Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200 AKA "Casio Royale"
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  1. #1
    Member spacetimefabric's Avatar
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    Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200 AKA "Casio Royale"

    I'm now mostly a mechanical watch wearer, having worn digital watches in my childhood, but the recent purchase of a new Casio impressed on me that they are very much under-appreciated affordables. The watch in question:

    The Casio AE1200WHD

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    At first sight, this watch has given me delight. It has a squarish shape, similar to the calculator watches from years back. I love the tiny LCD world map and the analog hands circle. Right above the circle is a mute indicator that comes in handy, at times. The main time display is large enough for easy reading, and I appreciate that it has an irregular geometric shape, versus being simply rectangular. It's not a new release, as it appears to have come out sometime in 2012, but the look of it is timeless.

    Also part of its throw-back appeal, this watch may also bring to mind the coveted James Bond watch from Octopussy, the Seiko G757.

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    Photo from the Watches in Movies site:
    Octopussy (1983)

    Blasphemous as it sounds, I feel that I actually like the Casio's look better; that tiny world time map really sets it apart.

    Instead of the unpronounceable model name, I'm going to call this one, the "Casio Royale."

    Case and Bracelet
    The bracelet is serviceable stainless steel on the light-weight side, which I feel is appropriate for the watch. The links took me some time to adjust to size, using a board pin and a watchmaker's hammer. Other versions come with fabric or resin straps.

    But never mind the bracelet. Unlike many Casios, this watch has standard-size lugs, meaning that instead of having to tolerate Casio's usually sub-par, aesthetically deficient straps, you can install your own. The width of the lug is 18mm; the bracelet it came with measures about 24mm across at the end-links and tapers back down to 18mm.

    With this welcomed freedom, I tried a few different 18mm straps on it:

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    Not bad, right?

    What's disappointing, however, is the case for the watch, which, unlike the strap, is not stainless steel, but some kind of softer resin in metallic silver. If Casio were to have given it an actual stainless steel case, not just the bracelet, and priced it accordingly, I'd have been glad to have paid higher.

    With this resin case, in the process of changing straps, I've noticed that it is pretty scratchable, so one has to take good care during strap switches. The good thing is that loss of the metallic silver can be easily remedied with a Krylon metallic paint pen.

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    From my look-around, this watch appears to also come in other colors:
    Black
    Black with gold screen/green map
    Black with olive grey accents
    Olive grey with black accents

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    (Stock photos from the internet)

    I, personally, much prefer the silver metallic one.

    Crystal
    Unclear. Some sites list it as resin glass. Amazon says it is standard Casio mineral.

    Water Resistance
    It's rated up to 100m, so this is one that I can maybe swim with and expect it to survive.

    Functions
    Not only is it a nice watch to glance at, the functions are also tremendously useful for me. It has the standard features, like the stopwatch, timer and alarms (5 alarms, no snooze), and anyone with friends, family or business abroad will appreciate the world time function. I have mine in 24-hour mode, as I can easily tell day/night around the world that way.

    There's a screen for World Time that lets you move across different time zones. A vertical stripe shifts across the map to show you where you are. You can also set 3 additional cities you can scroll through on the home time-keeping screen. As you do this , the LCD analog hands display your home time.

    Supposedly the batteries are set to last 10 years, if I don't destroy it first.

    The light button causes the screen to be illuminated a cool old-school amber. Love it.

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    Aesthetic Mod
    In an earlier discussion here about the watch, I cam across someone mentioning being able to remove the "World TIme" and "Illuminator" lettering from the case. I thought it'd improve the look of the watch and proceeded to do so, as well, applying Naphtha with a brush and then polishing the lettering off with a toothpick, and, eventually, adding some toothpaste. If you decide to do it, be careful, and proceed at your own risk (and in a ventilated area).

    Here goes:

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    That's better:
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    Referenced thread:
    New Digital Affordable: Casio AE1200

    In Sum
    Currently, this watch can be had for about $25 or less. I think it's very much so worth it, whether you want to use it as a beater or as something to mix up your watch rotation. This one comes highly recommended from me, especially with its throw-back look. It's a joy to wear.

    Alright, time to go on a secret mission. Long live the Queen.

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    Last edited by spacetimefabric; November 11th, 2013 at 06:30.
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  2. #2
    Member Zilladon's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200WHD

    Yep, this one is such a cool/retro/geek/spy watch - this is the first watch I ever bought specifically with the intention of wearing the metal bracelet; although at those prices, I'm tempted to add one of the resin-strapped versions to my collection as well - and you really can't go wrong with a Casio - I don't think I've ever had one die on me.....

    Welcome to the club!


    =Patti


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    Last edited by Zilladon; November 9th, 2013 at 20:41.
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  3. #3
    Member CCCP's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200WHD

    That's a very cool watch... easy to read, 10 yr battery with that cool analog hands + world-time-map!!! I've been tempted many times to buy it
    Maybe it will be my next beater
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  4. #4
    Member spacetimefabric's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200WHD

    Quote Originally Posted by Zilladon View Post
    "...I'm tempted to add one of the resin-strapped versions to my collection as well..."
    =Patti
    Thanks. Maybe you can just switch it on to a spare rubber strap, for the time being. That's the beauty of this one, versus other Casios that demand non-standard straps. I have another Casio that I had to modify/file down the lugs to fit in straps that I actually prefer to more tastefully wear in public.

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    Last edited by spacetimefabric; November 10th, 2013 at 19:29.
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    Member JakeJD's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200WHD

    That is so frickin' cool! Want!

    Great work on the mod! That definitely looks better.
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    Member serge70's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200WHD

    Splendid review,right out of the top drawer.Many thanks for sharing this strangely alluring Casio.Great mod also.
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  7. #7
    Member theinterchange's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200WHD

    Now you've made me want one all the more! It looks even better post-op! Great review, too!

    Randy
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  8. #8
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200

    Great review! My only niggle with this watch is that the date is hard to read read sometimes with the small thin font that was used. Also, the crystal is plastic not glass.
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  9. #9
    Member cuica's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200

    Got the one with the gold lcd for a week now, great watch for the price!
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  10. #10
    Member spacetimefabric's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Appreciation: "Bond" Casio AE1200

    Quote Originally Posted by Slim724 View Post
    Also, the crystal is plastic not glass.
    Really? The info on the AMZN page for it listed it as mineral. The Casio site itself doesn't appear to specify:
    AE1200WHD-1A - Casual, Mens, Womens, Ladies, Digital, Analog Wrist, Watches | CASIO America, Inc.

    I would actually much prefer some kind of acrylic resin crystal, so that I can buff out scratches easily.
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