Casio F 91W Review: The King of the Common Man’s Watch!

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If you’re a 90’s kid, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen the Casio F91W at least once in your life. It’s the ultimate dad watch! Even after 31 years of the release in 1989, Casio is still pumping 3 million units of this watch per year. Some even argue that, Casio F91W is the most sold watch unit in history.

What is the secret behind the uber success of this watch?

Some kind of marketing gimmick?

NO!

The reason is so simple – Casio F91W is just that good!

There are three core factors behind the success of the watch – ultra durable (the Nokia 3310 of watch world!), reliable, and unbelievably low-price tag.

In the retail market, the price of Casio F91W sits somewhere around $10 to $15. This $10-watch will serve you for years to come. I know some uncles of mine who still wear their Casio!

Can you imagine, a $10 watch is serving perfectly for 30 years?

All of these traits make Casio F91W the king of the common man’s watch!

But we don’t do guesswork in SellingMyKidney, do we? So, let me present you with the most detailed Casio F 91W review available online.

Things to Consider Before Buying A Watch

Casio F 91W

Right now, the smartwatches and Fitbits have taken over the digital watch market. These watches are loaded with features, features that were unimaginable even a single decade ago.

But in 2020, it’s in everyone’s hand. So, if I judge the Casio F 91W by the number of features it has, there’s no chance it can stand against the smartwatches.

Yet people are buying this watch as if it were the holy grail.

Why?

I’ve said it time and time again, people don’t buy watches to keep track of the time. We literally have computers in our pockets that can do everything!

A wristwatch is an accessory that speaks of your personality. That’s why Casio F91W still has a ton of value.

It’s iconic, simple, and unpretentious!

So, if you want to speak these traits through your wristwatch, go ahead and get yourself a Casio F91W.

However, some of you are still new to the watch-lover community and want to know what makes a watch better than others. For a digital watch, you should put high priority in these factors –

  • Movement – The basic driver that keeps time, think of it as the engine of the watch.
  • Build Material – The choice of material for the case, bezel, backplate, and the strap.   
  • Additional Functionality – What are the extra features of the watch apart from the showing hour, minute, and second?

Also, here are some of the good to haves in a digital watch –

  • ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) sensors
  • Backlight or illuminator
  • Stopwatch and countdown feature
  • Calendar
  • Water-resistance
  • 24-hour display
  • Alarm and hourly chimes

Features & Benefits of Casio F91W

Benefits of Casio F91W

I’ll get to the details, but first, I want to share the origin and the backstory of this iconic watch.

Everything started in 1984 when Casio launched the DW-240. During the early ‘80s, digital watches just started entering the market and the low cost DW-240 won the hearts of common people almost instantly.

Later, Casio decided to upgrade the DW-240 with some added features. This time, their target was to increase the battery life and durability while cutting down the price to even a lower point. The task was assigned to Ryusuke Moriai and he delivered the wonder watch in 1989.

The Casio F 91W was an instant hit. Now, everyone could afford a reliable watch. There’s even joke that flies around the watch community – “A Casio F91W will outlive you!”

Casio F 91W also paved the way for the G-Shock, the “Casio Tank.”

As you can, the watch revolutionized the watch industry. Now, let’s get back to the main topic, the features and benefits.

More: Mulco Watches Review: Want to Make a Fashion Statement?

Movement

Movement

Casio uses a digital quartz movement that is known as both Module 593 or Casio 593. It’s a chronograph movement that is only seen in Casio F 91W these days. The chronograph can display 1/100-second digital stopwatch for up to one hour.

Plus, there’s a digital calendar that even functions properly in the leap years.

However, the movement is NOT without flaws! ±30-seconds per month accuracy somewhat diminishes the appeal of the watch.

Still, for a $10 watch, it’s not that bad.

Case

The size of the watch is just perfect for all kinds of wrist size. It has a rectangular case that is 37.5mm in length and 35.5mm in width. It’s a slim watch with 8.5mm thickness.

If you hate the chunky G-Shocks, it can be a great replacement!

Casio has made some smart cost cutting in the choice of case and strap material. The whole watch (including the strap) is made of resin.

Resin is cheap, lightweight, and somewhat scratch-resistant.

The backplate is made of stainless steel and four screws on the four corners. You’ll see some information regarding the watch engraved in the center of the backplate.

A strong acrylic window protects the dial. On paper, acrylic seems like a poor choice. But in real life, acrylic does a fine job and has great scratch resistance features.

Overall, the case is quite minimal and simple.

More: Akribos XXIV Men’s Chronograph Watch Review: Stylish Budget Chronograph

Dial

Dial

For the dial, Casio has chosen the LCD panel, which quite clear and offers higher visibility. Even in broad daylight under heavy sun, you can check the time without any discomfort.

The dial also features a LED green backlight. You can turn it on by pressing the upper-left button.  

Sadly, the backlight is one of the biggest letdowns of Casio F 91W!

The light is very faint, you can barely see the time. Casio addressed the issue in another model where they replaced the LED sidelight with a full-screen illuminator.

By the way, you can differentiate a genuine F91W and a fake one by checking the quality of the LCD panel. In the fake ones, the panel quality very poor.

However, if you want to identify whether your Casio F 91W is real or fake, there’s a better way. Press down the lower-right button for a couple of second. If it’s genuine, a CASI0 marker will appear on the screen.

Strap

Just like the case, the strap is also made of soft resin. You might think that it’s a poor choice but U would say that it’s perfect!

Resin is soft and lightweight and it will not pick up dust. Also, it doesn’t pick up the smell of sweat.

More: How Do I Stop My Automatic Watch from Stopping?

Other Features

Despite being an “extra” cheap watch, Casio F91W will surprise you with a lot of features.

First of all, the 1/100-second stopwatch is extremely accurate. Plus, there’s a lap timer option that comes very handy.

Then, there’s the alarm and the hourly chime feature that makes the watch a great daily driver.

Finally, you’ll get 30-meter water resistance which seem like a poor number. Most of the watches with 30m water-resistance rating may suffer if you take it to scuba diving. But we’re talking about the reliability champ here.

I’ve taken the watch in swimming pools multiple times, it works perfectly. I’ve talked to a lot of people, none of them found any issue!

More: Stuhrling Watches Review: Are Stuhrling Watches Any Good?

Feature Type Feature Specs What to Expect?
Movement Casio 593 Average quality movement with ±30-sec/month accuracy
Battery CR2016 Great, lasts from 7 years or more on average
Case and Bezel Material Resin Lightweight and scratch-resistant
Case Dimension 37.5mm by 35.5mm Suitable for both thin and thick wrists
Case Height 8.5mm Very sleek
Water-Resistance 30m Sounds poor but suitable for swimming
Dial Protection Acrylic Quite good, doesn’t scratch very easily
Weight 21gram Ultra-lightweight
Luminosity LED backlight Poor quality green light that comes from left side panel

What Other Customer Says About Casio F91W?

Casio F 91W is so popular that it has a cult following! Yes, a $10 watch has created a cult! Despite the out-of-fashion design, outdated features, and poor material choice, people are showering the watch with praises.

F 91W is the number-one bestseller in Amazon till this day!

Just check out some of the comments of the users. You’ll understand what I’m talking about –

Social Proof
Social Proof 2
Social Proof 3
Social Proof 4
Social Proof 5
Social Proof 6
Social Proof 7

Alternatives to Casio F 91W

It’s hard to find an alternate version of the Casio F 91W. After all, people don’t buy the watch for functionality anymore. It’s a fashion statement now.  

So, if you want to find an alternative, you’ll have to look for a model upgrade of Casio F 91W or get a mod version.

Yes, you can find modded F 91W in different markets. Also, many artists do art jobs on F 91W.

All I am trying to say is that, only a modded or an upgraded version of F 91W can replace the watch.

From that perspective, these two can compete –

Casio A158W – The Best F 91W Alternative

Casio A158W

Casio A158W is the only watch that comes closest to the original model. However, Casio A158W is, in fact, a model variant of the same watch!

A lot of people felt that the resin finish of the F 91W feels cheap. However, they didn’t want to see a change in the movement or functionality.

Thus, the Casio A158W came to being.

Basically, this watch replaces the resin with chrome plating in the case. Then, the resin strap is replaced with a stainless steel bracelet with adjustable clasp.

The size of the case is slightly adjusted too.

So, basically, this model is a design upgrade with a slightly higher price tag.

Casio F201WA-1A – The Functional Upgrade

Casio F201WA-1A

If Casio A158W is the design upgrade, then Casio F201WA-1A is the functional upgrade of F 91W.

Casio F201WA-1A follows the same design choice with the full-resin build. But you’ll be getting multifunctional alarms with snooze feature. Then, there’s the countdown timer along with the stopwatch.

One of the biggest flaws of the original F91W was the dim backlight. Here, you’ll get a full panel backlight with afterglow.

So, Casio F201WA-1A actually tries to eliminate the functional drawbacks of Casio F 91W.

However, despite the design and functional upgrades in the later models, people still prefer and buy the original one till this day. Like I said, it’s not about the looks or features, it’s about following the classic fashion.

Conclusion

So, that was my take on Casio F 91W review. It’s really fascinating that after all these years, people are still crazy for the old-reliable Casio in 2020.

What do you think about this classic digital watch? Let me know in the comment below!

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