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Unexpected surprise, Casio F201

I honestly never thought I'd be wearing this watch regularly.

Kicking around in my box of watches was something I bought back in 2018, a Casio F201. The thing I like best about that watch is that it has the same feature set as the W213. Love the W213 but really don't like the silver case and the strap is awful... I said screw it, let's put on the F201 and see how I like it. I didn't like it before, but since I already had one, I tried it again.

I've been wearing the thing almost nonstop for a few weeks now if not a month by this point.

The F201 at the time I write this sells on Amazon for just 15 bucks, which is basically the same price as the F-91W.

On paper, the F201 is a far better watch compared to the F-91W. Five alarms, countdown timer with auto-repeat, 10-year battery, stopwatch, dual time, full month/day/date display and a great night light. This absolutely blows away the F-91W, feature-wise.

The F-91W looks cooler and has a lot of history to it, but once I got access back to a watch so cheap with all this great usable stuff in it and it fit my wrist better, well... it was an easy choice to just keep on using it.

In fact, I grew to like the F201 so much that I bought a second one as a backup.

There is something intrinsically good about getting so much for so little

An F201 is all about function over form. It's just a little block of plastic on a resin strap and nothing more. The only metal on it is the case back. Everything else is plastic. There are few lines on the display separating the different fields, but it's still very clean and uncluttered. It's thicker than an F-91W because of the CR2025 battery inside that gives it its "10-year battery" claim (as opposed to the CR2016.)

F201 is not stylish. It just works. And oh, does it work well. The buttons are easy to press. The digits are large. It's an ultralight at just 24g in weight total, strap included.

I have no idea how Casio can sell this thing for as cheap as they do, especially considering the F-91W is almost the same price.

Any flaws?

Yes, but darned few of them.

The display is slightly dimmer when compared to an F-91W. I think this is because the panel sits a little further inside the case. There's no problem reading it in the day, but in darker environments you'd be using the night light a lot.

It is small. 41mm lug-to-lug, 34mm wide, 10.5mm thick. And the strap is on the shorter side. Larger wrists can't wear this (which may partially explain why the W800H sells so well.)

It's not as easy to use as the F-91W since the F201 is so packed with features.

And that's it.

This sat for years...

I bought my F201 back in '18, only wore it a handful of times and then chucked it in a box of watches where it was not cared for whatsoever.

It's funny that this is the watch that's now one of my favorites.

Published 2021 Jul 20

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