on 27 December 2014
What can I say? I'm 43 now but on unboxing this silver beauty I had a flashback 33 years to the 1980's. Picture this: 10 year old me is on holiday with my parents on the Isle of Wight, wearing the Casio digital watch received for my birthday a few short weeks earlier.
Digital LCD watches are cutting edge to 10 year old me, and mine has just replaced a Timex LED watch which only showed the time when you pressed the button, and was impossible to see in full sunlight without putting your arm up the inside of your jumper and peering down your neck hole to view in sufficient darkness. In short, the Timex was a bit pants in comparison.
Now, I can view the time in any lighting conditions, and in the dark the backlight button provides a futuristic glow so I play with it under the bedsheets at night - using the stopwatch and trying to stop it as close to 10 seconds dead as possible without going any hundredths of a second over (come on we have all done it).
By day, my parents have taken me to a pub with a games room, and I have been handed a stack of 10p coins to play Space Invaders or Pac-Man to keep me entertained. My first choice arcade game is Pac-Man, and I am completely hooked. I have even bought a book which shows the moves to make on each screen, enabling me to eat all 4 ghosts with every power pill AND also devour each appearance of the hallowed fruit - how I loved the sound the game made when you ate a fruit. So, as long as I don't make a mistake, my 10p will last me all the way up to the "Key" screens, when I can't memorise the moves required, and the ghosts don't flinch when I consume the power pills and they move faster than Billy Whizz from the Beano. I am now playing on borrowed time, seeing if I can beat my high score before I must invest another 10p and try again.
If I'm lucky, my Dad brings me a glass of coke, or even a proper Coke bottle which seems to be made of the thickest glass ever with a straw in it. The straw seems to want to climb out of teh bottle due to the bubbles or something! I'm not bothered about getting a suntan or making sandcastles on holiday, I live for playing Pac-Man and wearing my Casio watch. The only thing which can spoil my holiday is not being able to find a Midway Pac-Man machine with a joystick in good working order.
Anyway, I digress....
43 year old me has just unboxed the retro A168, made in China, and with a stainless steel back confirming the watch is water resistant. The highly polished silver case reflects the light and announces to the world that you are now a time traveller, able to flick between the present day and the '80's with ease.
I notice that the instructions do not tell you how to adjust the strap to suit your wrist, but a quick dredge of my memory and a flick of a small flat bladed screwdriver enables me to size the watch perfectly in seconds and lock it in position. Again, no instructions required to set the time, day and date, the 3 button Casio system is just so intuitive (though the instructions do cover this in detail in English before jumping into other languages). It's a pity Windows 8 isn't as intuitive - surely Microsoft could have got some Casio boys and girls in to help them with user friendliness then I could actually work my new laptop! Makes me want to boot up my ZX Spectrum 48k - but that's another story.
Back to the watch: Wow, pressing the "Light" button reveals the most wondrous even blue glow on the screen, much better than the old green side light which never illuminated the screen properly on the cheaper models like the F-91W. The watch face proudly states "Electro Luminescence" above the digits to highlight this space age feature to and also states "< ILLUMINATOR >" below the digits to really ram the message home. The chaps and chapesses at Casio must be really proud of their work, or short of some other legend to print on the watch face!
The watch strap has a brushed steel finish and is a little thinner than I remember, but this makes the watch nice and light to wear. Now, after wearing the watch for a few days I have noticed something that I don't remember from 10 year old me, probably because of my lack of body hair at the time. The metal strap acts as an 'epilator' for your wrist hair i.e. it grabs hold of any stray hair and the movement of your wrist causes them to be either guillotined, or torn out from the roots.
After 3 days of wear the inside of my wrist has a red rash resembliing the plucked turkey I witnessed on Christmas Day. I am now that turkey! I don't know what to do for the best. As I see it I have 2 options:
1) Shave my own wrist or
2) Let nature take its course and endure a bit of pain each day.
Although I have not decided yet, either way I will be wearing the watch as it is so cool and retro. I think the straps could actually be sold as slimline epilators as people pay good money to have hair removed don't they.
Therefore to wear the watch, you have to give up any aspiration of being hairier than Chewbacca, that is, unless you leave all the plucked hair wedged in the back of the strap!
Maybe Victor Kiam should have bought Casio instead of Remington, because the straps do shave as close as a blade - and also the attached gizmo on the front tells the time so it is far more practical than an electric razor!
In summary, this watch tells the time beautifully and clearly, has a handy alarm and stop watch feature, the battery will last for ages, it looks good in a retro way and it is nice and light to wear.
This watch will not tell you the time in Brazil, connect via wi-fi to anything, it will not make you a babe magnet (you need to buy Lynx deodorant for that and spray loads while stood in the middle of the beach - that's according to the advert though - and it's probably total nonsense). The watch does not scream affluence and announce to the world that you have arrived (at least no one will beat you up for it), nor does it make you any more interesting at parties (so don't show people as that will make you look nerdy - not speaking from experience here - ahem).
Above all, it is a time machine and will instantly transport you back to days of Pac-Man, Rubiks cubes, cassette tapes and vinyl, silly hair and leg warmers (not me I must stress). The trains were all British Rail, Simon Cowell didn't control your Christmas number one, we didn't have to watch people eating bugs or avoiding crocs with taped up snouts in Jungles, and instead the Young Ones and Only Fools and Horses were essential viewing.
So grab yourself your own little slice of the 80's while you can, then you can glance at your wrist and be reminded of happier times!
on 14 November 2012
I have an unhealthy physical attraction to this watch. I'll freely admit when it arrived today, that I opened the packet, and deeply inhaled the late seventies style packaging and warranty booklet such was my excitement - As I closed my eyes and cleared my head, I swear I could smell the early eighties.
You see, as a child at the early stages of secondary school when these first came out, there was always that one rotund kid whose parents were able to afford the latest new-fangled technological advancements in horology. And whilst I returned from school holidays with the red LCD version of the early digital watches (where you had to press the button to illuminate the time), the overweight rich kid had this version. Scuppered again it seems. With my imitation Kickers on I got back on the bus that day dreaming of how, when I finally made my millions I'd be able to afford the next big thing - The calculator version. Not through greed or avarice mind - I just loved the futuristic qualities of this beauty.
I'm certainly no millionaire, and doubt I'll ever be, but with the passing of time I'm finally there. Grab yourself one of these gems. They're now affordable to us mere plebian blue collar workers nowadays. I'm still not quite there yet mentally to progress to that next stage of Casio ownership, the calculator version, but maybe one day. For now they're for the fat children of diplomats and government whips - The important people of this world who the likes of you and I can only longingly stare at through the rainsoaked tinted glass of their limos, as they demand we desist from staring at them. (He says as he doffs his cap, twirling in both hands as he looks at the floor).
Oh I love my Casio.
on 5 December 2015
I bought this watch for my dad, as a Birthday present, and he loves. He had one back in the 80's when he was 10, and he said that not much had changed!
The watch ordered within two days, (so one day before expected delivery), which was great.
It came in a thin cardboard box, which contained the watch (in a plastic bag) and some instructions. It didn't quite fit around his wrist, so a couple of links had to be removed. I went down to a local Watch shop, and the man running it, removed 2 links for no charge, as it only took him 20 seconds, which is a bonus
The actual watch itself is a nice fit around the wrist, and also has a nice feel to it too (Feels expensive!) It is very easy to change the time, and also has the day eg Mon, Tue, Wed etc. If you press the button on the side, you get a stopwatch which I handy and also an alarm. The only negative about the alarm is that it only has one alarm sound, but it does the job!
It is not waterproof, but for £15, you can grab yourself a bargain!
I would definitely recommend the seller.
Looks:5/5 (depending on your taste!)
on 5 July 2011
WOW ! stylish, smart, cool & RETRO this Casio has the lot.. I can remember back in the day when these were all the rage ! I have had mine for 3wks now & i must of had atleast 4 people ask me 'where i got it'... Digi watches are making a massive comeback at the min.... The ILLUMINATOR has all you need, Time in norm or 24hr format, Alarm with an hourly chime as well, Day & date, Also a stopwatch.. And for when its dark an Electro Luminescence bright Blue light... A total bargain "BUY IT NOW"