While we tend to get drawn towards the new hotness when it comes to watches – whether it’s new models, new lines, or even new brands, that’s not to say that there is anything wrong with the established stuff that came before.  I mean, this is all but evidenced by the number of “heritage” or re-release models that we’ve seen.  And, when it comes to a brand like Casio, they’ve got such a wide and varied catalog, they’ve no doubt got something for everyone.  Today, we’re having a look at the Casio W736H-2AV.

As with many Casio digital watches, it carries more than a little bit of the G-Shock design language (without actually carrying the G-Shock label, of course), and clearly has it’s functionality marked out on the relevant pushers.  The 15.4mm thick Casio W736H-2AV also calls out it’s big claim to differentiation – the vibration alarm.  This is the main reason I wanted to get this one in for review.

You see, I’ve become a big fan of silent alerts, be they the vibrations of my phone alerting me to an incoming message or call, or, more regularly, the vibration of my Fitbit telling to get myself out of bed in the morning.  This may seem like a small thing, but getting up in the mornings without a noisy alarm waking my wife (and possibly the kids) is definitely a plus in my book.

Of course, with the 50g Casio W736H-2AV, you can choose to not have the vibration alarms on – and in some ways, it’s a bit of a hidden feature (I actually had to read the manual to find out how to enable it).  While you might think it’s on the alarm screen (after cycling through the modes) but it’s not.  There, you can set the daily alarm on or off, and hourly chimes on or off.  If you want those digital beeps switched over to vibration, that’s done on the main screen.

You simply hold down the button labeled as “Start” for a few seconds, and then the Casio W736H-2AV vibrates, and the display shows a “VIB” in the upper left.  Simple as that, you’ve silenced the watch.  Even without the daily alarm being leveraged, having the hourly alerts giving you a “buzz buzz” was a good way to keep track of the day.  While the vibration alarm is the big differentiator for the Casio W736H-2AV, that’s not all of the functionality if offers.  It also has:

  • Countdown timer
  • Stopwatch (aka chronograph) mode, including split times and an auto-start mode (gives you a 5-second countdown)
  • Dual time (aka, track another time zone)
  • Backlight

If you want a full run-down of the functions (and how they work), there’s a helpful PDF of the manual  that you can peruse.

Now, on that last bullet point – the backlight. This is functional, of course, and lets you read the screen of the Casio W736H-2AV in the dark without any issue.  It’s interesting to watch, as well, as triggering the backlight (which are edge-mounted LEDs) causes the display to invert in a sense.  I do wish that it stayed light for a little longer, and possibly had an auto-on as we’ve seen on some other Casios.  Though, with the price point that the Casio W736H-2AV, some compromises are going to be in the mix (the backlight, the plasticky strap and buckle).

Which is not to say that the $40Casio W736H-2AV is a stripped-down watch. No, it offers a lot of functionality to it, along with a 100m WR rating and a 10 year battery.  In other words, this is a watch that you can have on your wrist, basically 24-7, and it will get the job done.  When it comes to an inexpensive and robust digital watch, you certainly have lots of options, even if you were just looking at the Casio catalog.  Why not go with one that brings a unique feature (the silent alarms) to the party as well? Need a basic everyday watch?  Yup, this is it.  Need something that’s worry-free for heading into the outdoors?  Again, this has your back.  At this price and feature set, I think anyone would be hard-pressed to say this was a bad choice for all most folks and scenarios.  casio.com

Review Summary
  • Brand & Model: Casio W736H-2AV
  • Price:  $39.95
  • Who’s it for? You want a solid, everyday digital watch with a ton of features – and could use a quiet way to wake up in the morning
  • Would I wear it? Yeah, I could definitely see a place for it.
  • What I’d change: While the auto-on backlight might be a dream at this price point, I wouldn’t mind a softer-touch strap.
  • The best thing about it:  G-Shock styling along with a silent alarm – what’s not to like?
Tech Specs from Casio
  • 100M Water Resistant
  • LED Backlight w/Afterglow
  • Vibe alert (daily alarm, hourly time signal)
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • Dual-time
  • 10 year battery
  • Available in black, black/blue, or black/green
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Last Update: July 11, 2018