I picked up my Casio MRW200H six months ago, and have been playing with it ever since. Available on Amazon for the low, low price of $15 shipped, it’s the cheapest ‘diver’ I’ve come across yet. It’s gotten pretty high reviews on most shopping sites, so I just had to give it a try and see how tough it is, and if it can handle actual SCUBA duty.
The MRW200H comes in several variations. They’re all the same basic watch, just with differing color schemes and dials. Casio seems to like to do this with most of their watches, creating seven or so color variations for each model.
Pick what suits your fancy, any of these variations should be the same quality as the watch I’m reviewing here.
The version I’ve got is the MRW200H-1EV. It’s got a dark black dial with white and gold accents, and dot markers instead of the arabic numerals present on most of the other models. If you’re looking for something a little brighter, personally I’m also a fan of the white-dialed MRW200H-7EV.
- Casio quartz movement (module 5125) with 3 years battery life (SR626SW battery)
- 100 meters water resistance
- Black resin case and band
- Rotating bezel (bidirectional)
- Mineral crystal
- Luminous hands and markers
- 44.6mm case diameter
- 47.9mm lug-to-lug
- 11.6mm height
- 22mm band width
- Day and date display
- 39g weight (very lightweight)
Review of the Casio MRW200H-1EV Diver Style Watch
The MRW200H is a basic, no frills, low-budget quartz watch with an analog display. Features include a rotating bezel and day/date window.
Note that the MRW200H is not what the majority of people would consider a ‘proper’ dive watch, which is why I’ve been referring to it as ‘diver style’.
It lacks key measures such as a screw-down crown and screw-lock case-back, both of which improve water resistance. A screw-down crown also insures the crown cannot be accidentally pulled out when underwater, an important safety feature to prevent flooding.
The rotating bezel moves both clockwise and counter-clockwise, unlike the unidirectional counter-clockwise only bezels found on a good diver. The unidirectional bezel prevents the watch from ever accidentally displaying less time elapsed than actually has.
I like to break my reviews down into sections, covering each part of the watch individually, and wrapping up with my overall impression.
The case is cast from a smooth black resin (read plastic). It’s extremely light weight, leading to the whole watch only weighing 39 grams.
The whole case is a matte black color, with only various lines and angles molded into it to provide visual interest. In the picture above you can see the line that runs from up near the bezel on the sides and then widens toward the top and bottom, leading down to the lugs.
The MRW200H doesn’t really have traditional lugs. The top of the case curves smoothly over, hiding the springbar attachment points from view.
On both sets of lugs there are these two smooth, circular indentations, which match similar indentations on the resin band. I have a feeling this design element is being utilized to hide the marks from the molding process, and if so it’s very well done.
From the bottom you can see the slot in the case for the strap and spring bars. I haven’t attempted to change out the resin band on this watch, but I’m pretty sure you’d have a very difficult time getting something like a NATO strap to fit through here.
You can also see in the above picture the raised edge on the band, which when the band is curved around on the wrist closes off that gap between the case-back and the band. This is surprisingly well designed, and increases the comfort of wearing the MRW200H.
Overall the fit and finish of the case is quite high for a watch at this price point. It’s smooth without any left over manufacturing marks and looks quite decent for a plastic case.
The stainless steel case-back on the MRW200H is simple and straight-forwards, with no fancy designs present. Held in place with just 4 screws in the corners, it fits perfectly against the resin case.
The center of the case-back is slightly raised in a circle, with informational text engraved into it. At the very top is the brand name in all caps, ‘CASIO’. Below this we have 5125 within a rectangular box, which marks the quartz module used. Following the 5125 is the model name, ‘MRW-200H’. The next few lines read ‘STAINLESS STEEL BACK’, ‘WATER RESISTANT 10BAR’, “JAPAN MOV’T EA”, and ‘CASED IN CHINA’.
My first impression of the case-back was that there was no way this watch would be able to handle 100 meters of water pressure, with only those 4 screws in the corners keeping it tight. As I’ll talk about later though, the MRW200H is surprisingly water tight.
The stainless steel crown on the Casio MRW200H is small and cheap feeling, like just about every low-cost watch I’ve handled so far.
It’s very basic as far as crowns go, with a coin edge to provide some grip and an undecorated end. The crown is well protected by a blocky crown guard on each side, which at least prevents it from being pulled out from the sides.
The crown spins freely when pushed all the way in, as it is does not screw-down to lock. Pulling it out to the first click allows you to set the day and date, and pulling it out to a second click stops the watch and is used to set the time. The clicks are well defined, and it’s easy to get the function you want.
When pulled all the way out the crown is still surprisingly sturdy feeling, without the wobble that plagues many watches.
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The bi-directional bezel is held tight through friction, and rotates smoothly in either direction with a bit of pressure. It’s tight enough that accidentally turning the bezel is unlikely, and I haven’t had it turn on me yet.
There’s no clicking as you turn the bezel, like you’d find in a unidirectional bezel.
The minutes are marked out in arabic numerals every 5 minutes, with larger text at the 15, 30, and 45 minute positions. The first 15 minutes are also ticked out with small bars.
All the markings on the bezel are etched/molded in a slight amount and then colored in, so you won’t have to worry about the markings getting scraped off like on watches with the markings simply painted on top.
The zero/sixty minute position is marked with a triangular shield and black dot in the middle. Probably my biggest complaint about the bezel is that they didn’t apply any lume to the black dot, so there’s no way to tell the elapsed time in the dark.
The dial of the Casio MRW200H is simple and minimalistic. Only a small amount of gold colored text is present, stating CASIO QUARTZ on the upper half and WATER RESIST 100M on the lower half.
The markers consist of lumed white circles and bars, outlined in gold. They are not applied, only printed directly as part of the dial.
The date window is well done, also outlined in gold as with the other markers. The text is large and clear, with the current day displayed in either English or Spanish. All the days are printed in black, except for Sunday which is red as seen above.
Surrounding the dial is a well done chapter ring marking the minutes in gold colored bars.. However, unlike the MDV106, the second hand on the MRW200H does not tick aligned with the chapter ring. A small detail, but annoying when closely examining the watch.
Overall, I like the look of the dial. It stands out as well done and high quality, especially considering this is only a $15 watch.
The sword-style hands are done in a gold-colored steel and painted with white lume. The minute hand is arrow-style, with a small lumed triangle near the tip.
I really like the handset, and find it easy to read, even in the dark. The lume is of poor quality, but lasts long enough to allow reading the watch after walking into a dark room, while waiting for your eyes to adjust.
Wear and Use
Being so light, you barely notice the MRW200H when it’s on your wrist. Of course, this also lends to the watch itself just feeling cheap (which it is) as more weight is generally associated with quality. Especially with dive watches.
The quartz movement is accurate enough to be set once and forget, only needing to adjust the date at the end of any month that doesn’t have 31 days.
Diving with a $15 watch, that’s only rated to 100 meters of water resistance? Nonsense, it probably shouldn’t even be allowed in the shower right?
That’s what many people would tell you, but it seems that when Casio rates a watch as being able to handle 330 foot depths, they mean it. I’ve taken the MRW200H on multiple dives to over 100 feet deep, and so far it’s no worse for wear.
Need a cheap, unobtrusive, and durable watch and only have $15 to spend? You won’t go wrong with the Casio MRW200H. It’s definitely not flashy nor particularly good looking but makes a perfect beater you won’t need to worry about.
Have a little more than $15 to spend? I’d go with the Casio MDV106-1A, for only $25 more. And believe me, you get a lot more watch for only that much more. You can read my review of the Casio MDV106 here.