Your wedding day: the happiest day of your life. Couples spend months preparing every last detail, and at my own wedding, I had my attire carefully planned. A Nero-collar Beatles suit in dark grey with a cream shirt. Shiny, new shoes. I even had a proper, wet shave. What about my wristwatch: Did I wear a Rolex Datejust? A gold Omega? A Patek Phillippe passed down from my grandfather? No, of course not, I wore the best wristwatch in the world: the Casio F-91W.

Casio F-91W – The Best Wristwatch in the World?

Casio F-91W A159W
The Casio A-159W (left) and F-91W (right)

I admit it, that’s not quite true. In order to dress up appropriately for the occasion, I actually wore the fancier, steel version of the watch, the A-159W. Functionally identical but with an easily adjustable metal bracelet. Why did I choose a cheap, mass-produced Japanese watch for such an important day? Let me make the case for why I believe that the Casio F-91W is the best watch in the world.

The “Standard” Watch

Most people of my age had one of these little Casios at school. Yes, there was always one lucky kid who had the calculator watch, but the rest of us made do with these little, black resin watches. It has a nostalgic, retro feel and it oozes charm. You can see echoes of its design in the G-shock lineage, and it is reputed to be the most copied watch in the world – even more so than the Rolex Submariner!

Casio’s F-91W is the standard watch. It is the horological equivalent of a Coca-Cola, the Big Mac of timepieces. It tells the time with no frills and no fuss. The diminutive Casio manages to be large enough to look good on a man’s wrist but small enough to fit a lady or a teenager without too much trouble. It has rudimentary water-resistance and can take a great deal of punishment. Most important of all, it is essentially maintenance-free and tells the time accurately.

Okay, so it isn’t quite perfect….

Casio F-91W
The Casio F-91W has been used for nefarious purposes

Negative points? Well, one Osama Bin Laden was a big fan of the watch, and its cheap, reliable electronics have allegedly been used in bomb-making for a number of years. According to the Guardian, wearing one has been enough to put some people on a government watch list (pun most definitely intended)! But to use that as a stick with which to beat Casio’s venerable timepiece is like criticising BMW because they are the bank robbers’ choice of getaway car. It is precisely because the watch is so damned good that it has become so ubiquitous.

The F-91W is not very user-friendly. Nobody has ever worked out how to set the time correctly on their first attempt, and deactivating the hourly alarm requires a degree in computer science. The light only illuminates one tiny corner of the display, and the straps have a habit of wearing away and then snapping.

What you musy keep sight of is that this watch costs less than £10. When the battery runs out (and these things can last five years on a single battery), you throw it away and buy a new one. If the strap breaks, you throw it away and buy a new one. If it gets water inside, you throw it away and buy a new one. And if it stops working, you throw it away and buy a new one. Try doing that with a £5,000 Rolex!

Everyone should own a Casio F-91W

Casio F-91W
Spotting a genuine Casio (Picture borrowed from the internet)

Any true wristwatch enthusiast owns a Casio. I use mine to set the time on my Rolex. It gets more attention than any of my more expensive watches. You can pick these things up on the high street for less than a tenner.

Watch out for fake Casios. Yes, believe it or not, people counterfeit £10 watches! The test is simple: you hold down the bottom right button for 3 seconds and “CASIo” is displayed on the screen. Simple!

Buy a Casio F-91W!

Now that I have convinced you, you can click here to buy a Casio F-91W from Amazon.

By Mike Richmond

Mike spends what little spare time he has writing for WRUK; and what little money he makes building up his collection of timepieces.

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