Sometimes when you look at old family photo albums, you may feel a strange sensation when you compare your younger self to your current reflection in the mirror. It almost feels like two different people are staring back at you, yet you still feel the same as you did in those old black-and-white pictures.
It appears that the designers and marketers at a Japanese company also draw inspiration from their own personal history and memories. This is evident in their latest product, the LF-20W-1A, which I will be reviewing in our upcoming post on the MAG. Stay tuned!
Recently, I was the one complaining about displays lacking interesting designs. However, it seems as though my thoughts may have been heard by the designers or perhaps the new product’s appearance is a result of feedback. Regardless, I am pleased to see the company embracing nostalgia and providing fans with such beautiful displays.
Let’s start by acknowledging the origins of where it all came from. Based on the name of the product, we have the AE-20 model from the 80s in front of us. If we ignore the color filling of the display mask, or imagine it in black and white, we can see how similar they are to each other!
Even though it replaced the steel AE-210 model that cost 11000 yen, the plastic version is still relevant and impressive. Nowadays, collectors would pay over 1000 dollars for a well-preserved steel model, while the plastic one costs only half as much. Is that acceptable to you? Also, it’s worth noting that many people have been buying and selling them on eBay this summer, especially after the release of the LF-20W.
Take a look at that electronic dial with the hands, it’s actually unchanged.
And the “Alien” F-100 started the run with plastic in 1977, so it is still going on…
And if it wasn’t for the resin cheap models, we don’t know if the company would have been able to enter the masses with metal?
Yes… quite a lot of money demanded for collectibles, the hero of our review can easily be purchased for change after buying retro models – such a conclusion is made when you look at the powerful price tags….
Just a fun fact, explosive digital watches first emerged in 1980 with Casio’s AA family models. One in particular, the Casio AA-85 gained popularity after being featured in the movie “Blue Thunder” and was given the same nickname.
Now, let’s talk about the watch at hand. If I were to solely rely on touch, this model closely resembles my own F-91W.
Although it may appear to you that the LF-20 is larger than the 91s, it is not. This is due to the shape of the case, and in fact, their dimensions are almost identical. Later in the review, I will compare both models as they are very similar in design.
The LF-20W case size (L×W×H) is 37.8 × 33.7 × 8.6 mm. Weight 23 g.
F-91W case size (L×W×H) 38.2 × 35.2 × 8.5 mm. Weight 21 g.
Approximate battery life of LF-20W: 3 years on CR1616.
It seems that CASIO has cleverly solved two problems by adding the letter L to the reference number of their F-20W watch from 1984. The original reference number was already in use, but the addition of the letter L allowed them to create a model specifically marketed towards women. It’s worth noting that this watch looks great on both men and women.
Take a look at this sleek and elegant device. Its display has a captivating quality that is perfect for unwinding and enjoying. Although I’m not sure if there will be alternative color options for the lettering like its predecessors, the overall design is truly impressive. I was even tempted to keep this model for myself.
It appears that all the display elements were drawn with a thin black marker. If it weren’t for the movement of the sectors in the window and the digital second hand, it would seem like an ordinary photo pasted onto the case.
The band, as well as the rest of the product, is made of bioplastic which is becoming increasingly popular in newer models. It’s possible that everything will be made from this material in the future, causing oil tycoons to switch from pumps to plows and start farming. The bioplastic feels denser and more resilient than traditional materials and has no discernible odor. This is a cool quality worth noting.
The strap is connected to the case using springbars instead of cotter pins. This results in a lug attachment size of 16mm, a base width of 24mm and it narrows down to 18mm near the buckle. The buckle is made of hard and tinkling plastic that resembles ceramic.
The backlight on this watch has a retro bulb and a classic look. Some people may not like it, but it was not included on the AE version. Regardless, the entire display is well lit, not just one corner like on other watches.
The glass on the watch is flat and made of resin, which means it will get micro-scratches easily, even with careful handling. Molded glass would be more durable at first, but even the fabric of your clothes could scratch it. However, these scratches will not affect the overall clarity of the glass. I have hundreds of hard-to-see scratches on my F-91W watch, but I am not bothered by them. Still, it’s best to avoid knocking plaster off walls with your watch to prevent any damage.
Although the buttons were made of steel and quite uncomfortable, (those who have fingers like in Shrek – will have total pain). I, personally, found it tolerable to use them.
When viewed from a certain angle, there appears to be a slight decrease in contrast. This may pose an inconvenience for left-handed individuals who typically wear their watch on their right hand. However, when viewed from the opposite direction, the text is clear and high in contrast.
The back cover is more solid compared to the F-91W, with satin finish and standard information. There is nothing special here, except that the screws used are larger.
Just listen to the tune and observe 🙂 🙂.
I recommend taking a quick tour of the menu to observe a fascinating feature of the seconds display when switching modes. You can also check out the timer and stopwatch functions. This device has a decent range of features for its size, including world time, five alarms, a timer with 1/10 second accuracy, and a stopwatch with 1/100 second accuracy.
And for the dessert, a demonstration of the display segments… It’s a bit unusual to see such a picture after the screens of classic G-SHOCKs, isn’t it? 3198 is not the module number, because it goes under another value – . Yes… the model is simple but very interesting. I hope that this is just the beginning and we will see other representatives of the predecessors in the future.
The emotional impact of wearing the LF-20W-1A Casio watch is only felt by those who appreciate resin material in watches. These people find positivity in models like the iconic F-91W and similar ones.
But like a phoenix, the model is reborn, so that we can discover Casio in the “role” in which a great number of bygone models of the 80’s stayed, for which the sincere gratitude of Casio fans is guaranteed.
Just like the mirror I mentioned earlier in this review, when you put on the LF-20W watch, you immediately notice that it is a completely different model compared to the AE-20. It has a different module and is made of bioplastic, which makes it seem like it’s from a different era. However, it also evokes the same wonderful emotions that people felt when wearing watches in the glossy 80s.
Sasha Shebedyak, specially for casiofanmag.com & casioblog.com
During my school days, I developed an interest in collecting watches, which was inspired by my father’s work of repairing them on order. However, simply owning watches was not sufficient for me; I love writing reviews about them and sharing my impressions with future CASIO enthusiasts. I have a humble collection where I admire every model, but my top picks are the GW-5000U, DW-5735D, DW-5040RX, EF-558D, MTD-1053D, and AE-1000W. Write for casioblog.com & casiofanmag.com.