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The classiest little Casio, AQ230


Somewhat annoying to set, but probably the most elegant little Casio watch you could have.

I just did a battery change in my silver Casio AQ230. It's been a while since I've said anything about this model.

For those who own this watch, the battery type is SR920W, also known as a 370 or 371.

Both my silver and gold AQ230's were bought in 2019 and I still have them, but the silver one gets more wrist time because the digital panel is easier to read.

The AQ230 is the smallest watch I own. The lug-to-lug is 38.8mm, the case diameter is 29.8mm and thickness is 8.1mm. I actually do own the Casio A700 which is just 6mm thick. Too thin. The AQ230 gets it just right. And for a 100% digital, the tried-and-true Casio F-91W also gets it right at just being 8.5mm thick.

How to set the time and date on the AQ230

This is very atypical compared to most Casio watches.

My recommendation for setting this thing is digital first, analog second.

Digital set

  1. Press/hold the bottom left button until it beeps, then release. Seconds are blinking.
  2. Press top left button to reset seconds to 0.
  3. Press bottom left button.
  4. Press top left bottom to set the hour.
  5. Press bottom left button.
  6. Press top left button to set the minute.
  7. Press bottom left button.
  8. Press top left button to choose 12 or 24-hour time.
  9. Press bottom left button to exit.

Analog set

Before explaining how to set this, I have to describe how it works. This will sound complicated, but trust me, it's not.

The AQ230 does not have a seconds hand. For every 20 seconds of digital time, the minute hand ticks forward. For example, the minute hand will advance at 12:00:00, 12:00:20 and 12:00:40. After that, it will advance at 12:01:00, 12:01:20 and 12:01:40. Every time the digital time reaches 00 seconds, 20 seconds and 40 seconds, the minute hand advances.

On the right side of the watch is one button, and its sole function is to adjust the analog time. Pressing it once will advance the minute hand one tick, which is 20 seconds. Pressing and holding the minute hand will fast-scroll advance the analog clock.

The easiest way to set the analog clock is to synchronize it at a 15-minute mark, as in minute 0, 15, 30 or 45. You do this because those lines on the clock face are easiest to read and straight (meaning not on an angle.)

For example, if the digital time reads 12:29, advance the analog clock close to 12:29. When the digital clock reads 12:30, press the right side button a few times until the minute hand reaches the 30 minute marker. Because the AQ230's minute hand moves in 20 second increments, as long as you advance the minute hand to 12:30 within the first 20 seconds after the minute, the digital and analog clocks will be synchronized perfectly.

Again, I know this sounds complicated but it really isn't.

Why is the AQ230 so elegant and classy?

A few reasons.

First is the lack of a seconds hand. For some reason, when the seconds hand isn't present, that makes a square/rectangle watch look better. The classic Cartier Tank does not have a seconds hand, and neither does the Seiko SUP880. But the Casio is obviously much more affordable.

Second, the AQ230 is an atypical Casio design where the appearance is very toned down, even for the gold version. Nothing about the watch is "loud" at all.

Third is the appearance of minimalism. I say appearance because the watch does have an alarm feature, month/date/weekday calendar, hourly signal feature, a stopwatch and dual-time. Actually, it's triple-time. The analog clock, main digital time and secondary digital time can all be set differently, so technically, yes it is triple-time capable. But you'd never know that by looking at it. All you see is a classy little timepiece.

In the way Casio designed the AQ230, it does sometimes reflect light playfully on the outer corners, and the 12-hour marker is raised and reflects too.

On the gold version, the face is not white but rather linen colored. You can even see a vertical pattern when you angle it right and look close.

I sold off a bunch of Casios a while back...

...but not my AQ230's. I kept those because they're just good. Small and classy, and the silver one is surprisingly very legible.

The only thing I've had to do for maintenance, other than change the battery, is take some minor scratches off the crystal with Polywatch. Worked like a charm.

Is the Casio AQ230 the classiest little watch? No, that would be the Cartier Tank. But it is the classiest little ana-digi watch that I know of.

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