Customer Reviews: Casio Men's A178WA-1A Illuminator Stainless Steel Watch
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Price:$13.59+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on July 19, 2012
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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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.
55 comments| 107 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 31, 2014
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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on March 28, 2010
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.
22 comments| 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon August 4, 2008
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!
1313 comments| 74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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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on September 2, 2015
Love this watch! The casebis a little on the small side compared to my others, but the display is actually biger! Very easy to read. The alarm, and stopwatch, are very simple to use. Unbeatable quality for the price!
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on November 30, 2011
Amazon's price is practically a giveaway for this fine Casio watch.
I've had it for over a month and it keeps very accurate time.
It's light and comfortable with a stainless steel band that's easy to adjust to fit.
Please be aware that Amazon's description of the band is wrong: It's not the "fold over clasp" but is the kind you must latch with a small clip.

Note that this watch has a year setting (2000--2099) so that it will "know" that 2012 is a leap year and will show February 29. Also, when you program the month and date, the watch automatically shows the day because it knows the day from the year, month, and date you entered.

Numerals are large and easy to see: day, month, and date are plainly visible above larger numbers showing the time. There's also a dual time setting for another time zone, and you can switch to 24 hour time with the touch of a button.

This watch is intuitive to set unlike some digital watches. I barely looked at the instructions because it was so easy to set the Casio. This watch has a 10 year battery which is nice except that I have no idea when the watch was manufactured. The design dates back to the year 2000, so if it was in a warehouse for a decade, the battery might die long before 10 years from now. Would be nice to find out when my watch was made.

Amazon's $14.02 price is amazingly low because it would cost $10 to replace the battery in my old Timex. So for 4 bucks more than a battery replacement, I bought a new watch that's better than the Timex anyway.

If you want an accurate, fully functional, easy to read, comfortable, good looking watch on the cheap, you won't do better than this!
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on June 19, 2008
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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on May 29, 2015
I had one of theses before and gave it to my grandson so I had to replace it with a new one. I like Casio watches better than any other brand. I would like this same watch more if it had a timer and a little bit better band but for the price and features you can't go wrong. I had a hair pulling problem on mine I thought it was the band at first I also noticed a few other reviews with the same complaint. I discovered after close inspection tiny hairs around the back plate screws, arm hair can become lodged under the screw head and pull when the watch moves. The fix for me was a small dab of clear lacquer paint on and around the screw heads, I put on two coats you probably could use Nial polish as well. It might make removing the screws later on more difficult but I would never change the battery in this anyway when it dies in 7-10 years I will just toss it and get a new one. Hope this helps if yours is pulling hair, not everyone is a gorilla like me so maybe not an issue for you. Buy it if you want an easy to read, very accurate, light weight time keeper with cool retro looks oh and cheap too.
6-10 update I installed a much better band it looks great and fits well. The thin band that comes with this watch is good maybe for a women but to small and thin for my taste. This band I installed is vougestrap from Walmart $12.00 makes a good improvement, not sure spelling of the brand you'll figure it out if want to change it.
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