At only about 4 ounces, this Casio is extremely lightweight and comfortable.

Watch Construction. The Casio MRW200H-4BV has a black resin case and stainless steel caseback. The case bumps out slightly to protect the crown. While it is not a screwdown crown, this Casio does provide 100 meters of water resistance.

Price. I've seen this Casio at a wide variety of price points between $16 and $25. Walmart and Amazon have it for the lowest prices. I was able to pick it up from Walmart for just less than $19.

Overall. I really like this watch. The MRW200H series of Diver-Style watches are a good value for the money. They make a great "bang around watch" and cost less than $25.

These watches are a lot like potato chips, it's hard to stop with just one. A bang around watch from a name brand like Casio for less than $25 is always a great day.

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