Casio AE 1200 WH "Royal" - The Greatest Watch of All Time?

In the vast world of timepieces, the claim of being the "greatest watch of all time" is a bold one, often reserved for high-end luxury pieces. However, today we delve into a timepiece that challenges this notion—the Casio AE 1200 WH, affectionately known as the "Royal." Despite its humble price tag, this watch boasts features and durability that rival even the most prestigious brands. Let's explore what makes this watch a true contender for the title of the greatest watch ever made.

The Casio AE 1200 WH presents itself as a testament to the evolution of watchmaking. From its inception over 60 years ago, the concept of such a feature-rich and durable watch would have been deemed impossible. Yet, here it is, readily available at Walmart for under $20. Let's dissect what makes this watch stand out.

Casio AE-1200 on Amazon (Affiliate link)


    Diameter: 40mm
    Lug to Lug: 45mm
    Lug Width: 18mm (flares out to 24mm)
    Thickness: 12.5mm
    Crystal: Plastic
    Water Resistance: 100 meters
    Weight: 39 grams (with strap)

The Casio AE 1200 WH boasts an array of features packed into its compact and retro design. Its square shape exudes a funky charm, while the resin bracelet ensures lightweight comfort on the wrist. Despite its affordability, the watch feels sturdy and reliable, a hallmark of Casio's craftsmanship.
Functionality: Beyond Expectations


    10-year battery life
    LED backlight
    Five alarms
    World time
    Countdown timer
    Perpetual calendar

For a watch in this price range, the Casio AE 1200 WH delivers an astonishing array of functions. From alarms to world time, it caters to a multitude of needs. The LED backlight ensures visibility in any lighting condition, while the 100-meter water resistance adds a layer of durability suitable for various environments.

Personalization and Versatility

The Casio AE 1200 WH's retro aesthetic serves as a canvas for personalization. Swapping out the strap opens up endless possibilities for customization, from NATO straps to high-quality leather options. This versatility ensures the watch complements any style or occasion, making it a true everyday companion.

The Competition

In the realm of watches, comparisons are inevitable. Let's examine how the Casio AE 1200 WH stacks up against some formidable opponents:

1. Patek Philippe Reference 5204R

The pinnacle of mechanical watchmaking, the Patek Philippe Reference 5204R boasts intricate complications and exquisite craftsmanship. So how could this little $16 Casio possibly be better? Well, actually it is objectively better in many very significant ways. The Casio Royale is more functional, it has more complications, it's more durable, it's more accurate, it's more comfortable, it's more legible and it's fifteen thousand times cheaper. Before the quartz revolution it would have been completely unthinkable to get a watch like this for this price and yet now this watch is readily available to absolutely anybody.

2. Casio F91W

An iconic watch in its own right, the Casio F91W shares a similar heritage with the AE 1200 WH. While the F91W enjoys widespread acclaim, the AE 1200 WH offers superior features, including world time and enhanced water resistance, making it a worthy successor.

3. Smartwatches

In the era of smart technology, smartwatches reign supreme with their endless capabilities. However, the Casio AE 1200 WH holds its ground with unmatched durability, extended battery life, and a fraction of the cost, proving that simplicity often prevails.

4. Skmei Homage

A budget-friendly homage to the Casio AE 1200 WH, the Skimei Royal offers a tempting alternative. Yet, upon closer inspection, the Casio's superior features, brand heritage, and reputation for longevity justify its slightly higher price tag.

Final Thoughts

Despite its minor drawbacks, the Casio AE 1200 WH "Royal" emerges as a true champion in the world of watches. Its affordability, functionality, and versatility make it a compelling choice for watch enthusiasts of all backgrounds. While it may not boast the prestige of luxury brands, its impact on the watch industry is undeniable. In the quest for the greatest watch of all time, the Casio AE 1200 WH stands tall as a worthy contender, challenging conventions and redefining what it means to be truly great.