Sharoma Casio Watches

Casio Watches

I have been a Casio fan since the late '80s and that is trivial. I've owned many of them. That also puts me alongside potentially billions of people. As capitalism continues to consume itself in a never ending desire to extract everything it can from the land and the consumers on it, Casio continues to make products with that golden combination of quality and affordability. Anyone can afford at least a couple! With all this in mind, I present my little Casio page, dedicated to that timeless classic on your wrist.

On the Eighth Day, we synchronize...

Watch Synchronization

2023
Model AE-1200WH AQ-S800W STR-300 Pocket A158W Fake W-86 WVA-M630 GW-M5610U Timex F-105W F-94W W-217H W-59 W-96H W-86 (2) A163W W-89HB F-84W Seiko Moonphase
Module 3198/3299 5208 2575 n/a 593 n/a 3298 5161 3495 n/a 3298 1071(B) 3454 590 3239 3298 593 1536 593 6F24
Date
8 Mar. set set

















8 Apr. -20 +4 set
















8 May -18 +6 +1 set















8 June -17 +2 +4 +4 set set













8 July -22 +5 +4 +2.5 -0.5 +3:26 set












8 Aug. -17 +6 +5 +4 +0.5 +3:40 +9 0











8 Sep. -17 +6 +5 +3 +0.5 +3:40 +10 0 0 set









8 Oct. -17 +7 +3 +4 +1 +3:32 +9 0 0 +7 set set







8 Nov. -18 +7 +2.5 +3 +0.5 +3:37 +10 0 0 +6 +7 +5 set set





8 Dec. -18 +6 -1 +2 0 +3:30 +9 0 0 +6 +7 +5 -2 +6 set set



2024
Model AE-1200WH AQ-S800W STR-300 Pocket A158W Fake W-86 WVA-M630 GW-M5610U Timex F-105W F-94W W-217H W-59 W-96H W-86 (2) A163W W-89HB F-84W Seiko Moonphase
Module 3198/3299 5208 2575 n/a 593 n/a 3298 5161 3495 n/a 3298 1071(B) 3454 590 3239 3298 593 1536 593 6F24
8 Jan. -18 +7 0 +2 +0.5 +3:36 +9 set set +6 +8 +5 -1 +6.5 -11 +7.5



8 Feb. -18 +7 -1 0 +0.5 +3:36 +8.5 +12 +7 +6 +8 +5 -1 +6.5 -10.5 +7.5



8 Mar. -16.5 +7 -0.5 +1 +1 +3:23 +8.5 +10.5 +6 +6 +7.5 +5 -1 +6.5 -10 +7.5



8 Apr. -18 +7 +1 +1 0 +3:36 +9 +11.5 +6 +6 +8 +5 -1 +6.5 -10.5 +7.5 set


8 May -17 +7 +3 0 +1 +3:30 +9.5 +11 +7 +5 +8 +5 -1 +7 -10 +7.5 +4 set set
8 June -17 +7.5 +4.5 0 +1.5 +3:37.5 +11 +12 +8 +7 +8.5 +5.5 -0.5 +7.5 -9.5 +9 +5 +3 +0.5
8 July -16 +8 +5 0 +1.5 +3:32.5 +11 +12 +7.5 +7 +8.5 +6.5 -0.5 +7.5 -8.5 +8.5 +5 +2 +1.5 set

Annual Total Results
Year AE-1200WH AQ-S800W STR-300 Pocket A158W Fake W-86
1 -216.5 (3m36.5s) +70 (1m10s) +23 +26.5 +6.5 +2563.5 (42m43.5s) +113.5 (1m53.5s)

Information

Casio watches listed in the table above contain varying modules and are accuracy rated to ± 30 seconds per month (with two exceptions). The table is intended to monitor this specification over time. I use time.is as my reference and the 8th day of the month just happened to be when I decided to begin. Between 1000 and 1200 (MST) of the 8th is when every watch is synchronized with the reference. The figure represents how far each watch was out by the 8th of the following month. 'Fake' indicates a fake F-91W I purchased at Canadian Tire for testing purposes. The watch labelled 'Pocket' is not a Casio model. It is a modern quartz analogue watch with battery power and is included for curiosity. 'Timex' is a quartz analogue watch of unknown model number which I purchased at Sears in 2005. My AE-1200WH ('Casio Royale') displays the 3198 module number in the diagnostic screen but 3299 is printed on the rear.

Key

Superior Casios

Listed in the table above is the Casio WVA-M630 Wave Ceptor and the Casio GW-M5610U. These watches synchronizes daily with the WWVB transmitter at Fort Collins, Colorado which is approximately 1,800km from my location. Since they don't need a manual sync, the 0 in the table above represents whether each was accurate to the second with the information at time.is. These two watches also features a superior quartz movement to the other Casios listed above, being rated at ± 15 seconds per month. When autosync is disabled for testing, these watches will be marked set.

Conditions

The STR-300 is stored in a separate room to all the others. This room is unheated at night. Perhaps this accounts for its change during the cold winter months?

Sync sensitivity

The WVA-M630 Wave Ceptor rarely fails to sync each night, despite it lying flat and far from the window. The G-Shock GW-M5610U is more sensitive and will often fail to sync unless it is close to the window and pointed approximately south-east. However, it can still sync during the day when set up ideally.

Model names and colour variations

Casio employs an interesting naming scheme for their watches. The basic model name is usually followed by extra numbers and letters which indicate the colour and style variation. Below are listed my watches with their full model name.

Full Model Names
Model Module Variant
AE-1200WH 3198/3299 AE-1200WH-5AVCF
AQ-S800W 5208 AQ-S800W-1B2VCF
STR-300 2575 EAW-STR-300-1C
A158W 593 A158WA-1DF
W-86 3298 W-86-1VQES
WVA-M630 5161 WVA-M630B-3AJF
GW-M5610U 3495 GW-M5610U-1CF
F-105W 3298 F-105W-1AQ
F-94W 1071(B) F-94WA-9
W-217H 3454 W-217HM-7BV
W-59 590 W-59-1VQ
W-96H 3239 W-96H-1AVES
A163W 593 A163WA-1QES
W-89HB 1536 W-89HB-5AVCB
F-84W 593 F-84W-1QJH

Casio W-86

The Casio W-86 is an old favourite, since it was the one I wore throughout my 20s. I bought my first one in March 2003. At the time I chose it because "for an extra couple of quid" you got a way better backlight and increased water resistance. The original strap lasted until 2009; the replacement lasted around a decade and can be seen in the pic. Since the W-86 was priced at £12.99 at the beginning of 2023, it led me to thinking about its cost over time. I can't remember exactly what I paid in 2003 but I think it was £7.99. Anyway, indulging a wave of nostalgia I pored over every Argos catalogue I could find from 1995 onwards, since that was the year of the W-86's introduction. Sadly, I cannot find any Argos catalogues for the year 2000 onwards. If you can provide data on the price of the Casio W-86 from spring/summer (S/S) 2000 until autumn/winter (A/W) 2022 (or anything in between) I would be very grateful.

Table of Cost, W-86

All my Casio W-86 models were purchased from Argos in the United Kingdom using GBP (£). Prices are taken from the old catalogues. These can all easily be found online. The Bank of England Inflation Calculator was used to obtain the amount in 2023.

The cost of the W-86 at Argos in the first half of 2023 ranged from £12.99 to £16.99. This is an average of £14.99, which in 1995 was the equivalent of approximately £8. Therefore, the price of the W-86 has halved since its introduction, even accounting for the recent increase in price. In this inflationary system, this should be commended.

Year Season Price in £ (GBP) March 2023 amount (GBP)
1995 A/W 14.99 28.75
1996 S/S 14.95 27.99
1996 A/W 14.95 27.99
1997 S/S 14.95 27.49
1997 A/W 14.95 27.49
1998 S/S 12.95 23.45
1998 A/W 12.95 23.45
1999 S/S 12.95 23.14
1999 A/W 9.95 17.78

2003 Spring 7.99~ 13.63~

2023 Spring 12.99
2023 Summer 16.99
2023 Autumn 12.99
2023 Winter 16.99
2024 Winter 12.99
2024 Winter 16.99
2024 Spring 16.99
2024 Spring 11.99
2024 Summer 16.99

Casio W-86 Modules

Although all Casio W-86 watches are functionally and aesthetically identical, they have used three different modules from four different countries. To quote this review of the W-86:

Throughout its history, the W86 has undergone some variations in its internal mechanism. The early models used modules 1275 and 1572, while the newer variants use module 3298.

The full model name of the current variant is W-86-1VQES.

Casio W-86 1275 module, made in Korea Casio W-86 1572 module, made in China

Casio W-86 1275 module, made in Korea.

Casio W-86 1572 module, made in China.

Casio W-86 1572 module, made in Malaysia Casio W-86 3298 module, made in China

Casio W-86 1572 module, made in Malaysia

Casio W-86 3298 module, made in China

Manufacturing locations

Current (3298) modules are manufactured in Thailand; I do not know if they are still made in China. As far as I know, the 1275s were made in (South) Korea and the 1572 modules were made in both China and Malaysia. This makes four separate manufacturing locations for the W-86: China, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand. The only difference in the modules will be that the 3298 displays CA510 when the lower right button is held down, which is an authenticity test.

Colour variations

The Casio W-86 launched in 1995 with three different colour options: the turqoise model that's still sold (W-86-1VQES, formerly W-86-1VRUP), the dark blue with yellow stripe one (possibly W-86-4V), and the grey one (full model name unknown). I have never seen the latter two in person or for sale anywhere so it appears those versions didn't last long. Based on the fact that the grey version of the W-86 says '5 BAR' then it was probably Japanese/Asian markets only. Models destined for the rest of the world tend to advertise the measurement in meters (M) instead.

Casio W-86 Imperfection

I think the later W-86 models may feature a more grey-matte than black-gloss finish, though I cannot confirm this as these watches fade or gloss over time. One thing I have noticed on my 2023 W-86 is this minor imperfection. If you don't notice it in that pic, try this one. I've also seen it in some other, presumably later, W-86s online, such as this one. Starting above the 'S', peaking above the first 'A', ending over the 'HR' of CHRONO. The plastic lip is out of alignment in some way, causing a white mark to appear. It's not a reflection from flash, and if you look on the corresponding spot opposite on the face, the imperfection isn't there. On my 2003 era W-86, I didn't notice it, but I'd be interested to see others. Have you noticed this on your W-86? Let me know!

Casio AQ-S800W

This is an excellent and often overlooked model. Here is a review I wrote for it on Amazon:

I was lucky enough to receive a Casio AQ-S800W which has remarkable accuracy, gaining only about 5 seconds each month (spec is +/-30 sec/month). It also looks great. It is more understated and smaller than the version which has the screws showing. This module is perhaps the best one Casio make for their budget watches. It is accurate, solar-powered and fun to use. Despite what other reviews say, setup is simple as is scrolling each day to use the features. I enjoy how you can check the battery status. You can cycle digital time, day or date. In darkness the digital display goes to sleep but wakes up as soon as there is light or you need it. The way the hands are synchronized to the digital display is neat. There is even a feature to re-align them. This is an amazing watch. Light, comfortable and a lot of fun to play with. For the black and orange model sold here, only the hands are luminous. For the black and white version, the numbers are luminous too. Oh, it also has the world time feature! It lacks the world map of course but it can do pretty much everything the Casio Royale can with the exception of the quick dual-button time zone swap.

Bulova Hack

The movement inside this watch is a Miyota 82S0, which is an automatic mechanical kind, not quartz electronic. It is rated for -20~+40 sec/day with a running time of 42 hours. This movement requires wrist movement or manual winding. Since it isn't accurate enough to be rated monthly, it shall be tracked daily in the table below. Between 0700 and 1000 each morning the time shall be checked and adjusted according to the reference.

NR indicates No Reading: I forgot or was unable to take a reading and synchronize the watch; the next day's figure may therefore be higher (or lower) than usual.
FW indicates Failed to Wind: I forgot to wind the watch (or wear it enough), meaning it had stopped when it came time to take a reading.
HOL indicates vacation time! No data available.

2024

January February March April May June July
1st
+13 +8 HOL +2 FW +3
2nd
+11 -25 HOL +5 FW +6.5
3rd
+12 +5 HOL +3 set FW
4th
+12 +9 HOL +3 +6 NR
5th
+12 FW HOL NR NR NR
6th
+11 set HOL NR +10 set
7th
+15 +10 set -17 +6.5 +5
8th set +15 +8.5 +4 +2 +6.5 +5
9th +8.5 +14 +10 +6 NR +6.5 +7
10th +9 +10 +7 +6 0 +6 +6
11th +8 +13 +9.5 +6 NR +4.5 +5
12th +8 +13 NR +5 +2 +4.5 +4
13th +9 +11 +16 +5 +1 +5 +1.5
14th +8 +12 +9 +4 -14 +6 +3
15th +10 +13 +8 +5 +3 +7.5 +2
16th +10 +10 +5 +1 +4 +9 -1.5
17th +9 +10 FW +3 +7 FW +3
18th +9.5 +16 +4 +5 +8 set NR
19th +11 +14 +3 0 +6 +4.5 +5.5
20th +9 +10 +4 +6 +5 +4.5 +5
21st +10 +7 +4 +5 +7 0
22nd +10.5 +8 +5 +5 +8 +2
23rd +11 +9 +5 +4 +3 +3.5
24th NR +8 +6 FW -2 +7
25th +24 +8 +6 FW +6.5 +7
26th +9 +8 HOL FW +6.5 FW
27th +10 -2 HOL FW +7.5 +2
28th +10 +7 HOL set +6 +5
29th +15 +10 HOL NR +5 +5
30th FW
HOL +9 NR +5.5
31st +12.5
HOL
FW

Wear conditions

I tend to wear this watch every day. If not for the whole day, then partially. On March 2nd when it was out of spec for the first time, I hadn't worn it as much the previous day. The movement predictably slows down as the power reserve is drained, although I have not measured this, so take it with a grain of salt. I do not generally wind this watch other than three to five turns when I set the time each morning. Automatic movements should not need winding if you wear them each day. If you do wish to wind it when movement alone may have already fully charged it, you won't harm the mechanism.

Cat Eye Padrone

I purchased and installed one of these Japanese made computers for my new bike in early May, 2019. The unit and the sensor came with Toshiba CR2032 batteries rated for one year with one hour's use per day. On June 19th, 2024 I noticed the display was fading a little. It was still working fine, I just pre-emptively replaced the batteries. The clock had been set over five years previously, never adjusted, and in that time it had only gained 5 minutes and 47 seconds, or approximately 5.8 seconds per month. This makes it more accurate than most of my Casios, including the G-Shock and the WaveCeptor.

Lost Watches

In this section, I will list the watches I have owned and worn but no longer have. This is testament to the fact Casio watches were disposable objects, even to people who enjoyed them. Maybe they still are disposable to many people, though not disposable in a derogatory sense. For the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, many millions of people wore out and got rid of their beloved Casios. Often it was more economical to replace the whole unit rather than a strap, a battery, or even a gasket. Many people just 'lost' them, or can't really remember what happened to them. Some were of course stolen or donated to family and friends. Here is a perhaps incomplete list of my lost watches:

Make Model Release Year Year Owned Fate
Unknown Thomas the Tank Engine analogue Unknown ~1987 Unknown
Zeon James Bond 007 Official Quartz Watch 1985 ~1988 Gifted to Kris
Casio F-91W 1989 1990 Unknown
Unknown (Multi-dial blue face analogue) Unknown ~1995 Unknown
Unknown Baby-G Fake (sky blue) Unknown ~1996 Unknown
Casio CA-53W 1988 1998 Unknown
Casio W-86 1995 2003 Memorialised

Watch Lifespan

The first digital watch I remember owning was this bad boy, a marvel which had a musical themed output. I gave it to my friend Kris as a gift. I wonder if he still has it? I remember a rainy day sometime in 1989, observing my father constructing a camp, hammering down tent pegs, with a friend. I asked him "What's the new watch you're wearing? Where is your other one?" He stopped hammering, showed it to me and said "That's me knockin' watch!" His friend grinned. The watch in question was either a Casio W-59 or an F-91W, both released in 1989 (I was six). I now understood what a beater watch was. What I still fail to understand, is why anyone would want a watch you couldn't wear while camping. Anyway! I owned my own F-91W before long and this is the watch I wore for most of the early and mid 1990s. In 1998 I bought myself the classic calculator watch (Casio CA-53W) and avoided being mugged when the lads who potentially wanted my watch scoffed upon seeing it. The joys of England. In early 2003 I purchased my first Casio W-86 to begin my first factory assignment. It served as you would expect: without flaw. How long for? Well, in late 2017 it was still able to beep me awake to catch a flight to the UK. It died sometime in 2019. 16 years! I should state that it spent a large amount of time between 2012 and 2017 sat in a drawer. My final anecdote for the W-86 consists of an unoriginal and inaccurate remark made by a customer at Canadian Tire in 2009: "that watch looks like you should be in the '80s" (or words to that effect).

Last updated: 20th July, 2024.