Absolutely The Best Value Digital Watch For Less Than $20. Period.
The Casio AE-1200 is a cheap digital watch that can be purchased for under $20 most places. It also happens to be one of my favorite watches, not just for the price, but for all the features that this watch offers at such a low price.
The AE1200 is also sometimes referred to as the “Casio Royale” due to the loose similarity to the Sports 100 watch that Roger Moore wore in the Bond movie “Octopussy”.
I have three of these models. One’s steel, there’s this one that I’m doing the watch review on, and there’s an olive green one in my collection as well.
Did I say how much I love this watch yet?
I can usually be found wearing the black one that I’m reviewing here. It’s actual model number is AE1200-WH, and can be found on Amazon for around $16.
You might not think of a cheap digital watch as something that could be worn in style, but the Casio AE1200 changes all of that. It’s rugged, but stylish look is on par with a world traveling plane jockey or some kind of covert missions operative.
Overall Size and Wearability
The watch isn’t bulky, nor is it too small for most wrists. The case size is just 42.1mm x 45mm, and accepts 18mm NATO straps if you feel like changing the look.
Being just 12.5MM thick, the AE1200 slips under just about any cuff or sleeve when not needed. The watch weighs in at 50 grams – so light you can forget it’s on your wrist!
The watch looks best with your standard white button downs, but also looks really good with charcoal grey, blue or black sweaters. Of course, it’s an everyday watch due to it’s low price so you may opt to just wear it with whatever you have on.
5 Alarm Settings
I have to say that having five alarms on a watch (that isn’t a smartwatch) is more useful than you might think at first. I have two alarms set at 0400 and 0430 to get me up in the morning, one at 0745 to remind me to get the kids to school, one at 1500 to let me know to unlock the door so the kids can get in the house after they get off the bus (I work at home), and one at 1945 to remind me to tell the kids to start getting ready for bed.
Using the alarms as much as I do does reduce battery life, but if I get three years out of this 10 year battery I’ll be more than happy.
Water Resist to 100 Meters
One of the things that I hated about wearing smartwatches was the fact that I always had to be mindful of moisture and water. The Apple watch died from washing dishes. My Samsung Gear S3 died washing the car. My second S3 died on the sink from moisture when I was taking a shower (No, I wasn’t wearing it in the shower) and the final Apple watch died from a glass of beer being spilled accidentally on me.
After four smartwatches, I was just done with anything that couldn’t stand up to daily life. Most non-smart watches are waterproof, and the Casio AE-1200 has an impressive 100 meter (328 feet) water resistance. I’ve showered with it, swam with it, washed dishes and the car many times, and never have to worry about the watch.
World Time With 4 Favorite Time Zones
I travel about 10 times a year for business. Usually it’s within the USA. The Casio AE1200 allows you to have 4 favorite time zones that you can cycle through at the repeated touch of the lower right button from the home screen. I have the US time zones saved as my favorites for traveling.
You also have access to all the world time zones when you touch the lower left button once from home, and then cycle through the time zones to the one you want with the lower right button.
Backlight That Stays On
One of the things that I always found annoying was that the Timex watches would turn off the backlight after you released the button.
The Casio AE-1200 allows you to set the backlight to stay on 1.5 seconds or 3 seconds after you release the upper right button. It’s a really useful feature you don’t think you need until after you have a watch that does this.
Beep Mute Mode
Hate beeps when you press the watch buttons? The AE-1200 like a lot of other late model Casio’s have a mute mode that eliminates the button beeps.
NOTE: Mute just mutes the button beep, NOT the enabled alarms. Even in mute, the alarm will sound at the given time.
To enable or disable mute mode, from the home screen, press and hold the lower left button down for three seconds.
Brand Model – Final Thoughts
As far as watches go, if you’re looking for the absolute best deal in a watch from a functional standpoint, the Casio AE-1200 is the perfect budget watch to consider.
It’s a cheap digital watch. You don’t have to worry about dropping it, scratching it up, getting the watch wet or just about anything else. You can beat it up and just get a new one for around $15 on Amazon.