Wristwatch Review: Casio Forester Men's Analog Watch

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An Affordable Watch for Adventurers 

The G-shock and Pathfinder are not the only Casio watches for adventurers, this review covers the humble Casio Forester. This earth-tone watch provides an affordable analog alternative to digital watches. While Casio is best known for digital watches, they also make a wide variety of analog watches. One of my favorites has long been the Casio Forester (Model FT500WV-1BV). It’s an inexpensive analog watch with an attractive velcro, nylon, and synthetic leather strap that fits anyone. The watch has a Japanese movement, stainless steel back, and plastic case. This Chinese-assembled case measures 42mm x 40mm x 11.5 mm. If you get rained on, it’s reassuring to know that the Casio Forester is water resistant to 100 meters.

Casio calls this watch an “illuminator” as the face can be lit by pushing a button at the 3 o’clock position where the crown would normally. The crown has been moved to the 4 o’clock position where it is less likely to dig into the back of your wrist. The case has been bumped out on the sides to protect the illumination button. While I often accidently light up my entry-level Timex Expedition Camper-style watch, the Casio’s case effectively precludes accidental activation.

Like the Timex Expedition, the Casio Forester provides 24-hour or “military” time in small numerals set inside of the primary 1 through 12 numerals. The Forester also provides the date in the familiar 3 o’clock position. The case and bezel for this watch are a little larger than the slim round Timex. The bulged out case and bezel evoke the more popular G-shock look and provide a modicum of protection for the watch face and crystal. The dark green and black of this Casio’s case and band give this watch a distinctly masculine look. It looks like it is ready for a hike or military exercise.

Of course, no watch is perfect and there are definitely flaws in any $20 to $30 watch. First, the battery in this Casio is difficult for most people to change. Indeed, this is my second Casio Forester. My first gave me great service for about two years, but when I tried to replace the watch battery it proved to be an impossible task. Second, the nylon band fits everyone, but has a velcro strip all the way around the watch. It can certainly attract dust and lint. Finally, the toughness of this watch is undermined a bit by a plastic case. After several days of wearing metal dress watches like my Pulsar to work, I felt a little under-dressed wearing the Forester to work.

Overall, the Casio Forester is still a cool looking little bang around watch for weekend wear and a good value for $30 or less. When I put on my adventurer’s hat, I choose the Casio Forester for my expeditions.

[This review was originally published on Yahoo Contributors Network.  Since initial publication, it’s become even easier to find good prices on the Casio Forester.  You can usually find them for less than $25.  That’s a bargain for a bang around watch!]

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