Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Casio A159WGEA Review (my dream watch)

I've always wanted to do a review on my favorite watch of all time: particularly, the A159WGEA-5EF. This model has the maroon face:

I feel like the two colors compliment each other very well.
I'll talk a bit about my history with the watch.
I used to have a black Casio watch. I wore it since the 8th grade, and eventually the plastic band just decomposed on my wrist and fell apart.
You might see it featured in some of my past blog posts.

I replaced the band with a gold Timex expansion band. Eventually I got sort of tired of the color mismatch.
I bought a chepa $2 fake Casio online. It looked like this:

It worked well. It kept time. It wasnt bad. In the video below you will see the fake Casio's amazing ability to change colors:

There was one problem with it: The construction of course was extremely poor. I dropped the watch once, and the piezo crystal shifted and shorted out the watch. The construction was pretty cheap that just by moving my arm, I could destroy the delicate arrangement of the circuitry inside the watch.

I did some research: this was a fake version of the legendary A159 Casio watch.
The A159 had the same internals as the even more legendary Casio F-91W:

Now THIS is a legendary watch with a long history.
Because it was one of the first inexpensive digital watches, people all over bought them. This watch was like a Honda Civic 1995 of watches. It was cheap, it worked, it was reliable, and it has quite a history.

That's Osama wearing the watch. If you're likely to be "randomly selected" by the TSA for security check, you really shouldn't wear one of these watches. Al Qaeda trains it's militants how to make time bombs using these watches.
For educational purposes only, I found these documents online:

These are archived and translated documents by the government. Somewhere in those documents it might tell you how to take advantage of the circuitry inside the watch.
Here is an article explaining why you should avoid the F-91W: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-13194733

I think it's extremely silly for airport security to flag this watch. Any person with basic electrical engineering knowledge would know how to make a time-trigger from ANY digital watch. I will not mention how to do this on this blog for the sake of safety of innocent people.

So what did I do with the fake watch?
I replaced the cheap internals of the fake A159 with the working ones of the F-91W.
And I got this:

That's my watch.

Ever since the band broke this summer, it never felt the same. I've been buying a lot of watches and learning a lot about different movements since I've abandoned this watch. It has been an expensive and time draining hobby, but I learned A LOT from it.

Recently it was my 18th birthday, and I decided to treat myself to my dream watch. It wasn't expensive at all compared to the other watches I owned: only about $40.

I also purchased another fake $2 "retro gold digital watch" for comparison

Here are the two side by side. The one on the left is authentic, the right is fake.
One obvious different is the band length and proportions

The authentic version is more finely detailed: brushed gold and gloss gold.
The fake version is a bit messy. The entire watch is gloss gold. I've tested this watch before and the gold wears off in a single day.

There is an obvious discrepancy in the band length and quality.

The fake watch has some discoloration and distortion on the LCD display.

One doesn't say "Casio"

The fake watch's band is ALL gold. The real one is only plated on the outside. The method of folding the links can is different and can be noticed.

The fake watch is unbranded.
When I opened up the internals of the fake watch, the piezo crystal is not attached to anything, and there is no gasket for waterproofing.

The buckles for each watch is different.

Holding down the START*STOP/12*24H button on the real casio will make the watch display CASIO.

There is no response for the fake watch

There are obvious quality discrepancies. 

The Casio A159 is just a gold version of the F-91W. If you get "randomly selected" often, you shouldn't wear the 159 or the 158 (silver version) to an airport.

I absolutely love this watch to the point that I don't wear it: its just for display.
It's simple: it tells the time, day and date, it has an alarm, and a stopwatch. If you're in the dark, it has a light.

You might find a lot more gold and silver Casios these days, particularly the Casio A168
 photo A168WG.jpg

These cheap gold watches have come into style these days among the hypebeasts and fuccbois. I'm honestly sort of sad about this because it ruins the sophistication of the watch, but I'm happy that people appreciate the style.