Before getting really into this, I want to clarify that by “Damn Best”, I mean most utilitarian. The kind of thing you can reliably depend on to always do it’s thing, anywhere. With these relatively low standards for “Damn Best,” the Casio A168WA-1 Watch is the Damn Best Watch.
I bought my Casio 4 years ago in August of 2013 and I’ve worn it almost ever day since, I have a watch tan that will attest to that. I have a dress watch that was gift from one of my very close friends, which I wear for special occasions, but my daily-driver is the Casio.
The A168WA-1 is part of the F-91W series, which was introduced in 1991. The F-91W series utilizes quartz movement (although common is pretty amazing by itself) and are powered by a small 3-volt lithium button battery, which is supposed to last up to 7 years, but could last much longer.
The A168WA-1 is marked “Water Resist” because of a reliable rubber seal between the back and the case, and while the buttons aren’t sealed, there’s a tight enough fit to create enough surface tension to prevent water from getting inside. They are rated up to 30 Meters / 3 ATM, so they’re not actually water proof, but I’ve never had an issue. The A168WA-1 is a great way to tell the time in aquatic environments, from the shower to the sea, I’ve used my Casio to tell the time:
- While snorkeling the waters surrounding Dry Tortugas National Park,
- While kayaking, paddle boarding, and hauling ass on WaveRunners on the South Florida portion of the Intracoastal Waterway,
- While trying to swim in the cold waters of the Strait of Georgia off Wreck Beach in Vancouver (in fact it was the only thing I was wearing that time).
As someone whose wrist is perpetually between 2 holes on a watch band – either making a watch too loose or insanely tight – one of my favorite parts about the A168WA-1 is that the stainless steel band features a move-able clasp that can be adjusted to any wrist size for the perfect fit.
All watches in the F-91W series feature a 1/100 second stopwatch that you can start and forget about until you try to tell what time it is and it’s 56:18 and you smell something in the oven burning.
For $17 and with all these features, I’d say the Casio A168WA-1 is a pretty damn good watch, I would even go so far as to say it’s the Damn Best Watch.