Dependable, Durable, Cheap

The Best Digital Watch You’ll Find Under $20


February 14, 2019 Deals By

I was on the hunt for an affordable watch I could beat the shit out of, still depend on it to tell me the time and not get heartbroken if it bit the dust. Between riding enduros and dual sport motorcycles hundreds of miles off-road and lapping open-top race cars, the elements, mud, rocks, grit and molar loosening engine vibrations had me in fear for my mechanical watch’s life. I know they’re tested to withstand water and a few knocks, but it’s my first and only mechanical watch — I’m a little over-protective. It was suggested I pick up a G-Shock, but I can’t bring myself to put that big of a chunk of rubber and plastic on my wrist; plus, I was aiming to invest even less. In my search, I came across the Casio AE1200WH World Multifunction. It’s above and beyond what I was looking for, but it’s exactly what I need. And for $18, how could I turn it down?

Originally, I had the F91W-1 Classic in my cart and was ready to check out. Again, all I wanted was something to tell the time, something a $7 digital watch can do that just fine. But, no matter the product or the price range, my online shopping habits take me to and from the cart a dozen times before I hit ‘Buy,’ all the while adding and deleting options, relentlessly cross-shopping and comparing.

The World Multifunction practically slapped me in the face. For less than $11 more than the other model, it adds an analog-style alarm clock, day-month-year readout and a world time zone map. It even has the soft-orange illumination I prefer; it’s easier on the eyes too — that blue-green Indiglo crap is obnoxious.

I’ve already put a few hundred miles on it, and it’s still telling the time despite getting covered in mud and taking a few hits from tree branches at high speed. At 18 bucks, it proved its worth the first time out, and the funny thing is, I’m now just as attached to it as I am my mechanical watch. (Which I want to upgrade, by the way. I’ve been on the lookout for a Nato Strap to customize it, but it turns out 21mm two-piece Natos are tough to come by. So I gave in and literally just bought the not-on-sale, olive green version that comes with the black strap I want, which I’m going to swap over as soon as it arrives.)

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