Casio Duro: A Review Of Casio’s Budget-Friendly Diver

Casio is known for being one of the most popular mass-market watch brands in the world. It has a massive catalog that comprises many iconic, diverse timepieces. One of the brand’s most well-known models is the Casio Duro, which is known for its simplicity, durability, and affordability. It is said that the Japanese brand has sold over 600,000 units of this watch, with Bill Gates being one of the proud owners of a Casio Duro piece.

In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the Casio Duro, its biggest selling points, and some of the Duro’s most recommended models.

A Closer Look at the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106-1A

Front view of the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106-1A.

The Casio Duro Ref. MDV106-1A, also known as the Casio Marlin, was officially introduced to the world in 2011. Since its launch, it has rapidly risen to become one of the most popular diving pieces ever made. The sheer simplicity and durability of this Casio Durio watch render it extremely versatile, both in terms of style and use, and this is a large part of what makes it so appealing to all kinds of people. And the best part, of course, is that you do not have to spend a fortune to own it.

Further down the article, we will be taking a closer look at some of the best variations of the Casio Duro, but for now, let us delve deep into the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106-1A.

Case and Bracelet

The Casio Duro Ref. MDV106-1A is housed in a 44mm stainless steel case with a lustrous, well-polished finish. It has long explorer lugs, with a lug-to-lug measurement of 48mm, a height of 12mm, and measures just 92 grams. On the whole, this is quite a well-balanced watch, with average dimensions that make it suitable for wrists of all sizes. Its clean, timeless black-and-silver colorway also gives this watch a very versatile appeal, such that it has the ability to complement both casual and formal ensembles.

Affixed to the top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel, which is quite a common feature in most dive watches. Fitted with a matte black insert, this bezel bears indicators in sleek silver for its elapsed time scale, along with a single luminous pip at 12 o’clock that helps light up the watch face. This bezel also has jagged, bottle-cap like edges, which provide wearers with an easier grip with which to hold and turn the bezel.

Finally, a durable and ergonomic rubber strap in black helps finish off this watch’s quintessential look. This ridged rubber strap is completely waterproof, making it a great choice for a dive watch like the Casio Duro.

Dial and Bezel

Moving on to the dial of the Casio Duro, everything about it is classic and simple. It showcases a simple black sunray finish, which both complements the matching black bezel and helps ground this timepiece, giving it a more serious gravitas.

This dial also follows a very straightforward layout, comprising arrow-headed hands, hour markers in various geometric shapes, and a date display outlined in white at 3 o’clock. Near the 6 o’clock marker, you can also find the iconic Casio Marlin logo, marking this as a distinctive Casio piece. The hands and hour indices are all generously coated with luminescent material, providing the wearer with optimal visibility even in poor lighting conditions.

Movement

Aside from having a durable exterior and highly legible design, another reason why people love the Casio Duro Marlin is because of its excellent technical specifications. The Casio Duro Marlin is powered by a Casio Module 2784. This is a Japanese quartz movement that boasts an impressive accuracy rate of +/-20 seconds per month. In addition, you do not have to worry about having to change this watch’s battery constantly, as it is equipped with an SR626 replaceable battery cell, which can last for up to three years when fully charged.

Lastly, this watch also has an excellent water resistance capacity of around 200 meters, which makes it great for both diving beginners and professionals.

Price 

One of the main reasons why the Casio Marlin Duro is so popular is because of its affordable price tag. It costs just $70 USD, which is extremely cheap, especially when you consider what you are getting with this watch. You might also be able to get this watch at even lower prices from secondhand resellers in the market.

Most Recommended Casio Duro Models

Below are some other wonderful versions of the Casio Duro: 

1. Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A1V

Front view of the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A1V.

First up, we have the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A1V, which is also dubbed the Casio Duro Batman. It has a very sporty and masculine exterior, making it the ideal accessory for both casual and active days. With its blue-black color theme and two-toned bezel, this Casio Duro watch is extremely reminiscent of the Rolex 126710BLNR-0003, which is similarly named the Rolex Batman.

The Casio Duro Batman comes in a 44mm stainless steel case, coupled with a black resin band with a thick, ridged design. It also has a rotating elapsed time scale bezel in handsome blue and black hues, which is the same color scheme which is often associated with Batman. The dial also shows off a very classic display, with a matte black finish, arrow-headed sword hands, geometric hour markers, and a date window at 3 o’clock.

Like the Casio Duro Marlin, the Casio Duro Batman runs on a Casio Module 2784 quartz movement. This caliber possesses an impressive three-year battery life and is able to withstand water pressures of up to 200 meters.

The Casio Duro Batman sells at around $75 USD, making it only slightly more exorbitant than the Casio Duro Marlin.

2. Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A3V

Front view of the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A3V.

Moving on, we have the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A3V. This watch has essentially the same specifications as the previous model but comes in a different colorway. That said, this Casio piece has a very different vibe compared to the Casio Duro Batman. With its gleaming emerald bezel, the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A3V offers a more vibrant, fun aesthetic that would liven up just about any ensemble.

The Ref. MDV106B-1A3V is presented in a 44mm stainless steel case and a black resin strap that adds to the whole sporty vibe of the watch. Fitted on the top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with a captivating, bright green elapsed time scale bezel. Meanwhile, the dial of the watch stands out cleanly against the bezel with its jet-black finish. It showcases a standard analog layout with luminous arrow-headed hands and geometric hour markers for better readability in low-light conditions. Aside from that, it also boasts an excellent quartz movement, a date function, and a water resistance rating of 200 meters. 

If you are looking for a striking divers watch that will not break the bank, you can get the Ref. MDV106B-1A3V for approximately $75 USD.

3. Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A2V

Front view of the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A2V.

Up next is the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A2V, which is a great choice for fans of Pepsi timepieces out there. It offers an athletic and stylish design that many watch enthusiasts will surely appreciate. On top of that, this watch also has a very versatile appeal, so you can easily pair it with your go-to everyday outfits. 

This Casio Duro watch utilizes a 44mm stainless steel case, along with a casual resin strap in black. On top of the watch case is a two-tone, rotating bezel. With its vibrant red and blue elapsed time scale, this Casio watch is incredibly reminiscent of the iconic Rolex Pepsi. The black dial of this watch also contains the typical elements you would find in a diving watch, such as large luminous hands, sizeable geometric hour markers, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. This model is also equipped with an impressive quartz movement and a depth rating of around 200 meters.

Priced at just $75 USD, this is one of the cheapest alternatives to Rolex’s popular GMT-Master II Pepsi.

4. Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-2AV

Front view of the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-2AV.

For the last variant, we have the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-2AV, which is a handsome watch clearly inspired by the ocean. With its striking blue and silver hues, this watch evokes the image of the famous Rolex Submariner Blue and is one of the most distinct Casio Duro watches ever made.

This Casio Duro watch uses a 44mm stainless steel case and a robust resin band in black. Affixed to the top of the case is a rotating unidirectional bezel with a sleek blue elapsed time scale insert. The watch’s dial, which comes in a similar shade of blue, is embellished with a lavish sunray finish. Aside from that, it is also adorned with arrow hands, geometric hour markers, and a date complication at 3 o’clock. Underneath this rich blue watch face, you can find an excellent Japanese quartz movement with three-year battery life. This watch also has a 200-meter depth rating, which is perfect for both casual and professional divers.

The Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-2AV costs $75 USD.

Selling Points of the Casio Duro

  1. Affordable. A lot of popular diving watches in the market are typically priced at over $100 USD. This is what sets the Casio Duro apart from all the other models out there. Even though it is a well-known, well-made timepiece from a trusted brand, all of its variations still manage to sell at under $80 USD. If you are just getting started on your watch collection and you are still uncomfortable spending hundreds (or thousands) on a single watch, the Casio Duro is the best way to get you going on your journey.
  2. High Quality. As mentioned, even one of the wealthiest people in the world, Bill Gates, is a known fan of the Casio Duro, along with many others around the globe. This just shows that being affordable has not compromised Casio Duro’s quality, which is truly commendable and rare. The Casio Duro is made of high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship and showcases the utmost durability, so you know that this is a watch you can definitely trust.  
  3. Low Maintenance. In relation to the previous point, owning a Casio Duro is proven to be quite low maintenance because of its impressive technical specifications. The Japanese quartz movement that runs inside has a battery life of around three years which means you will not have to constantly worry about replacing it. 

Alternatives to the Casio Duro

As you can see, the Casio Duro is a reliable entry-level dive watch with a lot to love about it. Having said that, it might not be to everyone’s tastes, either. If you are looking for a higher-end, more luxurious alternative to the Casio Duro, here are some other diving models worth checking out as well.

1. Tag Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY201T.BA0927

Front view of the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY201T.BA0927.

First, we have the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY201T.BA0927, which has a very robust and sporty exterior just like the Casio Duro. That said, this model serves as a more modern, stylish alternative that younger audiences are sure to love.

This TAG Heuer watch is encased in a 43mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link bracelet. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a two-tone rotating GMT bezel in black and blue shades, which heavily resembles the blue-black elapsed time scale bezel of the Casio Duro Batman. The dial of this watch comes in blue, with a fashionable horizontal teak pattern. It is also furnished with silver, trapezoidal hour markers, thick sword hands, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock.

Unlike the Casio Duro, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer piece is an automatic watch. As such, it is driven by the TAG Heuer Caliber 7 automatic movement. Its features include a solid 42-hour power supply and an impressive 300-meter water resistance capacity, which is 100 meters greater than that of the Casio Duro.

With a price tag of around $3,400 USD, this is one of the best luxury dive watches you can get.

2. Rolex Submariner Ref. 16610

Front view of the Rolex Submariner Ref. 16610.

Next, we have the ever-so-famous Rolex Submariner Ref. 16610, which is one of the most sought-after diving watches out there. Also referred to as the Rolex Kermit, this watch was created in 2003 to celebrate the 50 years since the first launch of the Rolex Submariner

This Rolex watch sports a highly durable 40mm Oystersteel case, coupled with a bracelet made of the same material. Its case and bracelet boast a lovely polish, giving the Rolex Kermit an impeccable luster. Like the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A3V, this watch bears a striking emerald dive bezel, albeit in a slightly lighter shade of green. Its black dial follows the classic Submariner layout, consisting of signature Mercedes hands, sizeable geometric hour markers, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. On top of that, it is powered by an excellent Rolex Caliber 3135. This automatic movement possesses a 50-hour power supply and an incredible 300-meter depth rating.

Retailing at around $36,300 USD, this is one of the most valuable diving watches on the market.

3. Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPF09K1

Front view of the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPF09K1.

The Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPF09K1, on the other hand, serves as the cheapest luxury alternative on this list. It is a great option for those who want a more premium, but still affordable, version of the Casio Duro Ref. MDV106B-1A2V.

This Seiko Prospex watch is presented in a 43mm stainless steel case and bracelet, with a rotating bezel in PADI’s classic red and blue colors. The dial of this watch showcases a unique, textured pattern of waves and is decorated with luminous arrow hands, thick hour markers, and a compact date aperture at 3 o’clock. All of these functions run on an automatic 4R35 Caliber, which possesses a 41-hour power reserve and a 200-meter depth rating.

You can experience this Seiko timepiece firsthand for around $419 USD.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the Casio Duro is one of the best diving watches you can get, especially when you are on a budget. After delving a little deeper into its design and specifications, there really is no wonder why people are so enamored with this timepiece. At the end of the day, the Casio Duro is proof that you do not need to spend insane amounts of money to get a high-quality watch. 

Photo Credits: Casio Official Website & WatchShopping Site

If you’re interested in diving watches, check out this piece on the Orient Mako II.

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