Feeling nostalgic for a Casio running watch?
Even the fastest runners can’t possibly hope to keep up with the rate at which technology advances every day. They can, however, spend lavish amounts of money on a brand new sports watch every other summer, which is just as good, if you think about it really hard.
Every industry thrives on rampant consumerism, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be willing to fork over your life’s savings on a brand-spanking new running watch, especially if you’re a runner.
Your options are vast, nearly innumerable. Every running watch is unique, and each has its selection of handy features that will surely aid you on your next marathon.
Currently, Garmin and Apple rule the modern-age running watch market – (say that three times fast) – but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for one of their products, especially if you crave something a little more utilitarian. Enter Casio’s selection of running watches…
- What is the Story Behind Casio Watches?
- Are Casio Running Watches Still a Viable Choice?
- 5 Reasons Why Casio Watches Rule
- … And One Reason They Don’t
- So What Are The Best Casio Running Watches?
- Our Verdict on Casio Running Watches
What is the Story Behind Casio Watches?
Casio has been around since man first discovered fire. In fact, it was John Henry Casio himself who first gifted humanity with the providence of flame. Ahem…
Once man was ushered out of the darkness and into the light, Casio then set about creating the very first calculator. And the rest, as they say, is history.
You may have picked up on the fact that we’ve embellished the tale of Casio just a little. We simply wanted to illustrate how universal the Casio brand is.
In truth, however, Casio’s beginnings are more humble.
Casio was first established in 1946 in Japan, though its original name was Kashio Seisakujo. The company’s first-ever product was the yubiwa pipe, a fancy cigarette holder that was a major success following World War II when Japan was left impoverished, and cigarettes were as valuable as gold. By the way, this is the same company that now sells watches that track your health – talk about a character arc.
Eventually, in 1949, Casio released its first scientific calculator, which proved immensely popular with mathematicians and scientists for years to come, and more maligned with school children.
30 or so years later, the company released their first digital wristwatch. It was the first wristwatch in the world to include a built-in calendar function. And a few years after that, the company decided to mash their two most popular products together to make the first wrist calculator, demonstrating their commitment to innovation once more.
All of this talk of history may be boring, but knowing a brand’s story is important if you plan on placing your trust (read: investing your money) in them. In the case of Casio (and other running watch manufacturers), the brand has never made a misfire.
Despite being overshadowed by Garmin and Apple in recent years, and even Fitbit, their products are as sturdy and dependable as ever.
Are Casio Running Watches Still a Viable Choice?
At the time of writing, the first Casio wristwatch was released 49 years ago, and while we’d love to say that the brand’s popularity has endured for that time, we have to admit that other brands with smarter watches have largely overshadowed them.
Casio is quite literally an analog brand living in a digital world, but they’re not obsolete yet. In fact, as long as other watches from other brands keep breaking and malfunctioning at the slightest bit of strain, there will always be a need for Casio.
Now, there are some noteworthy drawbacks that we should mention.
For starters, Casio (disguising itself as G-Shock) follows analog design philosophies that date as far back as 6,000 BC. And that’s not only reflective of the features they include but also of their physical appearance. Needless to say, the lo-fi aesthetic is much more niche than the silky smooth designs of Apple watches.
But we’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s first take a look at…
5 Reasons Why Casio Watches Rule
So, we’ve already established that G-Shock watches are still a worthy investment, even when compared to their competitors. But maybe you’re still not convinced and desire something more concrete to set your mind at ease, like – say – a list of all the reasons why G-Shock watches are cool as hell?
No? Well, too bad, because here are 5 reasons why you should consider a G-Shock watch.
1. They’re Tough as Nails
G-Shock watches are synonymous with durability. According to the manual that ships with every G-Shock watch, it would take approximately ten tactical nukes to scratch its surface.
Maybe we’re exaggerating again – nine nukes would probably be enough to put a dent in your G-Shock. It’s for this exact reason that this brand of watches is so widely beloved by law enforcement officials and military personnel. Even the cheapest G-Shock watch has the durability of a cockroach, which is to say, a lot.
They are a popular choice for ultra runners who need a watch that isn’t going to let them down on the trails.
2. They’re Waterproof
As well as being tougher than the average Dark Souls boss, G-Shock watches are also built to last underwater. Your trusty G-Shock will remain perfectly functional up to a depth of 660 feet, which is probably overkill since the average runner is about as likely to need that feature as a pair of stilts. Still, it’s good to know that even when a tsunami washes away everything you know and love, your G-Shock running watch will remain intact.
3. They’re Cheap
All those fancy bits of technology that Apple and Garmin watches pride themselves on don’t come cheap. An entry-level Apple running watch can set you back at least $80, minus the cost of repairing it if/when it breaks.
In contrast, G-Shock watches have a pretty flexible range of prices. Entry-level watches will only set you back about $40, and even they are resistant and versatile enough to last you for a few years.
4. Variety of Watches
Speaking of flexible ranges, G-Shock watches come in various shapes, colors, and auras. Whether your moon is in Pisces or your Sun is in Aries, you can bet that G-Shock has just the watch to match your vibes, OTT or otherwise.
5. Genuinely Useful Features
Look, we’re not going to sit here and pretend that your Apple watch being able to measure your blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep cycles while sending you Facebook notifications isn’t cool.
But is it powered by the divine energy of the Sun?
We thought not. G-Shock watches, on the other hand, not only ship with solar-powered capabilities, but they also come with several other useful survival tools such as a compass, an altimeter, and a thermometer in case you come down with a nasty cold.
… And One Reason They Don’t
We’ve already established that G-Shock watches don’t pack as many bells and whistles as their competitors. Depending on your preferences, this is either inconsequential or an absolute deal-breaker, in which case we doubt we could persuade you any more than we already have.
However, one thing we’ve neglected to mention is that G-Shock watches are, well… kind of ugly. Not all of them, mind you, but a good deal of their products follow the same “utilitarian chic” design philosophy, which has, naturally, made them unpopular with newer generations.
This may seem like a fairly minor flaw to point out, but you’d be surprised by how many people choose Garmin and Apple watches over G-Shock for this exact reason. Very few people would willingly wear a brick-shaped watch on their wrist when they could wear something much sleeker, sexier, and modern.
Still, if you find yourself unphased by G-Shock’s rugged aesthetics, read on to find out which would fit you best.
So What Are The Best Casio Running Watches?
A brand as long-lived as Casio is bound to have at least one hundred different versions of the same basic watch model. Luckily, this isn’t unique to Casio, and despite offering hundreds of watches at different prices, the brand has largely managed to impress and innovate with every subsequent release.
Of course, this huge amount of variety can be overwhelming. No one wants to part with their hard-earned cash in exchange for a product they may or may not use. This rings especially true for those looking to get their first-ever running watch.
Luckily, through the awesome power of yet another numbered list, we’ve picked out the five best Casio running watches that should steer you in the right direction.
1. G-Shock GBD-H1000 Fitness Watch with Heart Rate Monitor
What a mouthful. You better get used to reading these long names because, as we all know, every good piece of technology needs to have a name at least ten Bibles long.
That’s not G-Shock’s fault, though. Besides this watch’s overly long title, it’s a sturdy and dependable piece of technology that’s perfectly suited to runners and fitness enthusiasts in general. This is largely due to the GBD-H1000’s five built-in sensors: an optical heart-rate monitor; step counter; pressure sensors; compass; and even a thermometer because colds can strike anytime.
Additionally, the GBD-H1000 comes with several other features that athletes in training will find useful. This includes training data analysis and the ability to automatically generate training plans on the fly.
Naturally, a beast of machinery like this doesn’t come cheap, so we recommend that only serious runners check it out. Don’t be alarmed, however, because we’ve got some excellent cheaper options coming up.
This new series features built-in GPS and five sensors: an optical heart rate monitor, pressure sensor (altimeter and barometer),
compass, thermometer, and accelerometer for step counting. It has a high-contrast memory-in-pixel (MIP) LCD display.
2. G-Shock DW-9052-1V Digital Military Watch
Don’t be alarmed by the word “military.” Despite being a favorite among soldiers worldwide, the DW-9052-1V is one of the best entry-level options for those looking to buy their first running watch.
The DW-9052-1V is one of Casio’s oldest and most enduring models. Despite being outclassed in features by its successors, this particular wristwatch remains one of the toughest options available.
In terms of features, the DW-9052-1V is quite medieval compared to its cousins and peers. But unless you’re an incredibly demanding runner who absolutely needs a thermometer and Geiger counter, this beast of a device should serve you well with its humble stopwatch and countdown timers.
This slimline Casio running watch includes an alarm function, backlight, day & date display, 200m water resistance and a nice shock resistant durable design.
3. G-Shock MTG-B3000 Full Analog Stainless Steel Watch
Despite the almost simple-minded nature of most G-Shock watches (running or otherwise), don’t be fooled into thinking that the brand cannot deliver smart features that make great use of modern-day technology.
Take the MTG-B3000, for example. Whereas earlier G-Shock models were decidedly rugged-looking with a sort of desirable macho air about them, this model opts for a sleeker, more refined look. Gone is the LEGO brick-inspired design of the earlier models.
In its place is a stainless steel beauty complete with a sapphire crystal to enhance your aura, Tough Solar power, Multi-Band 6 automatic radio time syncing, and Triple G Resist, which makes it nearly indestructible. Oh, and did we mention that it has Bluetooth? Yeah, this is the future, baby.
The MTG-B3000 is also much more delicate than some of its siblings (it’s a complicated family tree). This makes it better suited to more urban environments where it will look at home on military men and stay-at-home dads alike.
4. G-Shock GBD-200 Step Tracking Fitness Watch
Here’s another one for the fitness buffs among you who have been after something Apple-like. You know who you are and what you did, but don’t let the crushing weight of your shame stop you from admiring this excellent fitness watch from our favorite brand.
The GBD-200 is closer to smartwatches in terms of features. For starters, this little device records every single step you take, the results of which can make for a really interesting Excel spreadsheet. It also has other “training” functions, like measuring the distance you’ve covered or calculating how many calories you’ve burned to calm your body dysmorphia.
Despite having a great number of features, the GBD-200 is surprisingly affordable. Its compact casing is classic Casio (say that three times fast), and the high-contrast display makes for superior legibility. All in all, this is yet another great product from a great brand.
Display of distance, speed, pace, and other calculated values based on accelerometer, auto/manual lap times, Auto Pause, target alert setting (time, altitude, calories burned) on/off, training display customization (elapsed time, distance, pace, lap time, lap distance lap pace, average pace, speed, average speed, calories burned)
5. G-Shock GW-M5610-1 Solar Digital Sports Watch
This is it – the culmination of our list and of the G-Shock brand as a whole, which both took the same amount of effort to put together. The GW-M5610-1 is the granddaddy of all Casio sports watches.
Based on the same design that launched the brand in 1983, the GW is an instant timeless classic in the long lineage of sports watches. Its features – while still simple compared to smartwatches – are perfectly implemented and well-executed. Its high-contrast display and ability to solar charge make it instantly useful to the average Joe as well as runners.
And, of course, who can forget that iconic design?
In short, the GW is a great wristwatch all around, a great watch for running, and a great product thanks to its affordable price and long lifespan. If none of the other watches on our list have appealed to you, this is the one for you. Just the sight of it fills us with nostalgia!
This model possesses tough solar and multi-band 6 Atomic timekeeping technology housed within an even slim profile octagonal case. Non-stop tough solar power provides energy via a small solar panel combined with a large-capacity rechargeable battery that enables a variety of energy-hungry functions to operate smoothly.
Our Verdict on Casio Running Watches
There you have it! We hope you’ve gleaned a thing or two from this article, whether it’s the long-winded history lesson or the tight list of recommended Casio watches we’ve put together.
Choosing a running watch should not be a challenge – at the end of the day, you need to decide on something that suits your style and your price range. Whether that’s the trendiest Apple smartwatch or the most practical G-Shock, it doesn’t matter if you get some value out of it.
Hopefully, we’ve managed to convey that you’ll get a lot of value from Casio running watches.