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Bad vision friendly watch, Casio W218


This is probably the most legible digital watch there is, and it's fortunately cheap.

I'm middle aged, and while I'm not 50 just yet, I am starting to experience vision issues related to age.

Seen above is the Casio W218. Before getting into that, some info relating to my vision.

The specific thing going on with my vision happens right after I get up in the morning. Right after I wake up, I can barely read anything. Glasses on or off, doesn't matter. It takes me a good 5 minutes before I can really start to focus.

I don't use an alarm clock because I use the phone for that. However, I don't want to fumble around for the phone to check the time after just getting up, so I wear a watch to sleep. This is when I realized I need a watch that has high legibility without being a goofy-big thing, and it absolutely had to have a good night light for low-light reading. Casio W218 works great for this.


When I get up, my vision is fuzzy, the room is dark and I need a clock I can read. All I have to do is turn my wrist close to my face, press the night light button and oh yeah, I can read this even with glasses off. The photo above is a very accurate representation of what the display looks like in low light. The amber night light fills the whole display and I can see and read it all.

Some specs and further explanation of what makes this watch so great

First, bear in mind I have a 6.5" (16.5cm) wrist, so the watch looks slightly large on me. However, anybody can wear this.

Dimensions are 44.4mm lug-to-lug, 43.2mm width, 10.8mm thick. That makes it sound like a goofy-big watch. It isn't, and that's primarily due to the fact the lug-to-lug is short.

Also bear in mind the actual display itself. Yes, the watch is 43.2mm wide, but the bezel is thick. The display itself is about 21mm wide, which sounds too small, but that is compensated for with large LCD digits.

On paper, the dimensions make it sound like it wouldn't work at all, but in practical use, it's actually just right.

Another thing going for this watch is high contrast LCD. The LCD panel is a light gray, basically identical in color to the F-91W. Easy to read at any angle. But the huge advantage over the F-91W is the night light.

Looks like a classic square G-SHOCK, except you can actually read it

When talking about the classic square G-SHOCK, the two models most people go for are the DW5600E (basic) and GWM5610 (tough solar, atomic timekeeping). Both of those are great watches with great night lights, but have displays with small digits and an LCD panel that washes out easily when viewed at an angle.

The W218 does have a classic G-SHOCK square appearance. It doesn't have the water resistance of a G-SHOCK (50m compared to 200m) nor is it anywhere near as tough, but the price is right and it's far more legible.

Is the W218 basically an F-91W?

Functionally, yes. If you took an F-91W, gave it a bigger LCD with bigger digits, far better night light and thickened up the strap, you get the W218.

Literally, the only difference in watch operation is that two buttons are flipped. On the F-91W, the night light button is on the left and start/stop button on the right. On the W218, night light button is on the right and start/stop on the left. Other than that, the feature set between the two is exactly the same.

It pretty much doesn't get any better than this for digital watch legibility

The W218 has a high contrast LCD with large digits and great night light in a case that isn't goofy-big, and it's easy to operate. It doesn't get any better than that.

It comes in several colors. I prefer the classic black myself, but there is also red, orange, green and blue.

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