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520
4.3 out of 5 stars
Casio Men's A178WA-1A "Illuminator" Stainless Steel Watch
Price:$14.34 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2007
Ever since I navigated my sailboat around the world using a $10 Casio watch as my primary timekeeping device (before GPS, of course) I've been a big fan of cheap Casio watches, but I have a drawer full of working ones with broken bands. The metal band cheap-o's are mostly the three-button classic with small numerals. As I get older, I need the bigger numerals. This one is absolutely perfect. At $14 it is the ultimate statement of function and substance trumping snobbery.
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2012
Verified Purchase
If you're looking at A178, you must've looked at A168. Both are cool, funky watches. What might have looked as a total geek or poor-man's watch in the 80s is now hipster cool (for better or worse). Kudos to Casio to continuing to produce these 80s styles, still in 2012! Don't ever stop!

There's also the gold version which I personally favor (it's funkier IMO) but the silver one is half the cost. Amazon price is around $12-$14, which has got to be a bargain!! You may have also considered A168. You can't go wrong with either but here's a comparison:
- A178 is a tad bigger overall so it feels more substantial. A168 sometimes feels a bit small for men, A178 feels like the perfect in-between size for both men and women.
- Band is identical
- A178's display and numbers are bigger
- The look of A178, while retro, would match formal wear (suits) better. A168's face screams retro-80s more and with all the colorful labels (ElectroLuminescence, Illuminator), it might almost look comical with formal wear.
- Has dual time, A168 does not. This is excellent if you travel a lot.
- A178 has corner lit, greenish-yellow bulb light which lights up for 2 seconds on butten press; A168 has whole-screen bright blue backlight and only stays lit while you have the button pressed. The corner light is plenty bright though A168's blue backlight looks cooler IMO.
- A178's stopwatch is better as it let's you count up to 10hrs (9:59:59) before flipping over to zero. A168 is fairly limited b/c it's stopwatch can count only up to 59:59 (1hr).
- A168 has 3 side buttons, A178 has 4, one on each corner. This gives a more balanced look.

At the end of the day, you can't go wrong with this watch. At this price, it's a no-brainer. And I have both A168 and A178 BTW. I switch them out depending on mood. If you have the funds, just get both! :) Reminder: the watch is "WR" (Water Resist) - meaning you CAN get it wet but I wouldn't go swimming with it.

[Update 8/11/2013] I've recently put a nylon watch strap ("Nato" strap) on it and it looks great! Of all the retro-styled Casio watches I have, I think the silver A178 is probably the easiest to pair up with a NATO strap in terms of looks. The square face and square LCD readout gives it really nice balance. FYI - 18mm strap and spring bars. Note: there's so little space under the spring bars, you'll have to place the strap first, then put the spring bars in place and it's a tight fit. So unfortunately, you don't have the easy swapability of the straps b/c of the little clearance.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 4, 2008
Verified Purchase
I'm the kind of guy who likes very basic stuff. I would rather have an inexpensive Casio on my wrist than a Rolex costing a few hundred more (is that how much they cost?...I wouldn't know). My feeling is that when the battery on your watch runs out, you shouldn't have to replace it. You should just replace the darn watch and treat yourself to a new one!

For years I've made this sort of a ritual. When the battery runs out on my cheap Casio, I order a new one from Amazon. When the new one arrives, I gather friends and family around for a sort of retirement party. Here's what I do: I gently remove the old watch from my wrist, gingerly raise it above my shoulder, toward the glow of the sun, and then violently smash it down to the ground and then stomp on it and grind it to a pulp. I must say, it feels great.

Then I take out my shiny new Casio and fasten it around my wrist with a flourish.

I once had a boss who was bragging about his Rolex, and I said, "Oh, yeah? Can you do THIS with YOUR watch?!" And I whipped off my watch and stomped it to death. I then offered to do the same to his Rolex. Luckily, he had a great sense of humor.

Now, here's the bottom line on this cool model in the Illuminator family:

The numbers are nice and big, as are the day of the week and the month and date. Some nice features: easy to program the time, date, etc., as well as to set up the stopwatch or the alarm. Nothing fancy to confuse the user. The "Illuminator" function is sweeeet. You just have to press the upper right button once and the watch stays lit for almost 3 seconds--long enough to read the time in a dark movie theater without having to hold the button down. Now that's class!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2010
Verified Purchase
I needed a watch with a large display that indicates month, day and time at a glance. This item fills the bill. The operation is completely sensible - I didn't need to look at the manual to figure out how to set or use it. It looks fine and the metal band is easy to use and adjust.

Another reviewer complains about plastic construction - that's just not true. The body of the watch is metal with a stainless steel back plate.

Another reviewer complains about a plastic dial cover that scratches easily. Again, not true. It uses a mineral crystal that's almost as hard as glass.

For less than $20 I think this wrist ticker is fabulous value and I recommend it to anyone who needs a well-build and practical watch.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2008
I wanted an easy to read digital everyday watch and this is it! First of all it's not one of those big/thick/bulky plastic watches with the easy-to-wearout plastic watch bands. A quick glance at it's face and you have it all: hr/min/year/month/day/date. It has backlight for night, stopwatch function, 2nd time zone feature/hourly beep if wanted, and even an alarm feature. As stated on the watch itself it claims to have a 10-year battery. At this price of under $20 just throw it away when battery is dead and buy a new one!!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase
IMPORTANT NOTE: The listing states the body of the watch is stainless steel. It's NOT! It is obviously a chrome (or other metal) plated resin. Close inspection shows features characteristic of an injection mould, a process that cannot be done with stainless, and the watch is far too light for all-stainless construction. The glossy finish is also free of machining marks that a metal case would have. Also, while it's listed as water resistant, the fine print in the manual clearly states that it's only splash resistant, and won't survive immersion.

Since I was looking for an economical, tough digital watch (stainless band, stainless body, stainless bezel, mineral or quartz lens), and water resistant to emersion, I was upset to find that this missed the mark on a couple of those points. I had hoped that the low price was due to improvements in mass production techniques, instead, it was due to a bad listing. Amazon should really fix this.

That said, the watch is well made for what it is. The anchors for the band (usual point of failure for resin cases) are are thick and well supported. The band is brushed stainless. Large wristed individuals will likely need to buy a separate band (it can reach about 7.5" in circumference). The band uses a latch and a catch. This adjusts with a slide clamp that can be released with a small screwdriver. The buttons work easily enough. The manual is clear, and operation is intuitive. The light is a green LED in the lower corner. Pressing the light button turns it on for a few seconds. It is thicker than most other small digital watches. I think that us due to the large battery it must use to claim a 10 year life. The alarm will not wake a heavy sleeper, but it's also not subtle. It's easy to read and keeps time, and should last for a long while.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2008
Verified Purchase
My husband has had several similar Casio watches, generally with various memory options. Over time he has lost the data, so this time it is just a watch and he is pleased with it. I chose this one because it had a metal strap. The rubber/plastic ones break long before the battery is dead. What is the use of a 10 year battery on a watch with a two year strap?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2008
Verified Purchase
I bought this watch as a replacement for a lost Seiko watch that
looked very similiar. This Casio is not quite as attractive as my
lamented lost Seiko but it does all of the things that caused me
to find my Seiko so suited to my lifestyle. And it has the added
advantage of having larger numbers on its LCD view. I have found
it loses 4 or 5 seconds a month which is very much like the Seiko.
I know that doesn't sound like something about which I should be
concerned but I am that kind of weird person. I use this watch to
time my jogging mileage and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2008
Verified Purchase
Very pleased with this item. Beautiful polished face and works just like my old plastic Casio. Pleasantly surprised at its quality. A++....
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2009
Verified Purchase
Certainly a practical watch with easy to see numbers on a fairly large display. My problem with it was with the bracelet that occasionally caught the finer hairs on my wrist and arm and startet pulling them. It got annoying and I stopped wearing the watch after a few weeks.
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